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Hugo Sena: senior character artist interview

Hugo Sena

Character Artist

Senior character artist Huge Sena shows characters from his exciting Imperis project, details his workflow, and talks about balancing his portfolio…

Hugo's ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Hugo

Hi, my name is Hugo Sena and I’m a senior character artist as well as the lead outsourcing artist currently working at Rogue Factor in Montreal, Canada.

Final render of Nox Lumina from the Imperis universe

3dtotal

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

Hugo

My latest work, Nox Lumina, is one of the three main personal projects I have ongoing. I wanted to create a “universe” where demons were cast away from the Heavens by the angels. These are really simply sculpted and rendered characters that act as buffers between long projects. The workflow is really easy, it’s mostly consisting of ZBrush for the sculpting part and Blender for the rendering.

3dtotal

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

Hugo

My main focus was to find a pose that flowed really well. I’m a big fan of curves and I feel that sculptures are more alive when they have a lot of curves. I sometimes tend to deform parts beyond their mechanical possibility just so I can get that nice curve flowing. This is something you can easily spot on the legs of Nox. I also wanted him to feel like he belonged to nature, so coming up with a nice look for the wings was a challenge.

I feel rendering the image was a bit difficult for me, as I’m switching my workflow to rendering in Blender eevee which is super fast. Lighting is always something that I find challenging and one of the main areas I feel I need to improve.

Sun character from Sahara.

The current cast of characters in Sahara. Sun

Saturnus character from Sahara.

The current cast of characters in Sahara. Saturnus

Terra character from Sahara

The current cast of characters in Sahara. Terra

3dtotal

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

Hugo

Yes. I used my project to try new workflows and new software, which is usually why it’s taking so long. For my previous project, Terra, it was the first time I was using V-Ray, in conjunction with Mari and Marvelous Designer. I feel it’s important for artists to at least get to know what’s used in the industry and get a basic knowledge of it. I’d also like to incorporate the likes of Fusion 360 or MoI for a slick hard-surface look.

3dtotal

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

Hugo

I always have several projects ongoing. I try to think of what I’ll be doing next while I’m working on something. Some take more time than others, and that’s why I try to mix the type of project I’m creating, just to keep my portfolio alive and relevant. It’s all about balancing. I also haven’t been able to post work-related projects in a long time and I look forward to it.

3dtotal

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

Hugo

I’m part of a Discord comprised of a lot of artists. It’s really good to have feedback and to keep contact with people. Otherwise I use Facebook a lot lately, mostly for networking. Of course I’m part of groups like Ten Thousand Hours or the ZBrush group, but they are flooded with people and sometime it’s hard to have a good conversation there. Lastly I’m still part of many 3D forums as well as Artstation. I think it’s good to check many places because some artists are only found there.

Turnaround of Nox in ZBrush

Turnaround of Nox in ZBrush

Turnaround of Nox in ZBrush

Turnaround of Nox in ZBrush

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Hugo

I have a main project called Sahara which I’d like to expand. It started as a characters-only project but slowly evolved with a story, locations, and a lot of other thing I’d like to make real. And maybe pitch it as a game in the future too, who knows. I also have some plans for the Imperis universe as well as another one I’d like to explore. It’s a good way to keep me busy artistically.

3dtotal

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

Hugo

That’s a broad question! I guess hard-surface artists like Vitaly Bulgarov and Fausto de Martini are always inspiring me and make me want to surpass myself. I’m also a big fan of traditional sculptors like Bernini, Carpeaux, Richard Macdonald. I also like a lot of hand-painted 3D works, truth be told the list is way too long!

Current project: Luna from Langrisser

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Hugo

As I said before, I have a few projects ongoing. I’m currently working on a manga/anime style character right now to try and recreate a 2D feeling (akin to what Arc System Works are doing with their IPs). The next character for Imperis is already planned, I have the idea and pose in mind. I’ll switch to the Angel side for this one so expect a shift in tone between Nox Lumina and the next one. Then I think I’d like to go back to Sahara for the next character. These are long characters to make since they go all the way to being rendered . Maybe I’ll find some amazing concept art that I want to make in 3D along the way!

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