Home | COL0NEL SANDERS | Dusty Boy T | AusQB | jEEborz | skm0000 | Meatball O Doom
Week 7 Aesthetic Artist Interview: a cuban cat
May 22, 2009
This Kitty's got style!
This week's Aesthetic Artist is a cuban cat. Team Pepto has the privilege to sit down and ask a few questions about his enterprise which we call 'Halotography'. Just as many others have done before him, this cat slowly stalked his way up to becoming one of the most respected Halo 3 screenshot artists of our time. Keep on reading to learn his story and experience all the laughs, the cries - and the purrs he's had along the way.
Who or What inspired you to start taking screenshots? (People, shots, advert)
I have always been a big fan of xINFLUENTKILLER's artwork, an ancient screenshot legend. Sadly, though, it seems as if he has been cast out to the shadows. He will always be the screenshot legend in my heart who jump-started my career. So I have to say he was really my biggest inspiration towards creating aesthetic screenshots in the past, present, and in the future.
Yes, he is indefinitely a legend in our world. Are you still actively taking screenshots?
-blam!- yes I am still taking screenshots! They are my favorite aspect of Halo 3, I can't live without 'em! People -- and when I say "people" I'm talking about good ol' Stooge over there -- always tell me that 'I'm wasting my time' and that it's 'boring'. Well, my friends, let me tell you that for me to be able to give birth to a piece of art with emotion and feeling.... that is in no way boring. I find it to be very fun and enjoyable, and I'm very glad that some other people and important figures of the community also find it fun and enjoyable. I get a lot of messages from people asking me about a certain artist's effects and styles of art, different screenshot-taking-studios(levels) and messages from people wondering if I would be willing to simply help them out one-on-one with screenshot taking. Trust me; I'll be taking screenshots in Halo 3 for a loooong time. =)
I'm glad to hear that, because I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work for months to come. Have you been featured on Bungie Favorites?
Actually, I have had the honor of being featured on Bungie Favorites twice thus far! The first time I was featured was because my favorite group on Bungie.net, Black Water Ops received a community spotlight. They got to choose ten screenshots to be shown for two weeks on Bungie Favorites, and my screenshot "The Lone Rider" was chosen for the first week. The second time I was featured was purely a mixture of luck and randomness. I signed onto Bungie.net one day and was looking at my fileshare. As I was browsing through my collection of awesome screenshots, I saw a nice little golden Septagon next to my picture, "Believe". I was confused, but very happy when I saw that. My mouth was open and on the ground in disbelief! It was a great site to see! (By the way: If you're reading this urk, thank you!) I will also have another one of my pictures featured on Bungie Favorites soon; If you'd like to know which screenshot it is, I regret to inform you that I cannot tell you. =P Sorry!
Ah, yes, the almighty God of luck and randomness smiled upon you. Are you talented with any other "normal" style of art? (including photo-manipulation/panoramas, etc.)
I wouldnt say 'talented' as much as I would say 'gifted prodigy'. Haha, I wish! But I am pretty talented with photography. Just as in Halo 3 photography, pictures are my 'thing'. I find that photography is a great pass-time and hobby. The creation of exceptional prints comes pretty naturally and easily to me. Photography in real life is much more interesting than Halo because there are so many more options and gateways that are open to you with opportunities that you can take. I personally love using nature as my main subject in photos. To me, Mother Nature is just downright beautiful! Another excellent subject is action. Most of my Halo 3 pictures I take are action-shots, and in the real world my action-shots usually come from different sporting events.
That's really cool, cuban. Would you mind sharing any of your photos with the community? How did you come up with your gamertag?
Haha, I was waiting for this question. Well, I learned the art and style of screenshots from a king cat. He is not only my long time teacher and mentor, but a great friend as well. You see, I have always been intrested in screenshots, but I was not very talented with creating them. If you need proof of my utter embarrassments of early screenshots, click here for some of my earlier disgraces. But one day I met a king cat, he showed me things I only dared of trying at the time. He worked with me for about two months, than one day he stopped helping me. At first I was mad, but then I learned that it only made me better in the art. I started to rely on myself more and more instead of him. It was then that I really started to learn the art and style of producing beautiful screenshots. He was a great man and a wonderful teacher.
How are the Mythic Map Pack levels for taking screenshots? Which one is the best for different areas of your art style?
