Section:

Matteo Caruso: lighting and lookdev artist interview

Italian lighting and lookdev artist Matteo Caruso talks about working on a collaborative volunteer project called “Mila” and shares work from his portfolio…

Matteo's Website

3dtotal

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

Matteo

Hi my name is Matteo and I’m a 3D artist, and my main skillset is focused on lighting and lookdev. I’m a lighter in the animation industry, and I’m Italian, currently located in Rome for starting a new project. I’m also a co-ordinator for a CG course in a private University in Rome, where I usually teach lighting and dynamics in Maya.

3dtotal

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

Matteo

My last image was inspired by the amazing work of Drew Hartel, a really great artist. A few months ago I was looking at his personal concepts and saw one that I immediately fell in love with. My workflow has been inspired a lot from the image itself, because I wanted to improve my knowledge of Renderman 22, and creating a good image with lots of white snow was a good challenge.

for the first time I started using Photoscan. This one was indispensable for making the main trunk in the middle of the shot, because it was done using photogrammetry techniques.

3dtotal

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

Matteo

The challenge figured for the most has been the large amount of geometry in the shot. Immediately, I decided to treat the image like a real shot, and not a simple still life, so I didn’t use matte paint or other kinds of 'cheating.' The scene is explorable and renderable because everything you see in the shot is an instance. Another challenge, really fun to handle, was the grooming session for the little rabbit. For that I used Yeti, (my first time with RM22) and tried to find a good balance for fur volume.

3dtotal

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

Matteo

Usually my pipeline begins with ZBrush, and ends in Maya, but during the realization of a piece like my last one I needed the help of such great tools like: Nuke, Substance Painter, Yeti, Xgen, Photoshop, and for the first time I started using Photoscan. This one was indispensable for making the main trunk in the middle of the shot, because it was done using photogrammetry techniques.

lighting, tiger, 3d artist, cg artist

Ciccio Gatto

rabbit, snow, lighting, cg artist, 3d artist

Coniglietto

3d artist, cg artist, lighting

Nerd

3dtotal

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

Matteo

I always try to find some new project in order to experiment and expand my skillset. Today we are really lucky because we have a lot of information for free on the net. Usually I have a 30-minute session each day, dedicated to some new topics. A good habit, in order to let yourself expand your reel, is to find other people and share some projects. If, when we are alone, it could be easy to lose interest, or not find the right time; when you share with other artists you are really focused on your final goal.

3dtotal

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

Matteo

I don’t know if I can call it a 'social media group', but for 4 years now I’ve been working as lead lighter on a really big project call Mila. It's a short by Cinzia Angelini – http://www.milafilm.com – and it is totally volunteer-based. My daily warm-up starts by checking all the artists’ clips, and giving them feedbacks, but often we share knowledge, or simple opinions, about everything, and that is like a social media for me. More traditionally speaking my profile on Artstation is another start point of my day.

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Matteo

This is a simple answer for me, but obviously it is so hard to realize each time. My ambitions are always the same: to have the opportunity, and the luck, to take part in great projects, and give my best to help the director, and all the other artists involved, to tell the best story possible.

3dtotal

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

Matteo

There are many artists that I admire a lot from this century, and that inspire me every day in my career. Cinzia Angelini is one of my most big influences; she is a great director and my mentor, she leads me in this industry every day. Another gigantic artist that I love is Aaron Blaise; his YouTube channel is the best place for learning art. Also, Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi; these guys are amazing, and what that do at Tonko House inspires the whole community, and is an example of excellence in animation. But I could go on all day…!

squirrel, 3d artist, cg artist, lighting, character

Squirrel

troll, 3d artist, cg artist, lighting, monster

Trollo

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Matteo

Some new projects are already in the oven,  and that will probably take most of my time, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll find a while to study, and to make some new images for you guys, and also my commitment with the Mila short will go head for a bit of time in the future yet.

Fetching comments...

Post a comment