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Aitor Montes: 3D character artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: https://www.artstation.com/artist/aitor_montes (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 26th May 2017

Spanish 3D character artist Aitor Montes is in the middle of updating his portfolio following the inspirational THU 2016 – find out more...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Aitor Montes: Hi, my name is Aitor Montes, I'm a 3D character artist currently living in Seville, Spain. I have always felt passion for art: I started painting graffiti when I was quite young which was a great hobby, but it wasn't until 2014 when I realized that I really needed to make art a major role in my life. This is the reason why I completed a master in 3D in Softimage, where I learned the foundation of this craft.

Ever since 2015, I've been gathering experience creating 3D characters for videogames, and I've been working as a Character Artist collaborating with Mechanicalboss on their videogame "Dungeons of Madness" until recently, when I decided to dedicate myself 100% to updating my portfolio. From now on I'll keep adding new pieces to my portfolio while I'll be looking for an opportunity to become a full time member within a team.

Character that I redesigned/modeled/textured for the videogame "Dungeons of Madness"

3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
AM: After attending THU last year I came back home really inspired. I decided that I had to give a boost to my portfolio with more realistic characters and to do so I had to learn Marvelous Designer since it is a magnificent tool to create really believable clothing. Being a fan of Marko Djurdjevic's art I thought that the concept of "Purgare" would challenge me enough to learn it.

Beauty shot of the whole character based on Marko Djurdjevic's concept

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
AM: My workflow is nothing special. I use ZBrush and Maya for modeling and the UV texturing process, as I mentioned before Marvelous Designer was the addition to my workflow for this time.

Afterwards, I bake all the maps in Xnormal and I bring them into Substance Painter to do the texturing. For the hair, I used Xgen to generate the textures and let's say that the most difficult/tedious process was to place the hair cards manually. During this part of the project listening to good music and taking rest from time to time to not die would be my piece of advice. For rendering, I used Marmoset Toolbag 3 which has really nice new features in its last release.

Turnaround of the character "Purgare"

3dt: Do you have any tips or techniques that other artists may not be aware of?
AM: From my point of view, it is a good idea putting the focus on your artistic skills, having a solid understanding of anatomy, form, the fundamentals of color theory, and so on, are the key skills that will lead you to create solid projects. Software, after all, are tools to create your craft, that sooner or later will be replaced by new ones.

Character I did based on Eduardo Garcia's great concept called Gremlim

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
AM: Since I consider myself as a very sociable individual, my goal is to become a full-time member of a team, in a studio. Having the chance to share ideas with fellow artists would make me grow faster professionally. Freelancing it is always a good choice, but being within a creative environment I believe it makes you grow at a different level.

Different views of the character "Gremlim"

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
AM: I enjoy watching digital paintings over on ArtStation or Pinterest and when I see any concept that I love I save it to make it in 3D. Usually I choose concepts that I can challenge myself with for instance, a character that has a type of hair that I haven't done before, or some type of material that is difficult to achieve. There are always new techniques you can try that you may not be aware of which can speed up your workflow and obtain better results.

Sculpture of the concept done by Jojo so "King of Sparta"

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
AM: It's really difficult to say some names since there are so many talented artists out there but let's say that for learning purposes I'd highly recommend Michael Pavlovich. It is priceless the amount of tips and techniques he shares mainly on ZBrush and on some other programs too.

More 3D artists that I specially enjoy are: Su Yeong Kim, OccultArt_, Gilberto Magno, and Ben Erdt. In 2D I love the style of yang qi917 and Marko Djurdjevic.

Textured model of "King of Sparta"

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
AM: My next piece would be a likeness which I'm currently working on. Other than that, I had in mind making some superhero or videogame fan-art sculptures since I find the miniature and toys industry really interesting. In conclusion, I think that I will be busy as always trying to learn new things.

Face close up of Purgare, concept by Marko Djurdjevic's for Degenesis

Related links

Check out Aitor Montes' ArtStation
"Pugare” in the gallery
Get a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures


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