Starting the new term back, we were challenged to research different types of 3D artists, including a 3D prop/ environment artist, a VFX artist and a 3D character artist. In doing so we can gain some insight into their workflow and possibly apply their techniques to improve our own work. The artists I tend to be influenced by only include 2D illustrators that are comfortable using digital painting programmes or traditional media, so it was beneficial for me to open my mind to new types of artists rather than staying in my comfort zone and not experiencing creativity among different mediums.
Shawn Wang – VFX
Wang is a 3D generalist based in Shanghai with a keen interest in VFX work, some of his most well-known works include the award winning short film “Planet Unknown” which was animated over 11 months. What inspires me most about his work is his breath-taking attention to detail, especially in regards to his portrayal of machinery and visual effects. I can really appreciate the photo realism in his work and the emotional impact this can create, he spends an excruciating amount of time and determination on his work to give life to his creations.
Planet Unknown Short Film – http://www.studentshow.com/gallery/43158829/Planet-Unknown-(Short-film)
What makes his VFX work even more impressive is that Wang is a self-taught artist, despite learning some basic 3D fundamentals in high school and in the beginning had a keen interest in photography. He uses online resources and tutorials from websites and YouTube like I have in trying to learn how to digitally paint, which gives me hope that maybe one day with lots of practice I could try and reach a high level of animation like him.
Programmes that Wang seems to use most frequently is Cinema 4D, Z Brush and After Effects, he even creates some resources on his Tumblr for artists to use as well as providing some information on his workflow and process.
Flame Force images – http://www.studentshow.com/gallery/44909685/Flame-Force-705
Interview with Shawn Wang – http://idearocketanimation.com/11656-interviews-animators-shawn-wang/
Shawn Wang’s Tumblr – http://lab.shawnwangvfx.com/tagged/customtools
Helder Pinto – 3D Environment Artist
Helder Pinto is a 3D artist who originates from Portugal, with over nine years of experience within the professional video game industry. I discovered this 3D environment artist through their impeccable designs in my favourite game Overwatch, not only have I seen how inspiring their world building designs are, I’ve got to explore and experience them first hand through gaming. Similarly, to Shawn Wang, Pinto also incorporates his passion for photography into his work through the programme light room, to try and improve how I visualise scenes and composition, I should also try to experiment with photography in the future. Like myself, Pinto was a huge fan of the company Blizzard Entertainment and their incredibly successful games such as World of Warcraft, one of his blog posts in 2012 announcing his new project with Blizzard really struck a chord with me. “Keep dreaming and working hard on the things you’re most passionate about, good things happen to those who work hard, and remember, that obstacles are no more than those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your foals, so keep focused! Live the dream.” I want to have the same amount of passion regarding my workflow as Pinto to achieve my dreams of success within the industry of gaming or animation in general.
When scoping through his website I also discovered numerous free tutorials and training videos regarding the subject of 3D environments, including some DVD’s that explain his designing process as well as introductions to different 3D software.
Overwatch Environment work – http://www.helderpinto.com/professional-work/
Pinto’s Blog – http://www.helderpinto.com/blog/
Renaud Galand – 3D Character Artist
Another aspect I love about Overwatch is the creatively fun character designs produced by Blizzard Entertainment’s lead character artist for the game, Renaud Galand. On his Art station profile, he outlines his lists of duties as a lead character artist to not only boost his work flow but also the morale of the team.
-Helping the team define the entire character pipeline (initial prototyping, look, problem solving, shader requests, documentation, etc.)
-Helping the art director and the other art leads translating the Overwatch art style for our characters in 3D.
-Interacting with all other departments (game designers, engineers, producers, etc.) On a daily basis to ensure a smooth, efficient, optimized and “directed” character pipeline.
-Mentoring and on boarding of newcomers and other character artists in the team.
-Creation of high poly character models and their real-time equivalents.
-3D concept sculpting.
The use of diversity to create interesting characters has really influenced how I approach character design, especially when using 3D as a medium to portray this. The characters within Overwatch do follow stereotypes but uses this as a positive affluence more than a hindrance, each character has a distinctive shape and style that helps to define them in a unique and original way.
Tracer and Zenyatta Designs – http://www.deadlytoys-studio.com/?p=363
Renaud Galand Art Station – https://www.artstation.com/artist/renaudgaland