My name is Ian Spriggs and I am a character artist working at Oats Studios in Vancouver with Neill Blomkamp. For the past two years, I have been working as a creature/character artist. I have been in the industry for 11 years. I started out in Toronto at Starz and MrX then moved to Vancouver 3 years ago and started work at ILM. A year later is when Neill contacted me to work for him. I have a degree in Fine Arts, which I hope reflects in my personal work. I am inspired by the masters like Rembrandt and Caravaggio. I try to link my work to the past as we move forward with technology, not losing focus of where we came from.
Character Modelling has always been my focus, as I love the complexity of the anatomy. You can pass on emotions and who a person is because it's not in what they look like. It is really those emotions that make them look real. It's a challenge, but I think that human beings are the biggest challenge.
I started with my self-portrait then my family members and then I moved onto some friends and so on. There's more of a connection when I work with people I know rather than using an arbitrary person.
I usually take photos of my subjects. Once I've got the photo shoots I take some of the images that I like and put those in Maya and then I'll have a pre-made base mesh with a rig. Then I'll just pose that base mesh to the photos. When I'm done blocking everything out, like the little bits I'll take that to Mudbox sculpt it and then make any changes that I need back in Maya. I go back and forth all the time, on all projects.
When you look at your subjects you need to take your time. You're not going to get it right the first time. And you're probably not going to get it right the second or third time, but maybe on the fourth time, you will get closer. And it's never going to be perfect, so you've got to accept that it's not going to be perfect and not get discouraged and just keep working at it. I think patience is the key.
I have worked on films such as WarCraft, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Crimson Peak, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Robocop, Pompeii and Mama but I am most proud of my work at Oats, which everyone will be able to see soon.
I have two brothers who are also big into the arts: Richard Spriggs, an animation lead at MPC and David Spriggs, a contemporary installation artist who has shown work all over the world. You can view more of my work here.