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Mani Salguero: modeler & texture artist interview

Mani Salguero

3D Artist

We catch up with Ecuadorian modeler and texture artist Mani Salguero before he moves to Vancouver to begin an exciting new chapter, and talk about winning the Staff Picks contest for October…

Mani's Artstation

3dtotal

Hi Mani! Congratulations winning the Staff Picks contest for October. Please let our readers know more about you?

Mani

Hi! it was a big surprise for me, I didn't expect to win this month, I love the community on 3dtotal, I saw a lot of amazing work, so when I saw that I won, I couldn't be happier, it was very unexpected and heartwarming. I am an Ecuadorian artist, specializing in 3D modeling, texture, and look development, but also I love to experiment with grooming, lighting, and compositing. What I love about that process in my personal projects is understanding how the pipeline works. I am also a teacher at some 3D schools, where I am sharing some knowledge. It is part of the same path of growth and where I can share with others.

3dtotal

Briefly, what was the inspiration and process behind creating the Tifa Lockheart sculpt? We notice there was an original concept by Chrissie Zullo – do you sometimes set out searching for 2D concepts to convert to 3D, or is it a case of seeing something and thinking, “Wow, I have to make that!”?

Mani

It depends, I am always looking to expand my vision of 3D art, and when I find a good 2D concept, it is like a challenge for me to make a good 3D version of it. If I love a concept, admire the original artist, and it is without color (I like 2D pencil sketches because I like to play with textures and colors in 3D) so then, probably, I will experiment a 3D version of that, but, sometimes, I just make art from what I like. For example, every year for Christmas I make a personal original 3D project, with everything that I liked or inspired me that year. So, it will depend if I found something that I cannot resist to make my own tribute, or if I will experiment more with my own creations.

In the past I used to draw a lot, I am trying to connect again with that old custom, and upload more of my 2D and 3D creations.

young girl female character design render model sculpt 3d

3dtotal

Tell us more about your upcoming move to Vancouver. Is it work-related? An exciting opportunity? What kind of community will you be leaving behind in Ecuador?

Mani

Yep! It is work-related, it was an avalanche of feelings and emotions, but right now I am very excited about the opportunity and the project.

The community in Ecuador is something that is growing, and the truth is, it makes me feel very proud; many artists, directors, and companies are learning, and developing their skills every day to develop their projects and dreams. We are in a very small country, it's not easy to live off art here, but the hunger to rise is huge. Many of the best things and practices that I have learned have come from colleagues who have inspired me greatly. I always have my people in my heart.

3dtotal

What software do you think is good for the beginner to start with for 3D? Any starter tips?

Mani

Hmm any kind of software that you have access to, I believe is the correct one! Personally, many times we are very worried about what software to learn when the most important point is to remember that the software is a tool. I consider it more important to learn fundamentals, anatomy, volume, light, and shadow, among others.

If you are a beginner and you can have access to any free software to practice fundamentals, there it is. If you understand the basics, you can adapt to any software easily, and yeah, maybe you will have a learning curve, but that will not be so hard.

fantasy character model render grass mountain rock 3d models

3dtotal

Are there any artists who particularly inspire you?

Mani

A lot of artists! I think that every day there is something that you extract, and be inspired by someone else's art, take it with your senses and send it to your references, so there are so many people who have inspired me to continue working and advancing in what I want to do and what I want to create. Just to name a few, the Ecuadorian director/producer Andres Aguilar has been a great source of wisdom in this industry of how to create and understand projects, not only at an artistic level, but also, to take it to a production level. And Pedro Conti, that not only his artistic level is out of this world, but also as a person, he is one of the nicest artists that I've ever met. He opened my eyes to what it really means to share art, and as an artist, to not forget about your time and how you share it with others.

3dtotal

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects, personal or work?

Mani

Can't say much about work - but I am very excited, I am working on a project for something that I have always wanted to since I was a child, so I'm really happy with that. And in personal work, I am working on my annual Christmas project – so keep an eye on that, I will share more information soon.

prince charming male character design model sculpt realistic

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