Andrzej Dybowski: concept artist interview

"Witcher 3" and "Dying Light" concept artist Andrzej Dybowski shares his workflow, background, and inspirations for his Photoshop creations...

"Witcher 3" and "Dying Light" concept artist Andrzej Dybowski shares his workflow, background, and inspirations for his Photoshop creations...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Andrzej Dybowski: I'm a concept artist from Poland. I grew up in a picturesque city by the Baltic sea, Sopot. My city borders with one of the biggest cities in Poland, Gdansk, and maybe that's why I love both nature and urban zones. My mother is an architect and my brother is a director of photography, so most of my family consists of artists. Throughout my childhood I often travelled with my family to various places around the world, and maybe that is one of the reasons my imagination is good enough to be a concept artist, something I'm very thankful for.

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
AD: I was so amazed by the high level of artwork sent to ILM Star Wars challenge that I was a little bit upset and angry at myself that I didn't participate in it, so I decided to paint something close to the Star Wars universe. Also, lately I've been painting more and more cyberpunk concepts because I think there is still a lot to discover in this genre.

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?

AD: This was a pretty straightforward painting in terms of construction so I used only Photoshop. A lot of people use 3D software to block objects and establish composition and light, but I think this process kills creativity and the painterly look of the image. I wanted this image to be painted rather than photobashed, so I supported myself with photos only slightly.

3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?

AD: I only use Photoshop and no other software. Sometimes at work, especially during the later stages of a game production, I do over-paintings over screenshots from the game engine. When I design interiors from scratch, I often use the Lazy Nezumi plug-in which enables you to draw in perspective. What it does is it snaps brushstrokes to virtual perspective lines so you are 100% sure you will not make any mistakes in perspective. Sometimes this plug-in is a lifesaver.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

AD: My biggest ambition is to finally paint something that I would like for more than 10 minutes. But I guess it is a crucial part of evolving as an artist, so I got used to this permanent state of disliking my artwork. I just hope that someday I will look at old masters paintings and I will say to myself that my skills are not so far away from theirs' anymore. What fascinates me the most is light and color, so I will try to explore these elements in my images as much as I can.

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
AD: When I look at my character artist friends and their artworks, and see what magic can be done in a sculpting software, it makes me want try to put my hands to it. It is amazing how quickly nowadays you can sculpt non-organic objects in such software like ZBrush or Mudbox, so if I ever have to turn to 3D software, I would like to try one of these. I do know 3ds Max and Maya because I used to do architectural visualizations and animated movies, but if I do not have to use them I prefer to stick to Photoshop.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
AD: It is very difficult to keep a portfolio up-to-date when you work at the studio on amazing games like The Witcher 3 or Dying Light. I do not make as much personal paintings as I would like to, so recently I came up with an idea that maybe I will start a project on the Patreon website. This way I will be forced to stop wasting time on Facebook and Instagram and start to do something useful for me and the world.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
AD: I think that of one the reasons I started to make concept art is because of Polish concept artist Maciej Kuciara. I also love John Park and Jaime Jones paintings. They look so painterly and effortless. I guess these artists have so much fun doing their job. Recently, I have found an artist called Sung Choi, and I immediately fell in love in his paintings. Especially the ones for Destiny. I think that my favorite traditional artist is Richard Schmid. My dream is to translate the way he paints to the digital painting universe.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
AD: It is really hard to say because as a concept artist I have a million ideas a minute, so it can be literally anything. Maybe I will finally make up my own IP and focus on it instead of making each new painting from a totally different genre. Time will tell.

Related links

Head over to Andrzej Dybowski's website
Check out The Making of "Campsite"
Buy a copy of Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Sci-fi & Fantasy

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