Street Musician Reindeer Made in Blender: Sprinkle Some Fun in Character
Speaking of reindeer, your first impression might be the ones pulling the sledge for Santa. Whereas, artists set their imagination free in the CGBoost “Reindeer” challenge which is sponsored by the TPN-accredited cloud render farm, Fox Renderfarm.
Besides all the cute creatures made by the artists, there’s one that the audience can’t take their eyes off, a punk-style reindeer with one leg on the stool, playing his guitar and humming alone.
You must want to know who’s the great mind behind, how he thought of the ideas making a street musician reindeer, what software and plugins he used, and how he made it possible step by step. Let’s introduce the creator, Dante Resendez Delgado, 3rd prize winner in the challenge. And his exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm shares more than just his creation process. Let’s dive in and enjoy!
- Dante Resendez Delgado
- 3D Artist
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Dante! Thank you so much for accepting our interview. Could you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
Dante: Hello there, thanks for this interview, my name is Dante Resendez Delgado I call myself on social media “Mycro Tr Ct”. I’m a Mexican 3D artist, born in Victoria city, and I live and work in Monterrey.
I have been working for about 10 years as a 3D artist, and for about 6 years working as a 2D digital artist, doing graphic design and illustration. Most of my artworks are for advertising.
In 2006, I had the opportunity to travel out of Mexico and live in Canada. Because I have the intention to learn 3D animation, that goal happened after two years when I went to Spain and learned 3D. It was a very difficult journey.
Since then, I have been working in 3D for advertising doing a mix of 2D and 3D.
Artworks by Dante
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the 3rd prize in the CG Boost “Reindeer” Challenge?
Dante: So excited to win the challenge, I got the third place but I celebrated as I was winning the first prize. For me, getting that place was an honor, also having the chance to meet people who are better than me and have a strong background in the 3D world gives me more confidence.
Participating in challenges pushes my work in a better way. I learned to work faster and learned new techniques. In this case, I was working with particles for the first time in Blender and depth of field, also some hair fur, Quixel Mixer and Graswald.
Fox Renderfarm: The reindeer has a very strong characteristic. What’s your inspiration for this picture of the cute reindeer?
Dante: My inspiration came from Vancouver, I’ve been there before and remembered my Granville walks listening to the music on the street where traveler musicians playing for tips and asking for changes to continue their traveling, some of them are really good ones, those rebel and free souls are really good inspiration topics.
Fox Renderfarm: We found the texture of the reindeer quite sophisticated, and different parts have a different texture. Could you tell us the creative process of the reindeer?
Dante: Yes I will. First, I had two words in my mind, do it simple and fast, I was only able to spend 6 days, no more than 8, because I have a full-time job. I could spend only nights, and Christmas vacation was coming. So I was making it easy on the planning, the idea, and also the production.
I wanted the reindeer to look like a stuffed toy. I went for square pattern textures to make a flannel shirt, and I found a good texture on google for free, that was for the shirt. For the skin, I used a normal map of a fabric texture I found on CCO textures and put in the node just to add volume. And also I used hair fur on the skin to help the texture look better. On the jeans, I did almost the same, but there I just corrected the color of the diffuse textures.
I did not complicate workflow because of the time, the most important thing for me was to have the color palette clear in my mind, that was the most important guide to lighting and texture as the scene for me.
Fox Renderfarm: The lighting merges cold and warm together.How did you set the lighting? And any ideas behind that?
Dante: Technically, I used 3 light areas and one point to support the backlight. Area lights let me have more control over the scene, easy to get contrast on areas. I also used a very easy HDRI on the strength I got from the HDRI heaven. In my setting renders, I used a volume scatter node connected to the world that let me blur the particles.
I like to spend time playing with lamps, just play and see, if I like what I see that’s fine. For sure I’m always looking for good contrast and layers on the composition, also have in my mind what makes the sense on the character and the situation he is living on the scene. In this case, Reindeer is a nostalgic traveler character, a free soul who is going around the world with no worries. Some ideas came into my mind because my initial idea was to make a talented character who is discovered by a Santa Claus talent scout.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?
