Monday, July 1st, 2019 by Julian Karsunky
Don’t look so grim now! There’s plenty of reason to lighten up, as it’s once again time for us to proudly introduce our July 2019 3D Artist of the Month! Talented Vinicius Favero lets his fierce ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’ hammer home the fact that the Brazilian character artist is a force to reckon with. Unlike the blue-skinned giant, Vinicius has a delicate touch when it comes to his craft, meticulously poring over the smallest of details.
In our interview, Vinicius talks about the anatomy of character creation, relocating to Canada and renaissance influences. When you’re done reading, be sure to check out our exclusive making-of as well!
Based on a 2D sketch by Yuming Yin, the ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’ hails from the eponymous holy mountain in the Transhimalaya.
Hi Vinicius, thanks for joining us! To start things off, please introduce yourself to our readers!
Hi everybody! My name is Vinicius Favero, I'm a 32-years-old character artist from Brazil, currently living in Vancouver, Canada.
Can you briefly recap how you first took interest in CGI and the journey it took to get where you are today?
From my first comic books to state-of-the-art technology, I have always been passionate about art in all its facets. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to do something art-related, but at the time, I was still unsure what exactly.
In 2004, I had decided on studying industrial design, which gave me some directions as to product and graphic design. Back then, CGI in Brazil was still in its infancy, and with this being the dark ages before YouTube, we didn’t have much access to software or training material. I was about ready to nosedive into the art market as a concept artist or comic illustrator, when I was introduced to 3ds Max during one of my courses. It was my teacher Rodrigo Assaf, who first showed me the true potential of 3D software within creative hands.
After some time working as art director at a retail company, during which I occasionally had the chance to work with 3D, I decided to fully commit and take my skill to a professional level. Subsequently, I found a job as a 3D generalist at an advertisement agency, which had me do everything from archviz, to product and character design and even animation.
During the six years working there, I studied hard to become proficient with the most recent software and techniques. Eventually, I took a chance and went freelance as a character artist, which was a field I had become more and more invested in over time.
What are some of your personal highlights in your working life thus far?
Without a doubt, landing my very first gig as a freelance character artist at Gameloft! That was the moment I fully realized that this was the path I wanted to follow.
The backside of the ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’, showing more of his gear.
In 2018, you participated in the Think Tank mentorship program. How would you describe the overall experience?
As an aspiring character artist, Think Tank was a blast for me! Studying abroad is not a common thing among Brazilian CG artists, despite the great amount of talent there. So, me having the privilege of being here and having the opportunity to learn from artists that I’ve looked up to my entire life, is absolutely amazing!
How was working under the aegis of Gustavo Groppo? How closely did you two work together?
Gustavo always was and still is a great inspiration for my personal works, and I’m so glad that he mentored me in this journey, caring for each minor detail and process for my piece and my skills reach the highest level for the international production market. As my mentor, he attended me not just in school, but always had a sympathetic ear for any doubts or questions I had throughout the entire program. He definitely went out of his way to make sure that all of my projects were up to par!
I assume you relocated to Vancouver to take part in the program. How hard was it for you to move to Canada? Do you intend on staying there?
Actually, my move to Canada was planned a long time in advance, putting it all into action took me a good three to four years in total. I’m infinitely grateful to my wife for embracing this dream of mine, I wouldn’t have made it here if it wasn’t for her support! So yes, we plan to stay here for the indefinite future.
Aside from the weather, was there some form of culture shock you had to overcome?
Yeah, definitely, Brazil is a very different country. But this wasn’t a bad thing at all, Vancouver specifically is a very rich multicultural place. So, while the interactions with people from all around the world was mind blowing at first, it helped me a lot to broaden my mind, which is a huge benefit in all aspects of life!
Vinicius decided to forego the warrior’s lower body and fully focus on the abundance of details on his torso and head.
Please tell us more about your job situation and your current employer, ICON Studio!
After finishing my mentorship at Think Tank, I decided to specialize in character design. However, I soon found out this is not an easy field to break into, since there’s not many openings. Having a sharp portfolio is crucial, and so is being aware of the needs of studios at all times.