I'm a personally a big fan of the new map, Orbital. This level doesn't have very many level-specific 'special effect' areas on it's expanse, but there is one great effect you can get by combining screenshot skill with specific conditions. It is the effect that has been featured on Bungie Favorites during the weak of April 8, 2009, which is called Äpòçâlýptíç. This shot is a wonderful example of how to use the level-specific conditions on Oribital to your advantage. The effect in itself is quite easy to create in a screenshot. All you do is go to the 'pit' of Orbital. To get to this 'studio' as I call it, you need to go into the back of the level and you will find a black room. The only equipment required to duplicate this effect is a flare. Once you have gained access to this particular room via monitor mode, all you need to do is press up on the D-pad to turn back into a Spartan/Elite, throw the flair, and strike a pose. Once you have finished modeling, all that is left is going into Theatre and you will find something similar to the screenshot linked above. I'm sure there is much, much more to explore on this huge expanse, and I'm excited to find more effects.
As am I! I can't wait for these new effects :D I've been dying to ask a specific question during this whole interview, and I'm sure the rest of the community is dieing to know the answer as well. How did you make "King at Combat"? That's an amazing shot! One of my favorite screenshots of all time!
Haha, I had a feeling you would be asking me about that shot, and I would be happy to share the technique to achieve it with you. To be honest, I concocted this idea after checking out SCOTTY OWNS U's fileshare. I saw a fantastic picture in which he used the man cannons to create a unique effect. After some contemplation, I decided that I wanted to try out the man cannon effects as well. About five friends and I went into Forge and experimented with the different man cannons. Finally, we went into the cave, and thus the magic began. We fired rockets, fuel rods, plasmas and anything that would create an otherwise colorful and fiery explosion. Afterwords, we all split up and went into theater. As I perused through the film, I began to notice how the plasma grenade added detail to the armor. I was hoping that later the film I would find something useful with that new-found knowledge. My wish came true and I found King at Combat. It turns out that one of my friends fired a rocket at the man cannon, and at the same time my plasma grenade exploded. I stopped it right before the explosions went off, and it yielded fantastic lighting and detail. If you notice, there is a square around the turret. It seems to make you focus on the the person with the turret, instead of the background. This was created by allowing the rocket to hit the background. As it did, little clear squares came out of the man cannon. I wanted to make the Recon armor look crisp and clear by putting him in the square, and creating great lighting as well. In the end, it was simply a rocket and a plasma 'nade... and good timing.
What are your favorite artists from campaign, matchmaking, and forge styled artwork? Why?
As for forge art, I am a HUUGE fan of Predator5791. The way he uses objects in forge to come out with amazing pictures is far beyond anything I could ever hope to do. As for campaign, I gotta give it up to Dusty Boy T. His campaign shots are great! He adds so much depth to his pictures and it's like candy to my eyes. It's great to see that he is still "blowing marines to shreds." ;) As for matchmaking, its always hard to get those kind of pics, but i have to say my good friend Nicest Guy Here seems to pull it off. Although he has taken a break from Halo screenshot-taking, he is still a great screenshot taker in matchmaking.
I am also glad he is still blowin' marines to shreds ;) Hopefully you will do that for some time to come as well. What is your favorite screenshot? Why?
Hmm... That's a hard question. With so many screenshots to choose from, I would have to say that Trever1995's "Looking down" is my favorite screenshot. There is so much depth, feeling, and wonder in this picture - it is an overall fantastic work of art!
That is one heckuva screenshot - thanks for picking it out for me! What would you most like to be implemented into future Halo screenshot games?
I would love to be able to control night and day settings. The normal FX's are great, but being able to turn standoff into a night-time map would be great. Not only would it be great for screenshots, but it would also be a wonderful way to spice up matchmaking. Another thing that would be great is to be able to edit pictures after you take them. Maybe incorporate things in the like from photoshop, but not as advanced.
Two good ideas we may see in the next generation of halo screenshots (Halo 3: ODST) Do you tend to take screenshots from Forge, Matchmaking, or Campaign? What is your favorite level of that technique?
I'm usually caught up in forge just messing around for hours trying to find some good effects. My main maps are Avalanche and Last Resort. Avalanche is mostly great because of the various rooms for screenshot opportunity and the all-famous Avalanche Cave. It makes for some great screenshots. As for Last Resort, using the incredibly relaxing-looking beach and the water on that level to make wonderful effects in my screenshots without having to rely on any FX's in the newer maps is pretty exciting. Who says old- school screenshots are whack?
That "power" has been shown in a few very unique screenshots - congratulations on being one of the few to continually use that level! How many total screenshots have you taken?
Hmm... I haven't really ever thought about that. My best guess would be somewhere around 200 - 300 screenshots. I haven't saved them all, but now that I think of it, I really wish I would have saved them all. It would be a great way to be able and look back and see how far I have come.
