Concept artist Yury Ostapchuk has created work for a variety of clients for Plarium Games – here he discusses life as an artist, and his varying workflows...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hello! My name is Yury Ostapchuk. I work as a 2D artist in the game industry for IT Company Plarium, Kharkiv, Ukraine. My education is architecture or, to be more accurate, architectural environment design. In addition, I am keen on traditional art because I was growing up in a family of traditional artists. Since my life inseparably relates to design and the creation of something new, my passion is concept art. Therefore, I try to develop my skills and my career in this direction.
3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
My style is definitely photoreal, in genres such as sci-fi and fantasy. I started with character design and then moved to environment design, keyframes, and shot design. Well, I like this because it helps to develop the story – to show the environment. The most interesting projects were the Universal Studio Alien vs Predator franchise for Soldiers Inc., the Terminator Genisys: Future War, and the advertising campaign with Megan Fox for The Throne.
3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
In my work, I try to follow a strict pipeline and planning. It helps to save time and stick to the goal. Eventually, the pipeline depends on the task. However, usually it happens like this:
1. Sketching ideas (traditionally, or in Alchemy and Photoshop). Sometimes I go straight to 3D because I really like to design and sketch in 3D
2. Creating ref lists (PureRef)
3. Creating a 3D base (3D-Coat, or ZBrush)
4. Rendering the scene (mostly I use KeyShot) because it helps to use almost unlimited number of polygons, super heavy geometry
5. Final touches in Photoshop
3dt: What inspires you?
I'm not going to be creative here; inspiration can be taken from everything. The main sources for me are books (George Orwell, William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov), films (Dune, Star Wars, A Space Odyssey, and Blade Runner). What is more: music (the OST of my favorite movies) visiting museums, traditional art, travelling, documentaries, historical books, game and film artbooks – all this inspires me. If you like something, it's always better to study the question and find out what that artist or director were inspired by.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Everything is quite simple. Because of constant industrial and technological development, education and new skill development is an absolute necessity. As for me, the most effective way is not just learning but introducing some ideas in a new project. In this case, you always study and update your portfolio at the same time. New methods and their combinations create new art. And of course it is important to be open to the community and your friends, discussing and bringing new ideas to life. The only enemy is time, but desire looks for possibilities, as it is well known.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
I wouldn't like to separate art by traditional and digital. This is just an instrument. The main criteria are artistic vision and skills. I am fond of many artists: Traditional ones because they are the base, and actually the basis of aesthetics and culture, which form the taste. Digital artists because they are innovative, and they have new visions in the way that modern culture is formed, showing how art is very much alive right now. I'm not going to list many names, but I'd like to mention such artists as Djama Djurabaev, Macej Kuciara and Mark Kolobaev for education, influence and inspiration to become an artist. Also, my friends, the talented artists Sergey Grechanyuk and Valentin Demchenko, for their support along the way.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
There are many plans: I need to study a lot of new. Now I'd like to try introducing a bundle of CINEMA 4D and Octane into my pipeline. That's what I am working on right now, making some illustrations, and trying VR for sculpting which is a new and very interesting experience. The master plan is to participate in some great new projects. And of course try my best and push skill and knowledge to the next level.
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