3DTotal: Hi! Olga, can you tell us about yourself please? Olga: Sure no problem. Nowadays I live in Moscow, working as a mattepainter/compositing artist in cinema and in the production of commercials. I also work sometimes as a concept artist in animated films and game projects for different studios. In spite of my busyness I try to spend as much time as I can with my husband and daughter.
3DTotal:So how did you start out in this field, did you go to college or are your self taught? Olga: I began drawing when I was a small child and I always seemed to like it so much. Though there were no artists in my family (my mother is an engineer and my father a serving soldier), they always
helped me in my aspiration to art. My education started when I was five, when my mother took me to an art studio. When I was 10, I read in a newspaper “Pionerskaya Pravda” about qualifications for the best art school in Moscow and in the whole of Russia. I pursuaded my mother to let me go there and she was happy when I passed the exams. I had to spend 2 hours every day travelling on the way to school, but that wasn’t the hardest part. We had all the ordinary subjects like in all schools and many specific ones (art, drawing, composition, history of art etc). I had to study for more then 6-7 hours a day and from this I learned to spend my time effectively and to leave some time for rest. After finishing school, I entered Moscow State Art Institute named by V. Surikov. I’m really grateful to all of my teachers, as they made so much out of me, and gave me a real classical art education.During the training course we spent a lot of time painting from life, and I think that is a very important part – a real artist should capture lines, forms and shades which most people usually cannot see. I have spent five years on careful paintings, quick drawings, so I can now paint with my eyes closed.
3DTotal:Do you think having a classical art education, like yourself beneficial to any up an coming digital artist? Olga: Sure, you can know all the buttons in any software perfectly, but there are some things that are very hard to learn and feel without education: composition, colour, anatomy etc.
3DTotal: You seem to be a very good all round artist which not a lot of artist seem to be nowadays. You tend to find they focus just on one area. So what’s your secret? Olga: I began working with CG, painting concept art for cartoons when I was studying in the institute. I liked this sort of work because I had freedom with colours, composition and choice of details. I don’t like to paint over ready sketches, I prefer to represent my own feelings and vision of the subject. Then I worked as an artist on a TV program.
It was a crazy rhythm of work, sometimes at night; sometimes I had to do some compositing work. My colleagues noticed that my scenes looked more realistic, atmospheric and alive. Then I worked as an artist and compositor making small videos for different games, where I worked closely with 3d. These days I’ve done practically everything: sketches, concepts of backgrounds, modelling, texturing and compositing. In modern technologies everything is so tight, you have to know everything in the entire process, and it is even better when you can do most things. It allows me to find the easiest way to solve different problems. For example sometimes it is better to use layer renders and compose it later, that allows you to save a lot of rendering time
because you can change the picture without rendering the entire image once more.
3DTotal : So out of all these areas which one do you prefer to work in? Olga : I prefer to work on feature films, it is harder and more interesting, because you have to do absolutely everything photorealisticly. I can use my art skills, and I think that matte painting is very close to painting from life. I compose my own backgrounds into final scenes often, it is easier when you can compose painted parts and source material yourself without communicating with other compositors. I like painting backgrounds and concept art for animated films also, because this work is very creative, I have a lot of free space for imagination. Sometimes I do 3d work too.