The world of Daniel French
Today, we’re going to discover a very talented artist who choose to work on miniatures. I discovered his work on twitter, and I decided to share it with you. He just finished to work on an really nice miniatures, and he took some time to answer few questions.
First a time laps about the build of the miniature:
Hi, can you describe briefly how you started to work with miniatures and why ?
Through the years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with both set design and CGI. At the same time I’ve always been fascinated by miniature work. Late last year I wrote and directed a short film and we decided to try out some miniature effects. Together with Production Designer Silas Puls we created a miniature set extension. The film is currently in post production and will be online in a couple of months. Recently a new project came up, and we made this test to show the producers.
To make your project, you choose to work with miniatures. What makes you choose this ? What can miniatures offer that CG couldn’t give you ?
I love building physical sets. Miniatures allows you to build even bigger sets and I think the photographed image looks better than a rendered one. I think you can achieve a good result faster with miniatures. Especially with organic scenes. Plus, it’s more fun!
How do you start a project like this ? Do you create a storyboard first ? Few sketches ? Or do you start building directly ?
With this project we made a few sketches and a 3D model in cinema 4D to get the right measurements and lens perspective. But since this was a test project made in just three days we approached it slightly more “rock’n'roll” than we usually would allow ourselves.
We use less and less miniatures in SFX and VFX industry today. How do you feel about this ?
Scale miniature work seems to be a dying art-form. Before, miniatures and optical effects were the only options, now they are wiped out of almost every vfx studio or made into a separate department. And younger studios don’t do it at all. But I think miniatures has a greater potential now than ever because of CGI. And I’m a huge fan of New Deal Studios where
they do it all in one company! Their work is really inspiring. I also love films like Peter Jackson’s King Kong which I think is the perfect combination of set design, miniatures and CGI. Someone will probably shoot me if I say this, but I’m actually more fond of the look in King Kong than Avatar. All the fantastic imperfections miniatures give you!
Would you like to work in the Special Effects Industry as miniatures maker ? Or did you do this project just for fun ?
I would love to do more miniature work and explore the different technique combinations. I will definitely aim to develop my skills in both fields.
What is your next project ?
Well, I’ve got my own short coming up. But I’m also working Denmarks first stereoscopic 3D feature, which is a family adventure movie. Hopefully it will rely heavily on miniatures.
A final word ? Tell us something you’d like to share with us.
It’s nice to get my hands dirty once in a while, not having to look into a computer screen all day.
here is the first test :
and here is the final shot :
Thank you very much for you time ! Keep up the good work and let us know when you’ll be working on new projects !