On that note, I'd like to share a few tips with the community I have gained over time.
1.) There is a great site that is called Haloscreenshots.net that can be used as a great resource in keeping track of your screenshots and creating a gallery. Just enter for your gamertag under the "Welcome" in the top right-hand corner of the homepage and the site will start a gallery of every single screenshot that is loaded into your "Recent Screenshots" on your Bungie.net gallery. Instead of only keeping track and holding your thirty most recent screenshots, it will keep your screenshots forever no matter how many screenshots you take at full resolution with a date the screenshot was taken and the name that it was saved as.
2.) Another tip for aspiring artists is that every time you take a screenshot, it'll say something like, "Forge 090". This 090 means that it is either your ninetieth, one-thousand ninetieth, two-thousand ninetieth, or so on screenshot. As long as you keep track of how many thousands you have reached, this is a great tip to determine how many screenshots you have taken. Once you reach one thousand, it'll start over at 001 again. The number you are looking for is always after the "Forge", "Slayer", "Co-op" etc. title when you auto-save a screenshot.
Do you visit any off-site forums or communities?
Of course I am a big fan of halo3screenshots.com. Bs angel is a great person. She's very into the halo 3 arts, and I respect that about her. Another great site is FacilityB5D.com. I don't post much around there, but the people there are great and the arcade is great =). But still, my number one favorite place to visit is Bungie.net. Home of cheap jokes and cheaper women =P.
Eh, rather odd... Would you like to add anything about yourself?
Hi! I'm a cuban cat. I DON'T HAVE RECON. STOP ASKING ME IF I DO! lol. Oh, and I love you all =)
Would you like to make any shout-outs?
Well, first off, I wanna give a HUGE shout out to my number-one-group out there, Black Water Ops. We have some big things in the work, so make sure you stop by! I wanna give a shout out to JohnnyWills55. Not only is he the greatest screenshot model ever, but he's also my best friend. Online in Halo 3 and in the real world. If you're ever in need of a beast model, try messaging him! He has worked with the best and knows how to turn a screenshot from good to BEAST, all because of how he works the camera. He can't take the best screenshots, but he sure as -blam!- can model. Thanks man! =D A shout-out to everyone at Foto as well. That is where I got my roots in screenshot-taking; Foto is truly the proving grounds for armatures. If you get known around there, then you're in business. A shout-out to the following people; Colonel Sanders (Best bird ever!), LIL SHAPPS!!, Alex tru for being awesome, BWO Ironskull for not demoting me yet =P, magoogles for being my screenshot friend and an overall great guy, Infamous! SCREENSHOT BUDDY FOR LIFE!!, ledzepo0710 --- this man is a true beast at MLG. If you're ever looking for a good challenge, message him with a text saying "1v1". He never lets down a challenge, and will leave you crying (and he's on a boat). Weetard (My screenshot buddy!), Wackyclock and Zombie Patrick for being my number one fans - Thanks man! And I will get to that screenshot guide some day =D I wanna give a big shout out to bs angel. She truly is one of the coolest gamers out there. She kicks -blam!- on the battle field, yet still appreciates the common screenshots.
[Editor's note: She definitely does not kick -blam!- on the battle field ;) <3! -jdars]
Thanks for being 1337! (I will get you on my friends list one day :D). I would like to give a very, very, very little shout out to Air Force Hero. This man is so kewl! I found out his effect, so he tried to get me kicked off Xbox live. Lol, he told me he was gonna get urk to ban me. So, Air Force Hero, thanks for that silly threat - I wuv you! 3 =D Oh, and urk - thanks for not banning me =) But really, I gotta give a big shout out to urk. Not only did he put me up on Bungie Favorites, but this man is just a truly great guy. Whenever I send him a message, I'm always getting a kind response. He is so respectful and an overall great guy. So urk - thanks for being so damn cool! I love you thiiiiis much <3. And thank you jdars for hooking me up with this interview; I appreciate it! =D. Oh, and thanks God for putting up with all my crap. =) Oh and a huge freaking shout out to Playpet, Stooge, and Doctor. Hey stooge; who else goes camping on sandbox? =D That's it, lol.
If you have any suggestions for future guests, message jdars on Bungie.net!
Oh, and... Oh wait, we're done. ;) After that rather long list of shout outs, I figure that's my queue to get out and wrap up this interview. As always, many thanks go to my team... Team Pepto, that is. I would also like to thank bs angel for giving me support in AAI this week. Thanks so much!