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Artist Journey: character artist Yang Tenglong

Yang Tenglong

Character artist

Character artist Yang Tenglong shares some early sculpts and sketches, as well as new work, as we take a look at his artist journey so far…

Yang'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?

Yang

Hello everyone, I am glad to speak with you. I am Yang Tenglong. I graduated in 2017 and officially entered the 3D digital software industry after that. I started to change my role in April 19 and have been working on scene modeling since then. At the beginning, it was because I wrote the novel "Generals Tears." The characters in the novel were made and then I started to learn this 3D knowledge. In the early days, it was because I liked to read Journey to the West and I saw a work by a predecessor below the Baidu picture. I was very shocked and decided to switch roles.

dragon samurai Asian fictional character model 3d art

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?

Yang

There are some early works and there are sketches from very, very early. These works, especially the old works, feel in many places not very good. As I generally make a work for a period of time, I feel that there are many areas of improvement in the new work. Maybe this is growth. The works of one stage will confirm the level of learning at this stage. Looking at these works, they are quite full of memories because it shows me that the efforts at that time do not disappoint me.

3dtotal

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

Yang

In the initial stage, because I don’t know anything, even some software I haven’t used before, I planned to register for a class in April 2019 to learn this knowledge and follow the first character work from the class. For progress, I was very excited to be able to make a flat painting into a 3D painting.

3dtotal

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

Yang

Here I put some progress diagrams from the beginning of the basic body to the final stage because I don’t want to draw flat sketches, and then I decided to directly use ZBrush to design the picture of the Valkyrie. There are still many places to modify this work. For the fabric, this is directly created by hand. The fabric is too stiff and does not give a very natural feeling. I am not particularly satisfied with the dragon's pose and the cloud. The picture I imagined at the beginning is the effect of the dragon looming in the cloud. The effect of ZBrush for embroidery is not very good. In the next work, the embroidery will be done in Substance Painter, and the pattern effect on the equipment will be imported into Arnold for the rendering of the prime model, so you may get a different effect.

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!”?

Yang

Every time I make a work, I will not be at a satisfactory stage, because as I improve my skills and art, the level of each stage of the work will be different. In fact, many times when I see some good works, I will compare. I can learn a lot from my previous works.

3dtotal

Which piece are you most proud of, and why?

Yang

If I think which one is better for me, then I think it should be to control the overall effect, because maybe it’s better to grasp the photo by myself, because I’d like to look at the original pictures. If the effect of pure carving is shown on the original model picture, I also want to practice my carving ability.

3dtotal

What are you still working on improving (if anything) - or have you reached a point of high consistency? Do you have any tips for keeping it fresh?

Yang

I have strict requirements for myself because during the production process, I will find as many reference materials as possible according to the reference material in each place, and then make it myself. I feel that this thing doesn’t seem to be a secret, ha, because I write my own novels. I don’t write much, but I like the style I make very much. I will produce a work at every stage. If I say that my interest is the best teacher, then I think if I am particularly obsessed with a certain story or a famous book. Research may be the secret.

3dtotal

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

Yang

If you are a newcomer, the basic skills are the first step in the creation. You can do some themes you are interested in. Only after the actual production, you will find out your shortcomings by comparing and reading more. With a good foundation, you can better express your ideas. When creating, you can communicate with others and listen to other people's opinions. You will get different results. As your understanding of things increase, your creative ideas will slowly open up. Maybe just in the beginning, you will feel that there will be a big gap between what you have created and what you think. Persevere and look back. You will gain a lot and find your own progress.

3dtotal

Have any of 3dtotal’s published books been useful in your development?

Yang

I think it's very useful not only to get some artistic and technical improvements, but also to look at some good works, especially in the creative works. In some special books, some creative design aspects are very good. You can gain a lot by reading and practicing through books.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Yang

Next, I will continue to create character works from my novels, including some works on ancient Chinese themes. The next work "Wu Song Fights the Tiger" is in production and I am looking forward to this work. It has been conceived for a long time by myself, and I will continue to complete my novels. Thank you everyone for reading this long article.

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