From ‘Pokemon' characters as a kid to 3D characters as a pro – learn more about Brazilian 3D modeler Eito Sato...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
I'm Eiti Sato a 3D artist born in Brazil. I started my career as an artist in preschool, where I used to draw Dragonball
characters and sell to my friends, or in exchange for a hot dog (no copyright infringement intended). A few years later at age 13 I went to an animation festival here in Brazil called Anima Mundi and discovered I could make a living by doing cartoons.
3dt: What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?
Concept by Chabe Escalante, hair and textures by Victor Trovato
character is a creation by my favorite character designer, Chabe Escalante. I started the project as a class assignment. All the modeling process was inside ZBrush, started with multiple spheres, one for each limb and adjusting the proportions. Them I began refining the forms, giving special attention to the curves, shapes and silhouette. I did a basic texture pass in Substance Painter and it was further developed by Victor Trovato, who also did the hair.
3dt: What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?
The main challenge was to make it appealing. With cartoon characters you have to tell a lot with very little, so every brush mark that affects the form is noticeable, so you have to plan very well how the forms are going to harmonize and make it still look unique. I usually spend 50% of the time on the last 10% of the model, checking my forms. On this one I learned a lot about design, and how to translate 2D to 3D and step it up.
3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
Characters made for an upcoming animated series, created by Roger Parrilla
For work I use mostly Maya, to make the models production ready, it has improved a lot of its modeling tools on the latest releases. For sculpting my main tool is ZBrush, it's my favorite tool because it's the most artistic tool in the pipeline. To approach texture I usually go with Substance Painter, its material library and rapid visual feedback makes the texturing process very fast and enjoyable.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Personal projects are the most important pieces in my portfolio; I think it's where I have the chance to show all my skills. It's important to always push forward on each piece, and focus on what you'd like to do. If your portfolio has a lot of pack shots, it's what people will hire you for. And very important also, you must finish your pieces. Doing collaborations with others artist also helps with the quality, as you can focus on your main skill, and you will also have more exposure.
3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
Environment based on Cambodian temples
The only group I follow is the Facebook group "Ten Thousand Hours.” There are many high quality artists there and feedback from people all over the world. I usually don't use hashtags, but I follow some pages on Instagram and Facebook who share quality art, such as the 3dtotal social pages.
3dt: How important is the recognition of your peers?
For me it's very important, as a professional freelance I need recognition to get a variety of work. If people don't know you, how they will reach you? And it's a very satisfying feeling when you work so hard on a piece and people start sharing it, and giving compliments and also critiques that makes me push harder.
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
Mascot created for a thematic pub in Brazil. Concept by Felipe Kimio
My artistic ambition is to have my own studio and work on short movies and 3D printing of my characters. Develop my own ideas and be able to making a living of it. Sometimes we have to do very boring work that doesn't fulfill us, but as you grow as an artist and people start to follow your personal work, they start to ask you to do the kind of work you enjoy.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
My current favorite artists are Chabe Escalante and Dylan Ekren, because their characters have very cool shapes and I can see a strong story in them – their work is what I aim for when doing mine.
And my favorite classical artsts are Sargent and Jean Gerome, their works feel so alive that they fascinate me.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
I have many ideas for short movies and right now I'm working on some of them with some friends. I'm also working on a few more characters, one of them is a cartoon version of Bruce Lee. Follow me on Instagram for updates!
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Check out the making of Sixteen