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Help pick my 1000th deviation!

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 9, 2016, 4:25 PM
So with (just a little) fanfare, I'll be hitting the 1000th deviation soon. I'm at 998 today. I can't even begin to estimate the hours of creation that went into this body of work.

So I've been wondering what sort of submission it might be. While I'm not looking for specific ideas, I am interested in hearing if my followers would like to see:

A.  3D car render
B   3D motorcycle render
C  3D Sci-fi future technology render
D  3D weapon render (something I'm just getting into)
E  2D Car illustration like I was really into a few years back

Of course if you feel like you have some spectacular idea for something, feel free to let me know what it is.  The genre that gets the most mentions will be what I'll do my best to submit.

My Tools

Journal Entry: Sat May 25, 2013, 9:30 AM
Even though I write it in 99% of my deviation descriptions, about three times a week I get comments, notes or emails asking what tools I use to create my work. Maybe this will help, but if people aren't reading the descriptions, it's difficult to believe they'll read this either.  I hope this answers your questions as it's pretty detailed.

For Most 3D modelling:
I use 3D Studio MAX from Autodesk. -…  I've been using 3D Studio since rel.2 running on DOS. long before it was "Maxxed". It's my go-to 3D application for modelling and rendering.

For complex, detailed and accurate mechanical modelling:
I'll use (usually in combination) AutoCad and Inventor from Autodesk.…  and…,  AutoCad is a great layout tool and you can do 3D solid modeling in it as well. I'll often do my layouts in Acad then bring those into Inventor. Inventor is a very powerful parametric 3D solids and surfaces modeler. It makes adding design features like cutouts, fillets, chamfers and more a simple affair. It's also easy to make dimension driven changes to parts within an assembly. Move a hole in a part and it will update the part that mates with it, so the holes line up. Cool huh.

For Most 3D rendering:
I use 3D Studio Max with the Vray render plug-in -…  It is a much loved tool for realistic material creation, lighting and rendering. It uses lots of settings and can be tricky to learn and optimize. I find it give me great lighting, DOF, reflections and can be used to create very, very complex materials.  It's what I use for really all of my 3D rendering.

For Most 2D raster work:
Photoshop -…  The de-facto standard. CS6 (soon to be CS7 in June). I've used it since PS2.0 running on Mac and available in grey-scale only.

For Most 2D vector work:
CorelDRAW X5 - - Why not Adobe Illustrator? I have AI and use it occasionally. I prefer CorelDRAW. It does things that Illustrator just doesn't - or that it makes very awkward.  Where I can "fly" in CorelDRAW, I have to figure out a new workflow in AI to do the same thing. They play well together and can import and export compatible files, so there's no real drawback to not basing my work in AI.

Other tools:
I sometimes use Sketchbook Pro -… and I'm getting to like it more and more. I'll also play around with VRED -… for rendering. I've not found the flexibility I like from it. Plus, if I have to go back into MAX to make a geometry change, I might as well stay there and render. I'll sometimes use lightroom for image processing - but rarely.

So that's it - there's my quiver of arrows.


Truckin' Magazine Feature

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 30, 2013, 9:47 AM
A few months ago special feature editor Patrick McCarthy asked me if I'd be interested in supplying some art for Truckin' Magazine's monthly "Radical Renderings" feature spread. Pretty cool huh? So I whipped up a couple of new pieces just for them.  You can find the feature on newsstands now (May 2013).

Magazine Spread

Truckin Sandbagger by dangeruss   Truckin Raptor by dangeruss   Dodge RAM HFS Edition by dangeruss

Hmmm... Interesting.

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 20, 2013, 5:25 PM
So this morning I receive notification from a no-reply administrative account here at dA than one of my deviations has been removed in response to a DMCA copyright violation claim.

The artwork in dispute was amusingly enough my very first auto vexeI uploaded back in 2004. A very cartoony Orange Acura RSX, based partly on a die cast toy that I took my own photograph of. The resulting art looks very little like the toy car to begin with, and was produced by a toy manufacturer that seems to be no longer in business much less offering the product for sale.

So who's the entity with the beef? Honestly, I have no idea. They're not identified in the complaint at all. The defunct toy-maker? Acura? Jeez, I've no idea. Either way, it seems that 9 years after the fact, someone is zealously defending a design that neither of them fucking make any more.

