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Fondation Nicolas Hulot-Bear, 2004 and The Bug, 2003

Jean-Marie Vives has an affinity for animals, especially wild ones. Photographing the bear carried a whiff of danger, since he had to trust the guidance of a trained bear handler. Vives followed his instructions completely. Photographing the gorilla was a bit safer. That wild animal was created completely in the computer.

Vives is such a skillful artist that it was easier for him to draw the gorilla than to go to the zoo and photograph the bear. Vives created the gorilla by using a digital program called ZBrush, which is a sculpting tool that combines modeling, texturing and painting. It can be used to create three-dimensional photographs, such as this one, or can be used with more complicated media such as video, games and animation.

The gorilla’s hair is a marvel of complexity, created by a mixture of 3-D, photographic textures and digital painting. The bear’s hair was created by techniques that, even in the 21st century, are still not fully understood.

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