Ten of Twelve interviews Setekh about life, rendering and Freespace
[/COLOR] Hi Setekh. How are you?
I'm great, yourself?I'm doing good. Thanks for asking. Now, a couple of words about the real you maybe?
Christian, a shade under six feet tall, glasses, Australian-born with Chinese/Malaysian parents, a bit clumsy, bad neck from using the computer too much, bad wrist from taking too many photos.And there he is:Too many photos eh? So photography is one of your hobbies right?
I take photos like I render (as of now... 12049 photos on my little Sony). It's like rendering, in that you come up with pictures, but the main challenges of composing a good render (the hard work of placing subjects, and making everything appear as realistic as possible) are automatically done with photography. Well, kinda. Sounds impressive. Let's change the subject for a moment shall we? For those who don't know it yet, Setekh is the founder of this community - the local legend, if I may say so. But how was this whole thing started?
To be fair, Thunder and I are both the co-founders of what we now affectionately call HLP. Back then, though, it was a queer little orange and black site with a strange little fire/sun logo and a POTD which didn't work. As you can see, not much has changed, but now we have an enormous community living it up in the Forums...
As for how it all started, from my side it stemmed from me picking up a PC magazine from the local newsagent, which had the demo of Descent: FreeSpace on the cover CD. I was hooked. FS1, ST, all the major fan campaigns (like Cardinal Spear) and mods - they fascinated me. I bought a new computer to play FS2, but I was bugged a little by the abrupt ending... and all this time, I had never touched multiplayer. (I later entered a single FS Frenzy, but on my 28.8, all I saw was lag before my Apollo was blown up by some punk flying a Horus.) I joined the VBB in January 2000, and after a year of loving the community, Thunder and I founded HLP.Well, as the art forum description says, the main focus of HLP is actually art. There are dozens of hosted galleries and projects both containing top quality work from various render artists. But your work seems to be THE top here. You also have a special website for that, called The Hard Light Array, which can be found here - Tell me, where's the little golden key to your success. Just practicing or is it something more?
As to whether the main focus of HLP is actually art, I know a few people who would have something to say about that...
But that aside, I'm not sure what to say. I've never really considered my art that good - I tend to compare myself with people like Darkshear, and subsequently lose all self-esteem whatsoever - but as to my 'success', I'm not sure I have any secrets at all anymore! I maintain that this sort of art is ideally backed up by a story - you can make anything into a story if you can just sit and imagine for a while - renders without story seem kinda lifeless to me. Technical brilliance requires patience too - to keep trying, no matter how long something takes, rather than sacrificing quality for time and accepting something when you know you can do better. In summary, I really don't know. I just like making pictures. I think that helps... And again I remind you to visit The Hard Light Array If you haven't yet That's the spirit! (no pun intended here) Now, let's take your member name. Setekh is the vasudan AWACS - that is be clear enough. But most of the time you are called Steak. How's so?
Funny how my tag's changed over time, though... Steak is relatively 'new'. Anyway, I actually forget who coined the term originally (sorry!), but I'm pretty sure it came from a common mis-spelling of my name... Stekh. If you say it out loud and draw out the 'e' into an 'eh' and then into an 'ay', Steak is the natural progression.Anyway, Steak, months ago, you went, leaving behind members, bombarding the forums with 'Goodbye Setekh' renders. What really happened back then?
Lots of reasons. Maybe I just needed a break (one-and-a-half years straight as Project Leader was a lot of fun, but tiring!). But the most pressing matters at the time (and still) were: firstly, I was entering an intense time at school; and secondly, that my mum had fallen seriously ill (and continues to be). It's not something I like to talk about - for her sake, not mine.Yeah, I understand that. Ever thought about coming back permanently?
Constantly. I never wanted to leave! Good to hear that! Now, we previously talked about rendering but what about modeling or Freespace related stuff like FREDing?
What about it? Ever tried? Ever succeeded?
Oh! Heh, I mostly leave that to other people. My first and best attempt at modelling can be found here
I was just never able to figure it out, as much as I tried. Fredding I've meddled with, but it always seemed to crash my computer. Other FS stuff like modding I've also dabbled with - mostly graphic stuff, a few skins here and there.Ever worked for any Freespace campaign or mod?
Well, I masterminded a long-defunct campaign a long time ago, but since HLP began I've mostly helped out various campaigns with assistance on whatever they need. Graphics, mostly - random renders, interface images; a lot of stuff to do with hosting.I see. And besides Freespace, what other titles do you play?
I have a soft-spot for platform and beat-em-up games... (Flashback, Commander Keen, Final Fight) sadly, no-one makes them anymore. UT2003 and Halo (on a friend's XBox) are the latest titles I've played.UT 2003 is one of the best shooters available isn't it? Ok, it's time to finish this conversation so here comes the final subject - women. Which type of women do you prefer? Cute? Sexy? Shy? Cute, sexy and shy?
Uhhh... Christian. Yeah, I've heard they're pretty cute... And what are you planning to do after finishing school?
I'd really really love to get into the gaming industry, but I have a feeling that I'd rapidly end up on the street... you need to be really good to make it anywhere in that kind of job. I'm aiming at becoming a church minister, actually, with photography and games as a hobby... and spending a lot of time at HLP, of course. Just the thing I've always wanted to hear from you. Well, that's it. Thank you for your time and good luck.
Same to you!