Interview with Prowler

by 3D Addict

    Welcome to the Prowler interview.Although, Prowler have been involved in the scene for a long time, he may not be as known as some of the other graphicians.No need to worry though, as his artisticall skills are of very high standard.The fact that he is not interested in making redraws and does his own drawings from scratch, make him even more skilled then others.Anyway, read the interview to find out more about this talented Swede :)

    3D Addict


    Tell me a little bit about yourself.

    My real name is Klas Benjaminsson. I live in Sweden, just outside Goteborg, the second largest city in Sweden on the west coast. I'm 21 years old, and I'm right now studying to a master of science degree in engineering at the "Chalmers University of Technology". Most of my time is spent here, the rest is split up between my girlfriend and my hobbies. The way things are right now, I don't seem to have any time left for anything. But I'm happy it's not the other way around.

    Please describe yourself as a person.Are you a cool type of a guy or more funny one?Do you take life seriously or are you more relaxed and live the life without thinking much about the future?

    I think that most people consider me as a rather unserious guy, but I take serious things serious and the rest as it comes. I think a lot about the future, making up big plans for everything, but mostly I end up with something completely different.

    What was your first computer, and what computer do you use now?Do you also miss the the good old days of c64 and A500?

    Well, I think it all started back at the Nintendo "Game&watch". I was just crazy about those little toys and used hours trying to complete the different games, also admirering the game design that was put into them. I guess I didn't think of it back then, but I made some drawings of own games I wanted to design when I "grew up".

    Later, I got a old Luxor TV game with 2 different games: Pong and a Arkanoid clone. This was just great! In 1986 (I think) I got my C64. The graphics and audio was stunning, but I just played games on that and made some games in Shoot'em-up construction kit. I also liked the tunes by Rob Hubbard, Jonathan Dunn etc., that I recorded tapes with SID's (it was about now people started to wonder).

    In 1990, I got my first Amiga, and I sort of grew up with Wild cooper, Star duo, Shut Berlin, Vortex 42, Plasma force, Red sector and so on... But it took a long time before I got in contact with real scenepeople. The first group was a small game team I and my friend Martin Dahlbom started on the Amiga. We made one game, "Seawar", which took one summer of REAL hard work on AMOS and DPaint (I don't think I ever have worked so hard since that).

    How and when did you become involved in the scene and when did you start drawing?

    The first contact was made with a musician called Quant of Extacy (NOT the PC-extacy). I started to draw a lot of logos for their group when they changed name to Hysteria. Nothing got ever released from them, and I never joined their group, but it was a good start.
    Some years later I went to my first party, a halloween party in Herning, which was a real mess. But I loved it! I met people like Electron, S.Duvan, Puh, Probe, the Reflex team and DuffE.
    Later I joined Reflex, but quit together with the productive part and founded Pointless. We released one musicdisk and an intro (Songs of Infinity and Illtis). 1994 I joined Passion and now it's Scoopex.

    Which hardware/software do you use for drawing, and where do you get the inspiration from?

    I use my old A1200 (original chipset) and a PC for all my graphics. Programs used are: Dpaint4AGA, PPaint, My own AMOS-coded palette fixer, Photoshop4, 3D Studio MAX.
    Inspiration comes from everything. To rank things that brings out the inspiration in me: Nature, things, people, art and last but not least music!

    How many hours a day do you spend in front of your computer, and how many of those hours are used on making gfx?

    Most of my time (like I said) is spent on the school, but in front of the computer I spend maybe 1-2 hours a day. Maybe half of this time is spent on making graphics, but I spend more time than that a day painting/drawing on paper. I think it will be a lot more this summer, as I got a job as graphic artist at the lokal TV station here. There will also be a lot of web design with Electron.

    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.
    Please describe in steps how do you create an image. Do you start by making an sketch on paper, or is everything done on the computer.

    Mostly, I work on an idea a long time in my head before I do the first rough sketch. This is often the most interesting and exiting part of the whole creation of the picture, watching it grow on the paper... If the third or fourth sketch result in the image I wanted, I scan the sketch in high resolution and works from that. Otherwise, I just start pixelling the shapes in DPaint.

    Then the shapes are beginning to get ready, I start to make some rough colouring to check the different ideas I've thought of while drawing the shapes. I mostly do this by using aquarells on paper or photoshop. When the colours are selected and the shapes are good, I start adding shadows and highlights where necessary, and also start thinking about reflections.

