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Maksym Khirnyy: CEO & 3D artist – 10 artistic things to get to know me

From favourite software to stage of a project, discover 10 inspiration things that make CEO and 3D artist Maksym Khirnyy tick…

Maksym's Behance

Introduction

Maksym Khirnyy – a CEO at Mondlicht Studios and a 3D-artist with 17 years of professional experience in CGI and media production – shares his insights and inspiration with 3DTotal. Maksym started his career in architectural and interior design, then worked in the game industry for several years and finally found his passion in advertising projects.

halloween pumpkin horror character design model 3d

My favorite software is...

Houdini. Well, when I started my way in CGI, I used 3ds Max and V-Ray, both are perfect for architectural visualization as well as automotive projects. About 5-6 months ago I had to switch to Cinema 4D for one of the projects – it's perfect for animation and has a very friendly interface, which is why I recommend it for beginners. But to me, almost every 3D program has its limits, and at some point, you just reach the sealing. So I started to learn Houdini – almost all my personal projects for the last year were created with this software. Houdini is incredibly complicated software, but the result you can get totally worth hours you spent in front of your computer trying to understand how to get the result you want.

“Christmas Tree R&D” was created by Maksym in Houdini

car racing desert sand speed driving sports 3d environment

My favorite movies are...

Movies with a strong idea behind. After all, the movie industry is not only about special effects and beautiful images. Without a strong and profound idea, it's almost undoable to create a fantastic movie. I always loved "The Matrix" and can rewatch this movie over and over again. The "Lord of the Rings" is in the list of my favorite adaptations. This series combines beautiful footage, amazing VFX and a remarkable story by J. R. R. Tolkien. I would also like to mention movies created by Guy Ritchie, it's so hard for me to pick just one, so I recommend them all.

My favorite source of inspiration...

Pinterest and Behance. Every artist has his preferences on this topic. Mostly, it depends on personal habits. I prefer Pinterest and Behance. Pinterest is great because it allows you to create mood boards for the projects very easily, and it gives you a lot of options, which is also useful. Behance is the place where you can find amazing projects and look at what your colleagues are creating. For me, it's more like inspiration, but for beginners, it should become a challenge – choose a project you like and try to recreate it. You will be surprised how many things you will learn during this exercise.

My favourite render engine is...

Redshift. Before Redshift, I was working with V-Ray for a long time and was pretty happy with it. But Redshift made fantastic progress - it's unbelievably fast. Earlier, when I heard that a client wanted 8K images, I saved a lot of time on rendering, with Redshift it's so much easier and faster. What's more, you don't need to study a lot to get first nice results, which is why it's perfect for beginners.

My favorite stage of a project is...

Research and Development. First of all, this is the most creative stage of any project – you look for the right direction, test different hypotheses and come up with exciting ideas. Also, this is a very important stage. If you invest enough time into the R & D stage, you'll deal with the production much faster, and the overall result will be much better.

Of course, personal projects are the best. You have all the time in the world and can choose any direction you want. But, on the other hand, it's the trickiest part about personal artworks. When you don't have a deadline, it's so easy to spend too much time on one artwork.

My favorite thing about the CG industry is...

Possibilities it has to offer. I always wanted to become an artist. However, traditional artists are restricted by the tools they have. CG gives you much more freedom.

Also, the industry is constantly developing – there are lots of tools, which make the production faster and easier. Every day you see more and more projects created by talented artists, which motivate you to polish your skills, learn something new and push yourself to the creation of something extraordinary.

Finally, the CG community is one of the most open, friendly and caring professional communities. At Mondlicht, we are also trying to help beginners to find their way – we give speeches at major events, write articles and answer the questions of our subscribers on Instagram.

redshift model car mapping 3d render design

It took Redshift 1 hour to render an image in 7k for the project “Under the hood: Automotive X-Ray series”.

redshift model car mapping 3d render design

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

redshift model car mapping 3d render design sports car

My art style is ...

Cyberpunk. It combines our present with the wildest fantasies about the future. When you look at a very futuristic image with all these spaceships and white interiors, you don't really get the idea when, how and why this is happening. Cyberpunk has a strong connection with our reality, and the transition to the future is very smooth. Actually, I think that cyberpunk is one of the most realistic and believable art styles - the combination of hi-tech details with cultural heritage. At least, I see it this way.

My favorite CG field is...

Simulations. After I started to work with Houdini, I really delved into it. The best thing about creating simulations is that you can get fantastic results. You know how people say that you can look at fire and water forever. The same is with particles and fluids. It's complicated to work with this stuff, but at the same time all the difficulties push you forward, you just want to make it better and better.

Another exciting thing for me is low-poly modeling for the automotive industry. Our team has developed the whole set of additional tools to improve the pipeline and make it more effective.

One more R&D created by Maksym and Mondlicht team.

My favorite art period is...

Renaissance. I can't even imagine how these amazing artworks were created. Our creations look like a parody of unbelievable masterpieces of that time, especially if you think about the tools people were using and how hard it was to create one single artwork.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a broken statue. And it was hollow inside as if someone created a 3D mesh and applied the "Shell" modifier on top. This experience made me think about the tools artists had to use at that time. I hope that a new Renaissance period will come and we will see amazing architecture instead of monotonous and repetitive boxes.

car 3d model render sunshine ship deck render roboracer
“Roboracer” project got selected for the next issue of “200 best Digital Artists Worldwide”. The environment for the project was also created in Houdini.

My favorite challenge is...

I like technical challenges the most. Actually, you may face them only in Houdini or other complicated software. In other 3D programs, you have ready-to-use tools to create what you want, and these instruments limit you. You explore them, learn them, get used to them and, finally, you feel bored.

In Houdini you may find instruments which allow you to create new instruments. So, you can achieve the result in completely different ways. When you face a problem, you may need a lot of time and efforts to solve it. But when you see the result, you understand that all your diligence is totally worth it.

“9 steps” project is devoted to a challenging process of creativity. In a short video Mondlicht Studios shared their process of developing new ideas.

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