Poser Creator Series: Creating a digital Ice Age with midnight_stories

Mar 24, 2021 at 10:55 am by Michelle Willard

Poser Creator Series: Creating a digital Ice Age with midnight_stories

Renderosity vendor midnight_stories started his digital art career after a pole-vaulting accident derailed his Olympic dreams.

"I'm a former national junior record holder for the decathlon won a scholarship to the AUST institute of sport. But a few months before I was supposed to go, I missed the mats in the pole-vault and tore the ligaments in my knee and the Olympic dream was over. Not to worry got into digital art after that, so here I am," he said.

With his dreams dashed, he picked up a Commodore Vic20 and started playing with 3D ray tracing programs in 1984 on an Amiga 500. Now he creates digital art with his programs of choice – Poser, Carrara, Vue, ZBrush 4. You name it, and he's probably used it to create art.

"As you can see, I have a huge arsenal of programs to get the job done. One thing I do believe in is being able to model and customize your own stuff, and creating your own textures. If you can't, then you are at the mercy of other people's thoughts," he said.

It wasn't long after picking up his digital brush that midnight_stories was approached to do more.

"It all started with Christopher Haigood (a.k.a., mestophales) contacting me about doing morphs for the Manitou and one thing led to another," he said. "They needed someone who could do morphs and rigging, I may have stretched the truth a bit about the rigging, but don't tell Brent."

Then DevilDog Studios gave him a week to rig The Creech. It was sink or swim.

"We got there in the end and The Creech ended up being one of the best figures in Poser 8," he said. "Well, I guess that a matter of opinion."

Now midnight_stories has his own store on Renderosity where he sells the creatures he creates and the environments that suit them.

"If anyone wants to throw ideas at me feel free to contact me on Renderosity," he said. 

How long have you been creating digital art, and why did you start?

Well have been doing digital art since the Amiga 500 computers in 1984, have owned Poser since version 2 when Fractal Design owned it. That's when I started to make stuff for myself.

Why I started, was just the love of computing and finding out how things worked. I think I mainly started with morphs for the Poser figures. Then got an e-mail from DevilDog Studios to see if I would rig figures for Poser. I may have stretched the truth a bit, and I had a week to figure out how to rig from scratch, before they cottoned on to it. But thankfully I worked it out and that's really how I began as a vendor. So a big thanks to the guys at DevilDog Studios, Brent, Chris and Vik will always be family to me!

What inspires your creations?

All sci-fi movies old and new and a love the Marvel series. Also, some of the ZBrush artists are amazing. Whatever they have in their mind they can create. Digital art has come a long way.

What is your favorite thing to design?

Well, sci-fi suits were my favorite. But have made so many of them, they tend to be not as exciting as they used to.

Lately it's been creatures. The sand creatures were a huge success. Really enjoyed doing the Mammoth too. Now with the new ZBrush update I'm finding wings and fantasy outfits easy to do, so I may take another path.

One thing I find if people just stick to one type of product they will eventually go stale so I try new things all the time and that keeps my love for creating going. So if you find yourself in doldrums, just go in a totally new direction. It's scary at first but, if you have the will power, nothing can stop you.

What attracts you to creating creatures? Specifically, what inspired you to create a digital Ice Age?

I love the creative process of making new creatures, there are so many paths it can take, and could turn out to be anything. I love the old Sanctum Art creatures. They are the best ones out there and have inspired me a lot. I've always wanted to do a mammoth and with the new strand-base hair it's easier to do. The Ice Age backgrounds just go with it.

Something you have to consider when doing a product is finding things that compliment it. I found this to be quite a successful strategy. I'm actually doing a 12-week course for Vue. I'd like to create some more Ice Age backgrounds and possibly a 360 HDR series.

Where did the name midnight_stories come from?

Well, I grew up reading comics like eerie and creepy I love the darker things, and evil fascinates me. I wanted to produce comics like those – ones that made you think. So I named myself midnight_stories.

Find more of midnight_stories' creations on Renderosity.

Poser offers users the ability to use interactive 3D figure design to create art, illustration, animation, comics, web, print, education, medical, games, story boarding, and more. Using the program, creators can bring their stories, dreams and fantasies to life. From historic to contemporary, sci-fi to fantasy, Poser is the 3D graphics software tool used by professionals and hobbyists alike.

That's why we want to take a closer look at some of the creators who leverage the power of Poser to create. Email us at mwillard@renderosity.com if you would like to participate in the Creator Series.

What can you create? Let us know on Twitter at @poserpro, using #CreateWithPoser

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