Hi Guillermo, thank you for taking part in this interview, its a fascinating feature we have in this month’s newsletter, lets get down to it!
1- What were the series of events that led to you becoming an Architectural and Product CG Artist, and why did you decide to take that route?
– When I was 17 years old I wanted to be a cartoonist , I started buying comics and I really liked that style of drawing, it inspired me. My father was an artist and so somehow I also inherited a taste for 2D art. Once we heard an advert on the radio about character animation and I thought that would be great for me so my parents decided to push me in the right direction and pay it. When I started the course it was a big surprise because the course was all about 3DS max and architecture itself, so in actual fact, I had gone along to learn how to create these beautiful 2D animated characters when really it was very far from the truth, it was a big lie ! Ha!
Anyway, as I continued with learning the 3D software I started to really enjoy what I was doing, I developed so much of an interest that I began to pay attention to adverts on TV that used 3D modelling and shading and since then I have simply immersed myself in this, completely ignoring the 2D elements that I had originally tried to pursue…
2 – In your early days, what did you do to advance your skills in the field?
– I started 17 years ago, there was no internet where I was based here in Argentina. It was very difficult to grow as a 3D artist without the online support there now is, so when I used to receive money for my birthday or Christmas, I used to buy all sorts of tips and techniques books that all focused on the development of anything 3D. I remember being back in school when I was young and I found it very difficult to focus on my studies, I struggled to read books but whenever I can across any 3D visualisation books my head was buried until I had finished.
3 – Are you more RAW or Post-production orientated?
– Im a Raw Artist for sure! I always try to get the render as finished as I can using 3DSmax and V-ray rather than leaving myself more to do in Photoshop. There is something very rewarding when personally achieving a texture that feels so real within a render engine.
4 – One of our favourite artists at the moment is Benoit Bertrand, who would you look to for inspiration?
– Well I always enjoy watching Alex Roman renders as a shortfilm but I love Lukasz Malik renders because those are real projects for projects. They are both great inspirations.
5 – If you could work with any Architect, past or present, who would they be and why?
– Ufff… hard, but great question! Im not an architect, but I really do have a strong passion for anything architecture. I found an interesting point of view from Alberto Campos Baeza because I love how simply he thinks, his architecture is minimal and clean and he seems to always think about how the light affects the design… the white is always so pure… the minimalism of it always holds the greatest of small details. I just love it! And for sure Marcio Kogan, is a really modern styled Architect, focusing on big spaces, beautiful and warm textures and perfect lighting. All his Concrete, Wood and Stone BUMP always fantastic! It is all so beautiful.
6 – Which project would you consider your most successful to date, and why do you rank it as highly as you do?
Well, I think the cupcakes project was an amazing project to be involved with. My main idea was to try to make it all using procedural methods, instead of using textures as jpg materiality. So I began to think how I could interpert this into my model, how could I create this form with just model making and masks to make it pop and look delicious! I started to wonder how I could create the jelly etc. The personal achievement that I found when completing this project was that everything was 3D geometry; the sugar, the small chocolates, the randomized whisps of covering etc it was all put together using the Forest Plugin.
7 – Having looked through your portfolio, personally, I was blown away by this one specifically that you see below.. What was the brief for this project, and what for you was the most important aspect to get correct?
– This is a Hotel in Argentina I did for a Local Client, there was a lot of nature, concrete and Dirty Metal, so I really relished the challenge to create the environment all in 3D. I just really enjoy it, there wasn’t really anything problematic and I found it to be one of those projects that just seemed to work very well. I was very happy with the outcome of the images.
8 – We find one of the most complex textures, that we use regularly, to be metals; do you have any advice on how to achieve a greater sense of realism for difficult materials?
I should probably say that the best way to make something its know everything there is to know about it. Right? So… if you are gonna make a Wood or metal, or a type of concrete surafce then we have to have precendents and reference types to help us. Its fundamental to have a sample of texture open on your screen so you can switch to and from the image to the render. Howcan we imagine so much detail in our heads in the first attempt? I dont think we can. Every type of material is very different, even the same style of wood will always be different across each board. For me, my advice would be to reference everything you try to render, this will help strive for any realism in your work:
Find a couple of photos about the texture you want to create and start to think about that material from a render engine point of view, so:
– How does the initial texture look? (Diffuse Channel)
– How Much Reflective does that material hold? (Reflection Channel)
– How that reflection you see is positioned, how does it wear and shine? (Reflection Glossy Channel)
– How does the Bump of the material work? (Bump Channel)
– Is there any age, any dirt present? (that could be another option in the diffuse slot)
So, when thinking like this you end up with sections of a photo you are concentrating on. Every wall you see has a different effect, a different dirt map and colouration to its neighbour. Interior and exterior walls do not have the same dirty wear texture n each face shown so its important we put a lot of attention about that and try to split the photo into those levels to make a new material that suits your needs.
9 – Could you give us any advice for setting up exteriors?
Well, I find my personal workflow for exteriors and interiors its always the same:
* Find the best camera angle (think about what you want to show with the project, whether it would be a new swimming pool or something focal and show it! Is there a beautiful place to take the photo within the site? if so we need to show it somehow.
* Think about the best background image that can be used, will we use Daylight or evening light? will a night shot accentuate anything within the scene? Does the interior scene need a warm glow? If so the night scene maybe the best solution because it would enhance any sharp contrasting shapes in the project. My workflow is a simple one to follow, but an important one, its important to speak with your client, discuss what is important and what isnt. I believe the more you and your client speak the more you get an understanding about what is important. Sometimes as an artist we pick very different things to the client so to avoid re-doing work this would be something I will always try to do.
10 – If you could give a few tips to increase the levels of photo-realism, what would it be?
I would most likely say many that we need to collect as many photographs as we can to really inspire us, try to find beautiful artistic photography that uses natural light elements artificial light elements. like studio lighting or day lighting or even night Etc. The key for me to achieve realism would be texture and lighting. Once we understand these we can then develop more as artists.
11 – Having worked in the ArchViz industry for over decade, given the projected advancements in computing technology, where do you see the field in another 10 years’ time?
10 Years… well, I think we are going to be working with the most amazing meshed details, fantastic plugin technologies, also real time, and maybe some sort of fantastic video game engine interactions. I always see inspirational work that I believe could not become any more real, so maybe we enter a new stage of 3D visualisation. I think animation will come leaps and bounds for the game industry too, game architects will be then working along side arch viz artists to develop the best experience possible.
12 – Thank you for your time Guillie, when is your new website out?
I’m still working on it, but unfortunately I cant say when the website will be live and online because my clients and I have a few NDA’s in place for a few projects so its important I respect this situation and just hold tight.. I think within a couple of months the website should be up and running and I will be finally able to share the work I have created.
Thank you for your time Guillermo Oursi, its been extremely interesting!
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Daniel Stone at Archilime.