The recourse is to dispute the claim, but the process of dispute puts all the onus on me. The process states: "Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a counter-notification leaves the individual or organization filing the initial claim no choice but to sue you if he/she/it disagrees with the counter-notice. THERE MAY BE SERIOUS LEGAL CONSEQUENCES IF THIS FORM IS MISUSED. We highly recommend you seek the advice of a trained copyright attorney before proceeding."


So some old crappy piece of art was deleted from my account. I hope the faceless, nameless, party whom I so "greatly wronged" can sleep well now.

25 blogs you should check out

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 3, 2012, 11:03 AM
It doesn't matter if you're looking to sharpen your skills as a vector designer, a photoshop designer, a website designer or if you're just looking for resources, inspiration and freebies (like brushes & icons), the websites below will give you everything you're looking for. I'd definitely suggest checking them all out

Vector Design Blogs
Below are some great blogs specifically written for those of us who are looking for vector tutorials and resources.

vector tuts plus:
vector diary:

Photoshop Design Blogs
Below are some great blogs specifically written for those of us who are looking for photoshop tutorials and resources.

PSD tuts:
PSD Vibe:
PSD Fan:

General Design Blogs
Below are blogs that will help you move forward in every aspect of design – photoshop, vector, web design, ect

You The Designer:
Naldz Graphics:
Six Revisions:
Think Design:
Smashing Magazine:
Vandelay Design:
Web Design Ledger:
Web Designer Depot:
Design Newz:
Spyre Studios:
Design Shard:
My Ink Blog:
1st Web Designer:
The Design Cubicle:


Lord of Design:

a little help...?

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:27 PM
Hi fans and watchers, I'm involved in a Squarespace sponsored contest on If you're also on Dribbble, please have a look at… and "like" the work for me, (well if you like it obvs.)  Thanks!

Game Screenshots are not art (most of the time)

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 6, 2012, 4:06 PM
Stop it

Please. Stop.  Snapping a "photo" of your latest game replay showing a car you didn't make or customize, on a track you didn't create, in a completely non artistic way is not art. These show up in my favorite categories all too often.  don't get me wrong, there's some real merit in some of the fabulous paint scheme that Forza "painters" come up with, There's also some really great Gran Turismo  photo work going on.

Perhaps there needs to be a deviantART category for this "work" - maybe not.  What I do know is that a game screenshot bears no relation to researching, constructing, perfecting, texturing, lighting and rendering a unique 3D creation and environment.  Game screen shots are a byproduct of someone else's work. Even my pet peeve of crappy math period anime sketches on ruled notebook paper take more skill than mashing a save image button.

My suggestion is that if you're posting shots of your latest livery scheme form Forza, place it here:… which has been created to showcase the graphics APPLIED to vehicles. Sadly, most people misunderstand this category to mean graphics OF vehicles. Wrong.

If it's a game play screenshot,  post it on GTPlanet or Forzamotorsport forums where other gamers and in-game photo guys can appreciate it.  You'll actually get comments there. site relaunch

Journal Entry: Thu May 24, 2012, 1:46 PM is ALL NEW


After several years of faithful service the old has been relieved of its duties. Younger, prettier, more flexible site methods were too hard to ignore. Our new site is now much easier to update, shares news and images better, and now ties into the modern web and social media sites.  In addition to the architecture changes, the scope of has widened to include more corporate identity work and product design.

But best of all, it's not all about Me, Me, Me anymore. This relaunch of the site heralds a new partnership. The artistic and business team now includes the massive talents of my son Robert!

We've taken the time to coordinate the new brand logo and colors across the various sites we participate in (including here) so new avatar, new ID images and all.

We feel the site is a major improvement from the old "static" site. I'll be able to blog about new stuff, new auto news, show off work from other artists and make visiting worthwhile. Please follow DangerussArt on twitter to keep up with the latest posts. So go check out the new site already!  Visit

For those seeking advice:

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 4, 2012, 1:07 PM
I get loads of people asking me how to prepare for a job or get started in the design and visualization business and / or what schools to attend.  I wish I could be more helpful.

Something you need to understand is that I'm almost 51 years old. So, I have no contemporary schooling advice. All my formal schooling (late 70's early 80's) was completed well before PC's and digital art. I began my career with traditional media and all my digital skills are self taught. Therefore, I really have no idea in 2012, what the great digital art and design schools are and what the best path is for a young person interested in the trade.  I'm not being a jerk, it's just that I'm not seeking a entry level job or looking for classes.

I will say that in this biz, it's more important what you can DO -vs- where you went to school. You can complete a curriculum and not learn a thing, and you can learn loads outside of a classroom. A strong portfolio speaks volumes. There are 15 year old artists on this site that have more skills than many, many art-school grads.

There are all sorts of non-traditional means of learning viz skills. Check into the Gnomon courses, join forums in your area of interest, and seek out tutorials. Seriously - sketch. every. day. Every day. Your most important skill is being able to visualize and communicate shapes. Each day, pick something you find interesting and sketch it. The next day, invent your own similar object and create several versions of it. Keep your sketches in a notebook so you can see how fast you progress.

If you can visualize shapes and "invent" ways to depict them, then the software just becomes another tool. Just having software experience and no creative ideas is almost useless. Nail your visualization skills and then "all" you need to do is learn the software you want - not both simultaneously.

Unless you choose to pursue a career in entertainment (movies / games) which I really discourage, don't spend too much time on sci-fi robots and spaceships. They're fun, but designing the coolest toaster / TV / vacuum cleaner / phone or car is where the money (and long term employment) is.

What strikes me as quite odd are the artists who write and say they love car design or mechanical stuff, yet when I check their gallery, it's full of big eyed anime stuff and doodles of everything but cars and machines. What's that all about?

The other requests I get a lot of are: "Where can I find the best beginner tutorials?"  I have a hard time answering these requests because, to be blunt... Does my work look like I need or use beginner tutorials?  I know this is going to sound like Gramps telling you he walked to school in the snow, but I learned 3D using the very first releases of 3D Studio running on DOS. Photoshop since rel. 2.0 Mac Only. No internet, no YouTube tutorials, no DVD instructional stuff. The web is absolutely freaking packed with info. Tons of it. Show some initiative and Google that stuff. If 1,610,000 results from searching "3D Studio Max tutorials" can't get you started - nothing can.

'You can do better...'

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 6, 2010, 5:39 PM
Wanna know what comment bugs the crappoutta me?

"Nice, but I know you can do better."

What a lame-ass cop out comment. It's as if the commenter, is determined to be negative, yet can't think of anything really to criticize. "So, uhmm let's see... Uhm.. Oh! It can be better!"  That same comment can be said for every single piece of art on this site. Nothing is "perfect". So the commenter has said exactly nothing. So why not say just that - nothing.

If they cannot verbalize their critique, or don't know enough about the medium to speak intelligently, then perhaps STFU is the best approach.

Appreciate what is there - not what isn't. Take a look at the effort involved and the care that the artist took and realize that everybody is on a learning curve. And... that curve is not linear. By that I mean that not every piece needs to be measurably better than the previous one. People experiment and some are less successful, To expect that every piece in someone's portfolio is going to be at the same level or better than the last is well, naive.

I'm a Millionaire!

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 5, 2010, 6:07 AM
Well sometime during the early hours of April 5th, 2010 I had my one-millionth page-view! Now I'm far from the most viewed deviant (there are some with over 6 million page views, but I've done this primarily through 3D and 2D car and bike renderings. Not a a single black and white photo of teenager smoking a cigarette, anime goofiness, or soft-core porn or any of the other high view attractors.

Thanks to all the stoppers by who made this (pretty meaningless)goal of mine a reality. I knew I should have been charging something... If I only had a dollar for every time. Now that'd be cool!  Thanks again to all you gearhead deviants.

Update for 2010

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 15, 2010, 7:44 PM
Hi watchers, friends and auto art enthusiasts. 2009 ended up being quite good year with 2010 promising to be pretty awesome as well. As many of you know I worked with Tengun Design to create the visual identity graphics for the X-BOX Forza Motorsports 3 racing sim. This included the regular edition, limited edition and special French edition box art (featuring the LeMans winning Peugeot), as well as in-store displays and ad graphics.

About this time last year I started posting here and on a blogspot page with some 3d wristwatch art and started courting some independent watch companies. This effort has turned out to be wildly successful. I'm now doing design and concept work for 4 different companies at the moment. I've already seen about 5 watches produced from my designs and have completed about 35 designs for upcoming 2010 models.

I've been busy lately fulfilling a yearly assignment with a Central American publisher for a series of school notebook covers featuring my automotive and motorcycle art. This has been the third year of work I've done for them. All very high res vexel work that just seems to take ages when it's that big. I think I've just about got them satisfied. I need to complete about 6 more watch concepts and then I *think* I can take a breather. There might be a Discovery Channel gig in the works, but it remains to be seen if I can deliver the amount of work they're interested in.

