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Leo Haslam: 3D artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 30th July 2015

Freelance 3D artist Leo Haslam is just beginning his journey in the creative industry – discover the inspiration for his recent gallery entry, and his story so far...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Leo Haslam: My name is Leo Haslam and I'm a self-taught 3D artist living in London, England. I got into digital art in 2008 when I accidently discovered ZBrush while watching videos on YouTube. I was instantly hooked and have spent my time since then learning everything I can about 3D and digital art.


3dt: Tell us the story behind your recent gallery entry: What inspired you to create it?

LH: My recent gallery entry Soul as Black as Hell was done as an exercise for the Facebook group Brainstorm. The theme was to redesign a character from Star Wars and I immediately decided I was going to do Darth Vader. My inspiration behind the piece was that I really wanted to expose Darth Vader's dark soul. I wanted to show a stripped down version of Darth Vader, showing his underlying synthetic body. I also wanted the image to show Vader in a kind of pure Zen type state so I chose to put him in a kind of yoga pose.

Inspired by E3 demo of Doom 4

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?

LH: For this piece I used ZBrush, KeyShot and Photoshop. I think that when using any software for creating art it's a good idea to be as efficient as possible. What I mean by this is don't spend time sculpting details on something that the audience is never going to see. For example, when I modeled Darth Vader I only spent time detailing the areas that I knew would be visible in the image and I left areas such as the back completely untouched. Obviously if you are creating a 3D model for a game or animation then this doesn't apply, but if you are just creating something for an image then it really does help to know what is and isn't worth spending your time on.

Printed on my Ultimaker2 and painted by hand

Sculpted and rendered in ZBrush

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

LH: I've only recently started out as a freelance 3D artist so I'm still exploring different avenues. I think eventually I'd like to work for a games studio as either a concept or character artist. Whatever I do I want to feel inspired and creative.

A bio synthetic organism developed by a shady private military company

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?

LH: I've recently been playing around with Fusion 360 by Autodesk. It looks really cool for making hard surface designs really quickly. I haven't spent too much time with it yet so I'd quite like to delve a bit deeper into it.

A disgusting, slug-like, alien creature with a low IQ and an appetite for garbage. You may find this creature in shady alleyways rattling around inside of trash cans and squabbling with foxes over scraps of old rubbish

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

LH: There are so many I couldn't mention them all. Those worthy of note would be H.R Giger, Vitaly Bulgarov, Kurt Papstein and Aaron Beck. It's hard to explain exactly what it is that I love about these artists. Besides the fact that their artwork is pure awesomeness, I think it's because they each have their own unique styles that sets them apart from the other artists who follow similar themes. For example there are so many people out there (myself included) that make images of sci-fi robots and monsters and the artists that I've mentioned above seem to be able to produce artworks that still feel original even in such an oversaturated arena.

Street Fighter fan art

Related links

Check out Leo Haslam's website
Vote for Soul as Black as Hell in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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