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Italo Cerone: character artist interview

Italo Cerone

Character modeler and sculptor

France-based character sculptor and designer Italo Cerone talks about keeping the workflow as simple as possible, and the challenges of translating 2D concepts to 3D. Find out more…

Italo's ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Italo

My name is Italo. I am passionate about animated films, games, and music. I was born and raised in São Paulo in Brazil, and I am currently living in France. I have been working as a character sculptor and modeler for the last 3 years. I have also been studying character design to help me with my sculptures, and maybe one day I hope to create my own designs.

male character design 3d sculpt
Concept by Luigi Lucarreli

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

Italo

I am always looking for stronger character designers who push shapes, and my idea is to be able to reproduce them in ZBrush in a way that the design works from all the angles. Most of my work has a very similar workflow, as I'm very focused on the design, I have not been so picky with the technical part.

I start modeling my characters in ZBrush from a base mesh, just to have clean topology, and when I find the main proportion of the character, I export that base mesh to Maya to improve the topology and unfold the UVs before starting the high-poly in ZBrush. For clothing, I start it out in Maya, and I try to keep the resolution very low to keep the shapes very clean, and at the end, I export all the pieces to ZBrush to do some detailing if necessary. My rendering step is also very simple; I try to choose an HDRI that values the character's volumes, and then I add one or two extras lights if needed.

I believe the workflow has to be very simple and organic. Recently I watched a lecture by Igor Cato and he said "If your process is complicated, it is probably wrong," and well, he does characters way more complex than mine.

3dtotal

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

Italo

In the case of TB Choi’s image, I believe that the biggest challenge was how to translate the design from 2D to 3D. TB Choi's artwork is beautifully done with a lot of design concepts, such as straight lines versus curves, tapering shapes, simple versus complex, and strong silhouettes. When that goes to 3D, it adds the complexity of applying those same concepts to 360-degrees.

character design full body 3d model
Concept by Fernando Peque

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

Italo

My tip for those who study character is to study all the fundamentals, like anatomy, composition, shapes, color, and so on. It’s hard to learn all the softwares options, but if you know the fundamentals very well, you will be able to adapt yourself way easier to the needs of the market.

3dtotal

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

Italo

I am currently a member of the character design challenge. I highly recommend it to all artists, they have great work there, and great references on the website as well. One of my plans for 2020/2021 is to start drawing more and posting my designs there.

pin up racer girl 3d model
Concept by Johannes Helgeson

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What are your artistic ambitions?

Italo

I have several ambitions as an artist, but I believe that my biggest ambition would be to participate or to write a short film that touches people in a way that changes them to be better people to one another.

blonde woman 3d model character
Concept by TB Choi

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

Italo

As I am starting to study character design, my list of favorite artists has been changing a lot, and I believe it will change way more in the next few years. Some of the new names on my favorite artist list are Nico Marlet, Cory Loftis, Jamie Hewlett, Eric Guillon, Joe Moshie, Sergio Pablos, and Shiyoon Kim. But some artists inspire me a lot and they will always be on my list, like Dylan Ekren, Hong Soonsang, Randy Bishop, Pedro Conti, Victor Hugo Queiroz, Leticia Gillett, Rafael Souza, and Paulo Ignez.

male fighter action character
Concept by Marco Furtado

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What can we expect to see from you next?

Italo

In 2020/2021 I will keep focusing on creating and studying more design, and once I get comfortable with it, I want to develop my own characters. I am also working on a character that I would love to make into a little animation, and other than that, I will model some other characters for sure.

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