The Roots of a 3D Artist: Robert Tudor and Cinematography

Inspiration comes to us in many forms. It has no limits, it has no rules. You know that “aha!” moment when you see or hear something and you feel like you must do something right now? Inspiration is an awesome feeling, and we love sharing it. Happy reading!

Hello, everyone. Environment Artist Robert Tudor here. Today, I’d like to talk about some things that I feel have inspired and guided me towards becoming a 3D artist.

It all started when I was around 7 years old and I saw this movie called Aliens (1986) on TV. Yep, you read that right, I watched Aliens quite early in my life and that had a profound effect on my imagination. Unsurprisingly so.

Still from Aliens, directed by James Cameron.
Aliens poster.

I loved everything about it. From the horror aspect, to the awesome design of the sets, of the creature and the soldiers and I think that pressed a button in my brain. I was mesmerized by those things. Aliens, by that time, had already had a profound impact on the game industry, with horror elements influencing environment designs. And we can’t forget the Space Marines from Alien. I mean a lot of games I’ve played afterwards had to have some aliens and soldiers of some kind. Throw in a sci-fi setting, and there you have it.

Another movie that had an impact on me around the same age was The Thing (1982). A fascinating and classic horror movie as well. What I loved about The Thing was the absolute desolated setting, the Antarctic, and the anxiety type of horror. This alien can shapeshift into other living creatures and imitate them, sending the protagonists into a constant state of paranoia.

Still from The Thing, directed by John Carpenter.

After that, I set the horror aside a bit and discovered…the cyberpunk genre. It was absolutely amazing when I first watched Blade Runner. It had awesome visuals and world-building like never before and I was fascinated by the soundtrack as well. The end titles track by Vangelis remains one of my favorite pieces of music even today. You can listen to it here:

Still from Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii.

The next title will definitely tickle the fancy of all you cyberpunk fans. The gem that was and is Ghost in the Shell (1995). I first watched that around my early 20’s and wow, let me tell you, that was a huge well of inspiration. It was one of the first anime I ever saw. While I wouldn’t describe myself as an anime fan, this was more like a movie. It had the most awesome 2D stills, some of the art being entirely hand-drawn. The tone of the movie was quite serious and dealt with some heavy philosophical ideas and concepts, typical of the cyberpunk genre. Quite a few movies and games are heavily inspired by it, like The Matrix, Deus Ex, Cyberpunk 2077.

One of my favourite tracks from there:

Still from Ghost in the Shell.

And, in all fairness, I’m probably not the only one in love with the cyberpunk genre. I mean, just look at the hype around the aforementioned Cyberpunk 2077, and the huge following that it amassed ever since it was announced.

So that’s it for my inspiration sources. These, alongside discovering the concept of video games, had a very profound impact on me, my aspirations and my career.

Written by our Environment Artist Robert Tudor.
Featured image credit: Everett Collection