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Nicolás López: character artist interview

Nicolás López

Character Artist

“The biggest challenge is to always do nice work that reflects the amazing concept I took the idea from.” Find out more about 3D character artist Nicolás López…

Nicolás' ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

Hello everyone, my name is Nicolas Lopez , and I would like to thank 3dtotal for the invite. I’m a 33 year old freelance character artist currently working on videogames and collectibles. As a 3D artist I love to do characters from anime and comics that take me back to my childhood.

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

For my latest work, I found an amazing concept art from PomU so I decided to do an anime style 3D sculpture rendered in a real figurine fashion. My workflow is really simple; first, I use references to establish the characters’ style and overall look. Then, I start with a simple base mesh and I adjust all the proportions. Afterwards, I add all the elements for the character until I have good blocking, so I can add all the final details. Finally, I send the model to KeyShot where I dedicate some time to working with the light and the environments, and then I bring all the layer passes into Photoshop where I make the final render image.

anime female design 3d render model japanese character

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

I learned a lot about the subtleties of making a female anime character, like adding enough detail while keeping the sculpt clean at all times. The biggest challenge is to always do nice work that reflects the amazing concept I took the idea from, and keep learning throughout the process.

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

My main tool of work is ZBrush, probably the best 3D software that exists (you can do anything in ZBrush!) For more traditional modeling I usually work in Maya. As for texturing, I use a mix of Substance and Photoshop. KeyShot is now my program of choice for rendering – it works really fast with the KeyShot bridge, and the layer system is perfect for composing with Photoshop.

japanese Asian inspired anime girl 3d model

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

Just find something you like, and then commit to a goal such as the quality you want to achieve, or the time you want to spend on it, or simply enjoy the entire creation process. Keep in mind something you want to learn, from the more artistic side to the technical part of the work. And in the end, the most important thing is to get the work done. Taking some time for sketching is good, but for your folio you will always need to showcase a finalized project, so it is really cool to do a lot of personal projects as long as you commit to complete at least one!

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

I’m mostly active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s very important to keep your social media up to date with your work. 3dtotal is a really good site to look for great references, Artstation and CGSociety are pretty neat too. Regarding hashtags, I usually have some must-have ones (#zbrush #sculpt) and then I add those that can vary according to what I am working on (#anime, #comics).

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Nicolás

I just want to create awesome characters from movies, anime, and comics that I have loved ever since I was a kid. I really enjoy learning anything 3D-related to be honest. I first started as a 3D generalist. Now I am a character artist and my biggest ambition is just to become better every day while having fun this amazing profession/hobby/job/life.

3dtotal

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

Nicolás

Well I like so many, from Akira Toriyama to Masami Kuromada, Bengus, Akiman, Shunya Yamashita, and Jim Lee. As for the 3D and sculpting, I love the work of people such as; Erick Sosa, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Daniel Bel, Rafael Grassetti, Nit Tawata, Masato Ohata, Sakaki Kaoru, my friend Miguel Hernandez, and many many more great artists.

anime girl pink female character design 3d model

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Nicolás

My main focus for now is to keep working on anime and comic characters and grow as an artist, helping people in this community like others helped me.  I have many ideas for new personal projects and now I am currently working on a video game and some nice statues that you can check later on.

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