Carlos Vidal Torres: freelance character designer interview

Freelance character designer Carlos Vidal Torres discusses his inspirations and ZBrush workflow behind the creation of his gallery entry Beast...

Freelance character designer Carlos Vidal Torres discusses his inspirations and ZBrush workflow behind the creation of his gallery entry Beast...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Carlos Vidal Torres: I am character modeler and I've been working freelance, creating characters for movies, games and commercials. My father was a traditional character modeler and I grew up watching as he made dolls, action figures, miniatures, and so on. Since childhood, I have taken art courses in drawing and sculpture. I've never been good at school and my parents always guided me to work on something artistic. But despite growing up with first computers, I never saw the possibility to work in the CG Industry. For me that possibility did not exist. One day I found ZBrush and now I'm here. You never know where it may take you.

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?

CVT: I wanted to do something for all the people who support and follow me through Facebook. I found a fantastic concept of Joe Madureira, and I couldn't stop until I finalized it. I did it very quickly. I tried not to make the full character just wanted to make an image and improve my workflow. Over time, I'm getting more humble and trying to improve one small step at a time. I'm trying to achieve larger goals in a single project, or else with really big projects there's a danger of feeling tired and giving up.

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

CVT: I have used ZBrush, 3ds Max and V-Ray. I haven't faced any difficulties; everything was better as I imagined. First I modeled the head and every detail with DynaMesh and ZRemesher. I created guideslines for hair with Fibermesh and Polypaint. When I finished everything, I moved everything to 3ds Max for rendering with V-ray. I didn't use any special trick, it was nothing complex. Now I try to keep things as simple as possible and take full advantage. A character is not special for its details, but for his base. I try to improve my abilities.

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

CVT: I use ZBrush for sketching and modeling organic forms. When they are hard-surface and props, I use ZBrush or other programs for box modeling. Every day I realize how important it is for me to box model.

3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

CVT: Many people ask me for special techniques. I do not use anything special. I follow the workflow of 95% of the character artist. I try to keep it simple. Re-evaluating each step to do it better next time is what has improved my work. If you do not, you may be wasting your effort.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

CVT: To try to get a little bit better each day. Now I know that this profession is a long distance race. I am very brute force and I have to hold back. Step by step, I improve everything: modeling, design, texturing and shading.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

CVT: To set 'great' goals and a deadline, as if I was in a professional job. Compare your final work with works of your favorite artists. You can be your biggest critic if you put your mind in it.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

CVT:' Many artists inspire me every day to keep improving. Especially, I want to thank two of my mentors, Alessandro Baldasseroni and Jose Manuel Linares. They have helped me to get my goal to be a better professional, more efficient. I owe them a lot. Nothing is more important than objectives.'

3dt: Do you like to experiment with your personal works, or do you prefer to stick to tried-and-tested methods?
CVT:' Both, but with greater emphasis on improving my workflow.'

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?

CVT:" I don't know. I hope something better."

Related links

Head over to Carlos Vidal Torres' website
Check out Beast in the gallery
Buy a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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