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Oleksiy Golovchenko: CG environment generalist interview

Oleksiy Golovchenko

CG Environment Generalist Supervisor @ DNEG

CG environment generalist supervisor Oleksiy Golovchenko currently works at DNEG TV Vancouver, and talks about using Clarisse and other software in his workflow, besides the usual Photoshop and Maya…

Oleksiy's Website

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

Currently I am a CG environment supervisor at DNEG TV Vancouver. I started doing DMP in 2005, so more than a decade ago, and I moved to Canada from Ukraine about 6 years ago. I am more of a matte painter with some 3D generalist skills. I also specialize in environment concept art.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

The workflow for the "Tech Mechanika" image started with a 3D kitbash scene assembly in Clarisse. I then rendered a couple of different beauty passes as well as some utility passes (depth, object ID and volumetric light) for use in Photoshop. After that I added some extra texture details, composed the sky, and adjusted the overall image.

The idea behind this piece was pretty simple; I haven't done a dystopian cityscape in a while so I thought it would be a good exercise to try to make it in a relatively fast and efficient way. I also wanted to test some new workflows.

I always learn something new with every image I make. In this particular case I've improved my layout skills, as well as render optimization techniques and procedural look development.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

The main challenge for me was to form a good balance between 3D and 2D work. I was attempting to make as few iterations as possible, and trying to understand the biggest obstacles in my workflow early in the process. I didn't want to spend too much time texturing and developing a look for every piece of the scene in Clarisse, knowing that I would take care of the details in Photoshop. Since the image was static, I knew I could limit the amount of work done in 3D and optimize the render time for my laptop. I always learn something new with every image I make. In this particular case I've improved my layout skills, as well as render optimization techniques and procedural look development.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

My toolset is based on my day-to-day work in the studio. I use Clarisse and Maya on a daily basis as well as Nuke and Photoshop. Occasionally I work in ZBrush, Terragen, World Machine, and SpeedTree. In my personal work I use pretty much the same software except maybe Nuke and SpeedTree.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

That’s a tricky question. Recently I haven’t had much free time to do my own personal projects. Generally I am always eager to try new tools, models, materials, or maybe new compositions, and most of the time I keep going with it until it's a portfolio ready piece. Sometimes I stop part way through when I think it might take too long to finish, but that is a very rare occurrence. In general I am not a huge fan of long term personal projects because there is always something new and different I want to do or try.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

I am a member of the Matte Painting FB group and use to be a frequent visitor of mattepainting.org, but sadly the last one is more like an abandoned ghost town.

I check "environments" and "conceptart" categories on ArtStation weekly, and the same hashtags on Instagram.

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Oleksiy

I think in the near future I would like to either do more freelance projects or switch to art direction. I like the idea of having more artistic freedom with my work. It would also be great to have a more flexible schedule.

3dtotal

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

Oleksiy

I am an absolute fan of Ivan Shishkin's landscapes; his works are always inspiring to me. Also, Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) and the Hudson River School masters are on my list of favorites. In terms of digital era DMP masters I would say the Great Three (Yanick Dusseault, Dylan Cole and Chris Stoski) made a huge impact on me. I am also a big admirer of Craig Mullins, Jaime Jones, Sung Choi, and Aaron Limonick as well.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Oleksiy

It’s very hard to tell but what I can say for certain – I will try to continue with my personal art as long as I can! Thank you for the interview! Cheers!