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Michael Robson: character artist interview

Michael Robson

3D Character Artist

3D character artist Michael Robson lives in Brazil, and shares ZBrush and 3ds Max workflow, inspirations, and portfolio tips…

Michael's Artstation

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

Michael

Hi, my name is Michael Robson. I'm 25 years old and I work in the advertising industry as a 3D character artist. I live in Curitiba, Brazil. I graduated in graphic design but I decided to change my path and started doing 3D at the end of 2016. After 6 months since I began, I got my first full-time job in an advertising studio here in Curitiba.

3D character artist Michael Robson

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Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?

Michael

My workflow when I do characters consists basically of blocking the shapes in ZBrush. Then I switch to Maya or 3ds Max for poly modeling, retopology, UVs, and render. I mostly use ZBrush and Maya for modeling, Mari and Substance Painter for texturing, Ornatrix for hair (right now I'm learning xgen as well), and I render in 3ds Max using V-Ray.

3D character plague doctor Michael Robson

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What inspires you?

Michael

A lot of things inspire me, but mostly medieval culture, and games related to a dark medieval environment such as “Bloodborne” or “Dark Souls.” I also like the myths and gods from different cultures. Many artists inspire me as well. When I see some artwork that blows my mind I always try to find the person who was responsible for that and follow them on social media for updates.

3D character garuda Michael Robson

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

Michael

You have to set goals for yourself and be very organized, especially with the time that you have. Discipline is the key; sometimes it's hard because every person is different and has their own priorities, but I personally try to finish a personal project in 2 months.

I choose a concept that has something that I want to learn or something that I'm not good at – it could be hair, skin shader, anatomy, and so on. If it's too easy you're not challenging yourself, you will not learn and your growth as an artist will be almost nothing.

3D character garuda close up

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

Michael

I have a huge list to be honest, some friends at work and on social media inspire me, and they teach me a lot. I also like the old masters such as Michelangelo, Bernini, Da Vinci; the history and the care they had with their work is something that I always keep in mind.

Some people in the community inspire me a lot too: Cesar Zambelli, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Mathieu Aerni, Phil Nguyen, Gael Kerchenbaum, Bruno Camara, Paul H. Paulino, Igor Catto, Rafael Grassetti, Glauco Longhi, and the list goes on.

3D character plague staff

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What can we expect to see from you next?

Michael

I plan to produce more personal projects and share content with the community as much as I can. One of the rules I think that is crucial is something Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "... you have to give something back to the community..." The community has been teaching me for so long and it is always good to share knowledge, give feedback, and be nice to other people. That's definitely the golden rule for success.

3D character old orc Michael Robson

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