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Interview with Meats Meier – the Cult Person in 3D Art History June 20, 2008

Remember this day, my dear friends, as only once in your life you get a chance to see the exclusive interview with an outstanding person. I’m talking about an apostle of 3D Art, a cult person and someone that thousands of fans admire. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the one and only – MEATS MEIER. He is an author of tons of learning courses for 3D software, he has been involved into working on such blockbusters as “Hellboy” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. This 3D guru with tons of different awards is currently a freelance illustrator and animator living in Downtown Los Angeles, California. For more general info about Meats you may visit his website –


He is also an author of “Last of the Leaves” work which should be familiar to you from the first part of our greatest 3D robots – “22 of the Most Striking 3D Robots Ever“:


the last of the leaves

“The Last of the Leaves” by Meats Meier


Well, enough of introductions I guess :) Time for the real deal – here comes the interview!


* * *


When you are involved into commercial projects what is more important to you – your personal vision of arts or a customer’s opinion?


While there will always be a major struggle between the two when working with a client, the client’s needs come first because of the commercial project. It can be further complicated when that client has come to me for my particular style, and then make so many changes that I can no longer consider it “mine”. It really never is a problem for me although, I check my ego at the door when working with clients.


During a paid project, I am a production artist completely, and my only goal is to make sure the end project is what they want and need. If my client is happy, I am happy. When I want to be a pure artist, I just sit at home and create without boundaries, which I do very often.


levis copper
Meats Meier – Levi’s Copper


Being an author to many tutorials and learning courses do you consider yourself a cult person, an influential apostle that the people will follow?


I’m mainly just a guy who loves to learn and figure out new things and better ways of working. I’m not afraid to “open the hood” of software and see what makes it tick. I’ve also got the bonus of knowing many of the amazing people behind a lot of the top 3d applications. When I started my “Introduction to Zbrush” DVD, the creator of Zbrush, Ofer Alon, made a visit to my house to personally demonstrate some of his favorite tips and tricks. If people trust me and want to learn from me, that is a very rewarding feeling.


zbrush cover
DVD Cover for the learning course by Meats


Another learning course DVD cover


Zbrush For Illustration cover

‘ZBrush for Illustrations’ by Meats Meier – DVD Cover.


They say that you haven’t put a pencil down since the time you drew Superman when you were two. Do you still have that picture so that we could show it to our audience?


Yeah, I do have it, actually. My parents were always super supportive of my art path growing up, they saved most of the things that I would make.


Meats Meier’s first work – ‘Superman’


You were involved into producing “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” and “Hellboy” as a technical director and compositor. What exactly was your part of a big job? Maybe you could even provide some kind of screen shots to us?


I worked at the “Orphanage” in San Francisco, and they enjoy the “one person, one shot” work flow.
I tried to do as much as possible on any shot given to me, all the way down to the final composite. My main focus on Hell Boy was the look development of the “Hell Hole” which is shown at the beginning of the film, I believe it was in 60 or so shots. I set it up so that other artists could drop it into their own shots and make it work. Working on films is very challenging, it takes a huge effort from many, many people. In the end, I enjoy working on smaller projects, and by myself…at least for now.


hell hole from ‘Hellboy’ movie
“Hell Hole” – Meats’s part of ‘Hellboy’ movie


You were also involved into numerous famous projects (cooperation with TOOL, cinema etc.). What of this professional experiences did you enjoy the most? And what is the one you are proud of the most?


I feel very lucky to be involved with the band TOOL (and Maynard side project band Puscifer). I worked on live concert animations for their last tour and seeing them projected onto 60 foot screens during their show was beyond amazing to me. One of the projects that I am most proud of are the two stereoscopic images that I did for the band’s “10,000 Days” CD art. The CD packaging itself won a grammy for Adam Jones and the band. I was also art directed on the project by Alex Grey, which was fun for me.


Reaching TOOL - CD Cover
TOOL CD Cover by Meats Meier


I’ve done a couple of music video for Puscifer, which I’m proud of as well (see the “Dozo” or the “Queen B” music videos on YouTube).


puscifer doZo

Puscifer – ‘DOZO’ CD Cover by Meats Meier


Which one of your 3D works is the most special for you personally and why?


