Character designer Rudy Massar chats to us about life in the 3D industry, working as a freelancer and how he comes up with his character concepts.
Hi Rudy - thanks for chatting with us today! I want to start by asking what brought you to 3D in the first place. Did you have any formal education or are you self-taught?
I'm mostly self-taught. I was learning to become a graphic designer and got into 3D by coincidence. Back in 1994 I was doing an internship at the MediaLab of my school, the Graphic Lyceum in Rotterdam. This R&D lab was run by two teachers and two interns. We explored everything that was new media and how we could use this in education. By new media I mean the internet, interactive CD-ROMs, 3D modeling and animation - all of which is considered common media now.
From that day on I was only interested in 3D. In the following years I was teaching 3D modeling and animation at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. The classroom was filled with 24 SGI O2 workstations running Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator. You could say were pioneers of 3D modeling and animation for art students in the Netherlands.
Eventually, PowerAnimator was replaced by Maya and the SGI workstations replaced by Windows NT machines. Everything became cheaper and available to a broader audience. More and more people started sharing information online and the 3D community grew rapidly, as did the industry.
In 2000 I worked as a part-time instructor in Rotterdam and as a 3D artist for a creative studio/photography agency in Amsterdam. There I learned a lot about working for production and pushing the limits of 3D modeling and rendering, and about working to tight deadlines.
The cool thing about working in the 3D entertainment industry is that the technology keeps developing, your skills keep growing and you'll never stop learning.