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Sebastián Montecinos: 3D generalist interview

Sebastián Montecinos is a 3D generalist from Chile, with a broad range of styles that includes both the darker and lighter side of things. His recent projects include fanart, advising that it is good to create characters who have not yet been modeled, to increase the chances of standing out. Find out more…

Sebastián's Website

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

Hi, I'm Sebastian. I'm 24 years old and I live in Santiago, Chile. I took my first steps in 3D when I was like 16 years old. I always loved art related stuff, especially sculpture, films, and animation. Then, when I discovered all the possibilities 3D offers you, I knew that this world was for me. I am currently working as a 3D generalist focusing on character art, environment/prop modeling, grooming, and lookdev.

happy snail waving

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

It's a fun story. I was working on another project the same day that The Long Night, Game of Thrones episode aired. In that episode, one of the most serious villains for the first time showed an evil smirk. I liked that scene a lot, so the inspiration came and I started working on him the same day after the episode. The first step was to sculpt him in ZBrush. This time I wanted to try a style between Disney and Fortnite. Most of this stage was playing with the contrast between smooth sections and hard-edged features of his face. For the armor I had to play with Zmodeler to achieve the square pattern. After that, I played a little in Substance Painter to export some simple but functional textures for Arnold.

piranhas

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

During the modeling stage I focused on achieving the cartoon look I had in mind, but that evil smile was challenging. It's an “out of character” expression, so I was careful in the way I exaggerated it. Then one might think that the stage of rendering cartoon shaders would be easy, but is full of subtleties, like looking for a balance between cartoon and realistic, as well as the lighting where I was trying to recreate the original frame as well as give it personality. Some lighting setups work great in the middle of a live action sequence, but not in a stylized still-frame.

Lately I have been making fanarts of characters I like, especially some that have not yet been modeled.

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

My main modeling software is ZBrush, and for texturing I vary between Substance Painter or Mari, according to each project. For rendering, I like to try different render engines, but since a year ago I've been using Arnold for personal work. I like its simplicity and moving few tweaks to achieve good results, I also like using V-Ray and Redshift. And occasionally when I need to model procedural stuff like volumetric clouds I use Houdini.

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

Most professional work is private or long-term, so it's necessary to keep your portfolio alive with personal work. Lately I have been making fanarts of characters I like, especially some that have not yet been modeled. Another good advice is to set deadlines for yourself. Before I used to work months on some characters, but now I realize it's better to try different things instead of being engaged forever in a character (unless it's really worth it), because it will never be perfect, and that's okay. If it looks nice and appealing you should be satisfied, publish it, and move on.

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

I love communities like Artstation, 3dtotal, CGsociety, ZBrush Central, and some artists I find on Instagram. I also find it very inspiring to check Facebook groups such as Ten Thousand Hours or Level up! There's a friendly community of artists sharing their WIPs and finished work that keeps you motivated to continue with your projects. And you can always receive (or give) feedback to people. I follow some hashtags like #3dmodel #characterdesign #render #zbrush – you can discover great artists following these.

screaming mouse

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions

Sebastián

I want to become a better artist, be able to express strong emotions or just create more interesting stuff. But I have a kind of divided artistic personality; I like to do serious dark conceptual things as well as creating silly and fun cute creatures. And I can't just stay with one, so I divide my time to work on both. I would like to find my own style, focusing on giving more meaning and appeal to my work.

skeleton in roses

3dtotal

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

Sebastián

I love traditional artists who are on the darkest side like Zdzisław Beksiński, Francis Bacon, Nicola Samori, Allison Schulnik, or Eliran Kantor. Their work is a great source of inspiration for me. And some digital artists I follow are Ian Spriggs, Maria Panfilova, Tanoo Choorat, Gabriel Soares, Nikita Veprikov, Sebastian Kowoll, Vimal Kerketta, and Kontorn Boonyanate. They all make amazing work and have an instant recognizable style!

night king

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Sebastián

I will continue updating my portfolio regularly with personal work. I'll be uploading more fanarts of interesting and characters, especially I would like to explore dark creatures from Junji Ito horror mangas and create my own concepts. Now I'm working on some fun animals I will be publishing pretty soon, so keep an eye on my social media.

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