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nebula_wp_cropOne of my hobbies that turned into a vocation is CGI, or computer animation. In case you’re unfamiliar with the terms, think Pixar.

My first animation project was the opening animation for OTAKON 2001, “Mecha Run For It“. Though this 6-minute animation proved I had the chops to hack it, I simply didn’t have the bucks necessary to fund my own animation studio. And since wonderful ideas like Kickstarter did not yet exist, that dream quietly settled on the back burner.

Now that I am an (hopefully up-and-coming) author, I use this skill to enhance my publishing efforts. Although it isn’t animation, I use the same skills to create all my cover art and most illustrations to go with my stories.

How you might ask?
I employ LightWave3D, a CGI modeling and animation software package used in several sci-fi franchises (Babylon 5, Star Trek, Iron Man, to name a few).

Consider that animation is merely a series of photographs shown in rapid succession to fool the human eye’s persistence of vision. What better, than to my use animation to create my still-life illustrations?

I create the 3D models, pose the model actors, set the camera and lighting, exactly as if I were crafting an animation scene. The result is a photo-realistic image. If I need to convert the photo into pencil, charcoal, ink or paint styles, I have several converters at my fingertips in Lightwave3D itself, and other tools like Photoshop, to skin that particular cat.

You can see all my covers, illustrations and animation projects at anigrafx.com, but just to whet your appetite, here is an illustration used in “If I Can’t Sleep, You Can’t Sleep.”
mask_of_jyestha_c16And here’s the illustration submitted with my short story “If These Walls Could Talk,” slated for Firebringer Press‘s upcoming anthology “Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity“.walls_talk_thumb

Bet you can’t wait to see what I’m cooking up for my next novel, “My Friend Jackson“!

Thanks to DT Krippene for suggesting this blog topic.