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Interview with Victor Hugo


By Henry Winchester

Web: http://vitorugo.com (will open in new window)
Email: moc.ogurotiv@tcatnoc

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Date Added: 4th September 2013
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Victor's self-taught, almost accidental arrival in the 3D industry has resulted in his status as one of the most respected artists in Brazil. He talks to us about Trojan Horse was a Unicorn and his new Street Fighter III video.


The Street Fighter III: Fuurinkazan trailer was something of a revelation when it was posted on YouTube earlier this year. It married the game's trademark cartoon style with a level of character design and animation on a par with Pixar, and you could be forgiven for thinking it was created by a professional, big-budget animation studio. However, it was created by a only two people in their spare time: 3D artist Victor Hugo, and his friend Derek, who directed and animated the trailer.

The buzz the trailer created was phenomenal (it's been viewed almost 350,000 times at the time of writing), and it put Victor in the spotlight. The rendering, character design and lighting are the result of the eight years Victor's spent in various jobs around his native city of Sao Paolo in Brazil. Initially training as a history teacher, he found that 3D art was more engaging and fun, and - more importantly - could pay the bills.

At a mere 26 years old Victor's already established an enviable career path, and this year sees him attend the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn CG artist festival in Portugal as a speaker. It's his sheer wide-eyed enthusiasm for the industry that really shines through, and we talked to him about his life so far, his tips for working in 3D art, and just how good he is at making a cup of coffee.

Your "awesome" Street Fighter III trailer has had lots of attention - what inspired you to create it?

Haha! Thanks for the "awesome"! The original idea came from my passion for fighting games. I always loved fighting games, not only for the challenge that they bring, but because many of them have a lot of background story that people usually don't pay attention to. If you look around the web, you will find A LOT of animations and short movies about Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li, but it's always a sparring fight in woods or an alley!

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Street Fighter III has some of the greatest untold stories ever made, so I decided to tell one of those stories.

Could you tell me about your career as an artist so far? Did you always plan on becoming a 3D artist?

I started my career by accident in 2005. My original plan was to be a history teacher, but I was unemployed and couldn't afford to pay for my studies. Even though I knew nothing about 3D (only the real basics e.g creating a cube) I applied to a job advert and, miraculously, I got the job! My first job was for an ArchViz studio called Digital Light. There, I learned all the technical basics, improved my software skills and learned how to work as a team. Three years later I was responsible for the stills department, and I found myself in a comfort zone. It was time for a change.

I quit my job and tried to get myself into the advertising industry. After a few days looking for a job, I got hired at Z-Axis, a 3d illustration studio here in Sao Paulo. Working on Z-Axis helped to improve my skills as an artist a lot, learn about composition, photography, color pallet, and one of the most important things; the software is just a tool, it is the artist using it who creates magic.

After three years, I again found myself in a comfort zone. That's when I began to try some character illustration, and man, I loved it! Since then I've worked as a 3D artist at TechnoImage, one of the best studios here in Brazil, while also working as a freelance character artist - my main career focus.

You describe yourself as "self-taught" do you regret not studying art more formally?

Not at all, to be sincere. I regret the lack of really good and accessible art schools here in Brazil. Studying art here is something expensive and sometimes frustrating. I admit that it is really frustrating sometimes to have to figure a way out on your own, but thinking positively helped me to chase what I want.

With so many great artists working within the industry, which artists inspire your work, and which do you respect and admire?

Woah! It's an extensive list, but I can say that my favorite one is surely Skottie Young. I love his style and how he managed to have his work recognized. Skottie has won two Eisner Awards with his own style - totally different from what we see in comics usually. This inspires me a lot. 3dc: What would be your dream job, and which company would you most like to work for?

That's an easy one: Pixar! Hahaha! If someone from Pixar is reading this, please! I'm a good and really committed artist, and if you guys don't need an artist right now, I can make a good coffee as well! Hahaha!

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 217240, pid: 0) MauricioPC on Thu, 05 September 2013 3:52pm
Great interview. And great work Victor. Your work inspire me to learn this even in a old age (31). Keep up man, it's great!
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