Interview with Fred

by Wishbone (October 1999)

    Hello fred, please introduce yourself.

    Ok, so I'm fred of the group calodox. I'm living in Switzerland. In my normal life, I'm studying Laws at the University. Oh.. and i'm a 2D gfx artist.

    Are you a funny guy?

    No. I'm boring like hell. How can you be a funny guy in a so serious thing like the scene ?! :)

    LOL. How do you enjoy the life? Are you a "Carpe Diem" guy or are you anxious about the future?

    I'm anxious about everything, I just want to know what will happen the next hour... but about the next day, let's say i'm more in the "carpe diem" mood ;) But just know that the future isn't really pink.

    Why the name Calodox? is there a special meaning?

    It has a special meaning yes. It's old greek if i don't mistake, but i can't remember the exact meaning :)
    Leto found the name, and i liked it. It has something to do with the mind... but well... er, let's keep the mistery.

    Ok, who are the members of Calodox? and are you in other groups?

    I'm in calodox, and only calodox :) the members are... ouch... we are a lot... let me think... leto, dake, zpider, workbench, krafton, radio24, rodex, timo, loxley, distance, shodan and myself.

    Wow, lots of people! but... Louis Theodore Peuh is not a member? :-)

    He was.. but well.. snif.. he.. no.. i can't say more.. just know he had an accident. (we also realised that he can't swim.. weird pet).

    Ooh... What a tragedy :'(
    So, we can't expect to see him again in a future prod'...

    No... we lost the exclusivity contract with him. We aren't that rich... sad.

    Can you tell us the genesis of Louis Theodore Peuh?

    Dake's sister and mother are at the origin of louis, they made it for the fun (=the Calodox spirit is a family spirit i think ;)) and we brought it with us at the Arf!party, where Yes/OJ couldn't stop playing with it :) so we decided to film that... and we had the idea of the demo later... doumdidoum... :)

    What was your first computer and what computer do you use now?

    My first computer was a... PC :) and i'm now using a... PC, the configuration has slightly changed. But I was often using an Amiga at a friends place.

    What's your current activity?

    You mean in the scene ? I'm mostly organizing calodox, designing our prods... etc. I'm also active as editor in the diskmag PAiN.

    Can you tell us again why you're not the main-editor of PAiN anylonger?

    Well, the answer is kinda simple, it was a time problem, and also a motivation problem. But... i'm at the moment maineditor again :) to make it come back on the international diskmag scene. I doubt that i'll stay a long time doing that as i'm now even more busy than one year ago, but when you love PAiN... you can't live without it ;)

    Is PAiN become a reference in the Swiss Scene? Have PAiN lots of readers?

    PAiN has always been a reference in the swiss scene, it has been existing since 1994. I wasn't here when PAiN was born, it's just a family spirit diskmag, it's the swiss scene diskmag... and we all live for it. At least, we should but nowadays, most of sceners are so lazy that they stay passively here, watching "their" diskmag dying, without doing anything. that's also why i decided to make some maineditorship again. But if the swiss scene wants to keep PAiN as their "scene symbol", they should move their ass.

    Calodox contributes a lot to move the Swiss Scene, how is the situation of this scene now?

    The swiss scene is kinda big :) yes. Seriously. There are a lot of people interested in the scene. Our national party, the Buenzli, even gathers about 100 ppl :) and that's nice for a small country like Switzerland.
    But there is a problem of activity, there are many people that have talent, really, but they don't use it enough, or in the right way. That's why most of the swiss sceners are just computer freaks idling around, without really bringing something interesting. There are more gamers and leechers than real demomakers. But the swiss scene has its warez scene and demo scene mixed, so, i don't want to blame the wrong people here ;) but you'll see more people gaming than coding or whatever at a swiss party.
    Anyway, there are some active people, and Calodox isn't the only group. some others are even starting releasing stuff at foreign parties (like at the dialogos'99 this year).
    I think there's still some nice future for the swiss scene, when it'll really wake up. About Calodox, we don't really try to move the swiss scene :) we just enjoy what we are doing, and if it contributes to make the swiss scene known... well, then it's cool.

