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Tiago Mesquita: 3D generalist & character modeler interview

Tiago Mesquita

3D Generalist

Brazilian 3D generalist and character modeler Tiago Mesquita takes inspiration from the animations such as “Zootopia” and “Despicable Me” to create endearing characters of his own…

Tiago's profile

Adam

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

Tiago

My name is Tiago Mesquita Gamba. I'm 29 years old, and I work as 3D generalist, focused on character modeling and look development. I am a graduate of Interior Design and Products. I am currently working as a freelancer for some studios and agencies. I always liked to draw from a young age and was passionate about cartoons. When I watched Toy Story at age 6, I was impressed and asked my parents, "How did they make this movie?" It was news to everyone, as they did not know either. I knew about 3D by the age 16, and that's when I decided to study it.

Adam

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

Tiago

In this last project I sketched a skateboarder on a sheet of paper and decided to reproduce this character in 3D. I always try to learn new tools and study new perceptions in my personal works. In this project, I decided to create a scene to study look development, inspired by films like Zootopia, Pets and Despicable Me. I really like the lighting, the colors, and the details of these movies, and I thought they would work with my idea. I sculpted the character in ZBrush, then did all the retopology in 3ds Max. I modeled all the objects exclusively for this scene. I used Substance Painter to create the textures and rendered it with V-Ray.

japanese soldier, woman, 3d, character design

Japanese Soldier

skateboard, skateboarder, street, 3d, character design

Skateboarder

Adam

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

Tiago

My biggest challenge was to have a beautiful image in the render, without using post-production, as if it were a scene from a movie. In that process, I learned how to work with Substance Painter, which helped create texture maps with ease! Another important part was finding the right colors for the scene. Colors are essential to highlight objects in a scene and attract the eyes where you want them to go. With that in mind, I worked with warm colors on the character, and colder colors on the scene.

Colors are essential to highlight objects in a scene and attract the eyes where you want them to go

Adam

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

Tiago

I like to use 3ds Max in most of my work for retopology, polygonal modeling, and manipulating the UVW map. For sculpting I use ZBrush, to create textures I use Photoshop or Substance Painter, and I render with V-Ray in 3ds Max. I already used Mudbox to create textures, UV Layout for UV maps, but I decided to create a workflow using fewer programs. I like all of them, but that made it more practical for me.

Adam

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

Tiago

I use my free time to create personal projects and it was not easy to update my portfolio. I try to reconcile work with personal projects and often times are short. I've been working on this project since July, but I've been working for some time. I always like to finish a project when I start, so I like to look for good work from other artists to inspire me, or animated films that I like.

Messi, 3d, character design, bcn

Messi

prince, 3d, character design, red head, king

Prince

quail-man, dog, 3d, character design, zbrush, boy

Quail-man

Adam

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

Tiago

I have been looking a lot at Instagram and Facebook. I really like to follow the art of good artists shared by 3dtotal, they are always inspiring! My favorite hashtags are # 3dcharacter, #art, #illustration, #artwork, #sketch and other art-related ones!

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Tiago

Recognition from my peers is always important; it helps to create energy to move forward with my dreams and achieve my objectives in life. We all dream of working with what we like and that is something I have been looking for a lot. I love working with what I like and it was a dream since I was a child.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Tiago

My dream is to participate in a great project, like a movie, for example. I lived my childhood admiring cartoons and animated movies. I am very curious about each step of an animated movie, and I like every step of the way. I still want to improve my knowledge as an animator, which is an area that I like so much.

Adam

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

Tiago

I believe my favorite artists are the same as most artists! My favorite artists are; Pedro Conti, Kris Costa, Natalia Freitas, Victor Hugo, Rafael Grassetti, Rafael Chies, and Tiago Hoisel. I really admire the works of all of them, and all that they conquered with their talents! There are digital artist references to all who work in the area, and who inspire everyone. I hope one day to be able to participate in a project with any of them, it would be an honor!

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Tiago

My studies are constant, so I always try to see what I can improve in my personal work and this has given great results in the professional work. My plans for future projects will be to improve my knowledge in modeling, and look development, and learn new software for my professional evolution. Thanks for the opportunity!