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Ricardo Manso: 3D artist interview

Ricardo Manso

3D Artist

“In every single personal work I try to push myself to learn and improve something in my workflow. In this new one I tried to improve my skin texture and shaders…” 3D artist Ricardo Manso talks about his journey in art so far, while offering some advice for beginners.

Ricardo's Artstation

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

My name is Ricardo Manso. I am from Portugal and I work from home in Lisbon. My journey started when I went to fine arts school to learn sculpture. At the time I didn't think about anything digital. I loved to work with metal, stone, and wood. Still love it!

After I finished my degree, I started a Master degree in public sculpture and one of the classes was ZBrush, so we could make our projects and show it to the clients. I fell in love with the software. It was very easy to translate my ideas and it was similar to working with clay. It was a real life change.

I wanted to learn more and I started to see a lot of tutorials. I ended up attending small 3D courses to learn a bit more of the subject. I started to publish some of my work on some digital platforms and I got my first freelance job. Nowadays I have a part-time job as senior 3D artist in a company and also do some freelance work.

astronaut 3d model character design space cadet sculpt
astronaut 3d model character design space cadet sculpt

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

I saw this concept from Max Ulichney that I really like. In my free time I started to block it on ZBrush with very simple shapes to see if it would work in 3D. It did! After I had all the primary shapes in the right place, I started to clean the mesh. I did the retopology and started building the small elements with a clean mesh. This second phase I did it in Maya. I went again to ZBrush to do all the fine detail, did the UVs in Maya and jump to Substance Painter to paint all the textures.

After I had all the textures and maps I started to work on the shaders and light, and finally I rendered it with Arnold. I tried to do as much as possible in the final render, so I didn't have to do much in post-production. You can read more here.

color texturing astronaut 3d model character design space cadet sculpt

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

In every single personal work I try to push myself to learn and improve something in my workflow. In this new one I tried to improve my skin texture and shaders, and tried to do as much as possible in the final render, so the final image could be as raw as possible with almost no post-production. At the end I just needed a tiny color adjustment.

wireframe stylised female character design side profile 3d model sculpt maya
clay model stylised female character design side profile 3d model sculpt maya
stylised female character design side profile 3d model sculpt maya

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

Mainly I use ZBrush, Maya, Substance Painter, Arnold, Xgen, Photoshop and sometimes I use Marvelous Designer. This is essentially what I use for all my jobs.

3dtotal

Do you own any of 3dtoal Publishing’s titles? If so, which one(s) – and how did you find it?

Ricardo

Yes I have. And they are very useful. I mainly use "Fundamentals of Character Design," "Creating Stylized Characters," and "Art Fundamentals." This last one is particularly useful because it talks about everything. Color, light, composition, anatomy, and so on... It gives a good idea how to create a powerful image. It has a lot of good examples, not only with digital art, but also with the old master’s art work. I still believe the fundamentals are the structure of a good image.

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

I don't think I am the best person to give advice on this matter, because sometimes I leave my portfolio with no update for long periods of time. But I think the best way to keep it updated is to set some goals. I am always trying to learn new things, and one thing that works for me is to find projects where I can practice and apply the subject that I want to learn. That way I am doing new stuff, learning, and keeping my portfolio updated.

no colour clay base model sculpt character design rendering
textured coloured clay base model sculpt character design rendering

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

I have some social media groups. What I like the most, and I try to go there daily, is Artstation. It has a lot of amazing art and a lot of times I go there just to see new stuff and clear my brain. But it is also very good to go there to get some new ideas, meet new techniques, new artists, to get new references, and to do some networking.

I don't think I am the best person to give advice on this matter, because sometimes I leave my portfolio with no update for long periods of time. But I think the best way to keep it updated is to set some goals. I am always trying to learn new things, and one thing that

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Ricardo

I don't think I am too ambitious. I just want to grow as an artist, as a person and be happy with what I do.

3dtotal

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

Ricardo

That is a tricky one... I really like different work genres, so that means a lot of different artists. From traditional art, I love Rodin, Bernini, Verrochio, Michael Angelo, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velasquez, Paula Rego, Francis Bacon, Goya, Jan van Eyck, Lucian Freud... and so many others!

In digital art, I really like Victor Hugo, Leticia Gillett, Kris Costa, Raf Grassetti, Ian Spriggs, Denis Zilber, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Ian McQue, Rayner Alencar, and so on... All of these artists have something new and refreshing, something that I can learn from!

wireframe close up render model the queen's gambit character design netflix show fan-creation 3d
clay base detailing the queen's gambit character design netflix show fan-creation 3d
the queen's gambit character design netflix show fan-creation 3d

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Ricardo

Hum... not sure about that! There are a lot of things that I would like to improve and learn, so I think I will pick some stuff that I want to learn and try to apply it in a new project. The main goal is to learn and create an appealing image. Let's see how it turns out!

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