Belgian 3D digital artist and matte painter Jan Baelus reveals the workflow for his Giger-inspired creature, and shares work from his portfolio...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hello fellow artists. My name is Jan Baelus and I am a digital artist. When I was young, I was always drawing, particularly monsters, characters and all sorts of creatures. As the years went by my methods of working became more and more digital. After many years of finding my way, I am currently working as a full-time digital artist at a VFX company in Gent, Belgium.
Celestial being. Creator of singularities
3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
The image was originally an entry for the Character Design Challenge, but because there was no 3D allowed it got deleted. My inspiration for this creature comes from different angles. For the physical elements I guess Giger inspired me. I was always intrigued by the galaxy and the concept of infinite worlds and celestial beings. That is where the concept comes from.
Cursed lord of ancient halls
3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
I used ZBrush
for sculpting. Then I rendered it out in KeyShot
in different materials. After that I imported the images into Photoshop
. With different layers, masks, groups and a background, I refined the image until it felt right to me.
Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?
To create still images for design purposes, I use this workflow. It is fast and very affective. You can easily adjust the color and texture in Photoshop. It just looks great for the amount of time you put into this workflow.
First decent sculpt in ZBrush
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions, and what software would you like to learn in the future?
I would like to get better at sculpting, topology, rigging, animation, drawing, digital painting and so on. The road is long, but it's great to walk it.
I'm currently discovering Maya and Mudbox for animation purposes. I'm going to keep on delving into ZBrush to get more efficient, faster and better. My digital painting skills also need some refining to be able to create better concept art.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
I try to work in my free time on my portfolio. This is not always easy, because sometimes you have other things to do, and sometimes you just want to chill out, watch movies or play videogames. I am also lucky that my employer allows me to work on personal projects to improve my skillsets. Naturally the best thing to grow your skills is to spend time in 'the cave' and work your ass off! But that's easier said than done.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
There are so many talented artists out there, so I can't really say I have any particular favorites. Half of them I probably did not discover yet. An inspirational artist and good friend is Jonas De Ro. He makes awesome art and gives back to the community.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
Creatures, monsters and characters. That's what I love doing!
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Check out Jan's ArtStation
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures