3DTotal: Hello Toni, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, please? Toni:My name is Toni Bratincevic and I live USA, but I actually came from a small country in Europe called Croatia. I was born around 31 years ago in town called Split which is one of the most beautiful towns at Croatian coast, well known tourist destination. As I said, I am currently living in US and working for Blur Studio. I was hired to work as a 3D generalist and I mostly do the environment modeling and final scene assembly. I suppose a lot people know already about Blur... it is a mid sized company located in Los Angeles with about 80 people working in, mostly producing high quality game cinematics and tv commercials. In my spare time I usually create 3D images for personal pleasure, although lately I am a little bit lazy and I didn't made anything in over year... but the good side of that is that I am spending more time with my wife.
3DTotal: So being a self-taught artist, what were the main sources of training that you used? Toni: At the time when I started doing 3D graphics, there wasn’t much material from which you could learn. There were some tutorials but they were mostly manuals that came with 3D software. I remember the first time I started using the very first version of Maya; I read all the books that came with the software, which were around 5-6 thousand pages long... For the first few months I was really confused and it was total chaos in my head, basically down to the amount of information there was, but after a year or so, the pieces came together and I started to get to grips with Maya. Before Maya I was using a little freeware renderer called “POVRay”, which doesn’t have a graphics interface so you need to program it directly. The community for the POVRay artist was quite helpful, so this helped me to learn a lot about programming and some technical stuff concerning 3D which helped me a lot later on.
3DTotal: At what stage in your life did you decide
you wanted to become a 3D Artist? Toni: Well, I think it was at the time I was studying at the Faculty of Informatics - about 8 years ago. Parallel to studying for exams, I explored the world
of 3D graphics and I got really fascinated with it. It was a completely different area compared to web and graphic design, which was my main area of interest at that time. But since there weren’t many opportunities for 3D artists in Croatia, mainly down to there being such a small market, I was a little scared that I would never find a decent job in that field after I got my diploma. At that time, 3D art was my hobby and I didn’t know if this would become my professional career. Fortunately, after getting my diploma, I landed a job as a 3D Artist in a small company and my professional career started. This will be my third year working as a professional 3D Artist, and I must say that I am very satisfied with the path I have followed; my dream to become a 3D Artist has come true.
3DTotal: With having such limited opportunities for 3D artists in Croatia, what was it like finding your job? Toni: Well, I had a lot of pictures at the time when I was looking for a job so that I had something to show to my future employer. So with that, and the addition of a little luck, I got my job pretty easily. I had one conversation with them and they told me I could have a job - and that was it! The choice, at that time, was my current company and maybe 3-4 others that were specialised in post-production and 3D graphics. The big problem is that there is very little market in Croatia since there are only four million people living in the country. But, on the other hand, that isn’t such a bad thing since it is one of the rare, unpolluted places in the world and the quality of life here is great.
3DTotal: So you’re currently working as a 3D Artist at Blur Studios. Could you tell us what a typical day is like for you? Toni:I usually come to work around 10-11AM... I just like to sleep in the morning. :) After I get something to drink I get to work, which at the moment is interior modeling for game cinematic. I usually work till 3pm when I take a lunch break. Since I live only 5 minutes from my work, I go home for a lunch and have a little chitchat with my wife. After that, I get back to Blur and continue to work till I am done with planned for that day. When starting on new projects, we get some schedule for the project and a little introduction from the supervisors. Artist that does the environment modelling usually gets to do the scene assembly on that environment, so I suppose after the animators are done with their work I will have to do complete integration and rendering of shots for that sequence.