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Jaeyeon Nam: 3D character artist interview

Jaeyeon Nam

3D Character Artist

Take a dive into South Korean 3D character artist Jaeyeon Nam’s portfolio and discover his workflow, inspirations, and aspirations…

Jaeyeon's ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

Hi, I am Jaeyeon Nam, a 3D character artist, from Seoul, Korea. I work on modeling as a freelancer and also work as a part-time modeling instructor at a motion graphic academy. While holding down a job, I also continuously work on my personal works. Usually, I design and model characters with a cute concept, but sometimes I create models based on concepts by other artists.

sailor moon 3d model render anime japanese character
sailor moon 3d model render anime japanese character

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

My most recent work which was selected as ‘Staff Pick’ on 3dtotal was ‘Sorceress’. This is a sorceress character based on Korean shamanism. Over the years I liked to create works with the motives of Korean cultures. This work was sampled as I thought an interesting image could be created if Western sorcery and Korean totemism were fused.

3d female asian character model render bow arrow
2d concept female asian character model render bow arrow

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

Usually, when I am modeling for work, my works are inspired by the concept images of other artists.

However, Sorceress was my own creative project and therefore I did the modeling without concept images. Instead of concept images, I worked relying on rough sketches and references, and that made the work trickier. Although creating Sorceress was more difficult than other projects, I had a wonderful time creating my own character. Based on this experience, I hope I will be able to work a little more comfortably when I work on similar tasks.

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

I use Maya as my main software when I am modeling. Maya is a good program, but due to its limits on modeling methods, I use ZBrush and Marvelous Designer as secondary software. After efficiently creating detailed shapes using the two programs, I import them to Maya to do retopology works. For texture works, I use Substance Painter and Photoshop. I use Arnold Renderer, the default renderer of Maya, for rendering works; when I work on personal projects, I wrap up with rendering the image without additional post-correction works.

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

I love working on personal projects. When there are tons of works to do, it is difficult to work on personal projects; nevertheless I try to create at least 10 a year. It is fun to express things that I like, and it is also delightful when other people like my works. These are projects I lay my hands on because they feel fun, but new clients frequently contact me after they see my projects, so these enable me to achieve both fun and PR.

netflix queen's gambit model render character design
netflix queen's gambit model render character design

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

I am a member of Artstation, Instagram. and Behance. I usually upload my personal projects on these sites as these are communities that people use a lot, and at the same time I refer to the works of others. I mainly check ‘3D modeling’ and ‘Stylized’ as keywords and save any works that catch my eye into my collection.

3dtotal

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

Jaeyeon

I like many artists, but Hong SoonSang is my favorite. He is a concept artist who works on digital 2D arts. His arts are neat, moderate, and stylized fascinatingly. Also, I love his world that is composed by each project units. Other artists I like include Andrea Cofrancesco and Jing Zhang.

3d female character model render body rigging
Example of Hong SoonSang's work

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Jaeyeon

I plan to create many personal projects this year, varying from concepts to fan arts and simple motions, while maintaining my own style. I have difficulties picking one from next series of projects, but they will be uploaded frequently, so please follow my SNS if you are curious about them! Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to 3dtotal for inviting me to introduce my works on this page.

netflix kingdom series south korean character fantasy
netflix kingdom series south korean character fantasy

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