Paul was born in 1966 in Ft. Worth Texas, youngest of seven children. At age 13, he apprenticed in his father's workshop repairing and rebuilding heavy machinery until entering college at UT Austin in 1984, where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. He worked the following decade as a Lead Mechanical Engineer at Texas Nuclear until 1995, when he switched careers to follow his passion for art, and became a Lead Character Artist and Art Director in the gaming industry the next 12 years. In 2005, Paul began figurative sculpting as his hobby and passion, and retired from professional work and embarked on a 12-year journey to build his own foundry and master the art of lost-wax bronze casting. Recently, he's added custom jewelry design, precious metals casting and manufacturing to his foundry process.
I've been an artist and engineer most of my life. As a youth, I was fascinated by figurative art, masterpieces by DaVinci, Michelangelo, Bernini, and the ancient Greeks, which inspire me to this day. My art primarily focuses on the human form. To me, nothing rivals the beauty and mechanics of the human body.
My mom was a devout Catholic and taught me about faith. My father was a master mechanic and instilled the German philosophy of quality in my work. My art often combines my faith with engineering.
Retiring from professional work 15 years ago, I started sculpting classical figures in bronze as my hobby and passion. In 2012, I built my own bronze casting foundry to produce my own sculptures. Few sculptors can do this, but I'm ever pushing the limit as to what I can do. It's incredible to work the entire process, from vision to finished piece, knowing everything blind-folded even. I enlist the help of family or friends pouring bronze (a two or three-man operation lasting 10 minutes) but I perform all other foundry work myself (often 6 months per sculpture).
Sculpting's easy compared to the work required to reproduce it in bronze! Foundry work is precise, technical, tedious, time consuming and expensive. So many steps must function perfectly with little room for error, and mistakes are costly. Staring into radiant white-hot molten bronze above 2000 °F is mesmerizing and when the pour goes right it's exhilarating!
It's taken me over a decade to master the lost-wax foundry process and cast with perfection, but the learning never ends, and on every single casting I learn something new, something to be improved. I learned much from second-generation foundry master John Kasson.
Sometimes I sculpt in clay, yet always prefer digital sculpting and 3D printing whenever possible. I've designed with CAD software 30 years, and it's usually the best technique for my projects. I can do things digitally that are impossible or take forever to do by hand in wax or clay.
Working as a engineer and character artist for three decades, I designed numerous precision parts and organic digital character models using hi-end CAD software, acquiring a vast array of modeling techniques. I now design sculpture and jewelry using CAD, specifically with Autodesk 3D Studio Max and Pixologic ZBrush. Coupled with phenomenal advances in 3D printer technology, including the high-resolution Solidscape printer I just acquired, it's an exciting time to see what I can do!
Thanks for visiting, and God Bless! - Paul Ray Effinger
- 2015 Texas Art Hop, Georgetown, TX
- 2014 Texas Art Hop, Georgetown, TX
- 2014 Catholic Diocese of Austin Sacred Art Gallery, Exhibit XII, Austin, TX
- 2013 Texas Art Hop Juried Competition: Best of Show, Georgetown, TX
- 2013 Texas Society of Sculptors, Juried Competition: 2nd Place, Fredericksburg, TX
- 2010 Catholic Diocese of Austin Sacred Art Gallery, Exhibit IV, Austin, TX
- 2008 Austin Museum of Fine Art, Fall Show, Austin, TX
- 2007 Texas Society of Sculptors Sculptfest, Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin, TX
- 2007 Texas Society of Sculptors Spring Exhibition, Flat Creek Winery, Lago Vista, TX
- 2006 Texas Society of Sculptors Sculptfest, Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin, TX
"No one, and I mean no one, makes a bronze like this (Volnus) of such quality as their first casting!" - John Kasson, Owner, Kassons Castings
“Your work is awesome!! These look great, my vision is really coming to life!! It’s looking more and more like I envisioned it. I can’t draw at all, but you’ve translated my ideas into something very real! You’ve done an outstanding job on this project!! You have truly exceeded my expectations as a designer and I'm proud to have you on my team. Keep up the great work!” - Jordan c. Samfield, CEO & Owner, Man Claw Enterprises
“Here is my sketching for what’s in my head... I’m a bad artist, and you can see why I have hired you. You came highly recommended.”
