Again, here's an artist that doesn't need any special introductions.
Reknown for her work in the field of Science Fiction Art - among others - Casperium has regaled us with some great wallpapers and she has received more awards and recommendations than I can recite.
The Dancing Nebula WS.jpg 1.81MB
Here is some info about herself, in her own words:
"My name is Ali Ries, age 60, and I live in Salem, OR. USA with my husband. I have 2 grown kids and 2 grandchildren. I am semi retired, my background is Nursing, and while I do not practice Nursing anymore, my life is far from boring. I do graphics, specifically Space Art, that can be seen on a myriad of book covers, mostly Star Trek, merchandise of all types, on TV, in movies."
Brilliance by Ali Ries 2012.jpg 2.73MB
When did you start working on graphics? What were your influences?
I started doing graphics way back in 2000, mostly collages and manipulations using other peoples stocks etc. Eventually I bought some apps/software like Bryce and Poser and started doing my own art, abstracts, people, landscapes etc. although not really Space art at that time. Later I got Mojoworld and was able do extraterrestrial planetary scenes. In 2003 I joined deviantart and some friends told me about fractals and Apophysis. I did regular fractals for a while until I figured out that many of my fractals looked like clouds and nebulae. From there I developed my own techniques and have been doing Space Art since about 2006.
What course did you follow in your artistic endeavors? (Conventional, traditional, digital art etc.)
I think you could say that I got started in college with Design classes and Photography, then went to computer graphics.
child of darkness by Ali Ries 2005.jpg 858.37KB
What procedure do you follow when creating?
For my current artworks dealing with Space Art, I use fractals that I create with a special formula in Apophysis. I render them there with transparent backgrounds and then import them into Photoshop and do my postwork there, like color adjustments etc. ( I use NixEfxPro, a plugin for Photoshop, for that) I add starry backgrounds, usually using Universe by diardsoftware, and on occasion some star brushes. I also use planets,most of which I create from scratch, although I have used stock planets from deviantart, but not for commercial works.
As for time it takes, that would depend on the size and complexity of the fractal, but usually less than 45 mintes to render. Once in photoshop it can take as little as 30minutes to 2 hours depending on the artwork. The hardest part, requiring the most time, is finding a fractal that meet the criteria I want for a nebula.
In the past my artworks would have been using Bryce, Poser, Mojoworld, Terragen, and there too, time would have been depending on render time. On my old computer it could take many hours to render a Bryce pic.
What were your biggest achievements in terms of awards, merits etc.?
I think my biggest achievement to date was our VFX team being nominated for an Emmy for our work on Battlestar Galactica:Blood and Chrome. I did all of the outer space nebula for that movie. We did win an IAWTV award for it for best Visual Effects for BSG:Blood and Chrome.
We won another VFX award for an upcoming Star Trek Independent movie Axanar.
Another of what I would consider an achievement is my work on the movie Riddick. No awards but loved working on it.
Everything I work on, from Star Trek book covers, Star Trek Stellar Cartography Maps, to Fan movies, I consoder them all achievements, because I love doing work for Star Trek related themes. Any scifi gets me going..lol
Where do you post your work?
I post my work on deviantArt into my Casperium account. I do share it from there with my FaceBook account.
What do you think of the artistic community of today?
I think that because of social media and the ability to access the internet at the speeds we do today, has opened up the world to incredible artists and artworks. There is talent out there that leaves me breathless.
Where do you think digital art is heading to?
I think we have reached a plateau in digital art for the average person, because new software is just not coming out as fast as it used to, if at all. Most new apps pertain to iPhone and iPad etc, simple things or stripped down software for photoediting or simple artwork. Which in itself is great because more people can experience art in some form or another.
As for those of us considered professional, the software is also not new. Mostly there are upgrading the current softwares, like Photoshop, Maya, Vue etc adding a few new toys here and there. But I do not think there has been any new barrier breaking software in years. Same goes for plugins.
More people are going into gaming and using 3d modelling packages, but still same old software.
The only new things I am seeing is in the realm of Visual Effects for movies. They are getting better and better.
Psychotic Break.jpg 2.17MB