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André Holzmeister: Art director interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://www.animation.art.br/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 30th December 2016

Brazilian art director for games and advertising André Holzmeister shares work from his portfolio and explains the workflow behind his gallery images...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
André Holzmeister: I am an advertisement animation film director and game art director in São Paulo, Brazil. I always direct my projects with participation in the creative conceptual phase, and I will always find a way to put my hand on the dirt, I love to actually work on the assets and production itself, it is my background and I feel I will always do that, because I love the crafting part of the job. I am now migrating my career towards the entertainment business, starting to work with games. I worked with advertising games before, so this is not a totally new world for me – entertainment was an objective I always searched for in my career.


Part of Unicef's Unfairy Tales campaign, it tells a story about a Syrian refugee girl fighting her way through the Mediterranean Sea

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
AH: I always liked the Vikings as a pop culture icon. True history is great, but if I decided to go down this route, he would not get horns and the axes would be much more like a woodworker's axe, than this mighty and richly crafted weapon. I decided to go into a Blizzard inspired warrior... Blizzard`s Warcraft universe is one of the forces that drove me to work in the CG industry, back in the days of Warcraft 2 & 3, and Diablo 1 & 2… so at some point I would have to create a tribute piece…


Character created for an Axe/Lynx short film directed by Rafael Grampá, he also did the concept art for this big fella

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
AH: The basemesh was made in 3ds Max, sculpted and polypainted later in ZBrush. It was rigged in 3ds Max, and rendered with Corona Renderer. Hair was done with Ornatrix. Photoshop was used for post-production. I love photography and the sky photography is mine too. Matte painting for the mountains was photobashed in Photoshop.


At some point in ZBrush the model started to get very heavy and I had to decimate the parts in order to continue sculpting. That was in the 32-bit version, I believe today I would not have this issue to take care of.

ZBrush and 3ds Max are my basic kit for 3D artwork; today I have added Corona Renderer as an important and productive solution for me.



I created this nanobot for a Global TED event session opening. The robot on the fingertip is all made with Vitaly Bulgarov's Kitbash, and the red eyed one has just a few pieces from the kitbash. The idea behind this was to use premade parts to assemble a totally new robot, as a way to transmit the idea that self aware robots will do that in the future, finding new ways to assemble their pieces to achieve new goals

3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often? Or do you like to experiment?
AH: I really experiment a lot, but lately the Zremesh auto retopo feature is one of my favorites. You still have to fix a lot of stuff but it gives you a starting point which is awesome. For static and non-deformable parts it is really a game changer. Substance Painter and Quixel Suite are very important too.

A study of KeyShot rendering capabilities

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
AH: I had my work featured in Digital Art Masters 1 and 2 and those were one of the first objectives I pursued, so thanks for that – the visibility it gave me handed me a real boost back then, and helped me build a career that I am very proud of. I am directing and art directing a lot lately, so I already accomplished a few of my artistic objectives, but now I am searching for the opportunity to be part of a big entertainment project.



3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
AH: I try to keep myself up to date with the tools offered to us artists, but I am more inclined now to learn more about the foundations of our artistic work. I am studying a lot of directing, acting, and now game design.


3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
AH: That is a tricky one. It is very hard to keep the portfolio up to date with all the new stuff you work on because of NDAs. So one way I found, and it is a natural way for me, is to produce a lot of personal projects… I am an artist and I feel the need to produce my own stuff, it is important for me and I use this time as a learning and experimentation time… personal projects are special because you can fly and push your limits.


Frames from a film I directed and art directed along with Boca Ceravolo to promote the fight between Aldo vs McGregor. I also modeled Aldo

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
AH: I have so many, I will name a few that greatly inspired me… Animation directors have been Pete Docter, Carlos Saldanha, and Brad Bird. For CGI: Fausto de Martini, Vitaly Bulgarov, Rafael Grassetti, Frank Tzeng, Kris Costa, Frederik Storm, Andrew Hickinbottom, and Dor Shamir. Some concept artists and illustrators that are inspirational: Bob Chiu, Key Acedera, Nico Marlet, and Cecil Kim. Great comic artists are: Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Frank Miller, and Rafael Grampá. Finally, for advertisement directors: Nando Costa, Guilherme Marcondes, Gabriel Nóbrega.

I do not consider myself a concept artist but I like the result I achieved in this styleframe

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
AH: New advertising films, and I am starting to work in the games industry, so keep an eye on this. I will be always creating characters and illustrations as personal projects, I hope to produce a new short film soon too.

Related links

Check out more of André Holzmeister's website
André's work in the gallery
André's making of his "Colossus" image


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