I haven't posted a lot of personal work, simply because I've not had any time to finish much. I want to do a Koenigsegg CCX in that cool silver carbon fiber, a Lambo LP670 and a Ducati Streetfigher when I can find time.

Oh, and I'm less than 20,000 page views away from a Million!

What's with all the watches?

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 12, 2008, 7:28 PM
I'm sure regular "watchers" are wondering what's up with the recent fascination with watches. I've always been a bit of a watch fan, and recently started following the developments in haute horology. It's pretty fascinating how much development and exotic materials go into some of these high end watches. It's also mind boggling how much  some of these timepieces cost. There are many, many watches that are hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost! Amazing. Crazy, some would say.

By modeling them in 3D, it gives me a way to "own" and get to know watches I'll probably never have the ability to own, and perhaps never even see "in the flesh".

Modeling them is fast, fun and can be quite challenging and educational. It allows me to create a potential market for visualization clients. Chances are I'll never get a call from Ferrari to do 3D vis. work, but some of these watch firms are small operations and they're not going to have an in house 3D guy, so you just never know.

I've got a few cars in the pipeline too, but as a break between real-life, work and freelance jobs, these watches are a really fun diversion.

The 411

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 8, 2008, 5:08 PM
It's been a Summer of new things, new experiments, different subject matter and eventually a return to automotive themed art. Just for a break, I decided to not do as much car related work and play with a few things I'd been interested in.

I did several sci-fi mecha pieces as collaborations with Mike Doscher. Several of these explored a non-photorealstic rendering style to capture the sketch quality of the concept art, yet still have the precision of 3D. I think these came out well and most of my viewers seemed to dig them.

I've been watching fine technical artists create wonderful 3D interiors for years without ever really trying one. I set out to see what was involved. I found that it's not nearly as easy as I had imagined. There's tons of details that have to me included, mapped and many, many more materials than a typical car might have. The lighting is far trickier and due to the extra illumination bounces and soft shadows all the settings need to be set higher and render times can be excruciating. Fun stuff though.

I did a few miscellaneous objects like cameras and bicycle parts just to play with some different materials and things that different clients and audiences might relate to. Also fun, but not as satisfying as some of the other things I did during my car hiatus.

Finally, I took off on a very enjoyable 3D graffiti journey. The modeling for these pieces was dead simple to do, so their creation was just pure fun. I spent many hours combing the intergoogle for inspiration and references. There's a ton of really skilled, clever and daring artists out there doing some kick-ass stuff. These pieces proved to be very popular with views and I'll probably do more of these from time to time. Some very hot writers here at dA have invited me to do some collaborative work, so I'll probably do some "local" work soon.

Which brings me back to cars. Rejuvenated by my time away, I've been very prolific with recent automotive works. Some 3D, some vexel and all very enjoyable getting back into it. I've got a highly requested Ferrari just about done, so look for that soon. I'll be working on some assets for a couple more high-profile games. I can't mention titles, but I'm sure most can guess what genre they are.  All in all it's been a great Summer 'vacation".

I've just about had it with some of the frigging stoopid comments people leave.  I'm about ready to disable comments on stuff. I always enable critiques, so I can read your responses and valid critique. What irritates the crappouttame is these type of comments:

This isn't art in my eyes.
This picture says nothing.
If you don't do (what I want) your work is a waste of time.
I don't like it - stop doing these.
I don't like that color.
I hate (insert car make here).

Seriously, what the phuck is any artist supposed to take away from this commentary?  OOOOhhh sorry, next time we'll run it past you first to see if it's "art", or if you approve? Ideally critique, is supposed to provide the artist with suggestions to improve the work. Drawing something you like doesn't make it "better" in anyone's eye but yours.  Telling someone their art is a waste of time is not just a little bit offensive to any artist. If you don't like it, fine. Lots of people might not like some of your stuff either, but they keep their opinions to themselves, because their opinion of your expression doesn't matter.

Artists don't create art for anyone other than themselves and their clientele. Whether you like the color they picked matters not. Your opinion of what constitutes art, matters not.  Whether the art "speaks" to you, impresses you or thrills you doesn't matter either.

