From a very young age Stuart was interested in drawing and making models. Art and anything creative always fascinated him. In his teens Stuart got into films. And often built designs of science-fiction and horror characters; these special effects; were fuelled by an active imagination.
His artistic education began when Stuart attended Stourbridge Art Collage in 1984 where he studied fine art. He wanted a base in traditional skills. In sculpture Stuart learned about anatomy; and in painting colour theory.
Next he attended Bournemouth and Poole collage of Art and Design. Here Stuart studied film and television with an introduction in photography. He met a lot of great and creative people many of who are still friends to this day. Stuart left with a distinction H.N.D. credit.
"Film School – was a great way to launch the beginning of my career; but getting into the film industry was not going to be easy. I worked in commercials doing Special Visual Effects and model making. And from there went on and did a first feature film in 1989."
Now Stuart wanted to work in prosthetics; so after a three year stint at Madame Tussauds he left and went freelance. Next he landed a job with Ron Muick the fine artist. Back then Ron had strong ties to the film industry. He recommended Stuart for a job on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein in the Prosthetic Make-up department in 1993.
So Stuart went on to work on many films, television and commercial productions. Living and working in London – He enjoyed a fast paced career.
"And subsequently three of the film projects I contributed to were nominated for Oscars in special make-up: The Sea Inside, Saving Private Ryan and Frankenstein. The Hours -- was also nominated for a BAFTA in make-up. "
After the horror movie -- The Descent: Stuart wanted a fresh challenge and decided to retrain and re-tool in 3D computer graphics. Since then Stuart has created the images you see on this site. It’s an exciting time for artist with 3D tools like Z brush; you really can create just about anything. The only limit is your imagination.
“I want these images speak for themselves, and I look forward to working with you soon.”
Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed? It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery; yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Expert 3D Computer Graphic Artist Stuart Sewell wasn’t always rousing 3D Computer Graphic characters to life. Constant pulses in his life are drawing, photography, model making and film. From this has sprung an electrifying career, boldly creating and perfecting visual effects and models for commercials and films over many years.
He gained skills for his magical impulses from Art School, Film School, Madame Tussauds and the sculptor Ron Mueck (whose work ‘Dead Dad’ was shown as part of the ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the RA in 1997 and rests with the Saatchi Collection).
Principally, three of the film projects Stuart Sewell contributed on were nominated for Oscars in special make-up: The Sea Inside, Saving Private Ryan and Frankenstein. And a further film, The Hours, was also nominated for a BAFTA in make-up. He has let neither cowardice nor carelessness hold him back.
Let’s ask him a little bit about himself and his work:
AS A CHILD, CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST MODEL YOU MADE AND HOW IT WAS MADE?
“I had a ‘medieval castle kit’. It had Knights on horse back; figures that you made by pouring plaster-of -Paris into little rubber moulds. You also built castles and painted them all. After this I started making my own sculptures and models. I loved the notion of making realism. Dirt on the walls; tracks in mud things of that nature.”
CAN YOU REMEMBER WHICH FILM LEFT YOU WANTING TO BECOME AN EFFECTS ARTIST?
“Most people say Star Wars and that’s true. The blue screen work and design ethic was revolutionary. It was a film filled with excellent design. That film is as much Ralph McQuarrie and John Dykstra as it is Lucas’s. However; some of the Gerry Anderson shows had a profound effect at a young age. UFO had a slightly edgy feel; and a little adult in themes for a child. Lest we forget Gabrielle Drake... ”
OVER THE YEARS, CAN YOU REMEMBER ONE OF THE BEST PROJECTS YOU WORKED ON AND WHAT YOU LEANT FROM IT?
“I guess Saving Private Ryan was a good project in terms of learning. It was a very fast turn around. The Sea Inside had a similar set of challenges – Its not always creative sometimes its logistical what can be done in the time .” In terms of 3D CGI stuff; I’m doing a film with Alan Marques. The 3D character in question is a “Combat Robot” and it is pretty cool. But an ambitious paint job comes down to managing large sets of textures on assets some have 160 – 2 k maps over a single asset. That’s a lot of texture wrangling. I’m also using multi-tile textures for the first time. It works well in terms of detail and renders very fast. And that’s best...”
CAN YOU REMEMBER ANY PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING PROJECTS AND WHAT YOU LEARNT FROM THEM?
On any project it is more time management vs. people management. I have been lucky on my jobs in general. And sometimes if that gets out of control; people end up working longer and longer hours. Then when the wheels fall of the wagon everyone on the crew suffers. Of course the job always gets done. But I feel it’s not about “who did what - on what film or TV show” - More -- how you all get there...”
WHY DID YOU MOVE INTO 3D GRAPHICS MODEL MAKING?
In truth I was working on a horror movie and it was a good project. And yet it was another life-cast with another fibreglass mould. I had lost the spark I had in my teens. I guess in short it was time for a change and here we are! It (Learning 3D) was a bit daunting but I have always had a “stick with it” approach. After years in the trenches as a free lancer my career is finally moving in the direction I like and want. And exciting things are happening, with what’s coming up in the next couple of years its going to all be worth it! ”
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT THAT IS?
I would love to but I have to keep quiet.
NOT EVEN A GENTLE HINT OR NUDGE IN THE DIRECTION OF...
“Sorry (Laughs). Let’s say it going to be a real big change of - direction.”
CRYPTIC - WHICH OF YOUR 3D COMPUTER ANIMATION CHARACTERS WOULD YOU BRING TO LIFE AND WHY?
“I’ll let you choose...”
STUART THANKS FOR TALKING WITH US.
“Great to talk with you; and hope we do it again soon.”
Haidee Chuter: Is a publisher and freelance writer who can been seen at many a COMIC CON and has worked for the British leviathan in Comic book publications TITAN. She lives in the East End of London with her partner. And she loves trips out in their custom VW camper van. Beware of loud engine sounds if they come to a neighbourhood near you.
A copy of my current CV for your consideration.