RON MENDELL: SEASONED PROP AND SET DESIGNER VETERAN FOR MAJOR MOTION PICTURES
Ron Mendell has had a long career in the film industry that began primarily by working on Steven Spielberg’s, Hook. Working in the Art Department for this production, he was tasked with building traditional 3D models of the movie sets for the production team. These 3D models gave the production team the needed visibility into what the final product would look like when completed in full size. Since then, he has built models of almost everything imaginable over the past 25 years.
DAZ Studio, Adobe® Photoshop
FAVORITE DAZ 3D PRODUCTS
Genesis, Genesis 2, Michael 4, DAZ Studio
Ron Mendell in action
HOW DAZ 3D HELPED RON MENDELL DESIGN PROPS FOR JURASSIC WORLD AND OTHER MAJOR FILMS
“Sometime around 1995, I was introduced to Zygote (now Daz) products, Poser and eventually Daz Studio, which is my software of choice for character development today. Starting with a Daz product allows me to move quickly. As an artist, my craving is to design and present an image that wows an audience; to bypass all the ditch digging and get straight to the artisan water. One film project might have me designing a hand held prop like the communicator I created for one of the Star Trek films. Another film project might require the body armor I created for Ironman 1, the RT unit for Ivan on Ironman 2 or a headpiece like the VR Goggles I designed for Ironman 3. For all these films I used Daz Studio and its products for the design process these props. For one of my latest films, Jurassic World, I designed the GYROSPHERE, a sort of hamster cage theme park ride that the dinosaurs are very interested in! I used the Daz male character in seated positions to ergonomically design the seats. The Daz software enabled me to modify the shape of the character to more closely match the proportions of our actors. Of course I used dinosaurs, plants, lighting and preset environments to instantly create worlds that would have taken days to concept traditionally.
Many of my designs for film utilize Daz characters strictly for a model environment. I might pose a hand, bring it into my own 3D modeling software and use that hand as a base to model my design around. For example, as an extreme in Oz the Great and Powerful, I designed the jewelry box that James Franco handed out frequently to the ladies he was trying to woo. It included a couple dancing in a ballroom fashion, much like a ballerina would be dancing in a young girl’s jewelry box. I used Michael and Victoria figures to simulate what this would look like, and with a few simple clicks they were posed and in my concept design. I used the Daz 3D models to create numerous variations until the director decided on a final design. That design was sent to a vendor that printed the parts on a 3D printer. Instant people!”