Section:

Cristina Ortega: character artist interview

Cristina Ortega

Character Artist

Character artist Cristina “Ina” Ortega currently works in feature animation for Jellyfish Pictures, creating amazing character concepts and models. Her latest gallery entry was “Michi”, from a Laia Lopez concept. Find out more about her workflow and inspirations…

Cristina's ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Cristina

Hi! My name is Cristina Ortega although on social networks I use the nickname of Ina Ortega. I’m from Spain, and I’ve been working in the industry as a modeler for five years through different areas. I started modeling for videogames; then for Virtual Reality animation and during the last three years, I have worked as a modeler for Feature Animation. I currently work at Jellyfish Pictures (London), and at the moment I’m working remotely from my country.

female character design 3d model pink feminine
My latest gallery image

3dtotal

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

Cristina

My latest gallery image at this moment is my character “Michi,” concept by the fantastic Laia Lopez. A few months ago, due to the pandemic situation, I found myself with a lot of free time at home after work and decided to take the class “Creating appealing characters with Dylan Ekren.” I learned a lot about shape language and created this character as a project.

I usually start characters form a base mesh, but in this case, I began from a sphere in ZBrush. I worked from simple to complex, paying attention to keeping a good shape language. After sculpting the body, I did the retopology and UVs in Maya.

I created the shirt in Marvelous Designer and modeled the shoes and jeans in Maya. For the hair, I used a hair tubes brush in ZBrush, and then I edited each clump in Maya. Lastly, I posed her in ZBrush, and since I wanted to use a simple surfacing, I created the color texture using Polypaint. Then I used Arnold for lighting and rendering the final images and Photoshop for the final compositing.

3d model wireframe sculpt character design
Michi, sculpt and wireframe

3dtotal

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

Cristina

I think the most challenging thing was the hair and the parts of the character that weren’t shown in the concept like the position of the arms and hands. The translation from 2D to 3D is sometimes quite complex, some things work great in 2D but get weird once you translate them into 3D precisely as they are. Occasionally you have to change things, but this is also an opportunity to improve the character and its appeal. With this project, I have learned a lot on this topic.

3dtotal

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

Cristina

I use PureRef for references, ZBrush and Maya for modeling, Marvelous Designer for clothing, Mari / Substance for texturing, Arnold / Keyshot for rendering, and Photoshop.

marvelous designer patterns 3d model planning

Belle. Marvelous Designer patterns

marvelous designer patterns 3d model

Mulan. Marvelous Designer patterns

3dtotal

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

Cristina

For me, being a 3D artist means that you have to keep learning, challenging yourself continuously, keeping up to date with the latest software and creating new things that make you grow as an artist. But when you work full-time in the industry, sometimes it’s complicated to find the time for it.

I try to work on personal projects at least twice a week after work and part of the weekend. I don’t publish everything I do, but the essential thing is that I learn from every project I do (from the successes but above all from the mistakes). Then from time to time, I push myself to finalize and render some of them since it’s also important to share and get feedback.

My trick for when I’m saturated is to interval some 3D personal work with some 2D traditional. Sometimes, a bit of time away from the PC gives some perspective from what you’re doing.

belle disney dress model female character
Belle. Clay render

3dtotal

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

Cristina

I check 3dtotal, Artstation, and ZBrush Central every day for inspiration and to learn from other artists. I also participate when I can in the Marvelous Designer Discord channel where people share great tips, tutorials and feedback.  On Instagram, I follow the programs I use for news on new features or releases and the hashtags related to the project I’m working on. I also follow many traditional drawing artists and sculptors.

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Cristina

Just be the best artist I can be, keep growing and never lose the passion for what I’m doing. This is a never-ending learning journey, and I think that’s beautiful. In the near future, I would like to improve my texturing and surfacing skills, maybe learn a bit of XGen.

basic clay render 3d model front back
Mulan. Clay render

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Cristina

I’m currently working on more dresses for the Disney inspired collection I’m doing in Marvelous Designer. I’ve finished Belle and Mulan so far, and I think it’s a great exercise to challenge myself with very complex pattern creation. I’m learning a lot from it. I also have a couple of character concepts that I love in mind, so probably I will do another break in between to create another character.

Fetching comments...

Post a comment