Forum Name: MoP & Tully

Character Name: Atakritta

MoP - p.greveson [at]
Tully - ldaustinart [at]

MoP -
Tully -

Favorite Software: 3D Max, Silo, Mudbox, Photoshop.

Inspirations: MoP - Any great artists and interesting music. Too much to list!
Tully - Lately, John Wallin, Sparth, Noxizmad, Phil Hale and Jon Foster, but there are just too many to count. Good artists generally!
Favorite Games: MoP - Quake 2 & 3, Warcraft 2 & 3, Morrowind, Oblivion, Trackmania, Total Annihilation.
Tully - Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Favorite movies: MoP - Terminator 2, Blade Runner, Lord of the Rings, anything by the Coen Brothers.
Tully - The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite music: MoP - Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Ocean Colour Scene, Soundgarden, nearly anything rock, metal or classical.
Tully - I've been listening to The Decemberists and Tool a lot lately, but I'm not much of a music person.

Good habits: MoP - Keeping work organised. Holding doors open for strangers.
Tully - Drawing a lot.

Bad habits: MoP - Not keeping anything else organised. Forgetting important things.
Tully - Not drawing enough.

Future Goals: MoP - To be as good an artist as some of the other people who entered this damn contest! :)
Tully - Become a better artist.

Dogs or Cats?
MoP - Cats. With mustard.
Tully - I'd like a pet Aye-Aye, but I don't think it's gonna happen.

How do you bounce back from a bad day? MoP - Play guitar, or read a good book.
Tully - Eat candy and browse Bit girly, but there you go.

What’s a good day? MoP - When it's sunny and nice outside, and funny things occur.
Tully - Getting lots done, doing good art, hanging out with fun people.

Thank You(s)? MoP - The Polycount forums, especially Rooster, Spacemonkey, Spark, pior and everyone who gave us encouragement to finish this.
Tully - My mom and stepdad. Without them I would not have made it far!

Construction shot of Atakritta
This is the second war you both entered together and once again, you earned a high standing. Can we know a little more about this great team? How did it start?
We met in early 2005 at the San Francisco workshop when we were both 20 years old and immediately became rather fond of each other. We were both still in university; Tully in Canada (where she's from) and MoP in the UK (where he's from). We ended up talking quite a lot and a few months later we met up again in Canada. One thing led to another, and we've been an item for two years so far. Tully recently moved to the UK and now we live together. Since we're both artists with complimentary skill bases, it only seemed natural to do this sort of competition together.

Right-click to download

Was there someone, or something that helped make you both who you are today?
Tully: Oh, tons of things. I think MoP's been a good influence on me, in fact... he can be pushy about making whatever I'm doing better and pretty blunt with critiques, but sometimes I need that (as most of us do, I think). Anybody can have a tendency to say "good enough" when they're a bit tired of working on something, but it helps to have somebody prodding you to do the best you can. MoP: My parents were always saying that I played too many computer games when I was growing up, so just to spite them I decided to devote all my time to working on them! The Polycount community has been invaluable for this too, there's so much knowledge and expertise there, I've just been soaking it up for nearly 6 years now. I'm pretty sure I'd never be where I am now without all of the encouragement, critiques and tips I got on those forums.

- Click here to view this image -
Tell us about the process you undertake to get the results that you do? How do you come up with your ideas?
Tully: We tend to go through a series of thumbnails and sketches. I do most of them, but MoP will do a few and help sift through the best ones with the things he likes about each so we can agree on a direction to take. From that I go ahead with a finished concept, with MoP's input along the way. Once we have the concept it can go a number of ways. In this one, I got to do most of the fun stuff (concept, high poly sculpt, textures, etc.) while MoP did the technical bits (base mesh, low poly, rig) along with the high poly armour and the weapon. In the last Dominance War, I just did the concept with a bit of texture work and MoP did the rest. So it varies.. we tend to agree who'll do what at the beginning and change things if necessary.
MoP: I always try to think of the most outlandish things to begin with, often stuff that will never work, but I'll try it anyway just to see if there's something in there that's useful. Thumbnailing and brainstorming are the way to go... often just doing an image search of a key word about your ideas can throw a ton of new themes and designs into the mix ... then it's just a matter of finding the ones that work best! We always have a lot of back-and-forth between designs, usually painting over each other's work, and abusing Photoshop's Transform tool to get the most effective proportions and shapes.

Final Renders of Atakritta
During the war, did you ever have any doubts about your design? Were there any compromises or revisions?
Tully: We both really liked the design as it was evolving. Compromises and revisions mostly came later when we realised the poly budget and especially the deadline wouldn't allow for some of the stuff we wanted to do. It was unfortunate, but these things do happen. During the competition I moved across the Atlantic and started a new job in the middle of crunch. Those sorts of things have a way of making fun stuff more difficult.
MoP: It took a few false starts to get an initial concept that we both liked, but from that point everything went forward pretty quickly. Tully did some awesome anatomy and pose studies that provided a base for the creature, then we worked out what sort of clothing and armour he would have on top of that. When designing these sort of things, I always think it's best if stuff looks like it works together, and gives some sort of history and depth to the character. Once we had the creature's background story down, all of the pieces of the concept just fell into place, with only small tweaks from that point onwards.
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