Ricardo Manso: 3D modeler interview

Ricardo Manso

3D Artist

3D modeler Ricardo Manso discusses using Maya, ZBrush and Arnold to create his work, including the latest gallery entry, Fisherman...

3D modeler Ricardo Manso discusses using Maya, ZBrush and Arnold to create his work, including the latest gallery entry, Fisherman...

3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Ricardo Manso: I am from Portugal and I live in Lisbon. I completed my degree in Fine Arts - Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon in 2005, and finished my Master degree in Public Sculpture at the same school. I had participated in several courses and workshops related to sculpture and drawing, as well as stop motion animation, image manipulation and image production. In 2012 I went to Odd School in Lisbon, to learn Maya, ZBrush and Photoshop, and I started to learn more about digital art and 3D and making my own experiments.

My route began fine arts sculpture, that I really loved. In my final year of my Masters degree I had a class of 3D modeling, to simulate the integration of our sculpture in the real space, so we could show to the client how it fit in. We worked in ZBrush and I fell in love with the software, because it's almost like working in clay, but in a computer.

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?

RM: Every day I try to view different galleries so I can see a variety of references and fresh work. I already knew Andre Zendron's work, but one day I was seeing images on the internet and I saw the concept that he made of the fisherman. I thought that it was a great concept and it was perfect to make in 3D, so I started to work on it. Every piece that I make I try to learn something from. And this one was not an exception, it was a very good exercise to me.

3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?

RM: Every work that I make has some problems, and this one too. And that's good because that's the way I learn. Every work of mine is a challenge and I try to push it further and further. Most of the time, someone has already had the same problem that we are facing, so we just have to research, and most of the time you can find the solution on the internet. If not, you just have to be creative, try different approaches, and with work and some lucky you will find what you need, and sometimes what you don't need at the moment – but probably you will need it in future work. For the Fisherman, I used Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Arnold, and for the hair I used Shave and a Haircut.

3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?

RM: Most of the time I use Maya, ZBrush and Photoshop. I render in Maya with Arnold and for the hair I use Shave and a Haircut. Depending on the work, I start with ZBrush to block all the shapes and forms, so I can find the right proportion of the character. Then I go to Maya and I do the retopology, and I return to ZBrush so I can make all the details and bake all the maps that I need.

After that, I export all to Maya, and correct some maps in Photoshop. Then I apply all the maps to the different shaders, set the light and then render in Maya. When the render is complete, I make some adjustments in Photoshop and that's it.

3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

RM: Not really, nothing new. I feel that I'm in the beginning, so I am still figuring out the best way to do what I need.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

RM: I would like to improve my skills so I can work in a talented team and make cool stuff. Animation movies for example. I also would love to make some big illustration works.

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

RM: I really love the work of Victor Hugo, Pedro Conti, José Alves da Silva, Tiago Hoisel, Dan Roarty, Andrew Hickinbottom, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Max Kostenko, Michael Kutsche, as well as many others. Their work is so amazing and so inspiring that I always learn something every time I see something new.

3dt: Do you like to experiment with your personal works, or do you prefer to stick to tried-and-tested methods

RM: I like to know tried-and-tested methods but then I adapt to what I need. The main goal is to get where I need, so I do not get stuck with the methods. I just do what I need to achieve my goal.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?

RM: I don't know... I hope for some good work, if possible better than this one. I didn't expect so much success with this image, so now the level is high, but I'll give my best.

Related links

Check out Fisherman in the gallery
Take a look at Ricardo Manso's ArtStation
Just starting out? Try our Maya book, Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya

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