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Konstantin Gdalevich: 3D artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: https://www.gdalevich.com/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 4th May 2018

Konstantin Gdalevich is a Tel Aviv-based 3D artist with an impressive portfolio, working mostly in the mobile game market. Read more...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Konstantin Gdalevich: Hello, my name is Konstantin (Kosta) Gdalevich and I live in sunny Tel Aviv, Israel. In the past I have worked as a designer for the post production industry and then shifted to mobile games. In Israel we don't have triple-A games production, so mobile ones are the way to go. My passion is 3D characters and creatures, so I follow this path.

Main render of my last project

3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
KG: My art style is pretty versatile; I love sci-fi, especially the cyberpunk universe, and at the same time I love creating happy and sort of cute creatures. But all of the genres are ending up being or trying to be more realistic in their style of detailing. With that said, you can find my two favorite projects "Andrew the whale” and "Messiah” in 2 completely different universes. A couple of years ago I worked for the company 7 Elements Studios (you can find some of the renders on my website), and projects I worked on that were my favorites.

Close up of Andrew

Close up of Andrew

3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
KG: If I'm creating a humanoid character with a tight deadline I prefer to start from an established base mesh. That gives me already great topology, and I can skip the retopo step in the future. If the project is for my personal training and a portfolio piece, I prefer to start with ZSpheres and work my way up to Dynamesh. After the high-poly sculpt is ready, I taking it to Topogun (if a retopo is needed) and reproject the details in ZBrush after.

Next I head to Maya to unwrap all the parts and when I'm happy with the UV tiles, I finally start texturing. Here I jump from ZBrush polypaint to Quixel or Mari (Mari is a new tool to me, so in the next projects I'll be using it to truly discover the power of this amazing software). After the texture is half way ready, I build a basic light set-up in V-Ray for Maya and start to build basic shaders. I work on finalizing textures and shaders at the same time.

With a workflow like this you would never get a bad surprise in the rendering stage. Finally, I polish the light setup and render the final passes. This "light polishing” stage is crucial! I see a lot of great sculpts with great textures that are ruined by bad lighting. I can understand it, you spent 100 hours on sculpting than more 100 hours on texturing and you just don't have the power to work on lighting. But bad lighting will ruin all the work you have done, so don't rush it!

Dark, cyberpunk character design

Close up of Messiah

3dt: What inspires you?
KG: In fact I can get inspired by a lot of things. Music, movies, animals, or just a situation I see on the streets. I have hundreds of ideas in a day, jumping from big bad robot to a cute squirrels. The problem is to pick one for my next work. For example, my last project, Andrew the Whale, started from some concept art by Jesus Blones. I hadn't sculpted animals to this level of completion before then. This project was so satisfying from the first references that I found, and to the final rendering, that I decided to make my next project something similar.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
KG: You just need to work, work, and work. There is no magic button or magic tutorial. When you post your next piece and you know that this is the best one you've produced, you are on a good track. Challenge yourself, don't stay in your comfort zone, if you never touch a fur setup (for example) and you don't know how to do it – start a project that involves it, for example a bear. If you have never sculpted hard surface in ZBrush, do a gun or something. When your arsenal of tools and tricks gets bigger, your art pieces get richer, and by that your portfolio will get better and better.

This was my first real time character, I did him to test and learn the PBR workflow

Close up of Firefly

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
KG: Now, in the era of 3dtotal, ArtStation, Facebook, and so on, you are exposed to a ton of art and artists every day. This is such a great thing and because of this it's a little hard to choose the best ones from the community. I was a 2D designer when I saw the works of Pascal Blanche, he changed my life and from then and until now (4 years already) I have focused only on 3D. I must mention Vitaly Nulgarov, his path to the glory room of 3D is inspiring. To this line of my favorite artists I can add Alessandro Baldasseroni, whose character work is mesmerizing!

Real time model based on a Simon Stalenhag concept art

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
KG: At the moment I'm taking a couple of weeks off my personal projects to finish some freelance ones. I think the next ArtStation challenge is when and where I'll be back. I love challenges, they push you to the limits, and as a result you produce great portfolio pieces. Like I sad earlier, I probably will work on an animal piece!

Related links

Konstantin Gdalevich's website
Konstantin on ArtStation
Konstantin on Facebook
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to ZBrush


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