What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is David Yarr and I am a 3D artist or say a Generalist.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
This is a funny question and I like it a lot. Well the craziest job I had was in my early twenties when I was a roof carpenter working up high. Everyday working on that height moving fast on a piece of wood trying to keep the body in balance. The chance of falling down was about 99.9 percent. I myself got close to fall three times but somehow managed to keep it in balance. I guess when you work in hard situations your brain develops some kind of intelligence to avoid accidents. I did that job for two years and still love to try it only once.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In animation I would say none so far because I work in commercial animation and most of the time the deadlines are so tight you don’t even know to laugh about it or cry about it. But in oil painting I am proud that I painted a big version of Mona Lisa Cried on 9/11. It’s 36″x48″ oil on canvas. The idea behind it was when a plane hit the two twin towers in NY city, the tear of blood started to run down Mona Lisa’s chick in Louver Paris. I still have this big painting.
How did you become interested in animation?
One day one of my friends gave me a version of 3D studio Max 6. I liked the potential of this amazing 3D program and since than I am working with it.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Iran. Came to USA about 10 years ago. I learned animation by myself, thanks to internet. Then I created a website and got a job in a very small gaming company.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day is to look online and see what’s new in art or animation industry. Always saving some ideas, hoping to use them in the future.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Gosh this is kind of hard because every aspect of the work is my baby. I can not chose one over another. But honestly I like the compositing part a little more. That’s when you combine all your passes, do your color corrections, add sound or music, then play and see it comes to life right in front of your eyes. It’s a good feeling.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Special effects because most of the time things doesn’t go according to plan. Some times you fight against technology. Also slow computers are killing.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
For my 3D package I use 3D studio Max. I love her to death and would never change it to any other software. For sculpting I use Mudbox. For compositing I use combustion and aftereffcts. Also most Adobe products. For sound effect and music I use Vegas Pro.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Jesus I don’t know. I never thought about that. I guess I do what it takes to deliver the job and because I love it, I will find a way to solve problems.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
No I haven’t.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Jesus this is another tough one by itself. Because I don’t look at things as tough or easy. I take whatever I have and start my day with it. If someday there is nothing for me to start, I will start from that nothing and make some thing to happen. In a way nothing is a reason to start something.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Oh yes! That is my American dream because there is not much good news coming out from Iran. I want to make a difference and show people we are not as bad as people think we are. I am trying to make a concept for kids animation and find a producer to make it. Me and one of my Japanese friends are working on it at this moment, but it’s not developed enough to put it out there. We will do that as soon as we have the concept and characters done and ready to pitch the idea to an agent or producer.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Haha nothing like that but maybe there is one and that is peeling the whole skin of a tomato no matter how soft it is using a knife.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Just keep think and create! Always throw your old stuff out and look for new stuff. Never get in the idea of your stuff is the best thing ever happened to the planet. There is always somebody better then you out there. Don’t waste your time to be proud. Keep think and create things. Time is so short.