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Roumen F. Filipov: 3D artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 7th August 2015

3D generalist Roumen Filipov discusses his methods and inspiration for Samurai Jack, and explains his workflow for creating great art...



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

Roumen F Filipov: I'm a 3D artist born in Bulgaria and currently living in Brazil. Like every child of my time, I watched a lot of movies and animated series and this sparked my interest in the area years later. I work as a 3D generalist in hype.cg, usually with characters for production and other stuff.

3D interpretation of a friend's concept art

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

RF: I've always been fan of Tartakovsky's cartoons and I decided to do a tribute to one of my favorites: Samurai Jack. I wanted to do a dynamic image with the dramatic tone of the original scene and the details we can get from a realistic 3D rendering.

A cute owl

3dt: Did you face any difficulties when creating this image, and how did you overcome them?

RF: My big problem was the composition and the cloth. I did a lot of planning on the camera angle and character pose to get the feeling I wanted, and even now I would change things, but it's done so no more tweaking! I sculpted the clothes in ZBrush and then applied the hair and fur modifier on the borders to reproduce the thorn cloth fibers.

Test for a freelance job

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?

RF: I use 3ds Max as my main 3D software, along with ZBrush for sculpting and detailing, Photoshop for texturing and post-processing, MARI for some hardcore texturing, and V-Ray for rendering. I don't have any tips that you can't already find in tutorials, but I think that the best one is to never get too comfortable in your own workflow, always try new things, especially in personal projects, when you don't have deadlines to attend. This way you can find new tools to solve old problems and get faster and better all the time.

Some dragon slayer looking angry

3dt: Would you consider yourself to have a particular signature style, or techniques that you use often?

RF: I think that the stuff that I most like are my signature. My characters always have micro details and realistic shading because these are my favorite parts of the process.

Character for advertising

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

RF: I don't have any professional ambition in particular. I always seek to improve as an artist and one day to be proud of my work, leaving my mark in the artistic industry.

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

RF: I started recently to use Maya and already feel comfortable with it. I'm curious about the hair and fur solutions and the render engines like Renderman and Arnold. 3ds Max is awesome but I see Maya as a more production-friendly software to be used inside a studio.

Redesign of a Siren from Borderlands game

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

RF: I have a goal of at least two personal works a year and, whenever I have permission, I update my portfolio with professional jobs.

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

RF: I follow the work of many people, both 2D and 3D artists, like Cory Loftis, Randy Bishop, Baptiste Gaubert, Dor Shamir, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Pedro Conti, Vitor Hugo, and so on… I usually pick my favorite by the originality of the characters they make.

Animated series done for Disney and Danone

3dt: Where do your ideas come from?

RF: My ideas come usually 'connecting the dots' while I'm searching for references on the net. I just need to say to myself "now I must do something!” and eventually something appears in my head. To avoid spending too much time in a bad idea I always do a lot of planning before starting the production itself, like drawing some composition ideas and sketches of the character.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?

RF: I'm focusing more on my character skills and I'm already working on another new piece. Meanwhile I have some professional works ready to launch in my portfolio, just waiting for client approval.

Tribute to Samurai jack animated series

Related links

Head over to Roumen's personal site
Explore Samurai Jack in the gallery
Grab a copy of 3ds Max Projects

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