Dante: It took me 6 to no more than 8 nights after my job.
Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?
Dante: I used Blender 2.81 rendered with Eevee, I also used Graswald and Quixel Mixer textures for the floor and background, and some color corrections in Photoshop.
Fox Renderfarm: When and how did you come up with the idea of entering the 3D industry?
Dante: I was sure to start when I was a little kid, and that was just the idea to work in something related to art and entertainment, like animation or movies. I liked to watch cartoons like Hanna Barbera, Popeye, Looney Tunes... I always like to draw cartoons and I grew up with all that inspiration.
Cartoons by Hanna Barbera (Image via IMDb)
Popeye the Sailor (Image via Google)
Looney Tunes (Image via Google)
Then I became a little older and I knew about a school called CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), then I found The Kubert School and VanArts (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts), they teach people how to draw comics and make animation movies. Wow!!! I remember sending letters written by hand in Spanish, asking for information when I was a teenager. But especially in 3D, it was when I saw Toy Story 1, that was the biggest inspiration and the first.
Toy Story 1 (Image via IMDb)
Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your education and work experience along the 3D journey?
Dante: For sure, I was studying 3D animation in Barcelona on IDEC, the university of Pompeu Fabra, they have a program and teach you animation and 3D. Students end up doing a short film, like preproduction and production, and you learn a lot from it. But for some people who don’t know anything about 3D, if you are thinking about doing a short film in 3D, you have to be a very organized person and do a good planning, and there are more things to do if you wanna make it right and have good results, this is my personal opinion.
I was studying really hard but I had a very failed result with my final project. That put me in another direction, I started to do more hard work, study and discipline myself to practice and improve my skills.
Artworks made by Dante in 2009
Experience in work, well, I started working as an illustrator during my study in graphic design. After my graduation, I kept working in the same direction, and during my free time, I worked on my own projects. I have two projects published by Pictoplasma (Berlin, 2006). The Pictoplasma Encyclopedia Character and Rabbit Essence poster. I also had the opportunity to collaborate on projects, some of which won prizes around the world. I did the concept art for the image of a school of design in Saltillo Mexico called The Digital Invaders, and that won so many prizes, one of which in Cannes Lions.
Projects published by Pictoplasma
Concept Art for The Digital Invaders School
Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding 3D artist, what do you do to keep yourself motivated and inspired?
Dante: Thanks for that. It is really difficult to keep yourself motivated because in many ways you are alone, people will say, your work is really good sometimes, other times don’t. Actually, only you know where you wanna go with your work, and at the end, you have to be your own judge, how good you wanna be, what really matters is what you believe you can do, then you have to put action!!! And try to make good decisions, don't forget that one.
Surround yourself with people who go in the same direction and who will understand your ideas even if you don't talk with them like, maybe you just follow them on Instagram, that's good!!! Because they will show you constantly what they are doing and you can be motivated watching what they are doing. That's my experience.
Inspiration is everywhere if you wanna be a character designer you can be inspired in all kinds of art, like fashion, photography, architecture because everything has a sense and you can apply in your own work.
Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or anyone that inspires you in the industry?
Dante: Tartakovsky!!! One of my favorites, I love his work in Samurai Jack!!! And what he tries to do in Popeye 3D movie, in comic art, Joe Madureira (Battle Chasers), I love his very unique style the same as Humberto Ramos (Crimson), Luis Vasquez (illustrator from Monterrey Mexico), and Juan Díaz Canales (Black Sad).
Left: Genndy Tartakovsky; Right: Samurai Jack
Left: Joe Madureira; Right: Battle Chasers
Left: Humberto Ramos; Right: Crimson
Illustrations by Luis Vasquez
Left: Juan Díaz Canales; Right: Black Sad
Talking just about the drawing style, shape and color palette. Brian Froud, Concept Artist for Dark Crystal, you have to see his work, it is amazing, Daniel Lara is one of my favorites on 3D, everyone in Blender community knows who is, those artists are the very first ones who have been inspiring me.
