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Haruto Kominami: CG student interview

CG student Haruto Kominami is developing their creature modeling skills quickly, with a strong focus on lighting and textures. Their recent gallery entry was “Curiosity” and lived up to the name, offering a childlike wonder. Find out more…

Haruto's Twitter

3dtotal

Congratulations on your Staff Pick for “Curiosity.” Please let the readers know more about you – where you’re from, and what is your job in the industry?

Haruto

My name is Haruto Kominami. I am studying computer graphics in Japan with the aim of becoming a character modeler. I recently turned 20 years old. I'm good at creating creatures, and also the lighting and textures that make them stand out. What I cherish is curiosity!

lizard flower creature design model render 3d sculpture

3dtotal

“Curiosity” has a very childlike wonder to it – a sense of adventure – was this your goal? What software and process did you use to create it?

Haruto

My goal was to express interesting silhouettes and lots of textures to make the viewer feel a sense of adventure and excitement. I aimed to create a picture that would bring to mind the character's personality and storyline through the texture of the bag and props, and the facial expressions.

Another reason for this "curiosity" is to compare the growth of my work from a year ago. As for the workflow, I first created a simple model and camera in Maya and decided on the composition. From there, I drew a rough sketch of the finished image using illustrations. I think it's important to visualize the finished product at the beginning.

Next, I modeled the character and props in ZBrush, created textures in Substance Painter, and used Maya again for retopology, unwrapped UVs, rigging, and lighting. I used Arnold for the renderer. Lastly, Photoshop was used for retouching.

modeling development design render 3d character design sculpt

3dtotal

Other work in your portfolio focuses on creatures – do you enjoy the aspect of creating interesting-looking creatures? How do you develop the ideas?

Haruto

I have loved creating creatures since I was a child. I was born and raised in an environment rich in nature, and I think my experience with many insects and animals has had an impact on me. In the future, my dream is to be involved in a job where I can utilize this experience.

When I need ideas, I often go to zoos and aquariums. When I take the time to observe the appearance and behavior of different kinds of animals, I can come up with ideas that I can use in my next work. I always end up going at least twice a month!

furry bug character design insect wings 3d model

3dtotal

Any chance we can see work from a year ago – so we can see the progression made in a short amount of time? What areas do you think you’ll be focusing on next?

Haruto

It's a little embarrassing, but... This image was created a year ago, shortly after I started learning CG.

The characters are my main focus, but I also love the evolution of the textures. I'm thinking of making a dragon or some other creature with fine details next. Or I'd like to try Toon Rendering as well.

sad bunny character basic model design render 3d

3dtotal

It sounds like something within Animation may be a perfect role. Would this be your goal? Or can you see yourself utilizing your creature creations within videogames or VFX?

Haruto

I'd like to work in animation, but I'd also like to work in the videogame industry. I would like to see my creations moving interactively. If I could, I would like to work for companies such as "CAPCOM," which makes the Monster Hunter series, or "Game Freak" and "Creatures," which makes the Pokémon series.

Next, I modeled the character and props in ZBrush, created textures in Substance Painter, and used Maya again for retopology, unwrapped UVs, rigging, and lighting.

3dtotal

Could you recommend best software, and how powerful a PC a beginner may need, to get started learning 3D? Do you feel you need to begin early, or could anyone pick it up?

Haruto

I mainly use Maya. I also recommend Blender, which has a lot of beginner tutorial videos and is free.

I'm using an Intel core i7-9750H and a GeForce GTX 1650ti laptop, and they work well enough.

As for memory, I suggest you get a big one! If you enjoy working with CG as much as I do, I think you can make progress in a year, even with no experience!

character design model render bunny furry animal 3d

3dtotal

Any artists you recommend following?

Haruto

Keita Okada, Yuuki Morita, Le Yamamura,Ryuta Murayama (Ovopack)... There are many artists that I admire, but if I had to narrow it down to four, it would be these people. They make great creatures. Please check them out!

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