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Gregory Stoffel: 3D artist interview

Vietnam-based 3D artist Gregory Stoffel creates characters and creatures for a variety of professional and personal projects, such as his tribute to 'Burai Figher' – explore his process...

Vietnam-based 3D artist Gregory Stoffel creates characters and creatures for a variety of professional and personal projects, such as his tribute to 'Burai Figher' – explore his process...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Gregory Stoffel: Hi and thank you for the opportunity to answer this interview. My name is Gregory Stoffel, I'm a 3D artist from Belgium and I have been working and living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the past 9 years.

Although I work as a generalist, my passion and aspiration is to create characters and creatures. I have worked on a variety of different projects, from advertising to medical animation and simulation, both in real-time and rendered animation.

From a concept of Creature Box, also in the 3dtotal gallery

From a concept of Creature Box, also in the 3dtotal gallery

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?
GS: Burai Fighter was one of the very first games (the first one being Tetris) that I owned on the first Game Boy (the big grey one). I have spent so much time playing this game, and as I have always loved the art on the cover, I thought it was about time to make a tribute to this game.

Fan art from the game Dofus from Ankama. Concept by Kim Etinoff

Fan art from the game Dofus from Ankama. Concept by Kim Etinoff

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
GS: I used ZBrush for most of the sculpting and a bit of 3ds Max for the gun. I rendered the final image with KeyShot with some small adjustments in Photoshop. The most challenging part of this image for me was to create the armor of the space marine. I usually do the hard surface modeling in 3ds Max, but this time I wanted to create most of the image using only ZBrush. I was also apprehensive about creating the scales of the dragon, but it has been easier than I thought with the Nanomesh feature in ZBrush.

3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?
GS: ZBrush is my main software for my personal works. The additional software that I use is 3ds Max, and for rendering, either V-Ray or KeyShot,and Photoshop or After Effects to create the final image/animation.

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

GS: My ambition is to work as a character artist and/or digital sculptor for videogames and toys/collectibles.

I have started to learn Substance Painter, and I can already tell that it's going to be included in my workflow. I have been looking to change my texturing workflow from ZBrush/Photoshop and Substance Painter seems to be the perfect match for me; very powerful, quite easy to learn and a lot of fun to use. Marvelous Designer is another software I'm looking to incorporate into my workflow.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
GS: I always work on at least 2 different images at the same time, which keeps me motivated. I also give myself a deadline, even for my personal projects, so that I, almost, always finish the project I start. Without a deadline I usually take way too long to finish a piece and I might lose interest in it. I also try to stream my sculpting process on Twitch; it's great to have the view of someone else on your work and tell you what they think about it.

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

GS: My favorite artists are Jean Giraud, Frank Frazetta, and Yoshitaka Amano. I love the use of colors and composition in their works. They are probably the reason why my works in my portfolio are getting more and more colorful.

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

GS: I'm working on 3 different images at the moment; the first one is a realistic low-poly character to finally have one in my portfolio, the second one will be a colorful image from one of my favorite artists listed above, and the last one should please the fans of Warhammer.

Related links

Head over to Gregory's site
Check out Burai Fighter Tribute in the gallery
Check out Rhino in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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