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Artist Journey: CG character generalist maniacarta

Mania Carta

CG Generalist

Japanese artist maniacarta specializes in Blender but is looking forward to working with the new Unreal release too, to create high quality real-time characters. Take a closer look at their portfolio and artistic journey so far…

Maniacarta's Artstation

3dtotal

Thank you for sharing your journey so far with our readers. Let’s begin: please introduce yourself and let us know how long ago your journey started? What drew you to art? Any early influences?

Mania

Hello everyone, I am maniacarta, a CG character generalist and technical artist based in Tokyo, Japan. I have been using Blender for almost 1 year, and then it became my main production tool for creating my projects.

3dtotal

Do you still have any early artwork? We’d love to see your early work, be they digital or traditional. How do you feel about these works now?

Mania

I’ve always liked fantastical and mysterious characters, that's how I got the idea to make this kind of artwork, but all this was based on Daz Studio, where I used many blend shapes to make the fantasy look. At first I was really proud about what I was making, but I always feel that something is really missing. I was looking to find the answer to this and then I found it, it was the artistic skill and techniques; the character and artwork looked nice, but for example the skin and texturing was all flat without depth, and they also didn't look real but more fantasy like the Final Fantasy style – I decided to change all this and really grow my skills and make something that I had never done before in my whole artistic career. I am sure I am going to bring this project back once Unreal Engine 5 is released.

game design character cast powers skyline cyberpunk

3dtotal

What training or learning did you do in those beginning stages? Could you see your progression?

Mania

My first training and learning started by using Blender – it was really very hard at first but since the release of Blender 2.8, this is where my real adventure start as a CG artist. I never take any courses, but through watching YouTube, I have achieved this kind of level, learning from masters such as these:

Those artists use Maya for their production and after that I saw that many artists used the same workflow to make characters. I decided I could use this knowledge and apply it in Blender, and this is what happened. I took the knowledge I gained from those two artists and I applied and developed it properly in Blender. Here is some work I start to make with Blender for the first time after around 3 months.

3dtotal

Can we see some of your progression artwork? Where did you think you were improving? And where did you need to improve upon?

Mania

This is Wang Ji and Sofilia, my first full real-time CGI characters in Blender using Eevee, but at first when I made it I was thinking the work is perfect, but then after I improved my skills I found many things needed to be improved from hair, skin, eyebrows, lighting, and so on, but I think I am going to make a new version of them in the future as I like the character design.

3dtotal

Were you always happy with what you produced, or was there a turning point where you thought; “This is it, I’ve made it!”?

Mania

Luna was really my first character that was fully produced inside Blender and I was proud of it. She was mysterious but also I never had any reference in mind when I made it, I had only this one that I collected in PureRef, so I never thought it would become something like that at the end. My first plan was to make a pretty Korean girl but I never thought it would become something like this as a final result.

When I released it on CG Society it was featured, and also in Blendernations and other social media, but the one I released was using cycle render, so it got featured and was really my first artwork that was selected. I was happy but I wanted to have the CG award like other artists, so I decided to take on the challenge to make her in real-time. I was working on another project and then by chance I saw that my work got the CG Award – I really can't express myself what this meant to me, I never really expected something like that at all, my point was only to make something new and in real-time.

But winning the CG Award drove me really to challenge myself to make more cool characters and artworks, and this is really where my adventure started as a CG character artist. This is the piece I am most proud of, because she is mysterious and I never thought I would achieve this kind of level in my life, but with hard work and passion you can if you want!

female character design model render 3d realism

3dtotal

What advice would you give to any of our readers who are just beginning their journey now?

Mania

First i would to say to every artists who wants to grow their skills and knowledge in this business, that 3dtotal, Artstation, and CG Society and are the best resources to make you grow. If you have the passion to grow, seeing what other talented artists make and create, then nothing is impossible, that’s what I did. I have passion for what I make and this motivates me every time to grow my skills without stopping by using Blender only. So basically if you want to grow as an artist and make cool products, having passion first for what you are doing is the real key to growing faster.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Mania

Well first I would like to thank you for giving me this kind of opportunity to share my experience and background as an artist. I have many products and works that they will be released soon, but I educated myself to make quality rather than quantity, so I only focus on making cool artworks, but this time I think I will integrate more tools beside Blender to produce more high quality works than before. Also, I am really excited about the Unreal Engine release coming soon, and this is also one of my main goals, to make real-characters and learn Blender so I can combine both the tools to create more high quality works

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