Concept designer Darko "dar-mar" Markovic shares the workflow behind his ArtStation competition-winning image "Earth Giant"...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi 3dtotal, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Darko Markovic "dar-mar" and I come from Serbia, Belgrade.
In my previous life, as I like to call it, I was an industrial designer who got a scholarship from Lamborghini and transitioned to car design – in Milano, Italy. Later, I worked in a big company in Torino as a car designer. My boss tricked me and used me, so I had to leave Italy. Now I can thank him for doing that harm to me, because thankfully I moved to concept design and never looked back.
3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
My latest work was done for an ArtStation competition, where it took 1st place. The competition came at the right time, because I switched to concept art and I was looking for a way to prove myself. Entering it has opened the doors of the industry – which are pretty hard doors to open. From the beginning, I knew I had to make something spectacular and never seen before. Today we are trying to make everything smaller – small phones, small cars, small tablets – lets try and make something big? You know that feeling when you are a small child? You are so low on the ground; everything looks so much bigger and cooler.
3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
During the process I used a lot of moving from 2D to 3D, back and forth. It required me to reevaluate everything a lot, and think how to improve it. For 3D now I exclusively use ZBrush
, which was such an eye opener when I found it. For rendering my all the time favorite is KeyShot
, and sometimes I'll use Maya mental ray
My biggest concern was the size of the object; you don't see that many big vehicles out there. There are cruisers, I can also put a person beside it – but the person was so small that you couldn't see the shadows underneath. I overcame this problem by adding details that were familiar to the human eye so they can be related to.
3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?
Beside ZBrush, I know to work in Maya and Alias Studio tools at a high level. I don't use them very much now, except for Maya from time to time.
3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often? Or do you like to experiment?
I tend to keep it fresh, don't like the routines. A particular technique is that I reevaluate everything at least three to five times before moving forward. This can be very hard on the mind, but it's worth the effort. Everything I do, I do it consciously – when a happy accident happens, I use my conscience to decide if it's good to move there.
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
Too many to mention. I always liked chasing big dreams, when someone tells me something is impossible – I heat up like crazy. "No-one has done it, Darko." "There is no way you can do it." Just watch me, how I will prove you wrong. My whole my career was built on these sentences.
Let's see what I have in this head of mine... two that I can think of: working on a Hollywood blockbuster, and designing a production car by myself.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Working 24/7 and seeing others people work; you need to know the trends. World is too fast nowadays, artists can't sit and relax. Unfortunately that time has passed.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
This is tough - my list is so big and I don't want to insult anyone by not mentioning them.
From old artists – Leonardno Da Vinci, cause he is more of an inventor – and I don't consider myself as a designer but an inventor. So when I am angry with myself and when it's not going good, I can relate and think that if he could do it so can I.
From digital ones, oh man – Fausto De Martini is such an inspiration of a man with shapes, Daniel Simon who I admire so much – and because of him I moved to concept art. Anthony Jones, Vitaly Bulgarov, George Hull – when I saw Matrix I started asking how can I do this? Industrial designer Ora Ito, who has such a profound style, and architect Zaha Haddid.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
You can expect from me to know, that I don't know what to expect.
Head over to Darko's site
Check out "Earth Giant" in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures