Designer Interview: Matt_One

This month, thank you matt_one , a very original digital Lego designer, for answering our questions !
 
  

Rep: How old are you ?    
Matt_one: I'm 49 years old ( born 1966 ).I'm an EFOL ( Elder Fan of Lego ).
 
Rep: Where do/did you live ?
Matt_one: I live in Lecco, Italy.
 
Rep: Current job or studies ?
Matt_one: I'm a freelance CAD designer.
 
Rep: When did you receive your first Lego set ? What set ?
Matt_one: Who knows? We're talking about 45 years ago...
 
Rep: Fav Lego theme(s) ? why ?
Matt_one: None in particular. Of course I like Sci-Fi stuff.
 
Rep: Any Children ? Are you building with them ?
Matt_one: I have two sons. The first one, a 5 years old boy, has started to play with Lego bricks two years ago.
He own some Hero Factory's characters, some Mixels, a 3 in 1 creator set ( Thunder Wings ).
The second one, a 2 years old little girl, try to eat Lego bricks...
 
Rep: Are you part of a LUG or related association group ?
Matt_one: No.
 
Rep: What are your Favourite books or comics
Matt_one: I like to read books, my favourite writers are John Grisham and Michael Crichton.
Recent books read are "The Martian" by Andy Weir and "Wool" by Hugh Howey, both good books I suggest to read.
 
Rep: What are your favorite movies and drama series (All time fav and recent likes ?)
Matt_one: Alien, Jurassic Park and Pulp Fiction are my favourite movies. I like very much 3d animation movies ( Despicable Me is my favourite ).
No time now to follow TV series, 'Lost' was the last...
 
Rep: From your builds we can see you are almost exclusively into mechas and gundam ? When and how did you fall in love with this concept ?
Matt_one: I fell in love with all japanese mechas in the late '70, expecially when I saw Gundam for the first time in 1980.
 
Rep: If we focus on that crazy Madgun Tyger, could you describe the way you reach such result ?
I mean technically, from inspiration to structural design and details.
Matt_one:Usually, I start with head design. 
Sometimes I find inspiration playing with real bricks while I'm playing with my son
( 3 of my Gundam Chroma family's head were born in this way ).
Many times I find inspiration from particular bricks in LDD library. I have a lot of heads design never used or discarded.
I very often find myself looking to those heads too much, then I don't like them anymore.
Madgun Tyger's head took the same risk and I wouldn't say that's a nice head when I look at it now.
Simply, I stopped looking at it and I went ahead with the body.
I don't have any rule or method when it comes to body design, all comes out on the spur of the moment and
by how bricks can stick together, although with only one or two miserable studs...
For this reason I wouldn't talk about structural design : I'm focused to shape design only, trying to get nice shapes.
I have little time to spend on Lego digital mecha design and since I do it mostly at night I try to get the fast result
in less time. This is not the better way to achieve model's structural strenght.
I would define my designs as concept design only, with the aim to get nice renders as final result.
I would not recommend anyone to build them.
 
Rep: How did you come to LDD software ? 
Matt_one: My wife discovered it in September 2013 and installed it thinking it was easy to use for a 3 years age kid.
I started to play with LDD and fell in love. A month later my first Gundam RX-013 Nova was born....
 
Rep: Do you use any additional software for rendering your LDD models POV-Ray or others ?
Matt_one: I'm using Simlab Composer for my renders now, after initially used POV-Ray.
 
Rep: Any scoop on current WIP or future projects / models ?
Matt_one: I'm working on 3 projects: one small mecha and two large mechas, bigger than those I've done so far.

 
Rep: Influences, mentors etc...
Matt_one: I try to make my digital designs original as much as possible.
Of course I like many other people's work, simply they are too many to mention all.
I saw many outstanding works, made with LDD or real bricks, and many of them are true masterpieces.
I'm not only talking about mechas. Some people are making true art with bricks.
Greetings to all those people who read this interview, to all members of Repubrick and to the many friends met on Flickr!