    The lights in the picture is also an important part, where shadows casted different can make a very cool impression without having so much of an object. This is a great advantage the 3D-artists have, as the shadows always get correct.
    I sometimes use quite easy methods to create a depth in the picture, as in Oepir#3 titlepic, where I just made things father away more darkblue and smooth. However, this is just on the idea stage yet. When I got a pretty good idea about the picture and how it will look, I start on the real picture. And this is when the hard work begins.

    I know from my own experience that it can take days and often weeks to draw a good picture.How long does it take to draw a good picture for you, and what are the most important aspects of making a great image?

    It changes quite much between each picture. Sometimes I just feel like an obligation to finish the piece once started. In those cases, the picture could take more then a month to finish. In other cases (most cases, I like to think), the picture gets more interesting as it grows.

    What do you find the most difficult to draw, and which phase of your drawing do you enjoy most. Personally I like mostly making the finishing touches when the image is about 95% complete.

    Yes, I would like to agree, but most compo pictures are "finished" one minute before deadline. As a matter of fact, I have runned to the information desk at every party I have participated in the graphics compo. Things I like to draw is mainly fantasy creations that reminds the viewer of something he or she has seen in nature. Therefore, I like to start drawing the surroundings and give the scene a good "feeling". It's often more easy to proceed this way, as the objects in the scene get's easier to design and place. A good example of this is "Floating on air" and a bad on is "Introducing heavens", where I hadn't planned for anything to be in the way of the city, but I realised that the jury probably wouldn't show it if there wasn't any objects on it (isn't life hard). I'm also very fond of logos, since you got a totally different freedom when designing.

    Do you use any special techniques.Which drawing tools and techniques do you use mostly.

    I don't really use many drawing tools or plugins while working on a picture. Tools commonly used are transelucity, rotate, scale and spray to speed up the work. Ray trace is something I want to use more, but it hasn't been time for that yet.

    Which of your own images do you consider as the best one and which was the most difficult to draw?

    I think the "Floating on air" picture is absolutely the best one,

    but the "Havok Passination" is probably the best picture done 100% by me.

    The great intro pic for Oepir Risti 8 was drawn by you and Electron.Tell about the making of it.(was it difficult to draw, was it easy to agree on everything, how did you split the work load, is it something you would like to do again, etc )Is it a redraw?

    The title pic for Oepir risti 8 is a part of the compo picture "Floating on air" by me and Electron, that took more than two months of pixelling to complete. It wasn't so complicated to draw after all, since all we had to be sure of was the palette. It took a little extra time to send it between us, but it also resulted in lots of inspiration to see what had been done.


    (click on the small images to get the full size versions)

    It was quite easy too agree on the design, as we managed to get a good idea which we both liked from the beginning. As always, not all ideas was used in the picture due to a great lack of time and planning in the end, but I think the result was quite good anyway.


    (click on the small images to get the full size versions)

    We have continued to work on it after the party, to finish up the parts which had to be better (actually, the picture in the gallery is the absolutely last version).
    The work load was 50% on me and equal on Electron, in time measurements at least, and yes, it is something I would like to do again (if the time allows).

    Well, I have to admit that "Floating on Air" is one of my most favourite, scene drawn images ever :)
    Tell me, is drawing in 8 bit color mode a limitation or a challenge for you?

    While drawing a lot of 12 colour cliparts for Oepir risti, I have got quite used to the limitations. I don't feel it like a challenge, more than drawing in 256 colours or 16 mil. colours.
    Of course, it's a big limitation while making graphics that should keep high quality, but making a clean logo for a ordinary demo doesn't need truecolor to be good.
    Pictures are often overdone or too marbled when drawn in 16 million colours. Sometimes this can be ok, but I can't say the best pictures in the scene today are true colour ones...

    What do you think about raytracing?

    I'm very interested in the idea of combining raytrace with ordinary pixelling and retouching. Clean raytraced pictures often tend to be too clean, too detailed or too marbled. I think there will be a great future for those graphics artist who learn how to combine the raytracing with the ordinary techniques.

    ....and what about redrawing?

    If I ever should come up with a swearword, this will be it! I can't understand what joy it gives the "artist" who redraws an image totally, or just adds and cuts out some parts to make it his. What's the point? I don't hate anybody for doing it, but don't you (Made, Fiver, Lazur, Danny, etc.) feel better when you can look at your picture and think: "This is really not so bad! And I made it all by myself!" ?

