Saby Menyhei chats to us about his career, his successes and working in the creative field.
Saby is an Enironment Artist and Matte painter at DNEG Studios and can be most recognised for his amazing contirubitions to the Star Wars Universe!
What is the story being told in your cover art?
I didn’t really come up with a story to begin with, I just started creating and let things flow. The concept unfolded as I went along and I found my stride with it. I let the images in the pack inspire me!
I grabbed the images that I liked the most and then I went from there. As I started putting together the pieces of the puzzle I had all sorts of ideas - I wanted to put futuristic buildings here, have a character there; I was overflowing with possibilities. The last touch to the story was the little droid I added. By that point it was clear that the hero character is heading towards a secret base hidden in the mountains with his robot companion.
"As I started putting together the pieces of the puzzle I had all sorts of ideas - I wanted to put futuristic buildings here, have a character there; I was overflowing with possibilities."
How did you come up with it? What inspired you?
It was all improvised but the images in the pack were so good - it really inspired me! Every artist has a comfort zone, a specific style that they default to; some like to paint zombies, or giant monsters. It seems mine is being in a galaxy far, far away. Music is very important to me, I’m a huge fan of film scores and these influence my work a lot. Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts where they analyse soundtracks. I like a lot of composers but John Williams is still undoubtedly the best!
What was your approach to creating this image?
Every project I’ve worked on so far has been somewhat different and unique. I always love to try out new tools, different approaches to keep it fresh. In this case I started with photobashing. I chose an image that would serve as a base of the matte painting and then grabbed any other images that I could use. Once I had an environment that I was happy with, I drew a quick sketch and then jumped straight into 3D modelling. Once I had the 3D elements assembled, I put everything together in Photoshop as well as painting some elements from scratch.
What Software did you use?
Photoshop for Matte Painting, Maya for the modeling and I used Arnold to light and Render the 3D elements.
"Every artist has a comfort zone, a specific style that they default to; some like to paint zombies, or giant monsters. It seems mine is being in a galaxy far, far away."
What did you think about working with this pack?
I had a blast working on this image, and the Image Pack made it easier than ever! I love having all the images right there ready to go. All the images were high resolution and ready for manipulation. It really made a big difference.
"...it’s perhaps the closest thing to childhood to me. I’m like a kid playing with his favourite toy whenever I’m working on a new piece"
Why do you make art and how did you get into the industry?
It’s a difficult question but I guess I enjoy the process of creating something, of bringing something to life. I feel so lucky that making art is my profession. It's such a competitive and challenging industry to be part of, I feel so grateful to do what I do. Also, it’s perhaps the closest thing to childhood to me. I’m like a kid playing with his favourite toy whenever I’m working on a new piece, it makes me relive that childhood wonder.
Saby is an Environment Artist / Matte Painter at DNEG Studios, Vancouver.
You can follow him here:
This interview is part of our Rocky Alpine reference pack. Saby created the amazing cover art for the pack. There is a guide on how to recreate his work coming soon!