”You’re design is right on! You’ve got the ship’s hull geometry exactly as I imagined!” - John-Paul Pack, CEO and Founder: Pack Starship Industries LLC
“First of all, OH MY GOD! She’s already so cute! You're doing a super fantastic job!” Paul, you are amazing!!! Thank you SO much!!! Sending you a BIG cyber hug!! Looking forward to making this little rockstar and many more, a reality!!!” - Heather Sanders, Owner, Bloom World Toys
“Wow! This looks so beautiful, and what a wonderful presentation.” - Scott Patrick, Casting Product Development, Rio Grande Mfg R&D
“Great Job! The detail came out amazing.. even the tears on the face came out.. the detail is truly amazing!” - Jim E. Mataich, Owner JEM Jewelry Inc.
Education: University of Texas at Austin: Mechanical Engineering
Figurative Sculptor, CAD Designer, & Bronze Founder (2007 - Present)
- Master Figurative Bronze Sculptor
- Designed and built my own Fine Arts Bronze Foundry with Ceramic Shell Technology
- Specialized in Precision Bronze and Precious Metals Casting from Digital Media
- Specialized in Ultra-Resolution Precision Organic 3D CAD Modeling, 3D Printing & Prototyping
- 30 years of Mechanical Engineering & CAD Design Experience
Freelance Senior Character Designer & Independant Game Development Contractor (2004–2007)
- Independant Contractor for Liquid Development Studios for several years
- Completed numerous freelance game development contracts as Senior Character Designer
Lead Artist, Ionstorm, Austin, TX (5 September 2000 – 15 October 2003)
- Lead Character Artist and Animator on Deus Ex II published on the X-Box platform by Microsoft.
- developed actors’ script and directed mocap sessions with Locomotion Studios.
- developed advanced layering procedures for application of mocap using Character Studio and Max.
- developed skeletal specs and techniques to implement characters and animations into the Unreal Warfare Engine
- developed facial animation specs and implementation using Lipsync and Impersonator facial packages
Lead Artist, Digital Anvil, Austin, TX (5 January 1999 – 5 September 2000)
- Lead Character Artist and Animator on Brute Force published on the X-Box platform by Microsoft.
- developed actors’ script and directed motion capture (mocap) sessions with Locomotion Studios.
- developed advanced procedures for application of mocap using Character Studio and Max.
- developed skeletal specs and techniques to implement real-time patch-charactors into the Brute Force engine
Lead Artist, Hypnos Entertainment, Austin, TX (1 June 1998 – 31 December 1998)
- Lead Character Artist and Animator on Jack Nicklaus 6 Golden Bear Challenge published by ActiVision March, 99.
- designed, modeled, textured, and animated all 3D golfer models using mocap provided by the House of Moves.
- directed and coordinated all character artwork used in the game.
- developed all procedures for application of mocap using Character Studio 2.0 and Max.
Art Director, Eclipse Entertainment, Austin, TX (3 February 1997 - 31 May 1998)
- responsible for: recruiting, scheduling, and directing the art staff; researching, evaluating and recommending software tools for the art dept.; and directing motion capture sessions. Other responsibilities included: creating, mapping and texturing low-poly nurb models for real-time gameplay; developing specs for skeletal hierarchies and specs for our in-house skeletal deformation system; training the art staff on how to attach and correct motion capture data applied to single-skinned models using 3D Studio Max and Character Studio.
- Lead Character Artist and Animator for Jack Nicholas Golf 5 published by Accolade 11/97
Lead Artist, Maxis South, Austin, TX (13 May 1996 - 1 February 1997)
- Lead Artist for Marble Drop published by Maxis April '97.
- created all palettes, 3D and 2D special effects
- created complex, mapped, and textured 3D meshes used for pre-rendered images
- developed the methods to use custom palettes for the game
- determined viewport angles for isometric rendering and 3D space requirements to construct puzzles
Lead Mechanical Engineer, Texas Nuclear, Austin, TX (7 November 1988 - 16 February 1996)
- Lead Engineer in Mercuric-Iodide Semiconductor Laboratory
- designed precision lab equipment in a high-tech environment for creating semi-conductors
- maintained all digital controllers, furnaces, high-vacuum systems, environmental controls, and computers
- performed data analysis for senior engineers and scientists