Vova Paukov: 3D artist interview

Vova Paukov

3d artist

3D artist Vova Paukov talks about translating Cedric Peyravernay’s artwork to 3D, sharing his character workflow and other inspirations!

Vova's ArtStation


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


I’m working as a full-time senior 3D artist at Jelly Button Games, a growing game studio based in the heart of Tel Aviv. We specialize in making casual games for mobile platforms.

As a 3D guy I’m working very closely with our concept artists and programmers. Each project we create takes time and research has to be made, restrictions and rules planning, testing, redoing, approving, and integration are all part of the process.

wasteland punk 3d model


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


In my last piece, Calille Case, I tried to nail down the real-time pipeline. By that I mean having a retopologized model, textured in Substance Painter and then rendered in Marmoset. I knew it before I even started. I love ray-trace renderers such as Arnold or V-Ray, and I'm definitely going to use their power in my future works.

I decided that my next project would be on the medium scale and in Marmoset, therefore the next step was to find the right reference and being. The moment I came across Cedric Peyravernay’s concept art it hit me with his emotional tension, and I immediately felt connected to it. I feel I related to Cedric’s style and aesthetic and found his art a well of inspiration.


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


The way I see it, every new project brings new challenges and pushes you toward new techniques and approaches. This allows you to improve your skills each time, while working on something new. In this specific work, the most challenging part was creating highly realistic skin and Marmoset Presentation.

In the high-poly sculpt, I used maps as a base and a lot of hand sculpted layers on top. By using xyz maps I learned a lot about the process and this project was the best one to learn from and practice xyz workflow, because I had a small and crucial part to practice on – the face. Making it look right in Marmoset, by providing suitable maps, then setting up the shader, was another challenge I faced.

3d model rendering steps


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


In my career I have used many different softwares, so I’m familiar with different workflows. After years of practising, I have settled down with Maya and ZBrush as my main tools. Sometimes I use Marvelous Designer for the best tools it offers. Substance Painter is definitely going to be a part of my texturing tools.

After experimentation, I came up with the understanding that I want to be focused on art and be the best with the tools that I'm using rather than learning new shortcuts. It's not conflicting with my passion to discover new tools and stay up-to-date, which I believe is very important, especially in our industry where new tools come every day.


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


I’m constantly working on it and I'm not afraid from time to time check and delete some out-dated stuff. As a full-time employee, it is hard to find time to work on my personal stuff, but if you feel passionate about the things you want to create you will always find some time for it. So I would say passion is the key! Look at it as your resource, use it wisely, don't be afraid, remember that a finished mediocre project is better than an unfinished masterpiece, practice and have fun!

ogre character 3d model


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


Oh yes, I see myself as a part of the Artstation community. Many talented friends of mine are there too. Since CGHub, Artstation is the one big cyber space for digital artists of all kinds. CGSociety is another site and it’s one of my favorites. On Facebook I'm following the groups “Ten thousand hours” and “Level Up.” On my Instagram account I'm following many traditional drawing artists and sculptors.


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


There are so many artists that I really like and inspired by, it is really hard to point to a favorite, this list is very fluid and grows constantly. It’s hard but I’ll try to name some of them. Their work is well-known with high attention to details, composition, style and colors. I love weird and twisted as much as I love gorgeous and simple stuff, I find the human body as the perfect piece of art with its lands and stories. I find this combination of elements fascinating, and I relate to the way these artists showcase it in their work.

Digital 3D: Niyazi Selimoglu, Assel Kozyreva, Gabriel Soares, Maria Panfilova, Oliver Milas, George Nagulov, Eugene Fokin

Digital 2D: Azat Nurgaleev, Maxim Verehin, Cedric Peyravernay, Aleksandr Nikonov, Bastien Lecouffe Deharme, Nurzhan Bekkaliyev, Igor Sid, Piotr Jabłoński, Sergey Kolesov

Traditional 3D: Aris Kolokontes, Brian Booth Craig, Tomek Radziewicz

Traditional 2D: Gustav Klimt, Luis Ricardo Falero, Herbert James Draper, Ivan Bilibin

And many, many more.

By following you own artistic passion you will face less frustration, you will get better, you will enjoy the process and good things will happen


What can we expect to see from you next?


Although I don't have a clear vision of my next project yet, I can definitely say I’m super excited about it! I do have some guidelines I’m planning to follow, it will be a still image, something realistic, with print potential. It will be based on the same workflow as my last project and perhaps I will make some Arnold renders as well. Follow me on my Instagram and Artstation page for more new stuff.

Thank you!

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