We interview the artist about exploring the natural world with geometric forms.
By day, Timothy Reynolds is a 3D designer for a marketing firm in Milwaukee – but by night he creates geometric representations of the world that strip organic and man-made forms back to the most simple-but-still-recognisable forms possible using 3D software. The low-poly style of his work references 'God sim' video games and there's a pleasing contrast between the replicated elements of his isometric architecture (below) – like a monochrome Sim City – and the apparent randomness of his 'weathered' landscapes (above), which are almost a well-lit version of 'God-sim' games from Populous to Minecraft.
We sat down with Timothy to find out how he's developed this style, and to learn about his new project applying an asymmetrical low-poly approach to animal forms.
DA: Tell us a bit about yourself
TR: "I'm a 3D Illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I went to school for architecture where I fell in love with building things in 3D. I learned on SketchUp back in 2006 and moved over to Cinema 4D in 2009."
DA: What have been your biggest inspirations?
TR: "Architecture. Nature. Industrial factories are also really inspiring to me. Lucky for me, they're everywhere in the Midwest."
DA: Why did you start creating your 'Low-poly' illustrations?
TR: "Sometime in 2011 I started a self-initiated project where I would stay up late building little worlds. I was just looking to develop my own style through experimentation. I'm still working on that project as it's grown to be a couple of hundred renders now."
DA: What to you is the aesthetic appeal of low-poly CG?
TR: "Sharp edges and colourful lighting is my favourite part of the look. I love looking at beautiful, organic shapes found in nature and trying to then reinterpret them with a stripped-down, geometric approach."
DA: What's your creative process for creating low-poly-based images?
TR: "I usually start with some sort of primitive – such as a cube or plane – and then just start pushing and pulling points around. Once I'm happy with some shapes and work out a rough composition, I move on to lighting. That's always a very time-consuming process full of trial and error. Finally, after rendering I do some post-processing in Photoshop."
DA: Tell us about your Animal Kingdom project (below)
TR: "I wanted to challenge myself to try a new avenue with my work. I chose to show the Wooly Mammoth and the Elephant. Both of those creatures just demand respect not only because of their size, but also for the magical shapes they are made of."
"They were fun to do and I think I learned a lot. They also took far longer than I could have possibly imagined. With that said, I might be done with that little series. For now."
DA: What are you working on currently?
TR: "I've got a couple ideas bouncing around for my next series. I'm also working on a story that I'm pretty excited about. I'd really love to make a video game at some point, too."