ICON is great! It’s a large animation, video production and postproduction company, with renown clients such as Disney and Netflix. Most of the shows produced at ICON are cartoons made for kids. Being part of a big studio pipeline and adapting my software workflow accordingly has taught me a lot already! With all sorts of talented people working hard to help each other grow as a team, I couldn’t wish for a better working environment.
What is your position and what do your main responsibilities and daily tasks consist of?
I’m a model and texture artist, so I’m involved in all kinds of assets for the various shows. Not just characters, but environment and whatever else I can help to develop.
Now let us focus on your craft for a bit. What inspires you as a character artist?
For me and my approach to character design, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the grandmasters of old, such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and many more.
Can you elaborate on this influence on your approach to characters and assets?
Most of my personal work is drenched in a dramatic mood, highly inspired by Caravaggio’s lighting. I love how he uses light to draw attention to specific parts of a scene.
What skill set does a character artist need? What makes a good character?
It’s common for new artists to solely think of CGI as the future and forget the very basis of figurative art. A firm understanding of anatomy is the most fundamental skill a character artist needs! If you slip up with the anatomy of any character early on, the quality of the entire project will ultimately suffer.
References are of the utmost importance, not just in regards to anatomy but all throughout the stages of character or asset creation. A good artist always keeps his reference material at close sight, and tries to stick to it even in the most minor details. Obviously, this is true primarily for realistic depictions, but even when letting your creativity run wild, references help to maintain consistency, which is a hallmark of good design!
In more practical terms, let’s talk about your submission to our contest in more detail now, namely the fierce ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’, a character based on concept art by Yuming Yin. What initially drew you to this particular artwork?
At the outset of a new project, choosing and committing to a suitable concept is by far the most difficult aspect – there’s so much fantastic material out there, you simply want to make all of them! Joking aside, this initial choice is very important, because apart from doing a cool piece, you want to make sure you carefully think about the technical side of things: “which skills do I want to focus on? How do I best go about realizing this?”, and so on. No matter the project, my top priority is always learning new techniques and improving my skills.
Now, for the ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’, I was looking for a character that would allow me to evolve and showcase a wide range of not only skills, but distinct materials and different techniques as well. Organic and hard surface modeling, texturing, grooming, lighting and rendering – it’s all there in the original concept art. In short, I specifically started this project to force myself to deal with things out of my comfort zone.
What were some of these challenges you had to overcome?
From the beginning, I knew I would have to deal with several things unfamiliar to me, such as fur and a more involved texturing process for the skin. Thanks to the great support from my mentor Gustavo Groppo, I was able to overcome these obstacles and figured out a way to complete the project to the best of my abilities.
It took me approximately three months to finish the entire piece plus a few days more to render and compose the final reel.
In how far does the ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’ clash with your personal style? Do you enjoy this type of character?
To be honest, it’s not my favorite style in the world. But I love creating characters in general, and saw the perfect opportunity to showcase a multitude of different skills and styles through this single project.
Covered by his elaborate headgear in the completed scene, this work-in-progress reveals the warrior’s hair.
What software did you use to create this piece? Any plug-ins you found particularly helpful?
Have you used RebusFarm before? If yes, please tell us more about your overall experience.
No, I haven’t gotten around to use it yet. But I do have several exciting projects coming up, which I’ll definitely render through RebusFarm, so I’m very much looking forward to experience your service first-hand!
Be sure to share the results with us, then! Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you’d like to say?
First of all, I want to thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to share my story and showcase my work!
That being said, I’d like to close by addressing all aspiring CG artists out there: there’s no secret recipe or shortcut to success in this career path! The one and only way to make it is to always be patient, to never stop practicing your skills, and to steadily build your own network within both the industry and community.
Wise words! Vinicus, thank you very much for taking the time and all the best in the future!
Keep up with Vinicius Favero and his work here:
Find out what it took to bring the ‘Kangrinboqe Warrior’ to life in all of its 3D glory in our making-of, written by Vinicius Favero himself.
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