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Simon Gomez: texture/look dev artist interview

Simon Gomez

Texture/ lookdev Artist

Texture & Look Dev artist Simon Gomez has made the most of lockdown, using it to catch up on personal work and explore different concepts. Find out more…

Simon's ArtStation

3dtotal

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

Simon

Hey everyone, my name is Simon Gomez. I’m 26 years old and I’m a French texture/ look dev artist based in Paris. I currently work as a freelancer but I started doing personal projects during the lockdown and I haven’t stopped since. I first started with a project in collaboration with Kurtis Dawe. He designed and sculpted the “Dragon Viper” and I’m very grateful that he trusted me for texturing it. My last personal project is a collaboration with Niyazi Selimoglu on his model “Lily”. I’ll tell more about it in this interview.

reptilian snake model 3d viper sculpture

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

Simon

Niyazi recently contacted me to ask if I wanted to texture one of his models. I admire his work so I was honored to collaborate with him. I invite you to check his work if you don’t already know him. This modeling inspired me to do something different and more stylized. Technically I didn’t use much software. I mainly used Mari for the texturing job, using procedural nodes and tileable maps to have a quick and solid base. I precisely hand paint directly in the hypershade of Maya with masks and tileables. I used Arnold in ACES color space for lookdev and lighting, and comped the image in Nuke.

character design 3d model no textures maps

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

Simon

The main challenge for this project was to do something stylized and to try to “create something new.” I realized finding a good art direction was way more difficult than mimicking reality. That’s why before starting I really took the time to look for references and inspirations. It’s what I usually do before starting any project. Then I started exploring different directions directly in Maya with procedural nodes, it helped me to find what I really wanted to do.

side profile character design 3d model fantasy

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

Simon

I don’t really use other softwares, I’m a huge fan of Mari, I really like working with this software. It’s always a pleasure to discover new stuff and features, and for that, I thank Jens Kafitz for all the work he’s doing with his awesome Mari Extension pack.

3dtotal

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

Simon

Actually, doing personal projects is something really new for me. The lockdown period really pushed me to finish some personal projects I started a few months ago and even to start new ones. I finally found motivation and time to focus on my projects, and I think that’s the key.  You should always try to learn more by practicing, learning from other artists, getting a better eye, and simply trying to do your best. But I know it can be difficult working on personal stuff after a long day of work, so try not to spend 8 months on a project and keep it simple!

3dtotal

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

Simon

I’m not really active on social media groups but Instagram, Behance, and Artstation are good platforms to stay informed of the new creations produced by artists. This is really useful to get a better eye and find some inspiration. There are also good discord channels where you can interact with other people, learn new things and ask questions or feedback for your projects.

3d model texturing and patterns

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What are your artistic ambitions?

Simon

I would love doing more projects like “Lily”, with cool art directions. It was interesting to do something stylized, and not too realistic. For my future projects I will continue to focus more on the artistic side than the technical one, to try to mimic reality but with a nice artistic touch. It includes lookdev but also lighting, you can tell so many different things with only your lights direction.

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

Simon

There are many but an artist who inspires me a lot is Jean-Michel Bihorel. I’m lucky to know him and I definitely learned a lot working alongside him. I really love the way he uses CGI to tell something poetic and artistic, with great mastery.  I’m also a huge fan of the concept artist Piotr Jabłoński who has his very own universe, every illustration he makes is a digital masterpiece.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Simon

I’m currently texturing an awesome model nicely provided by the great Kevin Cassidy (I invite you to check his work on social media). This one too is challenging for me because of the art direction I chose and the type of materials I’ll have to create. I’m still exploring different possibilities concerning the global and final look I would like to have. So stay tuned for incoming stuff!

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