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Aref Razavi: 3D artist & director interview

Aref Razavi

3D Artist

3D artist and studio head at Zavir Studio, Aref Razavi somehow manages to stay sane while balancing family life with study, teaching, and working commitments – stressing you still need to find time for yourself! Read more…

Aref's profile

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Aref

My name is Aref Razavi. I was born in 1986 in a small city in Iran called Qaemshahr. I graduated in architecture from university. I have been leading the Zavir studio for 10 years. I started as an amateur artist in 2001. When I saw the shapeshifter guy in Terminator 2, I told myself this was for me. I wanted to learn, rather than be a consumer. I wanted to be a creator. Now I am director of Zavir studio and outsourcing Qoo studio in Toronto as lead rendering artist. (Unfortunately, there were no opportunities for learning in Iran. Therefore, learning the software was a difficult one without any educational resources. But it was possible!)

Adam

What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?

Aref

Living in the depths of the forest has always been my dream. So I decided to make this dream come true. I travel a lot in nature and carefully check the details of this forest. For this, first I modeled a small topography and then, I scattered vegetation with the help of the Forest Pack's unique plug-in. Finally, l put the cars in the focal position of the image and I set the camera's angles.

And why the Mercedes-Benz Classic!? The Mercedes-Benz SS Roadster 1930 is one of the most beautiful classic cars. It has beautiful curves and I should tell the designer bravo! And the unique curve of this car is the best tool to showcase the best of the forest reflection.

Adam

What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?

Aref

As always, the workflow project is powered by 3ds Max and V-Ray has been used for shaders and lighting. Project challenges were management of hardware consumption, due to the large volume of objects i did with the help of Forest Pack, and, of course, my creativity.

As you can see in the picture, there are many details in this job. Details such as dirt, lines, and scratches. I also used it to create the forest road from the PBR Technique. In the end, it was completed with Photoshop and After Effects for post-production operations.

Adam

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Aref

I usually use multiple software to make my work process faster and easier. So I use Autocad for all my architectural models. Marvelous Designer for the cloth, and Substance Painter to create amazing shaders. Because Substance is very useful and easy. Then I bring these all into 3ds Max and work on the shading process using V-Ray. Finally, I use Photoshop and After Effects for post-production to create a realistic render. Some plug-ins I use include Itoo Forest Pack and Railclone, Floor generator, Red Giant Package, and some useful scripts are VMC and Object Randomizer.

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Aref

It is a very good question. Love. The only answer to this question is absolute love. My love for the CG world is so much that my wife imagines the world of CG as her competition! To be honest, I am very busy. As the father of a 4-year-old son, as a spouse, as a son of my parents, as a leader of a studio… As an online academy manager with over 2,000 students, as well as teaching at the universities, seminars, and more, I am kept busy. But time management is my path to salvation. Benjamin Franklin says: “The one who manages time is actually the owner of the time.”

I think a successful artist is someone who knows how to stop working. Never give in to hardship! There is no dead-end in the CG world. All my work that has international awards have been made in short time. Just trust yourself and use professional experience. I usually visit famous galleries like 3dtotal, Evermotion, and ronenbekerman in my free time.

Adam

Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Aref

Yes, of course, I’m present on many social media websites. On Linkedin, Facebook,

Evermotion, 3dtotal, CG Society, and Ronen Bekerman. Also, I always read many legit magazines like 3D Artist and 3D World. Actually, I have published some articles in these journals!

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Aref

I have examined many people’s lives and concluded that talent is a reasonable part of success, but not everything! Targeted efforts are very important. My point is to become a specialist in the field. Someone who says that I've known the whole world of CG does not know anything or he thinks know everything, or he really is a genius. I am an artistic renderer, you know I tried to always step in this direction and I think I've been able to succeed.

In 2005, I was having difficulty serving my soldiers in the very cold weather, without any facilities, I arrived to the town near the garrison. I found a cafe and looked at the CG sites and said, "I'll get you a day!" Today I have achieved international achievement at 48!

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Aref

I like to teach my science to everybody; science should not to be hidden in parts of the Wolfenstein Castle, in the safebox! Real life is not an adventure game! In real life we should help each other. We have an act in our religion called "Zakat" – we donate some of our money to the poor. Our Prophet teach us: “Science`s Zakat is diffusion.” Our Prophet has said that Zakat is the science of publishing it. And whenever I acted on this statement, my knowledge increased.

Adam

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Aref

To tell the truth I follow the works of many artists. But some of them really have had a lot of impact on my work, like Marcin "Neb" Jastrzebski, Walid Layoni, Mohmad Taher, Alex Roman, and my partner, Ahmad Bagheri. The biggest changes I made were when I saw the work of Marcin "Neb" Jastrzebski and how he made a successful career, which became a model of my career. Tell this to young artists! When you succeed in work, you have to make time for yourself too!

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Aref

As a personal project, I would like to make a fascinating animation of the Bugatti Chiron car, and I look forward to being able to do it for myself! But I have a lot of upcoming projects. This year, you will see renders from our team in big competitions like CGarchitect.