    I better know the Swiss scene since i know Calodox.
    So, you're now a famous group but are you consider as the best group in the Swiss Scene? (we want truth! :-)

    Uhuhuhuh... i can't really answer to this question. We are the most active one, the most known on the international scene, and we have been 1st in the PAiN charts for "best swiss group"... so... :) but you shouldn't ask me that ;)

    How and when did you become involved in the scene?

    I got _really_ involved in the scene when I joined the austrian group OoZE Labs. Then, I met some swiss sceners on IRC, and some weeks later, I was attending my first demoparty, the Buenzli4. After that party, I realized that it would be a great idea to start an own group, and that's why we founded Calodox with Leto some months after. I don't remeber the year :) but it was 2-3 years ago. Before this time, I was already interested by the scene, mostly watching the latest demos, reading Imphobia... with that well-known "wow feeling" :)

    Have you some regrets to miss the oldschool scene?
    What do you like/dislike in the scene today and what does the scene mean to you?

    Oh... oldschool... newschool.. well, what does that really mean ? the scene has changed a lot, the demos too. The style has changed, everything has changed... but we still remains normal people. I think it's good if things change... at least if it is in the right direction. but i would say that nowadays scene is more crowded than before... the more people, the more releases, the more different things... and i don't like saying "oh, it was cooler before..", and by the way, i wasn't really active in the "oldschool" scene :) so...

    Are you boring or interesting about polemics like "scene's dying", "elite attitude",... ?

    That's exactly the kind of constructive attitude i like :)) heheh, no, really... starting such discussions, claiming that everything is going down doesn't bring a lot to our scene. We are the scene, it lives with our productions, our activity, so let's stay positive and make it rule.

    Calodox owns his feeling/design like other groups like Tpolm, Eclipse,...
    What are the -ingredients- to make a good Calodox prod'?

    Our producions are made in a really short time, that's why they are often "unfinished" :)) but the ingredients are simple, we are several people working together, we all have our weird ideas, and we manage to mix everything and create a real Calodox production. :) Leto and Dake's favourite production is "Bring It Back", and i myself really like "Hiatus"... we just like design and atmosphere. :)

    My favourite is "Bring it Back" too.
    Your group is very productive at this time! what's your secret (drug?, Sex?,... :-)?

    Actually, we have 1732 guys working for us in some old factory somewhere in Taiwan. We just have to sign the productions. We are against sex, drugs and alcohols. We are sane, doing sport every day... that's certainly our secret. Oh... and we aren't really serious, so just consider the opposite of my answer :)

    Hehe, Fun seems to be your way of life! :)
    Apart from Imphobia, do you read other diskmags? What do you think about this amount of diskmags?

    The diskmag scene has become interesting. I like latest Fleur diskmag and of course the Shine saga. Hugi is interesting, for coders :) but there's too much useless text in it to make me really enjoy reading it. But i think that Hugi has a nice potential. Oh... and PAiN rules. But it isn't a diskmag... more a lifestyle.

    Now let's focus on your skill. How did you become a graphician?

    I was coder and graphician... and we one day needed a full time graphician... Dake was graphician and coder... and we realised he was a better coder than me, so i made my best to become a better graphician than him... and he lost in a poker game, that's why i'm now the official Calodox 2D gfxian and designer :))

    Hehe. Which software do you use for drawing?

    I'm using GFX 2 for 8bit pixelling, otherwise, Photoshop. I one day tried 3DsMax, but well... I only know the basics, and I must say that I prefer 2D ;)

    Where do you get the inspiration from?

    I don't really know, it's often some pictures I see, and here we are. I like drawing faces, with different expressions... but I'm not that active as you may see, I'vent released a lot of pictures. I prefer working on team projects, like demos or intros.

    How long does it take to draw a good picture for you?

    A picture is never good :) but it depends on the picture, on the size, on the aim of the picture... it can be some minutes like several hours or days. But I never played counting the exact time I was spending on a drawing.

    When drawing, do you have a perfect vision in your mind or do you draw more freely, by letting your image evolve in whatever direction you may feel like it?

    I tried both :) most of my actual pictures are made with a more or less perfect vision... but for example, a picture like "Influence" was done without any precise idea of what I wanted to make... letting my imagination make the image evolve. I'm now more and more using this technique... I find it funnier :) You'll see that in some pictures I haven't released yet.

