Claudia on 6/29/2020

What is a 3D Artist doing at Demodern?

We asked Roberto Hernández aka Bate, who has been inspiring us with his creative 3D artwork and animations for almost two years now, what the role of a 3D Artist is like at Demodern. In this interview, originally published with Lead Digital which is now W&V Tech, he tells us a bit about himself and his work.

What do you do as a 3D Artist?

As a 3D Artist I take over very different tasks at the interface between design and programming. Starting with the creation of an object or a character in 3D software, also called modelling: I equip every 3D object in each scene with certain materials, colours and textures. During the subsequent rendering I then generate an image from this 3D file.

Using the so-called character or set design, I then integrate UI and UX elements into a physical space. I create animations either in 3D software or I implement them from 2D environments - it depends on the project.

For pitches and on projects, I also develop style frames, which allow the final look of a video or game, for example, to be identified early on using finished graphics, fonts, shapes and characters. Especially in pitches this approach is helpful to sell a product or an idea. 
My expertise is - depending on the project - in demand in every phase of the workflow. In some cases, I even join in at the end of the production process, when the final case study has to be created. But I like the process before rendering best, when it comes to applying textures, lighting scenes or setting up 3D cameras.

How did you come to this role?

I'm from Mexico and have worked there as a 3D Artist before. A friend of mine, who already worked for Demodern, told me that the Cologne team is currently looking for reinforcement in 3D. I applied and two weeks later I got the acceptance.

With the move to Germany I not only took the exciting chance to work in another country and experience a new culture, but also to become better at what I do with passion. There are also companies in Mexico that do AR/VR projects like Demodern, but in my home country 3D is still a rather small field of expertise - albeit very much on the rise. Nevertheless, I didn't have the opportunity to develop much in Mexico - apart from internet courses and online tutorials.

I particularly lacked inspiration, collaboration and exchange with other experts and experienced colleagues. This is exactly what I appreciate so much about Demodern: Here I am surrounded by many talented and creative people and work on exciting projects. You help each other, can try out new things and grow with challenges. 

Which characteristic helps you most in your everyday life? Why?

In my field it is an advantage to be able to adapt quickly and flexibly to new, unpredictable challenges. As a 3D Artist, you are always part of a larger creative team, every cog in the wheel must mesh together so that a project can be realized in time and budget. And so my colleagues depend on me to estimate the effort of my work correctly - including any change requests. So it helps that I create my 3D models in a way that allows me to make changes more easily without wasting a lot of time.

Describe as vividly as possible a project that you were particularly enthusiastic about

In my opinion, the interactive real-time 3D game we created for the Royal Caribbean Gaming Zone "Sasu's Mystical Quest" combines everything that makes up 3D: unique character design and modelling, hand-painted textures, a colourful world elaborately developed in 3D, interactivity and - not to forget - very real 3D animations.

The result is an exciting, entertaining and interactive experience that combines the know-how and expertise from various disciplines and technologies - ultimately benefiting the players on the ship above all. I am currently working on another project for Royal Caribbean - as similarly extraordinary as Sasu's Mystical Quest.

What's most important to you about your job? What is the most fun?

For me it is the whole process of 3D art that makes my job so exciting. I experiment, create mood boards, develop and sketch ideas, configure models and place them where they feel right for me and where a composition seems to make sense. At the very end I do the polishing - I put the finishing touches on the project, so to speak. 

The most important and at the same time most challenging part of my job is to realize that at some point you have to be satisfied with your work. We 3D designers are perfectionists and could spend forever working on our models, right down to the last detail. However, on customer projects you have to learn to cut back in the right places and always see the effort in relation to the budget and the time frame.

My job is indispensable because......

3D design helps not only to visualize ideas, products or scenarios, but also to make them tangible. And the demand for 3D models is constantly growing: Especially for AR or VR applications and configurators, for example, furnishings, automotive parts or entire environments have to be created in 3D. 

If you were not a 3D artist, what would you be?

Probably I would have concentrated on a different area of visual design. When I started studying design, I wanted to work in film as a director or photographer. Creating visuals, moving images and graphics that communicate something or tell a story has always been my thing, as my portfolio shows.

Thanks Bate!