Hi everyone! We continue a series of short interviews with the best artists from Hum3D competitions.
Jasu Silvennoinen, author of the “Alfa Romeo Carabo”, will answer six questions and give us a look behind the scenes of his work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do and how did you become a 3D artist?
In short, I’m working for a game company, I originally joined there as a 3D artist but currently, I’m working with marketing video editing.
I’ve been interested in 3d for…over 20 years now. It’s been so long! I used to draw lots of cars as a kid, and one day found a demo version of Caligari Truespace (Ever heard of it?) and started fiddling with it to create cars.
You could not even save files in that demo, so each car was destroyed by the end of the day, but I didn’t care. I think I took screenshots or something to “save” them.
I moved on to mod cars for Need For Speed III, first with some tool I can’t remember, then with Zanoza modeler which was the first “proper” modeling program, and also could do UV-maps.
After some years I got into an industrial-design school and got introduced to Rhinoceros 3D. I used it for some years until I got my head around to 3ds Max, which is still my weapon of choice. Lately, I’ve been moving into Blender, especially for rendering.
What was the workflow behind your latest challenge image? Where did the idea come from?
This was my second year of joining the competition (I think I did better on scoring last year than this time!) so I knew the drill well. I was thinking a lot of themes but didn’t come up with anything super-strong.
The other candidate I had in my mind was a picture of an old barn, with an American circle-track racer – a 1970´s street stock, you know? And in the background, there’d be lots of abandoned racers on the field, with a UFO abducting them.
I thought that the Carabo would be a more interesting car, in the end – and somehow mixed the UFO into robots in the future. I suppose it was a combination of the once-futuristic car being thrown into the actual future, and being a valuable artifact for the car-nuts that are no longer human…I guess that means being a car-nut outlasts humanity, then.
What’s the biggest challenge you faced while modeling? Did you learn something new?
I don’t know if I had any specific challenges with this one, the Carabo is much-photographed, and so references were easy to find.
It has some peculiar shapes and kinks, of course. The glass surfaces that bend ever so slightly were quite tricky to get right with proper reflections. And to be honest, I cut a lot of corners when doing this car to ease the 3d modeling phase.
I also had a lot of new things to learn and problems to solve with materials, textures, and lighting in Blender – I’d never done anything “serious” with it before this.
Adjusting textures, experimenting with materials, and trying to find good lighting took a lot of time.
I did learn a great deal from all of this and ended up rendering my old models with the new knowledge in Blender afterward.
I didn’t do much sketching this time, when I create designs from ground-up like the last year’s Yazmuza Cop-V, I do much more of this. In any case, the first ideas of the carabo (The robot is installing the “final piece” of it), and a sketch of the other idea of UFO abducting race-cars.
First render, this is how it always starts. Guides (In real life measures) in place, wheelarches, basic side and mockup-wheels modeled.
…and then just model the rest of the car, easy! In all seriousness, basic forms and masses first, before cutting any panels or adding unnecessary detail.
I used my workhorse Unity-environment to check reflections in real-time. You can do it in Max, but it kind of… sucks. So just export, and view here, much easier. I don’t always do this though, even if I should.
First test-renders in Blender. Most panels are already cut, and most of small detail added. Long way from here still…
Some wilder tests.
This was also nice, but bit boring.
Then some crazy white wash-out…
Or what if it would have been backwards…
And this was pretty much the last variant before the actual submitted work.
How often do you do personal projects and keep your portfolio up-to-date? Which one is your favorite?
I do personal projects whenever I have time! It’s at least one car in a year, but it varies a lot depending on the project, and how much real-life duties come into the way of course.
These days almost every new project ends up on my Artstation page.
What would be my favorite… hmm. I’ve done so much it’s hard to tell. I suppose it’s always the latest one! Latest at the moment is the re-worked Darrian for ’22, but there is already the next one in the oven and it’s looking promising.
What or who inspires you today? Are you a member of any art communities? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
Oh, there’s lots of inspiration around, everywhere. I don’t know I can namedrop anyone, but I follow a bunch of people in Artstation, there’s like a LOT of talented artists doing cars there. Just hop in and surf, you’ll find something inspirational in no time.
That’s the only “community” I use really.
I don’t use Instagram, but I have LinkedIn.
Please tell us your five short tips for creating 3D art.
Oh wow, I hate giving tips. :D
Well here goes:
– If you are a beginner, start small and work from there. I think a few low poly models that are textured and finished is way better for learning than a bunch of abandoned mega-projects that only have a lot of mesh-smoothed polygons.
– When doing cars, reflections are important. They reveal the true shape of surfaces. Use this when looking at reference images too.
– Uhh… Don’t do drugs.
– Stay in school.
– And eat your vegetables.