TDoizon title large for The Gnomon Workshop


(Sometimes I'm not so sure about placing here some articles. But this artist was one of the creators this beatiful world all was started - Omikron. I'm still waiting for Omikron 2 and hope (without any rumors and reason) he will participate this project. He - is Thierry Doison. Artist who's works return me to Omikron again and again. - UL)

Thierry Doison Assassins Creed MarketDL: Hi Thierry, first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. I have known you for quite a while now, but tell us, in a few words, who you are and what you do and how long you have been in the entertainment industry?

TD: Bonjour David, you know it’s good to hear such a question coming from you, we have known each other for 15 years already and we followed a very similar path. Today we’re closer than ever to the goals we chose then. Steambot Studios is just the beginning. I’m a concept designer who loves to draw, paint and create original stories; I currently work for Eidos in Montreal as a senior concept artist for the game Deus Ex III. I have been working on this industry for almost 13 years (sic!); it’s full of fun, frustration and constant discoveries!

DL: Before we get to the technical stuff, what hobbies do you have, aside from painting like a mad man? You’re the one who taught me how to Snowboard, so I assume that is still a big part of your life especially living in such a snowy country!

TD: Ahaha… my problem (which is another thing we have in common), is focusing on one thing. I have tons of hobbies which I consider as important as drawing. I do love extreme sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, wake skating, mountain climbing etc. I wish I had more time to continue practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sculpting, painting and making short films. My favorite hobby is to travel, but it is getting harder to find free time, isn’t it? Concerning snowboarding, I finally have the chance to ride an entire season from December to March. I can go right after work and avoid busy weekends. I really enjoy living in Canada! In the meantime I miss our wakeboarding sessions on Lake Austin.

DL: Which artist would you say is of great inspiration to you? Coming from an industrial design background and after having learned tons of plastic technical names (could you give us one just to check?), how do you value classical painting and the influence it has on your work?

TD: This is always a tough question, I have been inspired by so many artists it’s impossible to name them all. Let’s say that one of my all-time favorites is Jeffrey Jones. He has tried so many different styles. Anyway, my main source of inspiration comes from Mother Nature itself. The funny thing is, when I see a big green waste container I always think about our technology class and their manufacturing process. They are made of blow-molded polypropylene (PP), or polyethylene (HDPE) resin with built-in UV inhibitors, I guess it hasn’t changed much today, it is so strange to think about!

Concerning classical painting I’d say that a concept artist will be a better overall artist if he has a traditional background, learning about the past helps a lot when imagining dystopian worlds. Even if I don’t really like the subjects of the Renaissance paintings, I do admire their techniques. Learning how to draw, sketch, sculpt and paint is extremely important for us, digital software are seductive tools but they have some limits… (at least for now), the main one being virtual!

Thierry Doison Comic Book Assassins Creed DL: Talking about industrial design and art schools (we studied at the same school many years ago), what advice could you give to students and other kids wanting to get into the entertainment industry, either as a concept artist or CG artist? What memories do you have from your art school days?

TD: Today, we have the chance to live in a digital era; information is more or less free and borderless, which means we have easy access to education and knowledge. However, the time you spend in school is priceless because it is a practical shortcut if you want to get in the industry. During school you have to follow a program and learn different things you wouldn’t learn if you had the choice. Even if it seems boring at first, you will later realize how valuable the information is (the problem today is not about how to access the information but when to consume it), so I would suggest getting a degree in industrial product design, video games or follow an entertainment design course. Yes, it is expensive, yes, it’s difficult, but this is the price to pay and you will never regret it. I think the Design Institute we attended in Southern France was a great place. We learned so many interesting things, the atmosphere was cool as well as the location, and we wouldn’t have this friendly interview today if it wasn’t for that choice, right? My advice for everyone would be to follow your dream and work as hard as possible despite the numerous pitfalls you will certainly find in your way!

DL: Are there any artists in the modern world that inspire you or that you consider to be good examples of our industry?

TD: I think Craig Mullins is a great example, he had a huge impact on our community because he raised the level of illustrative conceptual paintings. Before it was more useful to sketch and draw concept art in the way product designers do, now we have to be able to blend creative, technical subjects with more traditional, cinematographic renderings. He brought a matte painting approach to concept art and in my opinion it was a good thing. I’m a big fan of M. Shirow too, a perfect combination of storytelling, action, creativity and passion.

Thierry Doison Assassins Creed Hospital DL: Which software is your favorite, and for what reason? Also, when it comes to hardware, Wacom or Cintiq?

TD: I haven’t found any perfectly adapted software up to now, 3D is in its infancy stage, software user interfaces are barbaric and you can’t have a well-balanced 2D/3D solution. I mainly use Photoshop because it is simple and fast, but it lacks a lot of parameters for us concept artists (we are not their primary target and it shows). Recently Rainart introduced me to Modo which is for now the best 3D package for my pipeline. On the hardware side, I’m still waiting for a good slate (tablet PC), I use a Wacom Intuos 3 and I love the Cintiq, but I won’t buy one. I’d say for a cheaper solution, Nintendo DS.

DL: One big event in 2008 is going to be the release of your Gnomon Workshop DVD on Character Design. Can you give us the exact title and what it will be about? What kind of artist is it targeted towards, and how is it linked with the other DVDs coming from Gnomon Workshop and Steambot? What projects did you work on which might have spawned ideas released in this DVD?

TD: Yeah, it’s finally finished. The DVD title is Character Design Pipeline: Production Art & Research Techniques with BARoNTiERi. This was probably the most difficult personal project I have done so far. You know what I’m talking about; I remember your scary pale tan when you were working on yours! I have tried to show the entire production pipeline for character concept design that we are using at Steambot (because I’m often asked the same question when reviewing portfolios). I hope it’ll give the answers to those interested in working in our industry while giving a sincere vision of the different steps and problems we face. It is not about making beautiful digital paintings; it’s about creating meaningful and sexy concept art illustrations. The DVD focuses on the creation process of two iconic characters; one human being and one original robot, they represent the main characters of an epic story. We are currently working on an art book (Steambot I.P) which will be published by Design Studio Press in fall 2008. It seemed pretty logical for us to release DVDs that are linked to this forthcoming book, your DVD shows the custom brushes techniques we use for speed painting and environment design, while Sebastien (Rainart) demonstrates a complex pipeline for matte painting. We are very lucky to have Gnomon supporting us in this project. Recently we worked on Assassin’s Creed and used a lot of creative techniques; it was like an intense experimental workshop with so many talented and crazy people. I think I wanted to show some of the methods derived from this period… like you did with your DVD.

Thierry Doison AbscapeDL: As a co-creator of Steambot, what can you tell the public about the company and the type of projects you are working on?

TD: Steambot is the result of an impulse we both had at school, so it’s good to see that we ended up doing exactly what we wanted. Montreal was an important step in this adventure because we met our three other members/founders (Viag, Feerik and Rainart) and had the chance to work with other incredible artists like Sparth, Simonak and Hydropix. Now, as I said, our main task is the art book and related DVDs, and we are working with some different companies on short-term contracts. We have also been invited to speak at many conferences and workshops, which is a lot of fun! On the other hand, we do have a lot of ideas about the near future that look very promising… unfortunately, I can’t talk about them yet. Keep an eye on our website

Thierry Doizon - Concept Artist
*All images courtesy of Ubisoft, Thierry Doizon.

Autor: David Levy
Source: The Gnomon Workshop
Language: English

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Barontieri Saturday, December 22, 2007

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