Left: Brian Froud; Right: The World of the Dark Crystal(Images via Wikipedia & Google)
"Hero" by Daniel M. Lara
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts?
Dante: Thanks Fox Renderfarm for sponsoring me and for the interview, I hope it can inspire some CG enthusiasts, not much to say just never give up and keep on the road.
3D Render Challenge Ongoing: Shine your talents and win $500 Render Coupons, submit now!
Interview With Yi Sun, The 1st Winner In Hum3D’s Three D Gun 2 Competitio
It is our honor to have an interview with Yi Sun, the first place winner in Hum3D’s Three D Gun 2 Competition, which is also sponsored by Fox Renderfarm, a leading render farm service provider in CG industry. Share this interview with everyone, here are the dialogue between Fox Renderfarm and Yi Sun.
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Yi Sun, congratulations to winning the 1st place in this contest, thanks so much for taking your time to have the interview with us. Firstly, would you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
Yi Sun: Yes, my name is Yi Sun, 25 years old, from China, I had a bachelor degree in 3d animation and I’m currently studying Master of Design in Sydney.
Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the CG industry? And how did you make the decision to get into the CG industry?
Yi Sun: I haven't found a job in the CG industry yet, but I've been teaching myself 3D for 5 years now. I started doing silly short videos when I was a kid. back then I discovered I can make some visual effects for videos in After Effects, but soon, I realized the 2D visual effects is very limited, I want to make more sophisticated effects, especially 3D effects. so I started learning 3D software. At that time I just thought it was cool, I never thought about doing this for a career, until I visited the universal studio in Los Angles. I got a chance to listen to the Hollywood VFX artists talks about the VFX production of the blockbuster movies and it blew my mind. I've been dreaming to work on a blockbuster movie ever since that talk and I've been working very hard trying to put my first step in the CG industry. I hope my dream will come true soon.
Fox Renderfarm: It is a great experience. Wish your dream come true. About the work "Porcelain 1911", what inspired you to come out the idea of making it?
Yi Sun: The idea is very simple, combining two completely different objects together. I used to do this kind of design practice a lot when I was learning character design in 3D animation. In "Porcelain 1911", I try to combine the porcelain element I familiar with and a gun which I'm not quite familiar with. I think as a 3d artist, the biggest advantage I had is my cultural background. I've seen a lot of Chinese porcelain as I grow up, I found them very beautiful, so I feel very comfortable to work with porcelain element in my design. if this competition is about design a realistic and futuristic sci-fi gun, I believe there are millions of 3d artist who can design better sci-fi gun than me, because I never have seen or touch a real gun.
Fox Renderfarm: It is an interesting idea. How long did it take you to finish the work?
Yi Sun: I was doing a master degree while working on the "Porcelain 1911", I had 3 assignments from Uni so I barely had time to work on it, sometimes I only have 15 minutes before I got to go to sleep. It took me about 2 months, but I think the actual time I spent on it is only about 120 hours. Now I look at it, I think it could be done better, there are still many things I want to polish in this work.
Fox Renderfarm: What software, renderers, plugins did you use in this work?
Yi Sun: My main 3d software is Maya, and I used Mari (non-commercial) for texturing, and redshift for rendering and photoshop.
Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?
Yi Sun: The difficulties I faced in this project is to create the realistic hand paint graphic of the Chinese porcelain, I tried to import vector into Photoshop apply filters but the result looks very fake, I tried to download watercolour brush for photoshop, but it doesn't look good either. Then I realized it’s not possible to create realistic paint mark on the computer, so I decided to create the texture physically with watercolour. I realized even though we had so many presets, filters and plugins to helps us create digital works, but they can never replace traditional mark making techniques, as a digital artist, I should always remember to respect the physical medium.
Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?
Yi Sun: I think CG is the best medium for self-expression, you can create almost anything and everything, that's why there are many things to learn, too many. I spent 5 years learning CG and I still feel that I know nothing about it, that's why I think we should always be humble to learn and we should try to use our cultural background as our advantage to develop our own unique style.
