Sci-fi concept artist and illustrator Sebastien Hue shares work from his portfolio and talks about his love of science-fiction, and other inspirations...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Sebastien Hue: My name is Sebastien Hue. I'm a self-taught French digital artist who lives in the Paris' suburbs. I started around 8 years ago when inspired by the likes of Dylan Cole and other famous matte painters. I decided to teach myself the ins and outs of digital painting, initially starting out with Photoshop, but as I put aside my drawing skills for a while I decided to learn 3D modeling as well to help me build objects or things I could not paint. I felt that environment was more my kind of thing in CG, and my passion for science fiction fuelled my inspiration and imagination. Formerly a Community Volunteer for the Deviantart Sci-Fi gallery, and Staff-admin for the International Collective The Luminarium, I became officially a professional freelance CG artist in 2014, and have worked worldwide since then for publishing and game companies.
2D personal concept art for fun. I would imagine taking a ride on such a huge spot, alone and free to speed
3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
SH: This piece was done for an assignment from a recent workshop I have done with Andree Wallin at conceptartworkshop.com. The assignment was to achieve a jungle environment keyframe concept art, and so I decided to include an iconic figure, referencing Lara Croft, exploring and discovering some great ancient temples.
First concept art for 2017 from my personal project T-13S, a place where knowledge is stored, called the XYZ Neuro-District. Beware of this district with a lot of hidden weapons and high security levels
3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
SH: I only used Photoshop, starting from a rough sketch to a refined piece with photo texturing and painting. The main difficulty was to work with many organic stocks, like leaves, veins, and trees, and extract them from jungle environment stocks, combine everything with a consistent focal point and storytelling. The lighting was a really key asset for the scene to bring focus and mystery to the viewer.
Keyframe study from scratch. Loved Spectral so much that it really inspired this one
3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
SH: I used to model and render a bit in 3ds Max, but it's a tough and not very intuitive program for me, so I recently tried out 3D-Coat which definitely made sense for my workflow, giving me back the will to model and design again in 3D. I'm sure It will be really useful for my concepts in the near future. This program is working a bit like Photoshop and gives you the possibility to design rapidly in 3D, just like you would do in 2D in Photoshop.
3dt: Do you have any tips or techniques that other artists may not be aware of?
SH: Oh, don't know if there remain many secret recipes in CG now, as many artists share them for free or for a little amount of money which is really awesome. I actually learned almost everything from others on the internet. My main tip would not be technical or artistic, but rather more on behavior. I think the main tip is to optimize your time to serve your art so whenever you have free time, instead of wasting it waiting for your bus… just train your observation skills for instance, see how light works on this or that material. Nourish and fill your brain, analyzing what's around you and what could help your own art to grow up and become more accurate.
3rd assignment concept art I did for Andree Wallin's class at Conceptartworkshop.com. The brief was to make an augmented landscape on an artificial fake frozen icy planet. Combined original plates were bought on Swiss
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
SH: Well, first I would love to work on a big feature film project as keyframe concept artist, or just a concept artist, and be closer to the pre-production, post production and final movie on screen. It really must be something. My long term ambition would be to create my own studio in collaboration with 2-3 other artists, and work on different types of projects because I really like the diversity in digital art.
An artwork I have done for the Japan Tours Festival '17 in France
3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
SH: Yes I'm very active on Facebook and now Instagram. Twitter is not really my thing. I mainly follow other artists I like and I'm of course in many different groups, but I like to target who and what I want to see because I don't want to become swamped in over-flowing groups, sharing arts all day long. I don't have much time for that – I prefer networking and sharing thoughts with others.
Backstory: "Due to severe mutilations after battles against the Mecha Nation, and less and less soldiers capable to fight, the Rebels developed weapons to adapt directly to the handicapped soldier, who gets plugged-in to the mecha and thus replace his missing legs"
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
SH: I always try to keep in touch with what the others do and what could inspire me for a new piece. It's actually pretty intuitive in the sense that I make no effort in pushing myself learning this or that because I don't consider my art career as work, but just rather as a permanent initiation where you need to question and challenge yourself all the time. So keeping my portfolio up to date makes things more natural when you keep this in mind. Moreover when you do a lot of client work, you are really happy to jump onto something personal to add to your portfolio when you have some free time too.
A more polished version of the photobashing artwork I started live on the Adobe Twitch channel
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
SH: My favorite traditional artist is Hieronymus Bosch for his absolute genius and artistic craziness in depicting biblical worlds like the famous Garden of Earthly Delights. My digital ones are mostly sci-fi because that is what I like to do the most in my art. My very first shock with a digital artist was Dylan Cole and the futuristic worlds he created through his matte painting mastery. Then I discovered Stefan Morrell, an exceptional 3D artist, who put on screen everything I was fancying achieving in CG art; cityscapes from other worlds with crazy design and realistic feeling. Then back 6 years ago I discovered Andree Wallin who totally blew my mind with his unique style in terms of lighting skills and cinematographic approach to his concepts. I was in heaven learning from him 3 months ago. Finally I would mention 2 crazy concept artists that inspire me a lot, John Wallin Liberto and Martin Deschambault whose paintings style, sense of composition, and designs are totally sick.
The last assignment key artwork for the class with Andree Wallin on Conceptartworkshop.com. Jungle theme this time. I put a famous adventurer in it without really thinking of a fan art but I like this character
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
SH: Hopefully some more good art and personal stuff; sci-fi with 3D assets, spaceships, environments. It's been like 3 years now; I am developing my own sci-fi illustrated novel called "Project T-13S”. I really like to tell a story through my images, so this project is really dear to me. I'm trying to follow a story through each concept, and I know what I need to depict next that I did not do before. It has no real pretention but just to serve and feed my own needs to create worlds, make art and imagine what would be the future.