Rep: Thank you very much for your time, keep up the good work !
 
More : 
matt_one repubrick.com :
http://www.repubrick.com/index.php?option=com_vmvendor&view=vendorprofile&userid=1016&Itemid=121&lang=en
matt_one @ Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_one/
 

Designer Interview: o0ger

In April, we're launching the blog section at repubrick.com and starting it with the designers interviews category.
We are very honored to invite an impressive Lego designer:
Let's know a little more about o0ger !

  
 
o0ger, thank you for being our guest replying these questions and for sharing some of your great builds on Repubrick.com
 
Rep: How old are you ?
o0ger: I am 38 years old (born 1977).
 
Rep: Where do you live ?
o0ger: I live in Västerås, Sweden.
 
Rep: What is your current job or studies ?
o0ger: Working at a company providing centralized IT operation services.
 
Rep: When did you receive your first Lego set ? What set ?
o0ger: I have no idea really. I think maybe it was 314 or 361 and I think I was 3 or 4 years old. That would be 1980 or 1981 then.
 
Rep: What's your favorite Lego theme? why?
o0ger: I don't buy many sets nowadays. But I do love the modular houses. The first sets I bought after my dark age* was Pet Shop and Grand Emporium. It was great fun to build again after so many years. Other than that I like Star Wars and other sci-fi oriented themes that provide good parts and colors.
 
Rep: Any Children ? Are you building with them ?
o0ger: I have two sons. They both love LEGO and we sometimes build together. I let them borrow some of my parts, but they know they're not allowed to play with my LEGO.
 
Rep: Are you part of a LUG or related association group ?
o0ger: Yes, I am a member of the swedish LUG Swebrick.
 
Rep: What are your Favourite books or comics ?
o0ger: I only read audio books nowadays, while driving my car between home and work. Don't have time for anything else. I think I read books searching for inspiration. Top three right now are: Ender's Game, Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, Ready Player One.
 
Rep: Movies and drama series (All time fav and recent likes ?)
o0ger: Star Wars is of course among the best ever. It's not the best movies, script- and plot-wise, but I still consider them them best mostly because of how it introduced me to sci-fi and showed me a bigger world. Not a big fan of fantasy and magic (don't care much about the force in Star Wars either).
Movies that I like, both old and new: District 9, Gravity, Moon, Primer, Cube, Gattaca, Alien, Pitch Black, The Matrix, Ghost in the shell
 
Rep: From your builds we can see you are a lot into Sci-Fi and Science. Is Lego Art or Science ?
o0ger: Good question. Not easy to answer. For me, LEGO is mostly art. It is the way I've found to express my creativity and ideas. Other people like drawing, painting or knitting. But this is what works best for me. There is some science to LEGO also of course. When building MOCs, it really helps to know the matemathics behind the LEGO geometry. But when it comes to physics and structural integrity, I still have a lot to learn. Most of my MOCs barely hold together  
 
Rep: Also You're a Modern architecture enthusiast.

Haus W Villa Midgård LDD Hillside Villa
What do you enjoy the most in modern buildings ?
o0ger: Finding the perfect mix between aestethics and functionalty. Using new materials in new and surprising ways. Always questioning the way we think about buildings. I love the way some modern houses are almost sculptures, but in the same time functional and environment friendly places for families to live.

 
Rep: If we focus on that amazingly huge and highly detailed Bucephalus asteroid mining ship



Could you describre the way you reach such result ?
I mean technically, from inspiration to structural design and details ?
o0ger: ok, I'll try  I almost always get inspiration from conceptual design. I follow a lot of conceptual designer blogs. I wanted to build a big and detailed ship. I used this image as inspiration: 

 
Then I started sketching in LDD. Using big parts to shape the ship. It wasn't long until I decided to build my ship around:



 and that pretty much decided the size and shape of the rest of the ship. Another thing that made me use some certain LEGO parts was because there was a LUGBulk going on in my LUG and I used a lot of those parts instead of bying other parts from Bricklink. If I ever build such a big ship again I will put more effort into the internal structure. Probably build it around technic beams instead. 
 
