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Interview with Serge Birault


By Simon Morse

Web: http://www.sergebirault.fr (will open in new window)
Email: [email protected]

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(38105 Views) | 3 Comments
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Date Added: 7th February 2012


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You mentioned that you tend to be asked to create pin-ups more than other sorts of images. If you could work in any part of the industry or on any project that didn't involve pin-ups what would it be?

Actually, I'm currently working as character designer for a 3D animated series for very young children (between three and five years old). Strange, isn't it? But, hell yeah - I like that!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has looked at your work and thought, "Wow - that must have taken ages!" How long, on average, does it take you to complete a painting? Do you find you spend your whole day in front of the computer?

An average picture takes me about two days, or about 15 hours. But I have already spent more than 70 hours on a picture for Sashimi's Revenge because of the very complicated tones. If you want to have a very clean render you have to be patient, it's the only solution. It's not a problem for me, I'm a patient person... at least I am when I am painting. I've got two children so I can't spend my whole day in front of my computer. I will soon have to paint with acrylics and I think that will be a good thing. I am beginning to have binary dreams with only zeros and ones in them.

Sitting in front of the computer all day can be a real drag. Do you think it's important to get outside and see the sights, not only to keep you sane but to look for influences and inspiration?
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I try to not work during weekends and spend time with my sons. Sometimes I realize they are probably the only reason why I see the light of the day. This job is like a vampire. Even when I go out to see my friends, I work... I look at faces, the lights, the reflection... It's not a job but a kind of curse!

I will travel a lot this year. I have a lot of master classes to do so I'm going to try and visit a lot of museums. In museums, I look like a child in a toy shop.

You mention that you will soon be doing some work in acrylics. Is this a project that you can tell us about? When you work traditionally what tools and type of paints do you use? And do you ever try to reproduce the same kind of finish on your traditional images as you do on your detailed pin-ups?

I can't speak about it right now, but it's for an exhibition. I try to have the same finish and the same level of detail. I will work with acrylic because I can't work on canvas. I no longer have an airbrush and it will be difficult with only brushes.

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What is the CG industry like in France? Do you find that most of the projects you do are for foreign clients or is there a big demand for this kind of thing over there?

I have very few French clients. I had some very bad experiences with them. It's a kind of tradition to pay artists badly and late and give short deadlines in France. I try to avoid them. There are, of course, some exceptions. One of my best clients is French and I sometimes teach in a very good and pleasant art school. So I really don't know what the French CG industry looks like and I don't really want to know!

To see more by Serge Birault, check out Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight into Creative Drawing
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 4
Digital Art Masters: Volume 7
Digital Art Masters: Volume 8
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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Digital 3D Art on Sat, 25 February 2012 1:34pm
Very nice work ! I would bet these were done in a rendering program as to the person that asked about what it has to do with 3d. I often render 3d and then use in 2d paintings etc
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Dima on Wed, 08 February 2012 8:42pm
Osom work, but what does it have to do with 3D as in 3dtotal?
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Josh on Tue, 07 February 2012 11:14am
Great guy. Asked him a bunch of questions and he answered them all and quickly too. Top respect to one of my idols. Good interview :)
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