    I'll look forward to that ;)
    What are the most important aspects of making a great image (colors, composition, atmosphere, other aspects)?

    I don't really know, I would say all of them. I've often troubles with the color palette :) But someone studying in an art school could certainly give the right answer. I'm doing that for the fun, and I don't really care about composition rules or whatever.

    What do you find the most difficult to draw?

    Hair :) I just can't draw them.

    Which phase of your drawing do you enjoy most?

    When everything works well, when you just have to press on the mouse button or artpad and you have the result you want on the screen. It's in general in the dithering/colouring process...

    Describe in steps how do you create an image. Do you start by making a sketch on paper, or drawing directly on computer?

    Depends on the source of the image, if I decided to copy a photography (yes, sorry, I do copy :) I make the sketch on the computer, and then start colouring it, adding some volumes... etc. Most of the people do each step after the other on the whole picture... I often make a small part first... and go on from this start... why ? I don't know... I just like seeing the final result at once ;) Ohterwise, I happen to try to draw some sketch on paper first.

    What drawing tools/techniques do you use mostly?

    Under GFX2, I often draw with the Transparency FX at 40% always on. This gives this weird dithering you can find on "Influence" and "Gimme some mo' ". Otherwise, under photoshop, I'm using an artpad I just bought :) It rules, but I havent released any 24-bit picture yet. Except the Kolor logo in their intro Montana at the Dialogos'99 :)

    Which of your own images do you consider as the best one at this time?

    My favourite picture is "Influence". Because of the was I did it (I made half of it during my military service :)) I was working on a computer, so I installed gfx2 ;)) It's the only picture where I really spent a lot of time on it).

    The drawing style is different between pics like "Billtrip" and "Woody".
    Do you attempt to define your own style or do you not care?

    "Billtrip" is a very old picture, it was one of my first one :) "Woody" is quite different, because I made it for a 16 colour pixel compo. My style is more present in images like "Influence" or "Gimme some mo' ", or my new unreleased stuff ;)

    "Bunny Tell" is a text mode demo, what do you think about ascii/ansii? is there most difficult for you than 8 bits drawing?

    I don't really know, as I haven't really tried ansi/ascii drawing. The pics in bunny tell were bitmap pictures, and Dake converted them :) Bunny Tell was a Vga demo, it's an old production we never released, that's why we converted it to text mode for the TMDC3. If Ansi or ascii is more difficult... no idea.

    What a disappointment! :)
    Are you against truecolor gfx?

    No, truecolor is cool. Techniques are just changing compared to 8-bit pixelling. But we have to live with our modern world :) and there're no palette limitations with truecolor, what is great. The only problem of truecolor, is that it's easier to cheat... that's why most of gfx compos are getting worse... with more and more fakes. But not wanting to use truecolor ins't really rational... we are even already using 3D hardware for demos... so why not use the latest technology in drawing too ?

    What do you think about 3D?

    3D is really different to 2D gfx ;) I think it's more difficult to be good at 3D gfx than 2D gfx... you have to imagine everything in 3D... and be able to draw what you have in the mind with 3d primitives... brrrrr :) I'm not made for 3D :) But 3D has more future than 2D... even if 2D will always stay here for stuff like textures.

    What are your projects for the nearest future?

    My current project was making a new issue of PAiN, what is already done. Future projects are some demo or intro with calodox, certainly nothing before next year. University is starting again, freetime is getting short... sadly.

    Do you like interviews (being interviewed, reading interviews)?

    Yes and no. :) Well, it's always interesting to read ones opinion, to know him better this way... but i find that most interviews lack of pertinent questions.

    Time to close, Hello to anyone?

    Well... greetings to... err :) my calodox pals, nowadays, bomb, orange juice, tpolm, vantage, haujobb, kolor, blasphemy, popsy team, arf!stds, nomad, fudge, digital murders, sunflower, replay... #pixel, #chscene... and all the guys I forgot...

    Any final words?

    Taking part to a thing like the demoscene is a really incredible experience, but some people shouldn't forget that we are doing that for the fun ;)

    Yeah, right!
    Thank you for your time!

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