Blur Studio 3D artist George Manolache explores and experiments with his personal projects, and is currently merging mech and organic aspects - find out more...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi, I'm a 3D artist from Brasov, Romania. I consider myself a self-taught artist since most of 3D knowledge I have accumulated so far has been through self-guided learning, with books, forums, videos and a lot of practice. I was always an automotive fan and my entrance to the industry was an SUV concept I designed a few years back. This animation helped me learn a lot about CGI, and also landed me a job as lead 3D artist at a product viz studio in Bucharest. Sculpting and character modeling came to me a bit later as a curiosity and a challenge which gave me more satisfaction than I anticipated. Currently I work as a freelance character artist for Blur Studio.
3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
Being an engineer by specialization and inspired by movies like "Ex Machina" I had this thought about how people are being replaced by machines, for production costs and profit purposes. Appearance/Design sells but don't hold for ages, losing interest/efficiency with time. I thought a fashion model would fit the idea. Replacing becomes a better option than repairing and so we're becoming robots (human by appearance, machine by thinking). Technically, all my personal projects also have experimentation purposes. This one was based a bit more around CG hair styling, a new challenge for me.
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 usually work with 3ds Max
but on this piece I worked as well with Maya
and X-Gen for hair styling. I use V-Ray
for rendering and ZBrush
for sculpting. Textures were retouched and exported from Mari. Nuke and Photoshop for final CCs and post production. Quite difficult to achieve believable hair clustering, even with the multitude of existing plugins. For me, X-Gen seemed to do its job a bit better than other.
3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
In the past I have used After Effects a lot for compositing and post production since it was a job requirement, but I usually prefer node based compositing with Nuke. I am also using Marvellous Designer for cloth simulation more and more. Also, Substance Painter for texturing. Some may hate UV unwrapping but I'm ok with it and that's probably because of UVLayout's ease of use.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
Lately, real-time rendering caught my attention and I am seriously thinking about jumping on some personal exploration projects. Haven't decided yet what package to choose but that shouldn't be too difficult. I already have in mind a sci-fi male character from a movie I like, something that combines, again, organic and mechanic parts – a contrast that intrigues me.
Head over to George Manolache's site
Making a mythological character tutorial with George Manolache
Grab a copy of 3ds Max Projects