Dwayne Vance isn’t what you’d call a “flashy guy”. For someone who works in the ever merging worlds of the entertainment and automotive industries, the Designer has remained extremely humble and down to earth. It’s probably because nothing has been “handed” to him; as a self-made man, he’s worked his way from art school into the Design and Entertainment worlds through time and dedication, capitalizing on opportunities along the way.
It’s no wonder that his work on games with Activision and EA, on Transformers and Star Wars toys, Hot Wheels, DC Comics and Batman has given his creative talent some massive exposure. Vance actually graduated with a Transportation Design degree (from Art Center in Pasadena) and has worked on “real world” cars, hot rods, snowmobiles, and even paintball equipment. It’s a career mix that education alone can’t get you, only experience.
Vance is also always encouraging young artists and designers to take up the pen; he’s hosting an online class this Thursday at 1PM EST teaching how to draw vehicles as bad-ass as his. [more on that below]
We had some time to chat with Dwayne during our recent SideQuesting Community Game Night, where he put the smack down on some Halo: Reach.
A little about Dwayne: His most recent gaming work was for Activision’s Blood Drive, in which he worked on several vehicle designs, among other things. He’s currently working on a sequel to his excellent hot rod art book, Masters of Chicken Scratch, in which he and other artists will continue to fill the pages with sweet sketches and art of hot rods.
Dwayne is a nut for Halo, so I was thankful to have him on our squad during last night’s Game Night. He and Ryan shared tips about excelling at Reach, while the rest of us just tried to survive the Big Team Battle.
SQ: What do you find to be the biggest difference between designing for the “real world” versus for the “virtual world”?
DV: Production time of a vehicle is very short. You can have something you designed in 3 days with a good 3D modeler. There are no real worlds physics meaning if you want to make a car fly you can very easily. You have a limitless world you can work in. You can really go crazy with your ideas and it only has to work in a virtual world.
SQ: Where does your inspiration come from for your work?
DV: My inspiration for my work comes from many different places. It also depends on the design brief. You won’t be looking at Barney the purple dinosaur if you designing stuff for Batman, lol. If I do stuff for myself I am a huge WWII airplane buff. I can’t look at those planes enough. I just love all the mechanical aspects of the old airplanes and the cool little details they have. I also love sci fi stuff, anything that is a robot I dig. Some of my other influences are Graffiti, nature, and my kids, lol.
SQ: If you could design any vehicle for a videogame character, what would it be and who would it be for?
DV: I feel Batman is till my favorite character to design for. He has a limitless budget and he depends on his gadgets to fight the bad guys so you can create some pretty wild contraptions. I would also love to design vehicles for Master Chief, the tough military vehicles set in the future can’t beat that combo.
As we noted above, Dwayne is hosting an online class this Thursday during the Digital Art Summit series teaching artists and designers how to use Photoshop and Painter to create stunning images of vehicles… and, hopefully to steal his job one day.
The class starts at 1PM EST and last for around and hour and a half, costing just $47 to attend. Can’t make it? It’ll be available online for purchase afterward. CLICK HERE FOR THE EVENT LINK and AGENDA.
More info on the class and Dwayne here: CDF