Like many other dedicated gamers, Deacon215's introduction to 3D design grew out of his desire to create mods for computer games.
"My old mods are still active on Nexusmods.com under my username, Exeter," Deacon215 said about his creations for Oblivion, Fallout 3: New Vegas, and Skyrim. He stopped modding in 2013 because of health reasons but he still gets messages from fans asking for more.
"It's kind of nice knowing that people are still finding those old mods useful," the exclusive Renderosity vendor said from his home in Pittsburgh.
When he retired from his day job in 2016, Deacon215 said he decided to pick up the digital brush full time and began learning how to create for DAZ Studio.
"I had been playing around with DAZ for a couple of years before and thought that digital art might be something interesting to learn. My working career was in chemistry, and I wanted to branch out into something new, something that would keep me learning new things," he said.
And his experience creating game mods was useful for Deacon215 to in finding is voice in 3D art.
"There's quite bit of crossover with figure and clothing mods like I did, and the 3D art world," he said.
And he learned the tricks of the trade in making meshes and followed that trail directly into making .obj files, which can be imported into DAZ.
"Rigging and texturing were a lot easier in a game mod, because I could use the game resources. I'm having to learn those more in depth now, but that's what makes it fun," he said.
Now he uses Blender for making the meshes and GIMP for texturing.
"I recently got a copy of ZBrushCore and I've been using it for more complex shapes, but the majority of shapes are generated in Blender. Everything I make is designed for DAZ3D," he said.
Because he is just feeling his way, Deacon said he draws inspiration from history and historic fantasy, like medieval blades and armor for Genesis 3.
"I try to make things that would be useful to someone rendering in either genre," he said.
But he hasn't ruled out other genres in the future.
"I haven't done anything in the sword-and-sorcery or high fantasy genres, but I don't rule it out someday. Sci-fi isn't off the table, either... having been into this for less than a year, I can't say my interests are fixed at this point," he said.
If past is prologue, then the future is bright for fans of Deacon215.
Find more about Deacon215 in his store.