Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 | Posted by Matt McCorkell
We interview ILM Visual Effects Art Director Alex Jaeger.
For the last 15 years, Alex Jaeger has worked at Industrial Light & Magic on some of the most prolific visual effects movies of our time. Working as a visual effects art director, Jaeger’s credits include Star Trek: First Contact, Wild Wild West, Starship Troopers, Deep Impact, Galaxy Quest, Pearl Harbor, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Special Edition, Star Wars: Episode 2, Star Wars: Episode 3, Transformers, Mission Impossible 3, Transformers 2 and the most recent J.J. Abram’s rendition of Star Trek. Some of his memorable designs include the Akira Class starship, Bumblebee’s and Starscream’s head designs, as well as the future police officer’s mask from Star Trek.
We were fortunate enough to interview Alex Jaeger, who recently released two DVD’s with The Gnomon Workshop. These are now available from the CG Channel store.
Also, check out Alex Jaeger’s personal blog.
In this series, Alex Jaeger demonstrates his process for designing a futuristic military vehicle based on descriptions from a science fiction screenplay. In this first volume, he covers the ideation phase through to completing a detailed three-quarter view drawing in Photoshop®. Alex discusses his design philosophy, informed by his automotive design background, and he uses key story details to inspire his decision making. As he starts to sketch in Photoshop, you will see his process for roughing in quick ideas and choosing which of those ideas is most successful based on the visual strength of each design and how well it adheres to the script’s guidelines. Alex then picks a sketch to develop into a refined three-quarter view drawing, and demonstrates his techniques for detailing the vehicle and making sure that all the parts fit and flow together with a theme. Finally, Alex discusses the value of using reference as he adds elements to his futuristic vehicle to keep it believable but relevant to its world.