Amsterdam-based freelance character modeler Kevin Beckers switched from 3D hobbyist to professional after honing his craft in his free time…
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
My name is Kevin Beckers. I was a 3D hobbyist who started working professionally in 2007 for INDG in Amsterdam. I worked for a lot of different clients there, like the Dutch Royal Airforce, Philips, Miele, and a couple of architectural companies. I did various types of imagery and animations, interiors, automotives, but mostly product visualization, like the images you see of Philips products in webshops, I used to do a lot of those.
During my years there I found out I'd rather do something more creative, less repetitive, and I loved characters, so I practiced that in the evenings. At the end of 2016 I got my first real request for a freelance character piece, and for a couple of months now I have been working as a freelance character modeler full-time, which is a lot of fun.
A project I had in mind for a while, a Ford Mustang jumping spider, who doesn't want that
3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
I'm a big fan of the "Dishonored” style, I like that line between realism and stylized, so my base style tends to aspire to that, but I'm kind of all over the place really. As far as my favorite projects I've worked on, I do really like the Ewaste hero, it was a lot of fun to work with the guys who commissioned it. And I really enjoyed finally doing my Spider Rider, I had that one on the backburner for a while.
3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
Usually I start out with ZBrush. I do 90% of my modeling in there nowadays; sometimes I jump into 3ds Max real quick if something is really easier in there, but ZBrush is the main (I'm a total fanboy). Then depending on the requirements of the project I will go to 3ds Max for retopo and unwrapping, Substance Painter for texturing, Redshift for final images, After Effects for post-production. As for hardware, my rig used to be a high-end gaming computer about 2 years ago with a lot of storage and memory, and a cintiq 22HD as primary monitor.
3dt: What inspires you?
Hard to say really, I guess certain games have really nice art styles, like the aforementioned Dishonored, or if I see something that is funny, like my headphone dude based on a sketch by Danny Williams I came across on Pinterest. Also, the Disney movies have a really appealing art style to me, like Zootopia, or the Wreck it Ralph's, those Disney princesses, just perfect.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Well I'm a freelancer, and my income depends on my portfolio, so I treat it as work (fun work!) If I'm not working for a client, I'm working for myself, learning new stuff, building up my portfolio, I try to maintain a professional attitude towards building up my portfolio and spend those 40 hours a week on 3D in one way or another.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
So I recently discovered Tyler Bolyard, he's amazing, really great form language in his characters, nice clean style. Sergey Kolesov, he did a bunch of the art on Dishonored, but there are really so many great 3D and 2D artists, it's hard to pick out a few and say those are my favorites.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
I have a few things going that I work on when I get the time, an ice cream van heist, an Alzheimer related image (like I said, all over the place), some practice sculpts trying out some styles and ideas, a gang of 1850s hoodlums, enough stuff coming down the pipe, might take a while though.
Kevin Beckers's website
Kevin on Instagram