Gnomon Q&A with Tully Summers
There are some aspects of practical effects that are almost gone completely, like making miniatures for buildings and vehicles. The extent and need to have a physical presence on set now largely depends on how intimate your physical interaction is with the element, and, of course, the shooting style and preferences of the director.
Right now, having physical effects on set is still extremely useful, but using digital tools in the their fabrication is becoming more and more prevalent.
What is the most enjoyable project you have worked on so far in your career and why?
It's hard to pick — I love what I do. Each project is completely different. Even if a task I'm given isn't my favorite, I enjoy being inspired by and learning from the talented people around me.
What advice can you give for aspiring creature/character designers looking to break into the industry? What should an artist have on their demo reel or how should they present their work?
What I look for in a portfolio is creativity and talent. As long as that is communicated, I don't care what medium is used. A common pitfall I see is amorphous blobs covered with lots and lots of detail. The computer has made it so easy to make very interesting high frequency detail. I see people go there too soon, before their character's shape and anatomy have been thoroughly worked out. Have fun with the details but always keep the big picture in mind.
Tyler Bolyard is a student from the Gnomon School of Visual Effects studying to be a character/creature artist. He is focused on concept design and practical and digital sculpting for the film industry. He was inspired at a young age watching fantasy and sci-fi films such as Jim Henson's Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal and has set out to create fantasy creatures and characters of his own. Tyler has had the opportunity to study design and sculpture under legendary creature designer Jordu Schell as well as interning for Jim Henson's Creature Shop. For more info visit: www.TyrassicInc.com.
Tully Summers is a renowned concept and creature designer who has worked on such films as Avatar, Men in Black III, Star Trek, The Dark Knight Rises and TRON: Legacy. For more info and to check out more of Tully’s work visit: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0838814/.