CG look development artist Murad AbuJaish discusses his career so far and the workflow behind his Street of Dreams gallery image...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Murad AbuJaish: I am Murad AbuJaish from Amman, Jordan in the 'Middle East', and I am a CG look development artist, hair grooming artist at RGH (Rubicon Group Holding).
3dt: Tell us the story behind your recent gallery entry, Street of Dreams: What inspired you to create it?
MA: For Street of Dreams there is not that much of a story behind it. After seeing the umbrella street in Agueda Portugal, in Google and YouTube last year, I thought of doing my own version of the umbrella street, with a more dreamy and romantic feeling to it.
In this image, the fluffy boy gathers money for cancer research in a unique way. I saw this image on Google and decided to do a tribute for this dude. Maya, V-Ray , Photoshop
3dt: Did you face any difficulties when creating this image, and how did you overcome them?
MA: Before I start any project, I gather tons of references, then I search for a start base, maybe an old project or some free stuff on the internet, or anything just to make my layout camera. Then I start modeling and set dressing. Then before texturing I make a simple light setup that is somehow close to my final concept.
In the Street of Dreams project, I had two main challenges; first the scene was so heavy I had to do a lot of proxy and archiving to ease moving and working with the scene.
Secondly, I had to populate nearly ten thousand umbrellas, so I decided to make it using two systems; the ones in front the camera were placed by hand, and the ones for mid and far distant, I used Maya particle instancing with a lot of scripting to make it believable.
Lastly, the compositing was done in Photoshop, with simple passes like ambient occlusion and ZDepth.
A small project created with Ahmad Turki – I was responsible for wheat modeling, shading and distribution.
Maya , mental ray , After Effects
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?
MA: Mainly, I used Maya for most stages. My tip would be a mental ray tip; always check the Render Current Frame and Batch Render options box, because the Maya default sitting is too low. The option is highly dependent on your work machine, always uncheck all the auto options and enter the proper numbers by yourself.
3dt: Would you consider yourself to have a particular signature style, or techniques that you use often?
MA: I don't have a strict style, but I always love to have a colorful image. I always look for weird stuff that no one has done before.
I was the technical director for Sizzle, and I was responsible for all the vegetation, exterior lighting and some texturing and rendering.
Maya, ZBrush, MARI, XGen, PaintEffect, mental ray, NUKE
3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
MA: I would say Houdini, because you can manipulate particles and do simulation inside it easily, and that would make my portfolio richer.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
MA:Becca Baldwin from Blizzard Entertainment is in the top of my favorite artist, because of her technique in styling, grooming and simulation of realistic hair.
3dt: How do you like to unwind?
MA: Most of my time is spent in the studio working. After I leave, I go to the gym for one hour. On the weekend, I go to play basketball with my friend. I am also a classic guitar player, so most of my free time I will be jamming on the guitar.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
MA: I really don't have that much digital work due to the tight deadlines of my work, so in my few spare hours I will start some work but never finish it. So kindly you can visit my website for more.
3dt: What animal would you choose to be reincarnated into?
MA: My friend always called me the vampire so I would say a vampire bat!