Behind the Scenes with D & D Creations

YURdigital is very excited to launch the premiere issue of our new article series called Behind the Scenes. These articles will provide you with a behind the scenes look into the world of some of the most creative individuals and companies within the digital art world.

This month we have the honor of interviewing one of the most creative and powerful teams within the industry, D & D Creations. We hope you enjoy getting to know D & D Creations with this look behind the scenes !

How long has D & D Creations been developing content?

Drea & Michel: We created our first product - Vue Spectral Atmospheres vol. 1 - in June 2011. The success of this pack motivated us to continue creating high-quality content for Vue.

How did you get started in digital art?

Drea: My love for 3D landscape art started in late 2007, when I was browsing desktop wallpapers. I came across some really nice digital paintings, as well as 3D renders, and they made me curious about how they were made and what tools were used. Just like many artists, I started creating very basic landscapes using Bryce and its presets, but after a few weeks I found Vue. As I always say, it was love at first sight and it is still in the air.

Michel: I started back in the days on the Commodore 64, writing games in BASIC, using sprites. A year later, I moved onto the Amiga 1200, and worked with Digital art there. At that time, they were far ahead of PC technology.  Since then I have always been playing with art and music. For a while music was my main priority, I released a couple of albums and singles. But I always kept on playing with programs like Bryce and the first version of Vue; Vue 2 d’esprit. But it wasn’t only almost 3 years ago, that I got Vue 7 Pioneer, and started slowly upgrading it with modules. Still I wasn’t taking it too seriously. That all changed when I came along 2 renders from Drea-mer... Treasures of Asia and Overcome. I was sending messages to this person, telling how much I loved the work, and if I could get some tips. This very same person, is now my partner, and my other half in D&D creations. Since the day I got those tips, and saw those works, I started to take art very seriously, and wanted to improve myself.

Drea & Michel: Our collaboration started back in October 2010, when Drea joined a game development project of IMU Studios, co-founded by Michel. The effective work together inspired us to get involved in more projects, and to set new goals.

Where do you find inspiration for new content?

Drea & Michel: Reference photos from all around the world, and our own nature photos help a lot in creating realistic content. We spend a lot of time examining landscapes, terrain formations, ecosystems, lighting and atmospheric effects as well.
For content focusing rather on fantasy, we gain a lot of inspiration from matte paintings and movies.

Give us a little insight on your development process for new content.

Drea & Michel: Well, first, one of us comes up with an idea and discusses it with the other. We build up a plan of workflow. Based on the idea and the goals, we create a prototype of the product, we test it, form it, and before releasing it, we test it in different Vue versions with the help of our beta testers. When we all can verify that the product works the way we want, we are ready to release it.

Do you find it challenging to come up with new and unique ideas for content?

Drea & Michel: Keeping up the good work and coming up with newer and newer ideas is a challenging task, because we have to consider several aspects before starting working on a new product. The artists need products that can help them achieve their goals, plus they should inspire the artists to broaden their comfort zones. Besides this, the products need to be unique and original, even among the dozens of similar products in the market.

Your content is centered around Vue from e-on Software do you use any other tools other than Vue when creating content?

Drea & Michel: Our terrains with realistic details and erosion were made combining the powerful features of Vue, World Machine 2 and GeoControl 2. Besides these terrain generators, we use 3ds Max for correcting and converting polygons, and sometimes for testing atmospheres in 3ds Max/Vue xStream integration.

Do you ever see yourselves creating content for other software applications other than Vue?

Drea & Michel: We are considering releasing our terrain packs for other 3D applications as well. We have several future plans in store, but we cannot reveal more information yet.

How do you feel when you see your content being used by other digital artists?

Drea & Michel: This is something hard to describe with words. It is amazing to see our customers coming up with creative ideas, using and tweaking our products. We are really grateful to these artists for motivating us to keep working.

You are both amazing artists and create stunning work. Where do you find inspiration for your art?

Drea & Michel: We both gain a lot of inspiration from music, movies, photos, traditional and digital paintings as well. We are also motivated by useful training materials; we are always eager to try new techniques.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working on art?

Michel: I increase my knowledge by following training programs, study various techniques. I also like creating some new content in Avid Protools 9 for future use. I also enjoy watching movies, listening to music, and I love cooking a good healthy meal for us.

Drea: When I am not working on art, I treat patients as a Registered Nurse. In my free time I join Michel in training, watching movies, listening to music, and getting inspired. We enjoy taking long walks in nature and planning forward. 

Do you have any advice for new content developers?

Drea & Michel: Make sure you take your time to plan out, create and test your products. Focus on quality, originality and reliability. Be open to your customers, treat them as partners, and they will trust your skills.

Do you have any final words?

Drea & Michel: We would like to say thank you to YURdigital for the interview and for giving us the chance to tell more about ourselves. As we have already mentioned, we have some ongoing projects and exciting news in store, so stay tuned! For news and updates, you can visit our website, and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google+ as well.
As a final thought, we would like to say thank you to our customers for purchasing our products and using them in their own creative ways. If you would like to share what you have created with our products, feel free to send your work to us via e-mail; our Artist Gallery is always open for new works!
Keep up the great work!