Manuel Martin: 3D character artist

Freelance 3D character artist Manuel Martin shares work from his portfolio and discusses his ZBrush and Marvelous Designer workflow...

Freelance 3D character artist Manuel Martin shares work from his portfolio and discusses his ZBrush and Marvelous Designer workflow...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Manuel Martin: Hi 3dtotal, my name is Manuel Martin. I'm from Madrid, Spain, and I'm currently working as a freelance 3D character artist, but at the moment I'm looking for any opportunity to work in a studio. I started studying various Masters related to Digital Art, and recently I've taken the Gio Nakpil Master Organic Modeling course from Mold3D academy.

3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
MM: A few months ago when I started the Master Organic Modeling course with Gio Nakpil, I decided to use this concept from Carlos Huante. I thought that this concept fitted perfectly to the course philosophy. I was looking for a high contrast between the forms (primary, secondary, tertiary), also as the character is asymmetric it was more challenging.

With this model what I tried to achieve was to represent the feelings of the concept in the 3D model. I didn't want to focus too much on the microdetails because I prioritized the harmony of the different shapes.

Carlos Huante concept

Carlos Huante concept

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image?
MM: Mainly I used ZBrush for the whole model, but I used Marvelous Designer to create a quick model of the trousers. For the render I used V-Ray with Maya. Normally in my workflow I use ZBrush for sculpting. If the character has any clothing I create them with Marvelous Designer, 3ds Max, or Maya for the retopology and UV mapping. Then I use Substance Suite or Photoshop for texturing, and V-Ray for the render, or Unreal Engine/Marmoset for real-time render.

3dt: Do you have any tips or techniques that other artists may not be aware of?
MM: What I've learned is to give proper hierarchy to the different forms. What I mean with this is I begin with primary forms, and until the forms act correctly I don't move to the next stage. With this I don't mean that you can't come back and correct other stages, but make sure that all the stages complement each other.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
MM: As a 3D character artist I aim to work someday for one of the companies that has inspired me as an artist, such as ILM, WETA Digital, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, Blur and so on. But at the end of the day what is important is that I'm happy and I can work with talented artists and learn from them.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital?
MM: For 3D: Gio Nakpil, Kris Costa, Dominic Qwek, Steve Lord, and Alex Huguet. For traditional: Carlos Huante, Simon Lee, Dominic Wdowski, Nick Bibby, Aris Kolokontes, and Mark Newman. For 2D: Carlos Huante, Nivanh Chantara, Karl Kopinski, and Allen Williams.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
MM: My personal portfolio has been focused mostly on creatures, but I'm currently working on a few human characters, one of them a likeness. I definitely think it is a good exercise and will also improve my portfolio.

Related links

Check out Manuel Martin's ArtStation
"Super Pretorious" in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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