How did you come to work for Stan Winston Studios?
|Pepe's first Na'vi Male and Female designs done for James Cameron. 12/06/2005-AVATAR
|LEFT: Pepe's first version of Tsu Tay 12/14/2005 RIGHT: Joe's final version of Tsu Tay, 1/15/2007 designed from a photo that he took of actor Laz Alonzo
|Evolution: Joe Pepe's first photo-realistic concept of Neytiri from James Cameron's concepts 12/06/2005 (left), and Pepe's final design, based upon a photo he had taken of actress Zoe Salanda 09/22/2006 (right).
All of the main characters resemble their actor counterpart. Since no one would see Zoe Saldana or all the other Na’Vi human actors it was decided to use the lower third of their face as a reference for the performance capture. Joe Letteri from WETA, Cameron and John Rosengrant agreed that this was a viable approach. Cameron, John Rosengrant and I developed the initial design of Neytiri with Saldana’s photo over a two and a half month period. From there I photographed all of the actors as they were cast for the film and took each one of them and put them through the Photoshop process. After the initial design was locked down with Neytiri, I was able to do a design for each actor between 2-4 days.
|Pepe's final designs for Jake, Eytukan, and Mo'at, designed from photos he had taken of actors Sam Worthington, Wes Studi and CCH Pounder, January 2007
|Pepe's one and only infant Na'vi design appeared in the final film.
Many of my students consider the use of a lot of reference in creating a character or creature a "crutch". What's your position on using reference?
What part of designing a new creature or character is the most fun? What part is the most difficult?
|Mariq "injured" design and an unused concept for CONAN 2010
|Personal project- Bloodrayne
|Early "Blackhat" concept 06/07/2006-PRIEST