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Marcos de Moraes Sampaio: CGI artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 20th March 2015

Marcos de Moraes Sampaio discusses juggling advertising work with his personal projects, including this February gallery entry, Geek is the new sexy....



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Marcos de Moraes Sampaio: I'm a CGI artist working as a generalist. I live in São Paulo, Brazil, and I create mostly still images for the advertising market for Notan Studio.

I graduated as an architect but never really worked as one. In my 4th year of college I was lucky enough to get to work in a renowned illustration studio here in Brazil. There I found my passion for 3D illustration, and after 4 years learning from many great artists, I got to open a studio called Notan with my business partner Eduardo Baroni, and we`ve been in the market for 5 years now.

This image was based on a painting by Cameron Scott Davis that is part of his series of books called Sleepwalker.
Image created in 2015

3dt: Tell us the story behind your recent gallery entry: What inspired you to create it?
MMS: My most recent entry is a geek caricature and it started from the combined desire of improving my texturing skills in ZBrush, and also creating an image based on a concept of my own. I found a drawing of a geek in my sketchbook and thought it could make a good subject, and since it was a portrait I decided to add some humour to it to make it more interesting.

3dt: Did you face any difficulties when creating this image, and how did you overcome them?
MMS: I wanted the caricature to look cartoonish but also realistic, so I knew I'd have to add a considerable amount of detail to it, and also come up with a realistic skin shader. To get around those issues I decided to produce some pictures of my own face with nice studio lighting. Then I created an HDR with this same studio set and created my 3D scene with the same lighting conditions. Now, what I had was a very good reference for details and shaders with the exact same lighting as my 3D model, so all I had to do was to reproduce the skin look and the details I had in
the pictures.

This image was based on a painting by Arthur de Pins. Image created in 2012

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?
MMS: I used Photoshop, ZBrush and MODO. This is my basic toolset for most of my projects. I'm still refining my workflow using ZBrush and MODO, but so far I think those two complement each other nicely. I don`t have much to say regarding Photoshop and ZBrush, they are the standard software in the industry and the internet is filled with learning resources about them.

The biggest tip I'd give to MODO users is being part of the foundry community, it is filled with talented artists willing to help each other, so it's of great help in problem solving.

This image was meant as a study to understand the usage of fur in MODO. Image created in 2009

3dt: Would you consider yourself to have a particular signature style, or techniques that you use often?
MMS: Though most of my commissioned works are realistic, I feel I haven't found my signature style yet. Actually, finding/developing it is one of my goals with my recent personal projects, so I've been experimenting a lot in terms of style, and developing new techniques.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
MMS: I'd say my main artistic ambition now is to become more artistic. Our daily work is what pays the bills and sometimes it can be more artistically rewarding, other times not. But I think every CGI artist must find a way of keeping the art alive inside us even when we are just working to pay the bills. Our personal work is in my opinion the best way of doing it. Trying to find our own style, language, artistic signature will not only feed our artistic needs, it will show the industry the kind of artist we aim to be and will make us known for what we do best.

This piece was made for a Stella Artois advertisement. Image created in 2008

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
MMS: I have my eyes on Marvelous Designer, because it seems to be the best solution out there to create clothing fast and with quality. I also plan on learning Maya, because it's another industry standard and I think knowing it will make my life a lot easier when exchanging files with riggers and animators.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
MMS: More than I can mention here. I have lots and lots of favorite artists, not one or two in particular. Here are some in a random order: Kris Costa, Gio Nakpil, Norman Rockwell, Sebastian Kruger, Gil Elvgren, Marek Denko, Alex Roman, Neville Page, Glen Keane, Randy Bishop, Rick Baker, Brasilio Matsumoto, Tiago Hoisel, Jason Seiler, Goro Fujita and many many others.

Car renders are one of the main products produced by our studio. These were just created as a study. Images created in 2014

3dt: How do you like to unwind?
MMS: Rock climbing, watching a movie, or just having a beer with friends.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
MMS: I'm working on one more texturing exercises, and then I'll focus on human anatomy.


Related links:

Check out Notan's site
Want to learn Maya like Marcos? Get Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya
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