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Ryan Hansford: look dev artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://ryanhansford.virb.com/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 31st May 2016

Look development and lighting artist Ryan Hansford shares his Maya and ZBrush workflow for his recent gallery entry "Loremaster" and more from his portfolio...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Ryan Hansford: Hello! My name is Ryan Hansford; I am a Canadian artist currently doing commercial work. I knew I wanted to get into this industry from a very early age; initially I wanted to work on videogames, but after I went to animation school that shifted and I had a strong desire to work on feature films. Once I got my first job out of animation school, that is where I really narrowed down what I loved to do, and it was look development and lighting. I loved how lighting could completely change the mood and feel of a shot, and since then I have been trying to learn as much about light and color theory as I can.

Character courtesy of boutique23.com

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
RH: The Loremaster character is based off a concept by Tyler James, and after the character was finished we wanted to put it in a scene, and create a bit of a story around it. We are both massive fans of anything fantasy, so most of the inspiration for the came from the witches hut in Pixar's Brave, and Radagast's house in The Hobbit. We wanted to create a magical/mysterious scene where maybe you don't quite know what the Loremaster is doing to the Ladybug, hurting or helping it? We wanted to leave it up to the viewer to interpret.

Character courtesy of Muhammad Waseem.
Set courtesy of www.td-u.com

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
RH: We used Maya, and ZBrush for the modeling, sculpting, and some texturing. Photoshop for a large part of the texturing, V-Ray for rendering, and finally Eyeon Fusion, and After Effects for compositing and effects.

Set courtesy of www.td-u.com

3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?
RH: This is the software we normally use, although this is the first time we used ZBrush to generate all the hair for the character, it took a little bit of research to get the hair curves exported out from ZBrush and into Maya where we then applied a Maya Hair system. Another great little plugin for Maya that we used to layout the UV's was XrayUnwrap, it made laying out UV's very painless and quick.

Set courtesy of Anuar Figueroa.

3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often? Or do you like to experiment?
RH: I really love to experiment with different colors, intensity's, and positions of lights to change the mood and feel of a scene. If it's a personal piece I also like creating different compositions and camera layouts with a scene.

Character and Set courtesy of www.td-u.com

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
RH: I would love to eventually work on feature films doing lighting. Also at some point I would like to get better at modeling and sculpting for my own personal projects.

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skill set, and why?
RH: I really want to learn Arnold and NUKE, I've heard nothing but great things about both of them and they seem to be industry standard at this point, at least NUKE anyway. I am also interested in checking out MARI to use in conjunction with Photoshop.

Character courtesy of www.td-u.com

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
RH: Just recently I finished up a bunch of portfolio projects that I have been working on for awhile, and I find when I have that many projects on the go it is so much harder to try and get them done because it gets overwhelming very quickly. My biggest tip would be to not take on too much to the point where you just abandon it. This is especially true for students or people just starting out. I was very guilty of that in the past; trying to make Lord of the Rings by myself and ended up just leaving the project because there was no end in sight. I'd say start with small projects and work your way up until you find your comfort zone.

Character courtesy of boutique23.com

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
RH: I am looking soon to try and make a move into feature film lighting. Also I have a few personal projects kicking around in my head that I would like to get started on soon.


Related links

Head over to Ryan's website
'Loremaster' in the 3dtotal gallery
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya
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