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Bohlool Belarak: 3D character artist interview

Bohlool Belarak is a 3D character artist from Iran creating characters and textures for the animation and game industries. His latest project was his first attempt using XGen – check it out, and more…

Bohlool's profile

Adam

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

Bohlool

Hi, my name is Bohlool Belarak. I'm from a small village called Bolghan in Iran. I'm a 3D character artist who has been active in the field of game and animation since 2012. I was fond of painting as a child and this was one of the reasons to leave everything behind and follow my dreams. I started my journey with digital painting, but then I found my main interest was 3D modeling, and changed my field of work. Now I'm working as a 3D character and texture artist in the animation and game industry.

Adam

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

Bohlool

My latest work, Elrend, was based on a concept by Andrew Doma. I started with ZBrush by making the basic block mesh. Initially, I focused on the general forms, pose, silhouette, and then I went into the details. I tried different tests to get the best facial expression. Finally, after making the high-poly version of the character, I made the low-poly version in Topogun and Maya. Then I used Maya Redshift for lighting and shading, and got the final result with some tweaking inside Photoshop.

Mermaid

Oldman

Splash

Adam

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

Bohlool

The biggest challenge in my latest work, Elrend, was the character's hair. Since I'm a new user of Maya, I don’t have much experience with XGen inside Maya. With this work, I learned a lot about XGen for grooming and making hair, which has become a new hobby for me.

Adam

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

Bohlool

PureRef is one of my most useful software to use during my process. This application is for maintaining and managing reference images. Working with it is very simple and it's full of stunning features. Topogun is another great software that I use for making the low-poly version of characters. You can do this faster than usual with features embedded in this software.

I think having a good understanding of presentation is as important as the job itself

Adam

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

Bohlool

Mostly I work on projects that make my portfolio stronger. But to upgrade the portfolio, nothing replaces personal work, that's why from time to time I try to choose a good topic and complete it when I can. One of the most important ways to enhance a good portfolio is how you present it. I know a lot of artists who, despite having talent and knowledge, cannot get good results simply because they do not care about the presentation. I think having a good understanding of presentation is as important as the job itself.

Adam

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

Bohlool

Yes, I'm currently very active on Instagram. I'm following some of my favorite artists there. It is very refreshing to see great works done by great artists, and it's a good place to get inspiration from. For instance, cg3dankfun on Instagram shares many great works every day.

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Bohlool

Recognition from my peers is definitely one of the things that keeps me motivated, and makes me want to work harder every day. Most of the time I have to use a lot of energy to bring a new character to life and sometimes it gets very difficult, but when one of my friends or followers enjoys my work and encourages me, I completely forget my exhaustion and this helps me overcome it.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Bohlool

As a 3D character artist, it is my dream to get to experience working for big companies like Dreamworks, Disney, or Pixar... and at the end to have my own team and work on my personal animation projects. Also, I really like to share my knowledge and help people grow with me in their own ways.

Elrend wireframe

Elrend front view

Elrend's face details

Adam

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

Bohlool

Majid Smiley: He's the first artist that I followed. I learned a lot from his works but more than that, it was his progress that kept me motivated. I always felt that, in many cases, he and I had the same conditions and that we were so much alike. Farhad Nojoumi is another man I have great respect for. He was my teacher and I took his course at Inverse school. I've learned a lot from him. More than being a teacher he is my best friend.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Bohlool

I’d like to create more stylized characters and currently, I'm working on a 3D model based on a concept by Glen Brogan. I also want to make a new tutorial and explain my process from A to Z. I'll share the link on my website in the future.