Anastasios Gionis is an artist from Greece who is currently residing in LA. Coming from a traditional animation background, he is now a 3D sculptor and digital modeller working in the film industry. He has worked on a wide range of films, including Snow White and the Huntsman, The Cabin in the Woods, and Land of the Lost. Gionis sculpted the digital maquette and retopology of the bat creatures in The Cabin in the Woods, and sculpted all the scales/displacement on T-Rex (Grumpy) and sculpted rock formation displacements on set extensions for Land of the Lost. Check out the images below for a look at the process.
We asked him what inspires him to create monster, and he explained “I’ve always liked monsters because they are way more interesting to look at than human characters. We see human faces every day and its mundane, so something that’s NOT that is way more interesting to look at” His favourite monster creation from the silver screen is the original alien, sculpted by H.R. Giger. “While it is frightening” he explained, “it is also elegant and beautiful at the same time. The integrated corrugated textures combined with bone; just aesthetically perfect!” Like many of us, Gionis roots for the monster in creature features, particularly Predator.
“I like the Honorable aspect of the Predator, he’s not a bad guy. He’s a hero to me keeping the jock population in check. Just once I want to see movie where he wins in the end! I generally root for the monsters”
The process surrounding creating 3D monsters really interested us. He uses Zbrush to sculpt his monsters, starting with a sphere before adding cylinders for the limbs. In shaping the character, he focuses on the sillouette – a technique he also applies to traditional art – then works on the anatomical details. The final stage in creating a monster is the wrinkles. The video below, made by Anastasios Gionis himself, illustrates this process.
He cites H.R. Giger, Francis Bacon, Beksinski, Allen Williams the photography of Joel Peter Witkin as his main influences, as well as music and horror movies such as Jacob’s Ladder, David Lynch films, and Asian horror. His biggest influence however, is legendary FX pioneer Stan Winston.
“Stan Winston is probably the one that trumps them all. I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do if it weren’t for him”
As is Popcorn Horror tradition, we asked Anastasios Gionis about his zombie survival strategies. He explained “I’m gonna’ say something controversial here and admit I hate zombies and anything zombie related. I can’t stand those movies because they’re all the same: a bunch of people holed up somewhere, arguing. The current zombie fad only feeds my contempt for a genre I never liked to begin with”
Find out more about Gionis’ work on his DeviantART page.