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Nabil Chequeiq: 3D character artist interview 2020

“It's easy to get lost in professional work and life so I always keep in mind that I'm an artist and I need to learn new things and look for new ideas to challenge myself.” Read more from 3D character artist Nabil Chequeiq…

Nabil's ArtStation

This interview contains NSFW imagery content

3dtotal

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

Nabil

Hello, my name is Nabil Chequeiq and I'm originally from Morocco. I love 3D character art, recently I had the chance to be part of the amazing team at REEL FX that worked on SCOOB the 3D movie. My last interview with 3dtotal, I was in USA, after that I moved to Montreal, Canada for my new job.

3dtotal

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

Nabil

I have a really simple workflow, no magic tricks. I begin with blocking out the face proportions, using the dynamesh head included in ZBrush. I try to work as simply as I can in the beginning, and keep iterating and adding details as I go further into the process. Then i use Maya for retopology and UVs. For the idea, I wanted to create a realistic head of a female as an anatomy study, but i decided to finish it.

nordic male character 3d model

3dtotal

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

Nabil

The challenge was to make her look cool and realistic in terms of details and skin color and render. The challenging part was how to make her look good because doing a realistic piece is easy to mess up and hard to get right. In this project i really learned a lot about face construction, pore details, and XGEN.

3dtotal

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

Nabil

I usually use ZBrush for all my high-res mesh and sketching. I used to work with 3D-Coat for topology, but now I use Maya for most retopo and render. For my last project I used Substance Painter for cloth textures and Mari for skin and eyes, Marvelous Designer if I need to do more complex cloth. Knowing other software helps a lot to give your work more realism and life.

3dtotal

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

Nabil

I write new ideas in a document or notebook. Also I have started using Pinterest for saving concept art or any new image ideas, it's easy to get lost in professional work and life so I always keep in mind that I'm an artist and I need to learn new things and look for new ideas to challenge myself. Inspiration is everywhere I go; from the 3dtotal gallery or ArtStation, to other artists’ work, it gives me the spark to work on my own.

3dtotal

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

Nabil

I don't use hashtags so often but i always check Facebook groups like Ten Thousand Hours, Pixologic, Arnold renderer3d, and 3dtotal pages. For Instagram, I follow the same accounts in case I missed them on Facebook, to be up to date on the new art pieces and new artists.

side profile 3d render female model

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Nabil

I'm looking to keep improving myself and learning new techniques and tools to make my work exceptional. I still have goals I haven’t achieved yet in term of companies I want to work with and projects I have in mind that need to come to life.

3dtotal

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

Nabil

I really love a lot of artists, traditional and digital. I believe that if you have an artist you look up to you will always keep up the good work and try to match that level. For example, my favorite artists in 2D: Hong SoonSang, Serge Birault, Lois van Baarle, Richard Lyons, David Ardinaryas Lojaya, Sergi Brosa, Ramón Nuñez, Nesskain hks, Igor Sid, Wangjie Li, and Nicola Saviori.

For 3D: Dylan Ekren, Frank Tzeng, Adam Skutt, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Victor Hugo Queiroz, Gabriel Belluco, Mathieu Aerni, and Rafael Grassetti.

Their work is really mind-blowing, for me, the best and highest bars in the industry. If I can do what they can do in terms of 3D, I will be more than happy.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Nabil

I'm working on a realistic portrait of one of my favorite actors inside the Mr Mercedes TV show, and I hope to finish it soon. I still need to add a robot and armor, I feel like I'm missing those kind of hard surface characters in my portfolio.

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