A graduate of the Ecole d'Arts Appliqués de Vevey, and Ecole Supérieure d'Arts Décoratifs de Genève, Fred Bastide has created some of the best cg character pieces I've seen and he's learned the craft in his spare time from his home in Montreux, Switzerland.
You have created some imaginative work in CG winning a lot of recognition; has this been a blessing or burden?
Words blessing and burden are a little too strong !
When you're awarded or front-paged by (by example) cg society, you've got a lot of work propositions, you obtain a very important and free advertising, and software developers give you licenses for free! But of course, you've got a lot of solicitations: newbie who needs help, cgi editors or publishers asking for (free) tutorial and articles, Star wars fans looking for free cgi artists for their own movie or mod, etc. Of course, I will not complain with this.
"Another advantage of cgi is the constant evolution of tools and hardware..."
I think one of the biggest difference is the "undo" thing. It could sound stupid, but it's something very important. By example, with aquarelle (water paint) every stroke is important, and needs to be precise because you didn't have a chance to make corrections, or change a color. With computer arts, you could modify everything you want, even reload an old version and explore alternatives solutions. When you come from traditional art, it make a very big difference.
Another advantage of cgi is the constant evolution of tools and hardware: It's very motivating when a new version of your usual application is released. If I had to make another comparison with water painting, it's like if you could obtain a magical brush which you could do things impossible before.
My favourite piece of work from you is "Monstreusien - Cold Meat"; what was your inspiration for this piece?
"Monstreusien" is a compression of two words: Monstre (the French word for Monster) and Montreusien, who are the inhabitants of my own town, Montreux, in Switzerland.
I've planned to make a series of images based on the Principe of an Clive Barker-esque "alternate reality", where all the kind Montreux citizens turns to horrible monsters. That one, based on the butcher shop, is the first I've finished. I hope I could do more of this series in the future.
Your works "Vladmir" and "Micheline Calmy-Rey" are extremely expressive portraits do you plan on doing more of this kind of work in future either in CG or traditional methods?
Yes, I'will make more portraits of this kind, but in cgi: I have a lot to explore in 3d, and I don't think I will go back to traditional method before a long time.
"...I'll try to be more audacious for the next ones..."
You have recently posted on your homepage that you will be taking a break from CG for some time; Why is this and what will you be focusing on in the interim?
Yes, six month ago, I've encountered a copyright problem with an important computer manufacturer (*). Dealing with this costs me a lot of time and energy, and left me completely disgusted. So, for my mental health salute, I've decided to take some distance with all that cgi stuff for a while. But I'm back now.
Who are your favourite CG artists? And why?
There are a lot, but if a had to mention one, I think Krishnamurti Costa (Antropus) has very impressive skills. His work is very impressive and very subtle.
"About animation, I'm principally interested by the narrative process..."
Again, I did'nt have a top 10 list, I appreciate a lot of different artists, for a lot of different reasons. If I had to mention one of each category, I will choose Alberto Giacometti, Edward Hopper, René Belletto and Kate Bush.
In an earlier interview I read at 3dvf, you mentioned you had some ideas for short films and might be looking for financing. Have these moved forward at all? And is animation something with which you would like to try in future?
I'm currently developing characters, sets and possible plots for an animation project. I will determine fall or winter 2007 if this project is viable, and if so, how I could concretize it.
About animation, I'm principally interested by the narrative process, not by the technical aspect who's certainly too complicated to be made efficiently all by myself.
In what ways did your background in traditional sculpting help you in your CG work?
Previously, I always began the modelisation process by sculpting a clay model, who's photographed and used as guides in the face/profile viewports, so I directly use traditional sculpting in the cg work process.
Now, I use zbrush for the same purpose: it's very close to traditional sculpting, and could be used more efficiently as a 3d, because the high res mesh is directly imported.
What are your artistic aspirations and where do you see your work going
Doing the best I could, as long as I could. I think art is a endless journey.
Thank you, Fred. I can't wait to see new work from and hope you keep experimenting.
TexWelt.net (Fred's homepage)
CG Society Profile
Making of My Uncle Cthulhu