This month, we had the chance to speak to Josh "Ghost_Rider" Singh ( Portfolio
) who many of you already know from our community! Although he's an
excellent artist, he really stands out with his absolutely great
personality. Always positive, Josh provides pointers to beginners and
has recently helped judge in our Crate Contest. Whoever his work
colleagues are, they should consider themselves lucky to have him!
Without further due, let's get down to the good stuff...
- How did you first become involved in Game Art and what elements
played a large role in making this career choice?
around 2001, I was just married and had a baby on the way. I had no
Idea what I wanted to do as a career, I only knew I wanted to make art.
I was going to a small tech school, learning graphic design. They were
teaching photoshop , illustrator, and quark xpress. I thought graphic
design would be fun, until I landed my first gig. I was making menu's
for mom and pop restaurants, junk mail ads and little league rosters,
not my idea of art. But it paid the bills and I was alright with it.
Until I got laid off, and the company folded. But some good did come of
it, I was introduced to the Maya personal learning edition, and
eventually 3ds Max 4.
my down time after the layoff, my wife was at work and I was at home
playing "Metal Gear Solid" and I remember thinking "Who makes this
stuff?, There has to be some sort of videogame artist who makes these
awesome characters and environments!" well I went to the library and
searched "video game artists". I came across sites like "polycount"
"Cgchat" "CgTalk" and "Conceptart.org". My mind was blown away. I
wanted to rub shoulders with these guys, wanted to do what they did.
So, I started reading tutorials, books anything I could get my hands on to help me build my first demo reel.
were hard times. I would work at a used car lot nine hours a day, then
go home and work on 3d for 5 hours a night. My wife was very supportive
and knew it was something I wanted.
few months later I had something I felt I could show ( I look back now
on it and cringe!) and found all the game studios in the Salt Lake
area. I was knocking on doors like a noob, trying to get my demo to the
art leads and art directors.
two months passed after that, and a little indie company called "Wahoo
Studios" gave me a call. They had just got a contract for some little
budget games on the ps1 and ps2 and wanted to know If I wanted to come
on board. I quit my job that day and officially got my foot in the door
of the game industry. The rest is on my resume :)
Game-Artist.Net - You've
recently moved from Howard Stringer's Sony Empire to a fresh LLC jump
started by Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling called Green Monster Games
located outside of Boston. Can you tell us about the move and what
motivated you to join the small guy (off the field that is :) )?
just let me say Sony Online Entertainment treated me very well. We
parted on very good terms. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to
work with some of my old friends from Ironlore, in a new start-up, with
one of my art heroes on the project Todd Mcfarlane.
is something to be said about the small studio atmosphere. I love the
camaraderie and passion that emerges while working on a single project.
Everybody there loves videogames, and we all speak the same language so
to speak. It's really a great time going in to work.
Game-Artist.Net - Becoming
an expert as Character Artist involves an incredible amount of work.
It's paid off for you, most recently attaining 2nd place in Blizzard's
challenge with "Taurk"! With so many steps involved in creating
characters, what fundamental advice would you give an artist leaning in
fundamental advice would be, be humble and teachable. Never think you
know more than someone just because your mom and friends said you could
always draw good. Keep your eyes on forums like Game-Artist.net, to
learn the newest techniques and to ask questions from artist you
admire. Constantly enter the monthly Competitions, as well as crank out
personal work. Keep tons of reference! digest other styles and
incorporate what you love about other artists styles into your own.
Game-Artist.Net - A Game-Artist.Net classic, what do you feel is the most underrated tool within 3ds Max?
The teapot primitive in max.
but seriously, the renderer in max is awesome, for game art anyways.
Here's a tip: in the renderer filter options, switch it from the
default "Area" to "Catmul Rom" it will make all your renders crisper
and sharper. Oh yeah and never render on a black background change it
to a dark or light grey. My personal fave is R:42 G:42 B:42
Game-Artist.Net - When
you stepped into the Industry with your first job, what was the one
thing that almost changed overnight in regards to your workflow?
one thing that changed over night was my attention to U.V. maps. It was
seriously one of the hardest things to wrap my mind around when first
starting out. Once I got into a production environment I really had to
pay attention to texel density as well as u.v. seam control. U.V's are
really an art in it self. Uv mapping became instantly easier with a
little plug in I found called "UV help" it's free and you can find it
Game-Artist.Net - When
we asked Gary "Mindrot" Newman what his favorite game character ever
made was? He replied with Heather from Silent Hill, what's your pick ?
think the one game character that really has influenced my style, or at
least I love to draw, is "Rau" from the "Mark of Kri" I love the
don-bluth style to all the art in that game. Ask any of my art buddies
and they'll say my stuff tends to gravitate towards "Tribal" type
motifs. But really I like Polynesian and Native American themes in my
characters. Plus Rau is a Bad Ass.
this point we'd like to thank Josh for this interview! If you want to
learn anything from Josh, just look at the amount of work he puts out,
model for model, texture for texture, he is developing and improving
everyday, true artist!