Alan Fraser lives on the coast, just north of Liverpool, UK. He graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and started off in teaching before working as a freelance Illustrator and Designer.
Alan has worked for many of the leading publishing houses over the years, mostly as a cover artist and the illustration of children’s books. His career took him from watercolor and airbrush, through vector artwork and then to 3D polygonal modeling; but he never used 3D models to any great degree until he stumbled across SketchUp in 2002. He immediately recognized its potential for subjects that might previously have been produced in line and wash or by airbrush…especially the kind of content that might be needed for the more technical types of publications, encyclopedias etc.
This was very early days for SketchUp—before its acquisition by Google—and Alan also noted the almost total lack of any content beyond the small sampler pack that was bundled with the program itself.
The user base at this point was mostly pro users—architects and designers. Most people could model furniture, street furniture or sofas; but were at a loss when it came to good quality people or vegetation. Alan responded to the gap in the market by bringing out a CD containing the very first human figures specifically built for the low-poly requirements of SketchUp.
Asked which are his favorite 3D models, he responded by saying that the favorites were also the most demanding and therefore the most satisfying to actually bring to some kind of completion. He has been continually pushing the envelope as far as human figures are concerned, so the favorites are the recent, fully mapped male figures.
He is also quite proud of some of his tree models, especially some of the palms and pines. It probably passes by the average user, but getting large specimens of vegetation to look that realistic with few low polygonal faces is an achievement.
When asked what the most challenging model to build was he mentioned that the organic shape of the body protector for Fox Racing. The recent model of the US Capitol Building, also presented some unique problems; not least the sloping site and the challenge of maintaining a small file size despite its actual real-life size.