Bas Helmig: Interview with 3D artist

Hi everyone! We continue a series of short interviews with the best artists from Hum3D competitions.

Bas Helmig, author of the “Fear Blue Eyed Angels”, will answer six questions and give us a look behind the scenes of his work.

Fear Blue Eyed Angels

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do and how did you become a 3D artist?

From when I was a little kid I have always been fascinated by creating things that did not exist before. From playing with Legos to building castles and rivers in the sand. With the introduction of a computer at home, came video games like the Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon.

All of these things had the creation part in common, but they also had something else in common; they were limited.

When I was introduced to Google Sketchup in 2004 and with Cinema 4D in 2006 my creativity was now unleashed.

With the constant will to learn by my side, I am hoping this drop down into the rabbit hole will never reach the bottom.

As a creative, I like to create things that weren’t before. I love modeling and it cannot get technical/complicated enough for me. Finding a balance between cutting-edge tools and old-school polygon pulling, I try to keep challenging myself.

While finding my element in the 3D realm I try expressing reality in new perspectives and dimensions. This mindset allows me to give a project the details it deserves.

Along the way I found a group of like-minded people to start another journey.

Together we run a studio called Tiny Giants 3D and work on cool productions together.

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

Everything started with finding a “donation” car. A cool car to enter this challenge with, had to be something special. Although I love all the classics, I wanted to go for something special. After a dive into some 60s USSR cars, the ZIL-130 truck came out.

The first week was all about finding references and making design decisions. I quickly came to the decision that I wanted to redesign the truck and turn it into a lowered pickup.

After the decisions were made, the work started. Modeling was all done in Cinema 4D with sidesteps to RizomUV for making the UVs before texturing. Texturing was mostly done in Substance and custom graphics were prepped in Illustrator. After doing this I took everything back into Cinema 4D and set up some lighting and render settings. At this stage I basically went back and forth through the steps above, trying out different colors, materials, and light setups.

After I had an idea where I wanted to go with it for the final image, I decided on an environment and used a placed it all in the scene, and made a few test renders. From here, it was finalizing and setting up the final render settings and passes.

Finally, compositing and Post work was done in Photoshop to get to the final result.

Bas Helmig car art

Bas Helmig car art

Bas Helmig car art

Bas Helmig car art

Bas Helmig car art

What’s the biggest challenge you faced while modeling? Did you learn something new?

I think making decisions in every step of the way in this one was the biggest challenge. A little thing like picking the color of the car was such a big deal to me. Not working for a client, is in so many ways amazing since there are no boundaries, but also more challenging. With having no boundaries, you have no boundaries. Zero. This means that anything can be anything. Therefore I go through many iterations and comparisons side by side. Something I learned to do more in this challenge is asking for help from other creatives to make discussions. Literally showing them side-by-side of two colors, asking them their preference and why. Basically, you can’t do everything yourself. Ask for help once in a while!

How often do you do personal projects and keep your portfolio up-to-date? Which one is your favorite?

Besides my daily work at our studio, I work on creative/personal projects almost daily. I find it very important to keep exploring as an artist and keep learning and last but not least, have fun!

Because of the whole pandemic, I had more time on my hands to get more into character designs. Besides making super realistic characters, I started playing around with a simpler character in which a lot of my creativity can go. The project is called the “Alpacalypse” and is basically by now 25ish Alpacas dressed as famous characters. Ranging from Jack Sparrow to Princess Leia and from Buzz Lightyear to Pikachu. I love working on this project and where it is going.

Initially, it was just a fun little project, but with my introduction to the whole NFT market, it might change into a NFT collections one day.

What or who inspires you today? Are you a member of any art communities? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Just to name a few: Ash Thorp, Lee Griggs, and Zigor Samaniego. These are just three of the hundreds of artists that inspire me every single day. From whole compositions to the smallest possible details. If I would share my Pinterest page you would see how much. So many references to inspiration from all over the globe.

Please tell us your five short tips for creating 3D art.

  1. – Keep going. Don’t stop because you think you suck. Everyone sucked at some point.

  2. – Whenever you’re following along with a tutorial, try to give it a twist of your own.

  3. – Always have a reference.

  4. – A composition that doesn’t work, will never. You can’t polish a turd.

  5. – Never use your hardware as an excuse not to do something.

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