Exclusive Interview with

Shane Caudle

Karin Eszterhás


(click the picture and see the full size)

Welcome to Digital Artworks Shane and thanks for your time.
Would you please present yourself?

SC: My name is Shane Caudle (born 1972), I currently live in Raleigh North Carolina.

DA: What is your profession?

SC: I work full time as Art Director for Epic Games. I have been at Epic for about 9 years.At Epic, I have worked on Unreal, the Unreal Addon, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament PS2, Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Championship.

DA: For how long time have you been doing CG?

SC: I have been doing Art as a living since I was a 17. I've been doing CG for about 13 years. I started out airbrushing when I was about 12 just for fun, I did a lot of murals, portraits, shirts, etc, then I got a job Airbrushing in the Birmingham Galleria, one of the biggest malls in the south.
After that I got a job at a company called Animotion, where I was introduced to CG. We did CDRom demos for companies like Samsung and Sony etc. Then a friend of mine and I started a company called Rival Productions, where we did a full color comic book called Eye of the Storm. We did a mix of 3D rendered backgrounds, with hand painted characters, it was a lot of fun and I got a lot of experience with CG there. During this time, at nights we would deathmatch games like Doom Hexen, Heritc, Quake etc. I started making levels for the games we were playing for fun, and started making a total conversion of Quake, and put up a web page for it. Within a 2 weeks, to my surprise, I had like 6 job offers from major game companies. Tim Sweeney from Epic Games saw my stuff and wanted to see what I could do with the Unreal Engine, so the sent me the stuff, and in a few days I sent them a level. They offered me a job, and I decided to take it, because I really liked Epics tools. What's really cool is, now I get to design them.

DA: You're very talented, I'll just sneak in one of my favourites here: http://www.planetshane.com/Paintings/Brock.htm
If you should decribe your art, what would you call the genre?

SC: I do all kinds of art, but most of my work is game related, characters, levels, textures etc.

DA: Do you have everything clear in your mind like lights, textures, colors and so on when you start an image?

SC: Sometimes I do, but most of the time it evolves is an evolutionary process. I'll add something, and that will give me new ideas for other things to add.

DA: Please tell me where your ideas come from, and how is your working process?

SC: I get ideas from all over the place, as I'm sure all artists do. Things I see in the real world, Interesting movies, other artwork, and of course from my own imagination.
As for my working process, it changes depending on what I'm working on.

For a portrait, I usually start real rough loosely sketching the overall shapes of everything, making sure the proportions are right, then I start adding in all the darker shadowed areas. then I go in and start the detailing by doing the eyes first. I think you get a feel for the image early on by doing the eyes first. I will then start refining the shading, adding in more details like the in the lips, ears, nose. Lastly I do the hair to finish it off.

Here is one I did of Angelina Jolie, this is from looking at a pic of her in Maxim Magazine. http://www.planetshane.com/Paintings/Angelina.htm

You can see some of my other work at
planetshane.com most of this is older work, as I can't post my current work because of non disclosure agreements etc. It is mostly for a un announced game we are currently working on.

DA: Are you inspired and influenced by other artist's (living or dead) work? Do you i. e. have a favorite artist?

SC: Doug Chiand, Craig Mullins, Syd Mead.

DA: It seems to me that you are working with many different softwares ... which ones are you using?

SC: Here are the main ones I use...

3DMax 6 - Been using it since version 1.
DeepPaint 3D
Photoshop 8 (aka Photoshop CS) - Been using it since version 1.
Painter 8 - Been using it since version 1.
All our custom tools, UnrealEd etc.
Lots more...

DA: I'm sure it will be of interest to our readers to know about your computer system ?

SC: I have a Duel Xeon 3 Ghz ,4 gigs of ram, 500 Gigs of hard drive space, Radeon 9800Xt 256 meg video card, Duel 21 inch monitors.

DA: On behalf of Digital Artworks thank you for this interview ... and I wish you luck with your excellent artwork in the future.

SC: Thank you!

For Digital Artworks
Karin Eszterhás
January 2004

Please visit Shane Caudle's Gallery here: http://www.planetshane.com