Gilberto Magno is a freelance artist currently working in the gaming and movie industry. We chat to him about the career path that led him to where he is today.
Self-taught 3D artist Gilberto Magno talks to 3dtotal about working his way up from humble beginnings as a dentist's son, watching Thundercats and He-Man, to writing tutorials and featuring in magazines across the world.
3dtotal: Who are you and what do you do for a job?
My name is Gilberto Magno and I'm currently working as a freelancer for the gaming and movie industries.
3dtotal: What were your childhood inspirations and earliest artistic memory?
My two favorite childhood films were Spielberg's The Goonies
and Ridley Scott's Legend
. I even modeled a bust of Darkness (original work by Miles Teves
). I was also a fan of Thundercats
and Dungeons & Dragons
. There are so many inspirations around, not to mention the fantastic works of Stan Winston in Jurassic Park
3dtotal: What training have you had (if any)?
I was always autodidactic. My father was a dentist, so when I was child, there were wax dentures to sculpt. I started to intensely study drawing which led to portraits and cartoons for a local newspaper.
In 2005 I did a short course in 3ds Max, and in 2006 studied Animation in a 3D Animation Academy here in Brazil with excellent teachers who had worked on films like Mulan, Ice Age, Iron Giant, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Matrix.
3dtotal: Are there any particular schools or courses that you'd recommend?
Although there are many excellent schools with great teaching methods, I strongly believe that the quality of a course is also measured by the teacher's experience. The school may have a name, but if it does not have a professional teacher who motivates me, I don't put my hand in the fire.
3dtotal: What was your first job in the industry and how did you get it?
When I left the 3D academy, a teacher told me about a company that was recruiting artists to work in a 3D studio. That company did assets for Second Life, and this was my first job in the industry as a 3D artist – making assets for Second Life.
3dtotal: What can people expect from working in the industry?
The work environment can be varied – from relaxed to stressful. But in most cases, the work ends up being fun and satisfying in an artist's creative growth. It is important to be passionate about it and be professional, and the other things will come as a bonus.
3dtotal: What are the key things that a great portfolio must have?
Some prefer mechanical, others something more organic. It doesn't matter about the style – what matters is that the work is well done, well-presented and tasteful. Stay focused on your goal and spend more time with your studies. At first I wanted to do everything: rigging, animation, lighting, composition and so on – but in the end found I had no time to do any of these things.
3dtotal: Where would you like to be in five years' time?
I want to be in a great company that is developing a game or movie with a story, with art direction beyond my expectations.
3dtotal: Looking back with the benefit of your experience, are there are things you wish you had done differently, in terms of your career?
Yes, for sure. I wish I had been more focused at the beginning. But have learned new things like animation, and this has added so much to my knowledge. I think it's common for new artists to follow multiple paths early in their careers. I always like to remove the doubts of my mind and go ahead without deliberation. Today, I know that I really like modeling characters for games and movies.
3dtotal: If you could give one piece of advice to people looking to break into the industry, what would it be?
It's not easy for you to reach credibility in any area. But if you have perseverance and dedication you will definitely reach your goals. Study every day in order to keep your dream alive, and you'll become more professional. Do not let others discourage you – the dream is yours. The industry has several segments that you can choose from. Keep the focus and specialize so you save time in the long run.
Gilberto Magno's website
Artist Miles Teves' website and Darkness sculpt