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Santiago Betancur: concept artist interview

Santiago Betancur

Concept Artist

Colombian concept artist Santiago Betancur creates character and creature design for video games and films, and loves fantasy themes. Find out more…

Santiago's Website

3dtotal

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

Santiago

I’m a freelance concept artist based in Colombia. I love to do character and creature design for video games, short films, and so on. I have a huge passion for creating images and telling stories through them. I have about five years of experience working for indie video games, short films, and also I had the great opportunity to work in the collectible and statue industry for some AAA franchises and video games.

3dtotal

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

Santiago

Well, I love fantasy art and I love the art behind card games like Magic: the Gathering. Also, I wanted to explore the new features in ZBrush for rendering and I decided to create a character for that purpose. The workflow was simple – just ZBrush and Photoshop.

3dtotal

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

Santiago

One of the main challenges working on this illustration was to do everything without the symmetry tool in ZBrush. I started with a posed base and started to add details, and tried to achieve a good looking likeness for him. Another challenge was to achieve a painterly look; I achieved that using the new filters inside ZBrush.

Other tools that I use are KeyShot, Octane Render, Moi 3D, DAZ, and lately I’m learning Blender – this software is becoming so versatile and great for concept art and illustrations.

3dtotal

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

Santiago

Well, I use Artstation as the main platform for my portfolio. There I upload only works that I consider relevant and that can contribute more to my professional work; a tip that I could give you is to try not to upload absolutely everything you do to your portfolio, quality is better than quantity, so filter your works well and just upload the best that you have. On the other hand, I use social media and I upload work more often there, but also try to be of good quality.

3dtotal

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

Santiago

Yes, I follow a few active groups on Facebook where I share my work: Ten Thousand HoursPixologic ZBrush, Octane Render.

On Instagram I follow a lot of interesting sites where you can find constant inspiration. Here are a few of them: @3dtotal, @creaturecorner, @monstregram, @artstationhq, @theconceptartworld, @zbrushatpixologic

I also check in on a few hashtags: #conceptart, #zbrush, #illustration, #fantasyart, #fantasy.

3dtotal

Who are your favorite artists, and what are your artistic ambitions?

Santiago

There are many artists that I admire, to mention just a few of them: Jama Jurabaev, Jerad Marantz, Ian Joyner, Maciej Kuciara, Vitaly Bulgarov, Cedric Peyravernay, Piotr Jabłoński, Woytek Fus, Darek Zabrocki, Rafael Grassetti, and Simon Lee.

One of my main goals is try to get a job in the big leagues as a concept artist, and therefore have the opportunity to work on movies, AAA games, and so on.