Fox Renderfarm: Yes, totally agree with you. I hope you can make more wonderful works in the future, and you will be an excellent CG artist. Thanks so much for your time.
More Yi Sun's artworks:
Winners of 3D Challenge: SPACE by CGTrader | Sponsored by Fox Renderfarm
Another challenge has come to an end. This time, the 3D Challenge with the theme of Space organized by CGTrader ran from the 9th October 2017 till 10th December 2017 and has attracted artists from all over the world to submit original space-themed designs in low (models up to 50,000 polygons) and high (models with more than 50,000 polygons) poly categories. The end of the challenge means the start of the extremely difficult models’ evaluation process due to huge participation from the artists. A total of 240 high-quality models were submitted ranging from planets, asteroids, aliens, rockets, satellites to space stations have been evaluated and dozens of discussion were made! Most models in this challenge are ready for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), games and other real-time apps.
Judging panels from Fox Renderfarm, CGTrader, 3D-Coat, Cebas Visual Technology, Quixel, and Exlevel worked together to decide the Challenge winners. The judging criteria for both categories were quality of the model (the most IMPORTANT criteria), as well as uniqueness, innovation, and general achievement in design of the model.
Well, there are only just six places for the winners. So, fasten your seatbelts and let’s look at the winner's list!
Low Poly Category
Winner: “4 Spaceship Set” by triplebrick
Description: A set of 4 highly detailed spaceships for interstellar fleet with PBR metal/smoothness workflow, 4k textures, small ships have one material, large ships two materials and details can be removed on the larger ships.
Prize: $250 rendering credits by Fox Renderfarm
1st Runner Up: “Scout Space-ship RS-1” by Antonio112661
Description: High quality Scout space-ship RS-1 model which could be used in any game. This asset is optimized and hand tweaked. The textures tuned for Physically-Based Rendering. 16688 polygon count.
Prize: $150 rendering credits by Fox Renderfarm
2nd Runner Up: “Lambro Robot” by furqaan
Description: The model is based on transformers look due to the robot is made of lamborghini parts and engine.
Prize: $100 rendering credits by Fox Renderfarm
High Poly Category
Winner: “Space Pursuit MFP Disc Driver” 3D model by eccemania
Description: The artist’s own vision from a spaceship pursuit with one back tyre and hover engine. Works without driver, the MFP Disc Driver has a programmable memory. Drive with rechargeable power cell and hover system, VROOOM!!!
Prize: $250 rendering credits by Fox Renderfarm
1st Runner Up: “PBR Detailed Robot” by jackfurneri1984
Description: The model has been created with Autodesk Maya (version 2016) - Textured and polypainted in Substance Painter 2 and rendered with different render engines (Arnold by Solid Angle and Marmoset Toolbag 3 package). There are 20557 faces, 21467 vertices, all pieces can be separated from each other (legs, gears, hands, etc..) with unwrapped UVs with no overlapping.
Prize: $150 rendering credits by Fox Renderfarm
2nd Runner Up: “Icarus Orbital – Space Station” 3D model by shaun Description: The Icarus space station model is a huge and detailed orbital station which is packed full of details and character. This space station is Intricately designed by Shaun T. Williams BA for practical usage and design within its role as an orbital space station for habitat and re-supply. The station boasts a variety of details such as antennas and radio equipment, docking bays, airlocks and many other features which make it perfect for detailed close-up shots with well-optimized model and is 2,255,400 Tris / 1,112,114 Polys.
Prize: $100 render credits by Fox Renderfarm
Fox Renderfarm is proud to be the official render farm sponsor for this 3D Challenge: SPACE. The challenge is co-jointly sponsored by Fox Renderfarm, 3D-Coat, Quixel, Exlevel and Cebas Visual Technology.
p/s: Shhh! Fox Renderfarm will be launching Fox’s Got Talent in the near future with lots of attractive prizes waiting for everyone to grab! So, stay tuned!
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