It took about a year to complete, tweaking in LDD, testing, deleting, starting over. I think I saved 20 different stages of the ship in LDD. In the end I almost didn't want to finish it. But I forced myself to do it. I don't think I will build something like that anytime soon again  
 
Rep: How and why did you start to use the LDD software? Do you start a project with real bricks or in LDD?
o0ger: I found out about LDD after reading about it on my LUG forum. I was a bit sceptical to it. But then I tried it and quickly found it to be immensly helpful.
I mostly start with LDD. Just testing stuff out. It's so easy to delete and start over. But when I think I have something that works I try to build it with real bricks to see if it holds up. Over time, I've mostly learnt what works and what doesn't. There are some things that work in LDD but doesn't work in real life. And vice versa.
I only build with bricks in available colors. I see many digital builders don't care about that, and you can of course end up with some really cool MOCs that way. But for me the challenge is to use only availabe bricks and colors.
 
Rep: Do you use any additional software for rendering your LDD models POV-Ray or others ?
o0ger: For rendering LDD models I use POV-Ray™ and the amazing tool LDD to POV-Ray™ Converter (http://ldd2povray.lddtools.com/). Another tool that I find very useful is LDD Manager by Superkalle. I use it to quickly see what pieces are available in what colors. I tend to run it once every hour or so just to see if the parts I've used are available at all.
 
Rep: Any scoop on current WIP or future projects / models ?
o0ger: We are slowly starting some kind of sci-fi equivalent of Guilds of Historica over at Swebrick. We call it Bortom Sol (Beyond Sol in english). We follow humanity in a future where we have colonized the nearest star systems but destroyed our own. There are no aliens, only humans trying to survive and not kill each other. Right now I'm trying to push all of my ideas and inspiration into that. It's great fun to have a common world to build in. It's currently only open for Swebrick members. We are in the early stages. Trying out what works and how to run things. All of my current sci-fi WIPs are from that universe.
I will probably build another Mini Modular when LEGO releases a new modular building as well .
 
 
Rep: Anything else I could have asked?
o0ger: I try to use large, old and strange parts that other people discard as unusable. Sometimes I find a strange part that has an interesting shape, and then I go over ideas in my head where it would work. I don't care about scale. Parts like this tend to end up in a build sooner or later. Other times I have a specific shape or structure that I try to achieve. I then go over parts in LDD and my boxes of odd parts until I hopefully find something I like.
 
What I'm trying to say is that there are no unnecessary or unuseful parts, you just have to find the right ways to use them!
 
I also try to build stuff that I haven't seen anyone else build before. There are endless iterations of WWII tanks, X-wings and Millennium Falcons out there. I try to be unique. It's more satisfying both for me and my followers I think.
 
BONUS QUESTIONS:
 
When did your dark age end and how did it happen?
o0ger: It was 2012 after moving to a new house with a basement. I've always had a fascination for LEGO and had been following some LEGO blogs for a while. About that time I found Swebrick and thought that I might try to build something again. My dark age was about 20 years long. *shudders*
 
What other builders inspire you most?
o0ger: I need to mention a few builders that helped pull me out of my dark age:
 
 
How much LEGO do you have?
o0ger: Around 40.000 parts.
 
Thank you very much for your time, keep up the good work !


Just in case you missed it, o0ger is not a LDD only designer, very most of his models are made of real bricks.
Have a look at these great examples: (I'd say some shots also show some true photography and editing skills).

Click the thumbnail to see a larger pic on FLickr.

A place to call home Karoji Space Station - with some heavy editing Joe´s GarageHillside Villa

Villa Midgård Allegra Bucephalus 1
 
 
More :