    For 100% redrawings, I would say that a little text in the bottom saying "Original by Tim White", or something like that, wouldn't be so bad. Redrawing can be useful while making the first pictures to learn the techniques, but making releases and signing them with handles that haven't been any part of the real artists mind is sad, mostly for the artists who don't get any credits for it.

    Being an active scener for some time now, you must have seen a lot of pics made by other graphicians.Who is your favourite graphician and why?

    I must say Facet is my favourite. He have always walked his own way and made new styles that have been original. Especially I like his RAW trailer graphics, Zwaan, and the RAW intro-, design- and title pictures. Very talented are also: Lazur, Jaco, Nazgul, DAS, Danny, Devilstar, Ra, Walt, Uno, Electron, Fade1, Uno, Destop, Louie and Cyclone.

    Do you have any favourite groups, musicians, coders, diskmags?Favourite demo?

    Groups: Kefrens, Virtual dreams, Stellar, Andromeda, Bomb
    Musicans: Tip&Mantronix, J.Kyd, Twins, Jogeir, Firefox
    Coders: Merge, Dr.Skull, Calvados, Gengis, Oxbab, Chaos
    Diskmags: Oepir risti (of course), Upstream, RAW, Stolen data
    Favourite group: Virtual dreams!

    What are your future party plans, are you heading for Remedy'97 or weird'97, other parties?

    Hmmm, unfortunately not. I haven't really had time to check up when and were the parties are, and besides that I'm pretty stuck with my work and school (phew!).
    Maybe, if these parties are perfect timed, I would love visiting! Assembly is also out of range, I'm afraid. Somebody visiting Icing '97 ???

    What does the scene mean to you, and which aspects do you like/dislike about it?

    I think it's a great subculture, maybe the best (and most organized) existing. A long time ago, I thought the scene was THE thing in life, but nowadays I feel it more like a hobby. But, it's hard to find a more interesting hobby! I will keep up making graphics for the scene as long it stays as the original scene.

    Have you ever considered a carrier as a professional graphician?(If you are already a professional graphician tell a little about you work)

    Yes. I was working in Denmark for a summer in a game company called Scavenger (made "Into the shadows", "Amok", "Sourcerer" and stuff like that). I really wanted to become a professional graphic artist when I joined with them, but unfortunatly they had a very weak organization and a little bankruptcy.

    People like Jesper Kyd, Hannibal, JADE, Dr. Skull, Mack, Walt, Merge (Laxity), Crush, Shocker, Styx and the whole crew of old Triton worked there, so it was a great place to end up. But what the heck, life goes on...
    This summer I'm going to work as a graphican at the lokal TV in Goteborg. I'm really excited how this is going to be.

    What are your other interests/hobbies, besides your scene activities?

    Most of my time is spent with my lovely girlfriend (who has been present on one party!). Besides that, I like to spend my time drawing, painting, on in-lines, snowboard, badminton and long distance running. Music is also a very important part, but unfortunately I'm totally tonedeath (I would rather have been a musican than a graphics artist).

    Who are your favourite artists outside the scene?

    Syd Mead, Boris Vallejo, Melvyn Grant and Hajime Sorayama is totally outstanding !
    Excellent are also Jim Burns, Chris Foss, Frank Franzetta, Tim White, Roger Dean and Angus McKie.

    Do you believe in God?What is the meaning of life?

    Yes, but not in the ordinary sense. Meaning of live? Never heard of it. Well, I think this interview could grow rather big if I started with my thoughts of it, but meaning right now is to live (and live good).

    One last question: how did you come up with your handle/alias?

    Ahemm... well, a rainy day under a tree I was cought with a dictionary, so... Previous handles have been: Dominator and Moon Knight. (I'm NOT proud, but I think I chose the right one).

    Would you like to say Hello to anyone?

    First of all to my lovely Maria!
    Secondly to all hard working artist who want to draw for the joy of it, and to all talented musicians who give me such good inspiration, and to all good coders who makes the scene possible!
    And a bunch of small hellos to (I have to take the chance now!): Electron, Boogeyman, Puh, S.Duvan, Shocker, Styx, Merge, Slide, Pnut, Torgeir, Zod, Incido, Ache&Nrg, Mega, Origo, Frame, DuffE, Exon, Wade, Louie, Rodney, Danny, Chevron and Starwatcher. (That's almost a ordinary greetings list!)

    Thank you for your time, and best of all in your future plans as a graphician. :)

    Thank you, and the same to you! (Your renders are wonderful!)

    Thank you :)

    check out Prowler gallery

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