Olivier McClish: 3D artist & instructor interview

Instructor and 3D modeller Olivier McClish created the stylish "Orc" in last month's gallery – check out his Maya and ZBrush pipeline and other tips...

Instructor and 3D modeller Olivier McClish created the stylish "Orc" in last month's gallery – check out his Maya and ZBrush pipeline and other tips...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Olivier McClish: Hi, my name is Olivier, I am a 3D artist and I live in Quebec City, Canada. I started my journey in 2007 in the college BART – a great school by the way – and got my degree in 2008. Beenox was my first employer in the videogame industry. I then moved on to creating my own company (Z3D studio) and teaching 3D modeling (college BART). I have been doing both ever since!

3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
OM: The idea started when my colleague at college and I wanted to make a complete character that we could share for our courses. So we decided to go with an orc model as we wanted something humanoid, interesting and with enough details/angles. I was in charge of the modeling part and the other teacher followed up with rigging, textures and animation. That way, students could use it all they want for practicing.

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
OM: I usually use Maya and ZBrush when it comes to modeling. I use a lot of scripts and tools in Maya; CreasePlus by Baidhir Hidair and Mirror tool by Klaudio Ladavac are good examples. They really help speed things up. It was the first time I was in charge of a character with no base concept, so my first challenge was to develop it from scratch with sketches. I used trial and error until we were happy. The second challenge was figuring out seamless displacement baking (UDIM) for the multiple bodies SubTools. I never worked before with UDIM so it was a great thing to learn and add to my toolbox.

3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
OM: Yeah, a lot more! Substance products, Photoshop, UV Layout and Marmoset are some that I use on a day to day basis. These days, substance products are the ones I enjoy the most working with as we have new updates every month or so and it's a great texturing tool. Lots to learn.

3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
OM: 3dtotal, ArtStation, ZBrushCentral, Polycount and CGSociety forum are my favorites. I always check once a day what is going on on these websites. On Facebook, I follow a lot of artists and pages like Pixologic, Autodesk and Allegorithmic for news and updates. Facebook groups like 3D character creation and daily spit sculpt are good places to get comments and exercises.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
OM: I always try to have personal side projects to learn new techniques or new softwares. I think it's the best way to keep you up to date. A good trick is to post your work in progress on forums and get people to know about you and criticize your work, that way you can grow as an artist.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
OM: Always on personal stuff but for now I am doing the ArtStation challenge in the game character art category. With this challenge I will try to push a little bit more on my anatomy and realism, and learn more about Marvelous Designer, a software I always wanted to learn in more depth. Thanks!

Related links

Check out Olivier's website
"Orc" in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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