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David de la Orden: character artist interview


By 3dtotal staff

Web: https://www.artstation.com/artist/daviddelaorden (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 8th March 2017
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Freelance character artist David de la Orden created the recent gallery entry and making of 'Pugare' – now get to know a little more about the artist...


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3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
David de la Orden: My name is David de la Orden. I am 23 years old, I live in Miami, USA, and I currently work as a freelance character artist.

3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
DO: I based my work on a concept by Marko Djurdjevic, whose work I have always followed and admired. I chose this specific character because I wanted to do a realistic model that would allow me to test myself on a variety of materials and textures. You can check out my tutorial here.

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3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
DO: I used Maya and ZBrush for modeling, Mudbox and Photoshop for texturing, and V-Ray for rendering. The most difficult thing to do was the skin shader and the hair. I was able to obtain a realistic appearance of the skin using V-Ray blend materials that would allow me to achieve a better SSS and reflection.

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3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
DO: Sometimes I use 3ds Max for polygonal modeling because there are things that are easier to do with it than with Maya. I also use Substance Painter to speed up the texturization process, mainly when working with metal and leather. Marvelous Designer also helps me a lot when the project involves large numbers of clothing items.

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3dt: Do you have any tips or techniques that other artists may not be aware of?
DO: For me, making the hair is always one of the most difficult things to do. What I usually do is start with a fibermesh in ZBrush, using GroomHairShort brush, 0 Front Collision Tolerance and 100 Preserve Length, while keeping Auto Mask Fibermesh. Once I'm satisfied, I export the curves to Maya as a scene file and then apply nHair.

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3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
DO: I'd like to continue studying and getting better every day so that I can produce characters that look as real as possible. I've also set myself the goal of working as a character artist for a major AAA game developer surrounded by great artists that I admire.

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3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
DO: I participate in Facebook groups like Ten Thousand Hours and Pixologic, where excellent works are posted every day. These works inspire me and give me ideas for my own projects. I also visit ArtStation frequently. This allows me to see portfolios of great artists, both 3D and 2D.

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3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
DO: One always has to be aware of what is currently being produced in the world of cinematics and for the most important games around. It is also important to be in touch with other artists that share the same goals as one does, so as to share experiences and get feedback.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
DO: There's a whole lot of artists that fascinate me, and the list does not stop growing, as excellent artists emerge every day. Some of these artists are Marco di Lucca, Vitaly Bulgarov, Fausto de Martini and Rafael Grassetti. Their work inspired me to get into the world of 3D and continues to surprise me every time they post new stuff.

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3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
DO: I am working on a real-time character which I will soon have the pleasure to present to the 3D community.

Related links

Head over to David's ArtStation
The making of "Pugare"
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya

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