Darko Markovic: concept designer interview

Concept designer Darko "dar-mar" Markovic shares the workflow behind his ArtStation competition-winning image "Earth Giant"...

Concept designer Darko "dar-mar" Markovic shares the workflow behind his ArtStation competition-winning image "Earth Giant"...

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

Darko Markovic: Hi 3dtotal, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Darko Markovic "dar-mar" and I come from Serbia, Belgrade.

In my previous life, as I like to call it, I was an industrial designer who got a scholarship from Lamborghini and transitioned to car design – in Milano, Italy. Later, I worked in a big company in Torino as a car designer. My boss tricked me and used me, so I had to leave Italy. Now I can thank him for doing that harm to me, because thankfully I moved to concept design and never looked back.

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

DM: My latest work was done for an ArtStation competition, where it took 1st place. The competition came at the right time, because I switched to concept art and I was looking for a way to prove myself. Entering it has opened the doors of the industry – which are pretty hard doors to open. From the beginning, I knew I had to make something spectacular and never seen before. Today we are trying to make everything smaller – small phones, small cars, small tablets – lets try and make something big? You know that feeling when you are a small child? You are so low on the ground; everything looks so much bigger and cooler.

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

During the process I used a lot of moving from 2D to 3D, back and forth. It required me to reevaluate everything a lot, and think how to improve it. For 3D now I exclusively use ZBrush, which was such an eye opener when I found it. For rendering my all the time favorite is KeyShot, and sometimes I'll use Maya mental ray.

My biggest concern was the size of the object; you don't see that many big vehicles out there. There are cruisers, I can also put a person beside it – but the person was so small that you couldn't see the shadows underneath. I overcame this problem by adding details that were familiar to the human eye so they can be related to.

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

DM: Beside ZBrush, I know to work in Maya and Alias Studio tools at a high level. I don't use them very much now, except for Maya from time to time.

3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often? Or do you like to experiment?

DM: I tend to keep it fresh, don't like the routines. A particular technique is that I reevaluate everything at least three to five times before moving forward. This can be very hard on the mind, but it's worth the effort. Everything I do, I do it consciously – when a happy accident happens, I use my conscience to decide if it's good to move there.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

DM: Too many to mention. I always liked chasing big dreams, when someone tells me something is impossible – I heat up like crazy. "No-one has done it, Darko." "There is no way you can do it." Just watch me, how I will prove you wrong. My whole my career was built on these sentences.

Let's see what I have in this head of mine... two that I can think of: working on a Hollywood blockbuster, and designing a production car by myself.

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

DM: Working 24/7 and seeing others people work; you need to know the trends. World is too fast nowadays, artists can't sit and relax. Unfortunately that time has passed.

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

This is tough - my list is so big and I don't want to insult anyone by not mentioning them.

From old artists – Leonardno Da Vinci, cause he is more of an inventor – and I don't consider myself as a designer but an inventor. So when I am angry with myself and when it's not going good, I can relate and think that if he could do it so can I.

From digital ones, oh man – Fausto De Martini is such an inspiration of a man with shapes, Daniel Simon who I admire so much – and because of him I moved to concept art. Anthony Jones, Vitaly Bulgarov, George Hull – when I saw Matrix I started asking how can I do this? Industrial designer Ora Ito, who has such a profound style, and architect Zaha Haddid.

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

DM: You can expect from me to know, that I don't know what to expect.

Related links

Head over to Darko's site
Check out "Earth Giant" in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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