RFP Artists Discussing Their Ways to Improve Skills and Go-To Software

We've talked to a few of our active RFP artists and asked them what are their ways to master 3D art skills and three tools they'd choose for the production process. Check it out!

The Dream Job

My dream job is to work as an artist in a studio where you are surrounded by talented people with whom you can exchange and learn from. Each day should be different and bring new challenges.

The most important thing for me is teamwork and the exchange among each other. If this is given, work never gets boring and you learn something new every day.

Art outsourcing studios are also very attractive to me because there is the possibility to work on many different projects.

I hope to realize this goal of working as a 3D Environment/Props Artist in the industry soon.

On Mastering 3D Art Skills

I am always trying to get out of my comfort zone and face new challenges to improve my skills. For this purpose, I am constantly looking for new projects in my spare time, where I can try out new workflows or tools to broaden my horizon. I think it is extremely important to face new challenges because this is the only way to get ahead in your field.

The best way of getting your skills higher is to listen to constructive feedback and implement it. In addition, I read many articles by artists that offer insights into their work process.

80 level is my most visited page here, as there are a lot of useful tips and tricks from talented artists around the world.

Artstation Learning or Flipped Normals are other good ways to improve your skills through courses. But I also watch a lot of free Youtube Videos, if i get stuck with a Problem.

Apart from a personal exchange, these are all opportunities to learn new approaches and improve your skills.

Three Favorite Tools

To choose only three software is very difficult. For me, this would be 3dsMax, Substance Painter and Unreal. 3dsMax is in 95 percent of the cases always the first program I start in, if it is not Zbrush.

I feel absolutely at home in this program and just love the modifiers. 3dsMax was also the first 3D program I came in contact with. When it comes to texturing, Substance Painter is clearly my first choice.

It offers so many possibilities to get the best out of your assets. I love this part of the job the most because the textures tell a story and with Substance, you have the ability to do this in every little detail.

Finally, of course, Unreal, because this is where it all comes together. An absolutely artist-friendly engine that allows you to get so much more out of your scene and assets with shaders and lighting.

The Dream Job

My dream job is directly related to Character sculpture. Whether it is about creating dioramas for collectibles or statues, developing 3D concepts, or working out maquettes for any kind of production.
I like the human body. Stretch it. Force it. Communicate through it. It is not only about creating great textures and materials and reaching that photorealism that seems so important these days but to navigate through the mid-frequency and the silhouette. I don't like soulless puppets waiting to be rigged but to immerse myself in the clay and turn it into the skin.

Mastering 3D Art Skills

Practice, tutorials, and sculpture demos. 
Practice: Practice and more practice. Getting involved in projects and solving problems within a time limit. This is how geniality is born. This is how I polish my abilities and the only way to test my skills.
Tutorials and courses: Because we don't know everything, and for anything I do, somebody else is already teaching a different way of doing it (and probably most effective too).
Sculpture demos: It is important to constantly forget what I think I know in order to create space for better ways of achieving goals. Sculpture demos work wonders because there are no explanations, only somebody else creating through their own experience and method.

Three Favorite Tools

ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, and Keyshot. 
These three software pieces have all something in common: They all are good at 1 thing, and they are extremely good at it. Furthermost, every year they get new updates, every single one of them is most powerful and useful than the last one. I don't see any of these being out of the market soon.

The Dream Job

I hear a lot of people name studios when thinking of dream jobs, but my dream job would not be dictated by a specific studio. It would be dictated by the type of team I join. I want to be part of a team that works well together and helps each other grow and improve artistically.  I find that a collaborative environment is a lot more productive and fulfilling experience for everyone.  It can also help push the overall quality of the artist's skill and the final product. If I can be part of a team like this then I would be happy.
My focus is to keep growing as an artist. The more I learn and grow, the more doors will open up.

Mastering 3D Art Skills

Outside of work, I have a few ways to help myself level up.  For technical knowledge, I usually do tutorials.  I always focus on tutorials that are made by people who currently work in the industry. After I have a full understanding of the technical method, I would usually start incorporating what I learned in my future personal projects.  If I want to level up my artistic skills then I would usually find a teacher, mentor, or colleague so that I can get feedback/critique. I find that critique can be the most important factor in level up as an artist also.

Three Favorite Tools

That’s a tough question since I use several programs depending on the situation.  If I could only choose 3, then I would go with Maya, ZBrush, and Substance Painter.  I can make the high poly in ZBrush, low poly in Maya, UV in Maya, bakes in Substance, and textures in Substance. If I had a choice though, I would not limit myself to just three programs, but I usually adapt to what the studio has and their pipeline.

The Dream Job

For me, I think a dream job would be something where I can implement my own idea/imagination and get ownership. As an artist, it’s the freedom and high quality that I seek more often.

It’s a long journey that I am pursuing started from the very basic idea of story-telling. I love exploring and learning how to visualize my imagination beautifully. Currently, I am focused on hard-surfaces but in the future, I would like to extend myself into Material creation, Set-dressing to establish a complete scene that would help viewers to connect and feel the way I feel.

Mastering 3D Art Skills

Working on a regular basis is always the best way to push skills. I mostly work on production works where I can learn a lot of stuff in hand. In my spare time, I apply this knowledge and experiment in my personal projects.

I would say both are really helpful. If someone gets the chance to work on projects then it’s the best way to learn and develop the skills. On the contrary, specialized courses can help to save a lot of time than self-learning but ultimately the knowledge will be applied into production works. So taking part in projects is more beneficial to me.

Three Favorite Tools

I can divide my game work pipeline into the Modeling, Texturing, and Testing/Rendering stage.

For modeling in general I would choose 3ds max since I like to work using modifiers. Graphite modeling tools have some cool features like Conform Brush, Optimize, and Draw on the surface to edit polygon models. Another nice tool is the topology tool which is very easy to use for retopo.

Substance Painter would be my tool for texturing. Features like anchor points, filters, and smart materials are very helpful for a non-destructive and seamless workflow. In the end, export-presets can generate very specific production-ready output for final integration.

I found Marmoset Toolbag is very fast and more user-friendly for rendering among other real-time applications. Without spending much time in technical aspects I can focus more on artistic contents, besides the baker and real-time tweaking save a lot of time than cross-checking in different programs.
Of course, the choices will vary but with these software pieces I think it’s really possible to work in production without much issue.

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