Welcome to our vendor showcase…
…where we welcome the amazing Brian Loukatos to our site. We sat down with him for a chat about how he became the one and only ImagineX and what inspires and motivates him in the world of 3D Art.
Hi Brian, we are very excited to have you here for our first vendor showcase. Please tell us a little bit about yourself..
Well, I’m 53 years old and currently reside in Colorado Springs, CO. I’ve been interested in 3D animation since about 1995 and the first 3D program I ever used was called Visual Reality. I stood and waited in Woodland Hills, CA. on the day of release and actually purchased the software directly from the maker because I was so excited to get started, until I realized my computer at the time was barely powerful enough to even run the software! I attended SIGGRAPH back in 1999 and was amazed at a program called Blender, yet it would take me another 8 years before actually trying Blender for myself, again because my computer at the time simply would not run the software. I was an IT tech at the time, so I worked to build myself a computer that could run Visual Reality, and In 2000 I started my own computer business (hardware) and began building computers for businesses. A few years later, I started building network systems on CMOS and DOS systems and I moved into building computers for a Dental Software company called KComp, building, configuring and installing Dental network systems for many large dental giants such as Western Dental. I became a PC technician, servicing home computers and Dental network computers for several years to follow and dabbled with 3D software in my spare time, but nothing serious until about 2009 when I discovered Daz Studio. It was at this time, I finally had a computer built that could run both Blender and Daz Studio….
“One day I woke up and just knew – I NEED to do this and I NEED to do it now.”
What was the initial thing/circumstance/event that led you to 3D art in the first place?
I care for my wife who has been disabled since 1991, which has always made it very hard for me to work a traditional job. In 2009 after discovering Daz Studio – I instantly saw an opportunity to not only do what I had loved for many years, but also make an income on the side (this was a “no brainer” for me.) Imagine, being able to stay at home, care for my wife AND do what I love to do anytime I had the chance. Kind of a dream come true ….
Was it just natural for you to move into creating content, or was there some kind of push or inspiration?
Although it was natural, because I had giants that inspired me such as Dreamlight, Stonemason and many more – I had no idea what I would create or how – I just knew I wanted to so badly it was killing me. Taking care of someone 24 hours a day (and for many years) can take a devastating toll on the mind. One day I woke up and just knew – I NEED to do this and I NEED to do it now. So, I began trying to learn how to create Daz products with Blender and moved on from there.
Where do you find your inspiration for both your products and art?
I find inspiration for products all over. I get ideas from looking in magazines and websites such as Houzz.com etc. I am also a huge horror fan, so for products such as my Horrifying Skins and characters like Barkley – I look to my imagination and create something I find interesting and in turn hope others do as well. I get inspired by looking at what the “Big Boys” (and girls) do. I have pretty much done a little of everything, from Environments to poses, props, skins, clothing, and characters.
What is your favourite piece/product that you have created, and why?
I think my favorite products of my own to date are the Horrifying Skins volumes. These were fun and allowed me to just create without having limitations relying on total accurate realism like in Environments and props. One of my favorite products was also Ultimate Glassware for Iray Volume 2, which I created with my Son Tyler who has since become a PA at Daz as well. This product was a HUGE seller at the time (years ago). The product sold thousands instantly and continues to bring sales to this day. It was a time to remember, so I will never forget.
“Ask lots of questions, have an open mind and most of all be creative.”
Do you have any advice for people who might be considering going into creating 3D content?
Be patient, learn learn learn, don’t give up. Connect with others who do the same!! Ask lots of questions, have an open mind and most of all be creative.
Can you tell us a little bit about your workflow? Which are your favourite programs to create in? Why?
My workflow does change frequently, as I don’t create the same type of products over and over. I can say that for props and environments I use Blender for modelling and UV mapping. I like to use Substance Painter for texturing, but not every product I create utilizes SP. My skins are created directly in Substance. Nowadays, I am using Marvelous Designer to create clothing, then Substance for texturing. I use Photoshop for texturing as well, but it is not always a part of my workflow. I get bored easily, so I like to do different things and I love to challenge myself and always try to change things up, therefore my workflow can change drastically from one project to the next.
As someone who also creates artistic renders, do you have a couple of favourite products (outside of your own) that you would consider ‘go-to’ when creating? And why?
I honestly cannot think of any products I would consider “go to”. I highly admire and have massive respect for ALL of those who create content. I am thankful to be able to use other PA products in my renders and along side my own. We have such a huge pool of incredibly talented artists creating Daz content.
What is your favourite thing about making 3D content?
My favorite part of content creation is the initial idea and beginning to see it come to reality. I am not as crazy about actually converting content to the Daz Store requirements. I simply love to try and create something I haven’t done before. I love the feeling of having a light go off in my head and sparking an idea for a product. It is a satisfying feeling of accomplishment when you have reached the day where you see your idea on the Daz Store.
“My goals now are to simply get better and better at what I love to do. “
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share some info about? Or all they all top secret?
No secrets here lol. I am learning and expanding within Marvelous Designer. I plan to release many cool outfits in the near future. Of course, you can always be on the lookout for more Horrifying Skins. I have an idea as well for “Mech Skins” – which just sounds fun to me.
What is one thing that your 3D followers probably don’t know about you? (don’t worry, not looking for deep, dark secrets, lol)
Well, most people don’t know that I am a musician. I have been a drummer for 30 years. I play the keyboard; Bass guitar and I have been known to do some vocals as well. I started my own gig called Callomania several years ago and even had a CD for sale on many of the big outlets. I love ALL music of ALL genres.
Do you have an ultimate goal of where you’d like to take your 3D content or render work? Or are you already there?
Honestly, I set some goals when I first started selling product on the Daz Store. One of my biggest goals was to do well enough to be invited to the Daz PA Summit and I met that goal several years ago. My goals now are to simply get better and better at what I love to do. My immediate goal now is to semi master Marvelous Designer. In the past, I set goals for different aspects, such as generating a specific amount of income, establishing a “back catalogue” on the Daz Store, being invited to the Summit and learning to do things I never thought I would.
“My biggest goal of all is to continue to enjoy what I do and be in the company of wonderful artists and people in general.“
Thank you so much for your time Brian, your story is fascinating for all of us who aspire to be content creators and artists using 3D assets. It only remains for us to show our artists just what your products can inspire them to create….
- Ultimate Ice For Iray,
- Horrifying Skins Volume 2,
- Roboskinz Security Bot,
- Horrifying Skins Volume 3
These and much more available here at ImagineX’s DAZ Store
BECOME THE ARTIST YOU DREAM OF
. VISION . INSPIRATION . CREATION . DETERMINATION .