Interview with Rafael Chies: The Man behind Tribute to Monkey Island
: Hi Rafael, would you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
: Hello! I was born and currently living in Brazil. I always loved cartoons, fantasy and everything that’s wacky and absurd. I mean, real life needs some magic! When I was a kid, I was always drawing, messing with Lego, Play-Doh, playing video games and exercising my creativity but I never thought I could do this for living.
: OK, so when and how did you get into the CG industry?
: When I finished high school and went to college, I joined a starting course that proposed mixing technology and art. There I found a whole new world of animation and digital art. That time a friend told me about an internship on a small local TV Station and I applied. I started working there with motion graphics and learned a lot. Someday I opened Maya and it completely amazed me so I decided to take some classes, slowly I was abandoning After Effects and Premiere and becoming a 3D artist.
: What are some major projects you have worked on?
: Back in 2010 I started working at Santa Transmedia, a Brazilian production company focused on advertising. I started as junior 3D artist and became CG Supervisor two years later. There I worked in some interesting projects for many nice companies like Honda, Chevrolet, LG and more. At middle of 2014, HypeCG invited me to work as Lookdev Supervisor at a new TV show called “Dino Adventures”, that was a great experience! After one year, when finished the first season of the show I decided that was time to new experiences and became a freelancer artist, a couple months later, the guys of Privateer Press invited me to work as Lookdev and environment artist in a five minute cinematic. It's been amazing and I’m currently in the last month of production!
: That’s really amazing experiences and the work you finished. Then what tools you use? And any preferred one?
: I mainly use Maya, Zbrush, Substance Painter and Photoshop. To render I use V-Ray and Redshift.
: That’s great, and would you please share some details about the just finished work: Tribute to Monkey Island?
: I spent many years totally focusing on my professional projects and career and thought that was time to start doing more personal works, where I could totally express my feelings and taste. Also this way I could show my skills as lookdev and environment artist. I always loved adventure games, especially from Lucas Arts, but Curse of Monkey Island have a special place in my heart. I used Maya to block all the structure of the restaurant and planning the scene. Most of the assets were modeled directly inside Zbrush, from spheres\cubes and Dynamesh, then exported the low\mid poly version to Maya. The textures I made on Photoshop and Substance Painter. All the rendering was done in Vray inside Maya. I broke the render in several parts to have more control in post and optimizing the render time.
: Good work indeed. Then what media/website picked and shared this work? And how do you feel about it, excited?
: A Making of will be online soon at 3DTotal, also made interview for 80 Level. On Artstation this project got Picks gallery and Trending Gallery, CGSociety, Evermotion and other important media also shared my work! I'm so happy with the feedbacks of this work, especially when people that played this game when child comes to me and said that loved this piece, it's incredible rewarding! Makes me want to work harder and harder!
: Congratulations! So what do you think about Fox Renderfarm’s rendering service? Happy with it?
: I'm really happy with it! It's totally easy to use and the 24/7 support is awesome, helped me a lot!
: We are so honored! BTW, is there something you are currently working on or are excited about starting?
: I have one more Monkey Island project that I'm about to start! It's an awesome scene, I think that is gonna work really nice in 3D!
: That’s wonderful, we are desperately looking forward to your new work. Anything else you would like to add or say?
: Thank you so much for supporting me! Keep doing this great service.
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