Christian Peck: 3D generalist interview

Scanline VFX 3D generalist Christian Peck shares his demo reel and talks about texturing and painting his ZBrush piece, 'Lauren'...

Scanline VFX 3D generalist Christian Peck shares his demo reel and talks about texturing and painting his ZBrush piece, 'Lauren'...

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

Christian Peck: My name is Christian Peck. I am currently a 3D generalist at Scanline VFX, but I specialize in texture painting and look dev. I'm currently located in Vancouver, Canada.

Christian Peck Demo Reel

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

CP: The inspiration for Lauren came from seeing Daniele's model on BadKing. I was itching to do some personal character work for some time, and I knew immediately that his model would serve as a brilliant foundation. The tone of the skin was inspired by my girlfriend, which is where the piece gets its name.

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

CP: The primary software package was MARI, for the painting. I used V-Ray to render and Maya to create the UVs. The biggest difficulty I faced was in the UV stage. The model's topology wasn't meant to be cohesive for film quality texture work. I compensated by making more seams in the mesh than I usually would otherwise, and then painting out the extra seams, which MARI makes quite an easy process.

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

CP: Yes. I created my demo reel in school using each one of these packages, and I use them every day at work. These are my preferred packages, but a plugin I'd like to highlight is the MARI Extension Pack 2.0. It's become an integral part of my workflow in MARI, for my personal work, and I'd recommend it to anyone using MARI.

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

CP: I love to stack tileable textures, procedural textures and masks to create a level of variety and break up in my textures that I can't achieve through hand painting. In my opinion, it's this kind of variance that plays a major role in the overall realism of a piece.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

CP: My main ambition is always to keep improving. There is always something in my game that I can do better the next time. Otherwise, I would enjoy doing more collaboration with other talented character modelers and create even better pieces in the future.

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?

CP: I'm very keen to do some work in Renderman. One of the reasons I love to work in MARI so much is the level of control it offers the artist in their textures. Renderman offers a similar experience in shading.

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

CP: It boils down to passion for the craft. If you really love to do this work, it's easy to be inspired by your surroundings and to keep doing personal work. Surround yourself with fellow artists that have that same passion, and you'll push each other to keep working and keep getting better.

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

CP: Wow. That's a really tough one to narrow down to just a few. For artists in the industry, some of the people I admire are Justin Holt, Gus Dizon, Rafael Grassetti, and Glauco Longhi. The thing that they all have in common is that they have all been incredibly successful and still love to give back to other artists by sharing there workflows and techniques.

A traditional artist who I've been really into recently is Kris Kuksi. The medium he works in is as unique as his pieces themselves. As a texture painter, I admire his immaculate attention to detail and his ability to tell a story through those details.

3dt: Do you like to experiment with your personal works, or do you prefer to stick to tried-and-tested methods?

CP: As with all things, I think it's a balance. I find if you don't experiment enough, it becomes boring. On the other hand, as you improve on methods you've used in the past, it gives you the confidence to experiment elsewhere.

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

CP: Definitely more character work! I really had fun making Lauren and I can't wait to start something new. I'm always on the lookout for interesting models and modelers to collaborate with.

Related links

Check out Christian Peck's website
View 'Lauren' in the gallery
Create characters in Maya with Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya

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