Eidos Montreal Senior Level Artist, Michel Lanoie, reveals the techniques and inspiration behind his detailed works, including recent gallery entry,
Mechanical Rebirth narrowly missed out on the award for Best Scene in our July gallery, amassing 3,236 points (which would usually be enough under other circumstances!) Eidos Montreal Level Artist, Michel Lanoie, reveals the inspiration behind his detailed works and his preferred software.
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi everyone, my name is Michel Lanoie and I work in videogames at Eidos Montreal
, on Deus Ex Universe
. Besides the fact that I played videogames in my childhood and that I was fascinated by them, I desperately wanted to know how they were made. That is why for Christmas at the age of 14 years old, I asked for 3D training books.
I am lucky enough to be born in Montreal, Canada, a great city for the videogame industry. Therefore, I did not have to move away to realize my dream of working in this field. Now that I have succeeded in that, I think it is crucial to still learn new things, and work on personal side projects that are unrelated to work.
The very first 3D software I learned was Bryce
, and the first thing I did with it was to carve my name into a mountain, using a displacement map. It was animated too, weird you might say, but fun. I still have the video of it.
3dt: Tell us the story behind your recent gallery entry: What inspired you to create it?
I have great appreciation for anything that is man-made and that has been abandoned for a long time. I find great inspiration in such places; sometimes a building was abandoned for so long that nobody realizes the treasures
Early 20th-Century technology is my personal technological golden era, everyday objects were massive but very reliable and much easier to repair than some of today's hi-tech hardware. I wanted to bring back to life what was
3dt: What software did you use and do you have any tips for using this software, or any other software that you use to create your art in general?
I used 3ds Max
, and Photoshop
3dt: Would you consider yourself to have a particular signature style, or techniques that you use often?
I usually try to hand paint a maximum of textures since I want to give my images a stylized look but also maintain a certain amount of photorealism. Because my scenes have a large amount of clutter, it is important to keep the texture noise and grunge levels to a minimum.
I also try to direct the eye to different points of interest, without it being too overwhelming for the viewer. This is why I give the textures a desaturated look, all while maintaining a more saturated color relationship between key elements.
3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
I did not have the opportunity to learn Unreal Engine 4
. I am thinking about doing my next scene in a real-time engine like Unreal instead of it being pre-rendered. As I work in videogames, I am already accustomed to working in real-time, so it might be much faster to do my next personal work that way. Nowadays, the quality margin between real-time and pre-rendered is slim.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
There is a great amount of talented artists out there, but Neil Blevins'
work is particularly amazing. I like the abstract look to his work, the way he uses shapes and colors. His work reflects the definition of thinking outside the box.
Even though I admire traditional art, I think that the possibilities are endless with digital art. 3D art is like a form of magic, you can create just about anything starting from polygons and vertices.
3dt: How do you like to unwind after a hard day's (or night's) work?
I like going to the gym or to doing any other kind of sports, it clears my mind and helps me to think of nothing. Besides that, I love sci-fi shows – I'm currently watching Stargate
. Oh and on Fridays, there is nothing better than a good beer when I get back home from work.
Head over to Michel Lanoie's website
Check out Mechanical Rebirth
in our gallery
Want to try Unreal? Try Unreal Game Engine