EVE Artists: An Interview with Corrin Mor

2020-12-08

Art by Cryo Huren

It’s a common adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, and if that’s the case then Corrin Mor’s animated gifs and video creations could fill the Library of Congress.

Corrin runs the EVE Creative Discord and helps mentor and encourage a lot of the creative community in EVE Online. He is an inspiration to many current and prospective artists in New Eden, and his art routinely appears in videos from several content creators on YouTube – including Arataka Research Consortium, who are working fervently to further the lore of EVE Online.

(If you’re looking for assets for your own creative efforts, Corrin recommends you join the Discord and connect with the many great artists there.)

What follows are just a few examples of his splendid animations over the years. These are just a very small selection of his works, in no particular order. You can see more at his website. Of his varied and changing GIFs and videos over the years, Corrin has said they provide him ‘a fun space to explore new styles or learn new bits of software’.

If you are an aspiring artist yourself, you may want to emulate this approach and adopt an eager approach to experimentation.

We asked Corrin the same questions we have previously posed to RixxJavix and Razorien/CCP Aperture; Corrin’s responses follow, below.

For those new to EVE or to the community, can you tell me what got you started with creating artwork of EVE? What inspired you?

I started making EVE gifs back in 2016. At the time I was working as a video editor, and I was trying to train myself up in After Effects and Cinema 4D so I could do more motion graphics work. I knew that fellow EVE Online players had hacked all the ship models out of the client, and using them to make little animations just seemed like a great way to train myself up in the software and have some fun at the same time.

Initially I didn’t really know how to use textures, so I went for this wireframe, Tron-esque style that kinda worked. I shared what I was doing on Twitter, and even though the work was pretty ropey in a technical sense, I think people responded to seeing their favourite Eve ships rendered in an unusual style. I had some early fans in Neville Smit, Rixx Javix, and Manic Velocity.

They were kind enough to share my work and suddenly I had a little audience cheering me on. It really lit a fire under my arse and made me want to keep going and get better. Since then I’ve moved into motion graphics design full-time as a freelancer, and my EVE artwork definitely had an impact on that. It made me practice more, the community encouragement gave me confidence, and it even provided a few portfolio pieces. The title sequence I made for the Alliance Tournament livestream is still on my showreel!

Can you tell us about your process, and how you decide about what to depict?

Creatively, it’s just a lot of fun. The ship models are a really beautiful starting point, and from there I just run wild with whatever I think would look cool. I love blueprints and diagrams and infographics, sci-fi interfaces and wireframe animations, racing cars and fighter jets. And I love running around the house with Lego spaceship models. As a kid, I mean. I loved doing that as a kid. “Clears throat”.

Do you use any special tools or peripherals to help you in your process?

Software-wise, everything’s always been done through Cinema4D and After Effects, although the exact workflow has changed over time. Right now I’m experimenting with rendering engines. I’m using Redshift to try and make the ships look as beautiful as I possibly can – like a classic car or a Rolex.

At the same time I’m having a lot of fun using the toon shader in Arnold, which can make the ships look like a Moebius illustration or a Manga comic.

How long have you been playing EVE, and when you’re not animating spaceships or designing propaganda, what’s your favorite thing to do to pass the time?

I’ve been fascinated by EVE for a really long time, and I created my first character back in maybe 2006. But if I’m honest I struggled to get into the gameplay, and I kept starting, drifting away, trying again, and giving up. It wasn’t until 2016 and Corrin Mor that the game really stuck, and honestly it was the artwork that did it, because it was a way to get involved with the community.

On a basic level I’m an absolutely appalling player – I’m really clueless in-game and all I really know how to do is run exploration sites in NPC nullsec. But because of the artwork I’ve made a name for myself in New Eden, I’ve made more ISK than I could ever spend doing corp propaganda and station billboards, I run the EVE Creatives Discord community and I’ve met a tonne of amazing people at meetups, some of whom have become great friends.

I absolutely love that you can be a successful EVE player whilst actually sucking as a pilot. Is there any other game out there like that?

Do you think there is room for more support from CCP in the way of art assets, media, and other resources for players who want to get creative outside of the game?

I do hear players asking for more support for fan art in the form of assets or tools, and if I’m honest it bugs me a bit. We’re a smart and resourceful community and we’ve hacked absolutely everything we can out of the client already! All the assets you could ever need are freely available if you ask around.

If you had a ‘magic wand’ or ‘enchanted gavel’ and you could just make one thing true in New Eden or the game client (from an artist’s perspective), what would you change or produce?

The Partnership Program looks fantastic, and that’s the kind of support I think CCP should be providing. In terms of assets or tools, we’re a smart and resourceful community and we’ve hacked absolutely everything we can out of the client already.

Occasionally I hear people mention ‘Jessica’ – CCP’s in-house cinematics tool, but that’s really just part of a pipeline with Maya. If you want to make your own EVE animations, you’d be far better off with a copy of Blender or Unreal.

I’m sad that player-submitted billboards are gone, and I’d love them to be brought back in some form. The quality of the animation wasn’t always super high, but it was a thrill to see your corp’s billboard running in a station, and knowing that all the billboards were from real player organisations made the game feel very alive.

The above video was created by Corrin Mor in 2016 for a Station Billboard entry for Iron Armada (the alliance), for Iron.Guard [FE-SR]. Corrin created many such videos

What advice would you give to other creatives wanting to start making art from EVE?

Seems like a good time to plug the EVE Creative Discord. There are people in that server discussing video editing, 2D, 3D, traditional art, web development, creative writing, absolutely everything connected with EVE. It’s a great place to start.

Here’s a video of the process for creating a 6-second animated gif file, which took 3 hours and 40 minutes. There are more videos on my YouTube channel.

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