Jose Rodríguez created his character Heavy Knight as a personal project, inspired by a Trent Kaniuga design and World of Warcraft concepts. We chat about his progress in the industry over the last 10 years.
Jose Rodríguez's Heavy Knight image went a bit crazy with the likes on Facebook – it currently sits at 4 and a half stars in the gallery from over 130 votes, so maybe things are calming down a bit now. Jose gives us a little of personal history...
3dt: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
During the last 10 years I have been working as a senior character modeler for movies and several videogames with different companies. At the moment I'm working in Gameloft's packaging team in Madrid, Spain.
3dt: Tell us the story behind your artwork: What brought you into the digital art world and what software do you use?
I am passionate about traditional animation and I've always loved the amazing designs featured in animated films. I wanted to see those designs transferred into 3D space and therefore created them myself.
About 13 years ago I started to work in the traditional animation industry. When I got to know about 3D animation I decided to learn what I could and tried to create little things but as it was really addictive to me I ended up sticking with it.
I mainly use 3ds Max, ZBrush and Photoshop.
3dt: How did you learn to paint digitally?
At the beginning I decided to study traditional animation for 3 years. During these years I improved my drawing skills but 4 years later I would see a 3D animation movie and it was wonderful to me – since that moment I only can think in 3D. My first step was to study in a 3D school. The combination between these two arts is simply great to me.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Most importantly, look at the work of great artists and great companies. Everyone should use specialized forums and always be informed of new programs or tools.
The only trick is to work hard and put in many hours to improve each model.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
I follow many artists and their impressive works. If I have to give some names; Bruno Camara
and Rafael Grassetti
– the aesthetics and quality of their work is superb. Also I like to take a look at traditional artists like Philippe Faraut
. I love seeing how he can create awesome faces in only a few steps.
3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
There are so many programs to learn but not so many hours in the day! Right now I'm learning a bit of MARI because it's a powerful program to create textures in a short space of time. I would also like to learn Maya because it's a program with great tools to work on a high level.
Check out Jose Rodríguez's website
His Heavy Knight
image on 3dtotal can still be voted for
Submit to the gallery