Meet Eliot Poulter aka PTG FOX, the only artist worldwide to animate in the Forza livery paint tool.
Photo credit: PTG FOX
In October 2019, a small video made Forza livery painters’ jaws drop. It shows a car in the game’s painting tool, but not with a usual livery. A moving Lego figure appears at the side of the car and paints Banksy’s “Flower Thrower”. Never had anybody done something like this before.
Have you ever wondered how far you can push the creative boundaries of the paint booth pic.twitter.com/BdGeltfLd2— PTG FOX (@For_Fox_Ache) October 10, 2019
The artist behind this seminal video is driven by the constant urge to break the boundaries of the Forza paint booth, creating what all others thought was impossible. Meet Eliot Poulter, better known as PTG Fox.
The painting punk rocker
From an early age, it was clear that Eliot had lots of creative talent to evolve. “As a child, I was drawing everything. I always had pen and pencil in my hand,” the 43-year-old tells. But art was not the only creative outlet for Eliot who works as a full-time chef in a restaurant. He became the lead guitarist in a punk band called Product Recall, who released a record in 2009. “It is Nirvana with an attitude,” the Englishman tells us, smiling.
But the band did not stay together. Soon, the father of six children found himself “lost in a creative wilderness,” as he recounts. “I had so much stuff I wanted to do, but I did not have the means to do it.” It was at that time when the Xbox One came out and Eliot got his hands on Forza Motorsport 5.
After completing the racing part of the game, the artist discovered the paint booth: “I saw people doing some crazy portraits and also some weird stuff on the cars and I was like: ‘I want to do that!’ And that’s where it all began”.
Fox was born. And the new livery artist made a lightning start straight away. His first work in Forza was a black and white portrait of Prince. “It came out almost perfectly,” Fox says today.
How his teacher became his friend
However, after getting started, Fox was eager to improve his skills with one goal: “From then, I wanted to make a name for myself in the community.” Seeing what other people were able to create in the Forza paint booth motivated him to educate himself. This lead him to the Twitch channel of PTG Stuzib85, who was doing livery tutorial streams at that time (and recently also made one for OverTake!).
“Stuzib is the reason why I can paint the way I can. Because he taught me via Twitch,” he states. But the two would not remain pupil and teacher. As they met more and more in Stuzib’s Twitch channel, a friendship quickly emerged. “We contacted each other every day,” Fox remembers. Today, Stuzib and him have a weekly Twitch live show each Wednesday, in which they work on their paint jobs together.
Joining an artists’ guild
It was also Stuzib who opened a very special door for his friend, possibly the most important one in his career as a livery painter. With his help, Eliot joined Pendulum Tuning Garage in 2015. Fox became PTG Fox.
Pendulum Tuning Garage is no ordinary club of Forza players. In fact, it is the most recognized community of content creators in the game, and a very exclusive one. It has only about 50 members, and an invitation is mandatory to join the club. “PTG is like a one-stop-shop for Forza. We have painters, photographers, tuners, route creators and so on. There is no better team to be in. Everyone is so concentrated on their creation.”
Joining Pendulum Tuning Garage was a “pinnacle moment” of his career, Fox remembers that he was “very proud.” With so many talented creators around him, Eliot was one step closer to reaching the perfection he wanted to have in his liveries. “Our primary goal is to have the best content,” he explains. To do so, the members of PTG meet on Discord daily, sharing little pieces of advice, techniques, and suggestions.
“They really help me to polish my work, to add that little extra ten percent of detail.” Working alongside all those talented people pushed the Englishman’s desire to challenge himself and deliver truly unique artworks. “Surrounding yourself with greatness will only help to improve yourself. If you work for Rolls Royce, you’re not going to make a Ford Fiesta.”
But his biggest motivation is not becoming famous or a big star within the community. “I want to impress the people that impressed me. It’s the chance to make my peers say, ‘what the hell was that?’” And that’s exactly what he did when he revolutionized the use of the Forza paint tool, making him a legend in the community inside and outside Pendulum Tuning Garage.
The next level: more than just liveries
After creating more than 400 portraits, Eliot started to feel bored about the stuff he had been creating for so long. “I was doing a speed paint video of a Beavis and Butthead livery. But I had seen a million of them. There was nothing new, nothing special about it. So, I thought it would be cool if I get Beavis to slap Butthead.” But how could he do that?
Fox began to research the topic of stop motion animations. He quickly dropped Beavis and Butthead and started to experiment with some of his finished vinyls to see if you could really animate them. “To my surprise it actually worked, and it was quite fluid.”
The painter then began to work on that Banksy video which came as a real bombshell. It took him around 90 hours of research, painting and putting together the images until his first Forza paint booth animation was finished. “The logistics of that were very difficult.” But the reactions were worth all the effort.
There is a fine line between crazy and genius….. You, my friend, are both!!— PTG Stuzib85 (@stuzib85) October 12, 2019
Some people would now rest on their laurels. But not Eliot, not PTG Fox. In fact, he went to outshine his own video with an even more impressive one just a year later.
Paint-Khana: doing the impossible
14 seconds. That is how long the animation is which PTG Fox released in June 2020. A car drives down a road, drifts around a moving train and then pulls away. It might not sound like a revolution, yet it is the most outstanding piece of art ever created in the Forza livery editor, if you believe the reactions within the community.
It took Eliot 1000 hours of work to create the 14 second short clip. “Every frame is freshly painted, there is no transcending from one frame to the other.” Paint-Khana, as he calls the video, is the perfect example of why so many Forza livery creators look up to PTG Fox. “I’m challenging myself to do something that has never been done, that I have never done,” the artist adds.
For Eliot, the finish line is not even in sight: “My goal is to animate a full on-board lap of Ayrton Senna around Monaco.” But he explains that to do so, the Forza paint booth needs to get rid of the 3000-layer limit. “It needs to be perfect.”
Eliot Poulter has just started taking the Forza paint booth to a new level. And even though the game does not allow him to take on his dream project at the moment, we must expect him to break boundaries once again, but not because he wants us or his peers to be impressed. He just wants to prove to himself that he is able to do it again: “I am not comparing myself to anybody else. My goal is just to be the best that I can be.”
What is your favorite Forza livery? What do you think about PTG Fox’s work? Tweet us your opinion @overtake_gg!