Daz Artist Interview Series: Predatron

a collage of images of the artist Predatron and some of his products

A household name in the Daz community, Predatron has been creating assets for the Daz store since 2004 — a whopping 19 years! All of us at Daz commend Predatron for all the years of incredible work and look forward to many years more. 

Predatron took time out of his schedule to share more about himself and his art, so let’s dive in!

Plus, browse the hundreds of products in his shop, and for a limited time, you’ll get up to 55% OFF!

The Interview

First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk! Let’s start from the very beginning. How did you learn about Daz 3D?

I was introduced to Daz 3D by my wife Diane, long before we were married. She was already established at Daz, and we were just online friends at the time.

That sounds like such a sweet story. And how did you pick your artist name?

I just merged the names of a couple of iconic movies: Predator and Tron.

How did you get into design, art, and 3D modeling? 

I have always been artistic. I left school and became an animal portrait artist for a while. After a 10-year career in the Royal Air Force, I became a web designer and then started in 3D modeling, which started around 2003.

an old image of the artist Predatron with a dog

And here you are 20 years later. That’s amazing! Where do you get your inspiration when designing a product?

My go-to genre is fantasy, but really I get inspiration from everywhere. Buildings, plants, trees, transport, animals, people — anything goes. When something grabs my attention, I usually take a photo or save an image from the internet for a possible future product.

How would you describe your style?

I think I’m a bit of a generalist really. I don’t generally like to stick with one particular thing, but I do like a grungy medieval style if anything.

What does your artistic process look like?

I sometimes sketch ideas, but I almost always jump straight into 3DS Max or Blender and just begin making a 3D model. I sometimes have reference images to work from.

sketches by Predatron

Is there an artist or style that inspires you?

I love John Howe, Boris Vallejo, and Paul Bonner. But I always find great inspiration from the works of Tolkien.

All incredible artists with stunning work! What would you say is the most difficult thing about designing products?

I wouldn’t say I find anything difficult when designing, but some of the actual production processes have certain levels of difficulties. One thing in particular is creating UVs, don’t like that too much. But generally, I love the whole process.

What’s the product you had the most fun creating and why?

I think the Ye Olde Library was one I loved creating. I tried to reimagine something that would fit in the world of Tolkien, and creating all those extra props was a joy. I reckon I could have done twice as much content if it wasn’t for the fact I needed to crack on with other projects.

an image from Predatron's Ye Olde Library product

Those truly are some beautiful products. How has your work changed over time?

I think I have more confidence in what I create, which comes with about 20 years experience I guess. But I’m still as bad at getting caught up with the details, and that always makes production times run over.

I’m sure a lot of artists will take comfort in knowing that. So how do you know when a product is finished?

When Diane asks if I have uploaded yet!

Haha! What should we expect from you in the future?

I am trying to update some of my older and more popular products to take advantage of the more recent updates to Daz Studio. I still love creating original figures, so there’s more of that in the works.

Predatron's computer setup

How exciting! We can’t wait to see those. Now, as someone with nearly two decades of experience at Daz, what advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Published Artist?

Never underestimate the power of a good promo. So develop the composition, lighting, and storytelling aspects of the marketing materials. Learning to make 3D content will always take the time it takes to master the technicalities of using particular products.  

Absolutely true! Where else can we see your artwork, products, and other work?

I post to Instagram (@predatron) and my own website.

Now, let’s talk just a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not making awesome products or renders?

Find the time to sleep! But I love where we live in Cornwall, so we have days down at the beach and sample the good food and drink from our fantastic cafes and restaurants. I also write, and I’m trying to find the time to finish off a fantasy trilogy.

an image of Predatron

That sounds awesome! What advice would you give your younger self?

Save more!

What a great reminder. Always remember to save your work often! One last question. What’s a fun fact the Daz community would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m 6’3″ and my wife is 5″.

That’s quite the height difference! 

Predatron, thanks so much for sharing a little more about yourself and offering advice. Thank you for all the years with Daz, and we look forward to what you come up with next!

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