If you like it, fine - tell them why.  If you don't, either provide a meaningful, mature critique or explaination.  If all you have to add is "this is ugly to me" then consider your self pre-advised to STFU.
I'm convinced that people have lost the ability or patience to read - even just a little bit.  I think I'm pretty good about writing descriptions of my artwork. I try to list the tools and media I used. Every 3D submission lists the 3D software, the rendering engine, and any 2D tools used. All my vexels say something like "All Photoshop" or "Photoshop and wheels rendered in 3D Studio MAX".  Yet not a single day goes by where I don't get a comment or a special note to ask me what tools I use.

Seriously, isn't it much more time consuming to click my user name, write me a note, submit it and wait for a reply than to read a 3 word sentence? Which brings me to my other point. It's as if the people who ask this question think all they need is the software and BOOM, they'll be able to shit out a 3D car just like mine.  I have to think that if they can't be troubled to read a short description of something they're obviously interested in, how in the world are they going to work through a complex tutorial, or a user's manual for 3D software?

Then there's an entire group of people who think they want to learn 3D, yet are so unmotivated, they can't be bothered to Google up "3D tutorials" and expect me to provide them a compendium of links to basic tutorials. Like I'm always looking for BASIC tutorials so I can finally learn how to make a cup or something.

I really don't mind helping people out. I do it all the time, but they've got to show some initiative. I'm much more likely to help someone who's already figured out a lot of it and just has a specific problem, then some open ended "teach me art" request.

Certainly, I'm not the only one growing weary of this.
So I get this phone message from some Frenchman, and here's his story:

He's working here in the US on a secret project with NASA and Lamborghini on a flying Lamborghini project. They've already invested $3.5 million and the design has been done. All they need now is some fancy renderings, and he's chosen me for the job. So... I don't waste the long-distance call to return his message because well... he's pretty much full of crap.

Let's examine the premise:

1: NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a government agency and doesn't take on privatized work.

2: Lamborghini based in Santa Agata, Italy, takes enormous pride in it's engineering, and wouldn't be working off-shore with a French nationalist teamed with NASA - ever.

3: While Lamborghini's perhaps look like they could fly - they dont. Why in hell would Lambo even be interested.

4: It takes only 3.5 million dollars to design a flying car ?!  Consider that the new Reventon is selling for 1.5 million.

5: So Lamborghini, a subsidiary of Audi, which is in-turn a subsidiary of Volkswagen, has no one with in those corporations who could render such a car even if the project was real?

While I'd be happy to create a wild fantastic flying car image for someone, why call me and feed me this ridiculous story? If the first thing you do is throw your credibility under a bus, why would I think that the remainder of any transaction would be trustworthy?  I could see where this was likely to go; "We've spent all the development money, so if you could do the renders for free, once we sell the designs, we'll pay you handsomely."

I'm contemplating doing a few t-shirts for sale with design featuring some of my cars.  I'm not sure about the interest level though. People always note me with print requests and over the years I may have sold 4 prints total. Lots of talk, but nobody opens their wallets.

So would you r e a l l y buy a $22.00 t-shirt with some tasty graphics on it or just buy pizza and beer instead?  The last thing I need is a garage full of shit nobody's buying, so this is kind of a feeler to see what sort of interest there might be.

we'll see...
There's this site called that sells subscriptions to their collection of stock photos and illustrations. Not cheap. $199.00 a month or $2,000 a year.  So you'd think there'd be some pretty exclusive stuff there and certainly not anything ripped off...

Let's see if we can notice any similarities, shall we:… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…… - compared to -…

A bit much wouldn't you say?  They'll be getting a nasty-gram from me very soon.
For the past 18 months or more, 3D modeler Tom Sullivan has been working on the most amazingly detailed automotive project. He's combined the best features of several cars belonging to the hot rodding community, and slavishly replicated the chassis, powerplant and body of a radical 1969 Chevy Camaro project car.

As sometimes happens with massive projects, Tom ran out of steam, patience, or deisre to keep messing with it. He's only posted a few color renders, mostly being clay renders to show off his fantastic detailed modelling. Since he proclaimed the project "dead", he offerd me the opportunity to do some renderings of his model.

Since I'd been a big fan of the project for quite some time, I jumped at the chance. I've since decided to undertake the completion of the effort and I'll be adding updates, details, a full interior, some body details and a set of final renderings in high resolution. I've already made some changes and added a few things to my taste and to boost the detail level even further.

I'll be posting WIP images in my scraps gallery… and make sure to take a look at Tom's work-in-progress images at his dA gallery :….