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Pierre-Olivier Levesque: Gameloft artist interview

Gameloft 3D artist, Pierre-Olivier Levesque, shares the ZBrush and KeyShot workflow behind his gallery image, Riper...

Gameloft 3D artist, Pierre-Olivier Levesque, shares the ZBrush and KeyShot workflow behind his gallery image, Riper...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Pierre-Olivier Levesque: My name is Pierre-Olivier Levesque and I studied Fine Art before heading to University on the first 3D creation baccalaureate program offered in Quebec. Then, my career started with an internship at Moment Factory where I was subsequently hired right away. We were doing some really cool multimedia videos for productions such as the Celine Dion Vegas show, the Tiesto Kaleidoscope world tour, the Super Bowl half-time show, the Kinect opening at E3 and a lot more.

I was very eager to join the VFX industry, so 2 years later, I moved to Mokko Studio as a 3D generalist where I worked on movies, publicities and some Discovery Channel TV shows. After a while, I began specializing as a character modeler and it soon turned into my passion. 2 years had passed by and I was lucky enough to receive an offer from Mikros Image, who were producing 2 awesome projects at the time: Mune and The Little Prince. I later worked at Mikros Image for 1 year as a character modeler. When my contract had finally finished, I then moved to Gameloft to the Packaging department, where I create cool characters as marketing materials for the games.

3dt: What software did you use and do you have any tips for using this software, or any other software that you use to create your art in general?
POL: I use ZBrush most of the time. With the new features, I rarely have to move away from ZBrush to model my low-res topology. Sometimes I will bring some pieces to Topogun, or I will do all my deformable topology (mainly anatomy) in Topogun and Maya. I also use Maya for organizing my tools, UV unwrap and layout, later bringing back to ZBrush to have a clean low-res model, unwrapped and all in one ZBrush file. For my clay renders, I was using V-Ray, but now with the new KeyShot bridge, it is so fast and easy to send the final model to KeyShot and render out a quick clay render (as I did with Riper).

Concept by Karl Kopinski

Concept by Karl Kopinski

In general, I see software as tools, and I learn them as I need them. If I discover a tool that helps me do some things more effectively and efficiently in production, I will learn it and incorporate it into my pipeline. I am really open to new tools and I always try to keep up to date with the latest technologies as it is so important in our field. The industry is moving so fast that sometimes it is hard to follow, but I try my best.

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?
POL: There are a lot of things that I have in mind, but basically I want to fill in the missing spaces. I am working more on hard surfaces right now, and I also want to focus a little more on anatomy and low-res polygon modeling. I will try to reinforce my weakness as much as possible.

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
POL: I work from home on my personal projects, and I also like to finish the projects that were started at work, in my own way. If there is something I don't really like or I want to improve on a model I did at work, I will reopen it in my free time and try to take it to the next level.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
POL: One of my biggest inspirations of all time is Meats Meier. He is one of the first artists to use ZBrush in a totally different way. He was doing it brilliantly, and has a very cool approach and use of software.

Another artist I admire would have to be Alex Alvarez. It is fair to say that back in the day, Alex by himself was my 3D school. While in high school, almost everything I learned in 3D was through his Gnomon Workshops DVD collection. He knows Maya like no one else. I owe most of my knowledge to this guy and his company.

3dt: How do you like to unwind?
POL: I love Muay Thai and beer!

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
POL: The day I feel satisfied with my skillset and my art (hopefully one day), I hope to explore a little more. I want to return to my artistic background and experiment in non-conventional ways. But before I can begin deconstructing my works, I first need to learn how to finish constructing them.

Related links:

Head over to Pierre-Olivier Levesque's ArtStation
Check out Riper in the gallery
Grab a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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