Can you tell us about your history? Your work history, and your art history? Where did you study?
Marc: I left school at an early age and began to sculpt carrots and potatoes in the kitchen, when I was an apprentice cooker! I became a real "sculptor" in 1985 with Serge Lutens and Shiseido. Three years later, I worked for the MNHN (Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle) of Paris. That's when everything started for me. I was so glad to meet and work with the best! There I was able to use my passion for animals, paleontology, entomology and comparative anatomy.
Sylvia: It was a really different direction for me. After baccalaureate, I entered in The National Art School called “Les Beaux Arts” in Lyon. For my diploma, I presented a spectacle that was seen in Lyon, Paris, Toulouse and one year later, in Tokyo. At this period, I was working as a musician (keyboards/singer) with a great Japanese musician named Yasuaki Shimizu. He invited me to help on his album “Subliminal”. It was so wonderful! Then, I made an album “Deus ex Machina: Three” with I.Mc Rams & O. Brochart.
A few years ago, I began to work for cartoons, coloring backgrounds. Now, it is still my job but at the same time, I work with Marc on reconstructions and other things about nature.
How long have you been an Artist?
Marc: I don't think of myself as an “Artist” but more as an “Artisan” (a handy crafter). I don't create, I study existing life, life that has existed, and life that will exist in the future, with tools as clay, and now with ZBrush.
Sylvia: Being an Artist is first of all a sensibility. This can be detected very early, and then it can become a real choice, a way of life. It was my choice after school; it was absolutely necessary for me to express myself this way.
What inspires you and your artwork?
Marc: The diffusion of knowledge, thought, observation with sculpture, and again... sincerely... with ZBrush.
Sylvia: Nature is a perpetual source of inspiration. Also, many artists influenced me. For instance Dougal Anderson or Deyrolles for our reconstructions, they are my references.
"I discovered ZBrush two years ago it was a revelation! My life as a sculptor changed radically! With the first ZSphere, my eyes wanted more. And there was more!"
Did you start as an Artist using traditional media?
Sylvia: Everything began with drawing. I studied first with traditional tools and after school with computers. I consider ZBrush as a tool to concretize ideas I have in my mind. As our work tends to be the more realistic and hyper-realistic, I had to forget everything that would be too illustrative. So I exchanged my pencils and brushes for a camera and began to do a database of backgrounds, organic textures etc. for our common work.
Marc: 85 % observation and 15% sculpture/modeling.
What was your first CG package?
Sylvia: I began on an Amiga, with Imagine software … (Once upon a time)
"Pixologic created THE software for sculptors, and for me. I found my digital tool, I said goodbye to clay, plaster and all that chemical stuff!"
How long have you been using ZBrush? What motivated you to try it?
Marc: I discovered ZBrush two years ago it was a revelation! My life as a sculptor changed radically! With the first ZSphere, my eyes wanted more. And there was more! I was like a child on Christmas day! After a few minutes of with it, I understood all the creative potential this software could have for sculptors, and at the same time, what sculptures could give to computers. Pixologic created THE software for sculptors, and for me. I found my digital tool, I said goodbye to clay, plaster and all that chemical stuff!
Sylvia: When I saw Marc's models, I was so impressed! I dreamed about painting them. At the same time, Marc wanted to extract me from my 2D world. He invited me to texture via ZBrush. In fact he gave me the way to discover another life, a deep life. So, I began one year ago. I taught myself ZBrush after work as cartoon artist, and I did this for a whole year!
What is your favorite ZBrush feature?
Marc: I really love ZSpheres for the construction because it was quite similar with the basis constructions of traditional sculpture. The organic features and fluidity make ZBrush the Ultimate 3D software!
Sylvia: Projection Master for painting it a great invention. Wooow! I'm also using ZApp-link now; which is a super way to move between ZBrush and Photoshop.
Has ZBrush enabled you to express yourself in ways other packages didn't?
Marc: Yes! I'm a full ZBrusher. I think that ZBrush is perfect, today as well as tomorrow, and I try to do my best to develop a ZBrush philosophy in all the productions I'm working on.
Sylvia: At one point, I wanted to change the position of the meshes to make them less rigid. So I learned Maya two months ago and made tests (displacement maps, Uv's, rigging). It works, but it's just the beginning, ZBrush is capable of much more.
Tell us a bit about what you love to create. You have a lot of natural creatures on your website; bugs, animals, what inspired you to creating them?
Marc: For the last 20 years, all my work was based on animals. This passion is a specialization, and it's very particular because all the researching for each animal are completely different.
Sylvia: Observing real animals opened my eyes. It is a great experience, in the fact your perception is different, you have to forget yourself to give into the whole experience and to what is there in front of you.
What kinds of clients do you work for? Where do you see your work going, both professionally and recreationally?
Marc & Sylvia: We work for scientific reconstructions, multimedia, documentaries and movies and ZBrush at home everyday!
"ZBrush is wonderful! Very fluid and intuitive! I love it!"
How do you see ZBrush as being the perfect tool for your creations?
Marc: ZBrush was the tool I was expecting for a long time! Ten years ago, I worked as a wild life sculptor and specialized advisor on “Kraken, Future Océan” by Dougal Dixon; a 3D movie by Jerzy Kular/Ex machina in Paris. I was impressed by the 3D possibilities but no software was really corresponding to the sculptors, ZBrush changed that.
Sylvia: ZBrush is wonderful! Very fluid and intuitive! I love it!
Your work is a bit different from a lot of the ZBrush work out there. What type of models do you like creating when you're not on the clock?
Marc: Starting two years ago, I have totally cut the links with real sculpture to invest all my time and money on ZBrush, and finally to realize my “organic” dreams.
Sylvia: We also use ZBrush for fun on our personal projects. See examples on our websites, in the 2D and 3D section at Hox.fr We show several meshes for a project called “Man is a soft bug” based on Marc's idea.
How did you use ZBrush in this project called Liopleurodons Ferox ? Did you use ZBrush in a new way?
Marc: Liopleurodons is based on 15 years of comparative anatomy and contacts with scientific advisors. With ZBrush, I learned everything with instinct and simply too, Whereas I don't speak English at all. So, based on my own experience, I can tell that ZBrush is open to anybody!
Sylvia: Everything was new for me! Once Marc had finished the models, he told me: “Now, it's your round!”. It was the first time I was texturing directly in ZBrush! I was both proud of myself and happy for his confidence in me. It was a little scary to do something new. Finally, those critters taught me a lot, and Marc too!
What keeps you busy now?
Marc: FULLY ZBrush.
Sylvia: Both ZBrush and my job.
Anything else you'd like to say to other artists out there?
Marc & Sylvia: ZBrush has the capacity and the power to reveal and create a new life for artists, as it did for us!