Paris-based CG generalist Guillaume Rajaona has worked on a variety of projects, from "Thor” to "Despicable Me 2” – find out more…
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hello! My name's Guillaume Rajaona. I'm French, living in Paris. I've worked for 8 years in the animation world and I still love that. After school, I had the chance to begin my career at BUF Company, particularly on Marvel's movie "Thor.” And later, I worked at Illumination MacGuff where I could work in the character modeling department of "Despicable Me 2.” And then, the environment modeling of the short movies and commercials of "Minions,” "The Secret Life of Pets,” and "Sing!” Now, it has been a year since working at Gobo Animation as a CG generalist artist.
3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
I don't think that I have a particular style. I can say I prefer to create realistic things rather than in the cartoon style. Each project is different and doesn't look like each other. I do my artworks thinking about "challenge" and "passion" and go from there! And I do what I want and I like this; it's a great adventure each time. For example, I created "LAB” because I love the Tanaka Tatsuyuki's universe and I wanted to interpret it in 3D. For "from day to night” I wanted to work on the lighting, and my last, "At night” was for the poetry of the image, inspired by the Hayao Miyazaki movies and the artworks of Disney's movie "The Princess and the Frog.”
3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
For each project, first, I group images together on Google (and Instagram), that I stock on Pinterest. Then I draw several sketches to work the composition. I begin to do a layout in Maya, I set a lighting and I do some quick renders. For my last artwork, I used filters on Instagram to have a fast idea of the final reel render I wanted. And I render 2 images: a color and another in black-and-white to see the contrasts.
Once I am happy with it, I can finally start the production. I model assets and environments in Maya using references, Substance Painter to texture, and use ZBrush for more details, Arnold to render, and Photoshop for the compositing.
3dt: What inspires you?
Every day, I see a lot of talented artists on 3dtotal, ArStation, CGsociety, "the art of" on IAmag and Instagram. Movies and observation help too. Each day is an inspiration. I save what I can on my computer, cell phone, or I sketch on a post-it. And maybe one day, that'll be useful for me.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
It's very hard to keep a portfolio up-to-date. After a big project, I know I couldn't begin another straight after. I prefer favoring the quality to quantity. I respect the artists who can do both. After my last artwork "At night", I've just given thought to the next one and have just started it.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
For this question, even if I love to create environments or props, I am fascinated by the character modelers like Hossein Diba, Vimal Kerketta, Guzz Soares, Dan Roarty, Ekaterina Pushkarova, Kris Costa (aka Antropus), Ian Spriggs, Mathieu Aerni, Eduardo Simon, and so on. I love their work and the way they can give life to their portraits. And I would like to do this kind of render in my future projects. It's my next challenge! For the digital 2D part, I love Ben Templesmith, Tanaka Tatsuyuki, Pascal Campion, and Noelle Triaureau.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
As I said previously, I like to change universes with each project, and now I'd like to do one with one character. It's my purpose. I have several ideas in my mind. I just need to pick one and when I have found it, I'll begin the production. I think that'll be for this summer. I'll see. I'm really looking forward to share it and I hope you'll like it.
Guillaume Rajaona's website
Guillaume on ArtStation
Guillaume on Behance