Interview with Jakob Scheidt, 6-year Exploration in Blender of a 16-year-old 3D Artist
Who wouldn’t dream about life on a boat, far from boredom and pressure, with tranquillity and maybe some adventure? Fox Renderfarm is amazed by the excellent artworks from ‘Life on a Boat’ 3D render challenge held by CGBoost, both for their diverse creativity and high-quality images. Congratulations to all the winners of the challenge, and never stop letting your ideas make the community shine bright!
Jakob Scheidt, the 3rd place winner in the challenge, is also an old friend of Fox Renderfarm - Winner of Fox’s Got Talent! Here is one thing about him you won’t believe - Jakob, with 6 years’ practice of Blender and having won prizes and praise in various platforms, is only 16 years old.
In the interview with Fox Renderfarm, he told us his unique thoughts behind the awarded artwork, and how he got started and motivated in 3D art creation.
- Jakob Scheidt
- 3D Artist
- From: Germany
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Jakob! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you please give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Jakob: Hello! My name is Jakob Scheidt, I’m a 16-year-old 3D artist from Germany. I started drawing when I was a kid and continued creating visual artwork. I discovered Blender six years ago and I’m still using it today, combined with Substance Painter and Photoshop. I think about working as an Illustrator or 3D Artist in the future.
Artworks by Jakob Scheidt
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the 3rd place in CGBoost ‘Life on a Boat Challenge’ this time?
Jakob: It’s always a good feeling to be awarded, but the prizes are not the most important thing you get from participating in a competition. Every time I have a deadline and a topic to create an artwork I get very motivated and spend as much time as possible working on the artwork. At the end you get improved in so many areas, like concepting, telling a story, modelling, sculpting, texturing and lighting. Knowing and practicing the complete process is crucial, even if you want to specialize in a particular skill. In the past, 3D art challenges always boosted my motivation and skills as a 3D artist.
Fox Renderfarm: Your artwork delivers a pretty tranquil and exotic feeling, could you tell us your inspiration for it?
Jakob: The topic ‘Life on a Boat’ can be interpreted in many different ways. In the beginning I had no idea what to create and started researching to get inspired. I came across many different cultures, the instruments they play, the food they eat and the boats they have. I combined everything I liked into a scene that captures the relaxed, calm mood. It was great to see that the other participants had totally different ideas and created images with action and humor for example.
Fox Renderfarm: The lake takes the biggest proportion of the image, the lighting and ripples of the water matters a lot to the picture, could you introduce the production process and any consideration behind?
Jakob: I added the water at the end of the process and thought it would just be a simple plane with a simple material. It took several hours to finish in the end, it was a challenge to make it look good with the lighting of the scene. I experimented with volumetric effects, particles, color variations and several combined bump textures for the small waves. In the end I had a giant node tree that included all the elements mentioned. The interaction between the water and the paddle was particularly challenging. It’s basically a bump texture painted by hand, even though I used a water simulation as a basis. And as always, using many reference images was important to make it look realistic and appealing.
Fox Renderfarm: About the senior man on the boat, his clothes, hat and shoes have really appealing colors and prints, how did you make them? And did you refer to any materials?
Jakob: I was fascinated by the clothing patterns of different cultures; many parts of the image include them. Although I tried using a simple texture to wrap around the whole model, I ended up painting or adjusting most of the textures by hand in Substance Painter. Adding the golden parts and the small graphical patterns was time consuming, but it makes you want to look at the image for a longer time, the details and bright colors catch your attention.
Fox Renderfarm: About the objects on the boat, like the case, food, hookah and so forth, could you introduce them a bit, and any ideas behind that?
Jakob: All the assets are created based on reference pictures I collected earlier. They had to look good individually as well as combined with the boat and the character. Modeling and texturing them was time consuming, but these details make the scene look believable and appealing.
Fox Renderfarm: The steam from the spout of the pot gives the whole image a dynamic and vivid touch. How did you make it? And any ideas behind that?
Jakob: Adding the steam makes the scene look more realistic. It was very easy to create though, I just added an alpha texture to a plane, the scene is not meant to work as an animation.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most interesting and unforgettable memory during the production?
Jakob: At the beginning of the modelling process I was very keen on getting every detail on the boat right, even though I wasn’t sure about the final camera angle and composition. So, I spent 6 hours creating two special chests with sophisticated details and complex textures. At the end you can’t even see the first one, the other one is mostly in shadow and a simple cube would have done the job. The lesson I learned from this is to think about the specific camera angle and how much details you need to include in the assets early on, so you don’t waste your time like I did!
Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty, and how did you solve it?
Jakob: The water and the character have been challenging, and the lighting for sure. I spent a lot of time trying different HDRs and added many spot lamps in addition to that. This was important for establishing the mood of the piece and emphasizing particular parts.
Fox Renderfarm: What are the software and plugins did you use for this artwork?
Jakob: I used Blender 2.8 for modeling, sculpting, retopology, UVs, Materials and Rendering. Most of the textures are created in Substance Painter, but I used resources like Poliigon, Textures.com and Pixabay. The final image was composited in Adobe Photoshop and rendered in Blender cycles.
Fox Renderfarm: You are also the winner for Fox’s Got Talent, how do you feel about winning our challenge?
Jakob: It was a great promotion for my ArtStation profile and some free render credits are always great for future projects. Looking at the other artworks created for Fox’s Got Talent is a pleasure too, very inspiring!
Fox Renderfarm: Can you recall your first encounter with CG? And could you briefly tell us about the education and career experience along your 3D journey?
Jakob: I started using 3D software six years ago. The beginning was tough, but I had a lot of time to learn and was fascinated by 3D, even though 100% of my renders in the first two years sucked. I was learning Blender with video tutorials on YouTube, but I wasn’t following a particular curriculum. Slowly my technical skills improved and I could use the software. At that time, I was messing around with animation, VFX and simulations almost every day. Today I focus mostly on modeling, sculpting and texturing realistic creatures and props.
Fox Renderfarm: Who or what project inspires you the most in this career?
Jakob: I look at a lot of 2D artwork and I like to draw as well. That’s why I enjoy many concept artists, but I’m very inspired by artists mixing 3D and 2D, one example is Jama Jurabaev. Some other 3D artists I admire are Julien Kaspar, Gregory Smith, Henning Sanden and Gleb Alexandrov.
Concept Art by Jama Jurabaev
Rain-Turntables by Julien Kaspar
Artwork by Gregory Smith
Artwork by Henning Sanden
Artwork by Gleb Alexandrov
Fox Renderfarm: What do you do to get inspired and motivated? And how do you improve your professional skills?
Jakob: Participating in art competitions is very motivating and drawing every day is very important for me to practice observation. Other than that, there are many excellent courses on the internet on 3D tools, asset creation, lighting and anatomy.
Fox Renderfarm: As an old friend of Fox Renderfarm, how do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering service?
Jakob: Having access to an easy to use render farm has become very important to me. I am working on a music video right now and I need a lot of rendering power for that. Rendering externally allows me to get higher quality renders in a short time. Another advantage is that I can still use my computer when the render farm is rendering my animations.
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?
Jakob: Never stop creating!
For more Jakob’s artworks:
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