It must be my “Mother Nature” image that I did several years ago. She has been on the cover of several magazines, books, and posters. She was the catalyst for my most recent image “The Animation Mother” which is the face for the Siggraph Animation Festival this year. I was asked to “evolve” her, which is the theme of this year’s festival.


mother nature
“Mother Nature” by Meats Meier


mother nature animation
Animating “Mother Nature”


You are tremendously productive as an artist. And every artist has his own inspiration source. Where do you get all this inspiration from? That must have been some gigantic muse or something? :)


Really, the thing that is pushing me the hardest now is the thought of being able to be a pioneer in a new art field. This field is just a baby right now. I look at artists that just draw or paint and I think “wow, that tool has not changed in a 1000 years”. Everyone has figured out how to use a pencil or brush and it will work the same way 1000 years from now. It’s exciting to me to think of the constant evolution of my tools, and I very much want to be a part of that transformation into an elegant and efficient creation process. Of course I always stay familiar with the traditional tools as well, there is a benefit to using a fully mature tool.



‘Artbot’ by Meats Meier


What are your predictions on where the 3D world is moving? What are we going to see in ten years instead of the 3D that we see today? And what do you think is your personal role in this evolving process?


Real time creation and rendering is the holy grail of the 3d world and we are getting closer and closer to that point every day. The computers are getting faster and faster and we are seeing less and less of a resistance to 3d art in general as more people actually try it and see that the computer really doesn’t create the art for you.
The “Killer app” of the 3d world will be full holographic 3d to view content with full form. Holographic art (such as RabbitHoles), desktop 3d scanning and printing, and immersive video games also will take hold of the planet.


Hologram by Meats Meier


* * *


We cannot express how grateful to Meats we are. This truly has been a great interview with the brilliant person. We hope you enjoyed it. As always, a lot of other interesting stuff is still to come. See you soon.



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  • Fred

    There are far more talented 3d artists than this guy. Why are you touting him as the most famous or best 3d artist? He is not that good and his works are similar to the works by Gil Bruvel. If he is considered the best then maybe I should get back into 3d.

  • David

    I don’t think he is the best – but he is really good. I don’t this his works suck. Fred – please post something you did yourself before saying bad about someone.

  • admin

    Fred, Meats Meier is indeed one the top 3D artists in the world today. The demand for his works proves that.
    Go ahead and come back into 3d – if you will do at least as good as Meats we will be honored to post an interview with you at our blog :)

  • Fred

    Does this look familiar?
    It was done almost a decade earlier. Meats is just a hack copycat that has found some mild success in biting others work.
    Ask any real working 3d artist and they will tell you he isn’t even close to one of the top 3d artists.

  • Ulysses

    Fred, I agree. It’s done once, why re-tread. On that same note, let’s do away with the kick on the one and the snare on two in music…Everything in music is so HACKED!! No one will ever do songs like (Insert favorite band here) It’s all been done DECADES earlier…And vocals, let’s get rid of vocals. Oh and photography…nude photos, I’ve seen enough nude photo hacks..I never want to see another beautiful nude woman…what hacks!!

    Face it, this guy does great work!

  • Fred

    There’s a difference between being influenced and copying. His entire style is based on this work. It would be nice if he acknowledged that his success is due in part to the work he blatantly copied.

  • admin

    Fred, first of all I wouldn’t say that Meats’s style has been copied from that work. There is something similar, but that’s not copying (after all otherwise there should have been a copyright scandal by now).
    Second is that even if there is some extent of similarity it’s a legally permissible level. And it’s ok if some artist’s works have been influenced or inspired by someone else’s creativity. It’s great if someone can accumulate the best parts from all over the world of arts and therefore improve what he has taken.

  • faithless

    Dear Fred, I understand your distaste and frustration in trying to make it as an artist in this world, where just about everything has been done before. I believe what makes an exceptional artist (I am not one, unfortunately) is when one can let go of the ego, develop an appreciation for all forms of creation, work diligently, and to produce consistent, evocative result. You may not appreciate his work as most of us do, which is completely acceptable, but in end, his work has evoked an emotion in you, and if it causes you to strive to become a better artist, then I imagine Meats would be just as satisfied with your reaction as he would be with a positive one. Hats off to your passion, I’m sure you will put it to good use.

  • Jesper

    Maybe I am missing something, I don’t really see the big “bite” you are talking about..the images posted here have no relation to the link you made.

    Btw, I can see why you gave up on 3d, that stuff is hard! It’s much easier to be an internet troll for sure…

  • fortified

    This is some of the most innovative and inspirational stuff I’ve seen in a very long time. Meats style is truly unique and 100% his own. It’s like seeing a lichtenstein, alex grey or giger painting, you immediately know the artist that painted it without ever having been told. While it’s true there are certainly some other very talented 3-d artists out there, I can’t think of any with such a recognizable signature style as Meats work. Really cool, thanks for the interview,

  • Dane

    Im just blown away on the amount of insanity that exists in Meats’ work, Completely Insane but still composed with organic subtleties. …. Out of control yet contained….Its like great music, for your eyes and your imagination.

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