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Rodrigo Avila: 3D character artist interview

Rodrigo Avila

Freelance 3D Character Artist, Concept Art

3D character artist Rodrigo Avila creates concept art for games and film, specializing in modeling and texturing. He enjoys the challenge of each new piece he creates and is always striving to learn. Find out more…

Visit Rodrigo's ArtStation

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

Rodrigo

My name is Rodrigo Avila and I'm 27 years old. I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I'm a 3D character artist and concept art for games and film, modeling/texturing and concept art specialist with emphasis on characters/creatures for movies and games. I’ve loved art since I was a kid, I always enjoyed drawing and being able to work with art is a dream come true.

3dtotal

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

Rodrigo

I used ZBrush for modeling the servical protector and the eye/head, Mari, and Substance Painter for texture, and Maya/Arnold for rendering. I used this software because they are quick to use and create great textures. To create the skin I used the texture of the Texturing XYZ site, it has the best texture packs on the market for skin and some parts I modeled like the scars on ZBrush. For the hair I used Xgen, I like this tool because it is easy to create hair. The idea of this character came up during the announcement of the game

This is a theme that I like a lot; I always try to bring to my personal works this Futuristic theme.

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

Rodrigo

The biggest challenge was to make the character as realistic as possible; it was a few months until I was able to make the character realistic, mainly in the texture of the pores and skin. But during those months I learned a lot about the process of creating a 3D character, such as texturing, look dev and more that I needed to study. I think every project has some challenges, it's something that I think is important for the artist to learn.

3dtotal

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

Rodrigo

The software I use in my projects is ZBrush for modeling, Mari/Substance Painter for texture. I like to use ZBrush also to mainly texture the pores or something more detailed like hyper-real details. To render I like to use Maya/Arnold, in some projects I use Redshift too. Another software that I like to use in my personal projects is Procreate, to create some sketches of some new project.

3dtotal

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

Rodrigo

I like to update my portfolio every month with at least one new project. It's a challenge that I always try to keep because it motivates me to always study something new and be able to put these projects into practice. Personal design is a way for you to learn and put what you really like to do and create. My tip would be for the artist to make projects that help you evolve in a positive way. This can always motivate to produce content that can go in your portfolio. And analyze if you have many old works, because sometimes older works can confuse the recruiter, because the artist always evolves in his journey.

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

Rodrigo

Yes, I participate in some art groups on Facebook, like Ten Thousand Hours, Pixologic, and some art groups in Brazil. I think it's very important for the artist and for the community these art groups, it helps to have networking, feedback and make great friendships with other artists. This helps to evolve artistically. I like to follow some hashtags, like #ConceptArt #3Dart and #CGI, especially on Instagram which I consider a great social network for artists, because it has search for hashtags.

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What are your artistic ambitions?

Rodrigo

My ambition is to someday be able to work at a movie company like ILM, MPC, WETA, or as a concept artist for some Blockbuster movie in Hollywood. Cinema is something I've always wanted to work with, it's an industry that has always captivated me, so I hope one day to reach that goal. Another ambition is I want to create a project with futuristic themes and release as a short film. This is something that I intend to start planning and developing over the next few years. But it's something I still need to put on paper more calmly.

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

Rodrigo

I have a list of favorite artists. The two artists who give the most inspiration are Alex Oliver, who was my teacher and I admire him a lot, and Kris Costa. Alex’s work is a reference for many in the industry and Kris Costa has a big influence in my work. I love the level of realism he achieves in his work. I have other artists that I consider as my favorites: Rafael Grassetti, Glauco Longui, Ian Spriggs, Hossein Diba, Bruno Camara, and Abdelrahman Kubisi. Some  2D artists like Jama Jubaraev, Maciej Kuciara, Andrew Domachowski, Adrian Wilkins Serge Birault, and my sister Gislaine Avila.

David Bowie facial anatomy tribute 3d art
Tribute for David Bowie © Rodrigo Avila

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What can we expect to see from you next?

Rodrigo

My next project is a western character. It's a theme I want to explore now (I love western), and I'll finish it soon, so if you like western this will be my new project. A short film project, with a futuristic theme, which I would like to create the most. And do some texturing and rendering tutorials.

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