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Khaled Ibrahim: character artist interview

Khaled Ibrahim

Character Artist

Egyptian character artist Khaled Ibrahim is a self-taught artist now plying his trade in the professional industry. He talks about his latest piece “Hades” and ambitions for the future…

Khaled's Artstation

3dtotal

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

Khaled

Hello world, I am Khaled from Egypt. I work as a 3D character artist, mostly freelancing. I graduated in 2017 from the faculty of commerce – yes, I have no artistic background! I discovered my passion for 3D art when I was 16 years old, so I began to learn online. I have been self-taught since then, and now I am working professionally.

hades hurcules character 3d model
hades hurcules character 3d model

3dtotal

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

Khaled

Hades the king of the underworld is a personal project that I have been developing for a couple of months. It is basically a fan art dedicated to the Disney movie Hercules. As I mentioned above, the project was born a couple of months ago. In this period I refined the model, going back and forth to correct small details, I was trying to break my limit in this piece.

I stole the idea from the Disney live actions. My workflow was simple; I used ZBrush to block-out, then retopologized using Maya. The high-poly details were created in ZBrush and most of the textures, especially the skin, was hand-painted in Substance Painter, and rendered with Arnold.

hades hurcules character 3d model
hades Hercules character 3d model

3dtotal

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

Khaled

The main challenge was to decide the style of this character. I spent a lot of time deciding the art direction and the likeness; I wanted to keep the soul of the old movie villain while at the same time not feeling odd about transforming him into 3D, so I decided to go with a semi-realistic style. Another challenge was that I wanted to do most of the work with ZBrush to maintain the artistic control.

3d render male armoured with sword

3dtotal

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

Khaled

I like doing experiments and trying new software that I can find. I mostly use ZBrush, Maya, and Substance Painter for most of my work, and sometimes try to use Marvelous Designer.

3dtotal

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

Khaled

It takes time and effort to keep up. I would say hard work, but I have to put a deadline against each piece to keep my portfolio up-to-date. And a tip would be to focus on your strengths and it will push your weaknesses out.

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Khaled

I would really like to improve and be more of a rounded artist; therefore I need to expand my knowledge on anatomy – also understanding of forms, colors, composition, and bettering myself in executing forms in 3D. Eventually becoming a character art director with a strong decision-making ability is my goal.

skeleton emo boy 3d render

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

Khaled

Scott Eaton has inspired me to learn anatomy, so I admire him a lot. Kris Costa and Hossien Diba are my favorite artists because they have distinct artistic visions and strong technical ability. Thanks to Mohamed Farouk and Wegdan Tawfik who have inspired and supported me in this project a lot.

3d rendered frog imagery

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Khaled

It has not been a long time since I have emerged in the industry, I would love to try a different art style such as realism; and stylized but my favorite is semi-real. I love to create creatures as well as likenesses. But the next personal project will be a realistic character and semi-real.

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