In this interview we talk with Krzysztof Fendryk, the 1st place winner of the CG Boost Library Challenge from Warsaw, Poland. He will give us some insights of his journey as CG Artist and a look behind the scenes of one of his winning artwork.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi Guys, my name is Krzysztof and I’m a CG Artist from Poland.
2. Tell us more about your creative path: How did you get to the point you are now?
It’s actually kind of a long story. 😉
In short, I was always floating around art of many kinds, from architecture to calligraphy as a child, to dance and street art and roughly since 2008, computer graphics (I’ve been introduced to Polish demo scene in late 90s but haven’t done anything in this subject).
The one thing that sparked the passion to become a professional 3D artist was Computer Arts Magazine – special edition, where they showed how you can tag (write your name) in 2D and bring it to a 3D app.
It blew my mind and I was hooked up.
3. What was your main motivation for participating in the challenge?
My biggest motivation was to keep myself creative and productive during the period of the lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic.
I really like to have an organized day, which is very hard to maintain once you spend most of your time at home.
4. Where did you find the inspiration for your latest entry, and what inspires your work everyday?
Harry Potter movies.
I have huge sentiment to the series and also Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland, one of my favorite places to visit.
In terms of daily inspirations, it might be anything that catches my eye. I have drawers full of ideas that I would love to start and finish. 😉
5. What software (and plug-ins) did you use to create this image? Are there some other tools that make your life as artist easier (maybe not only CG tools but also something you used to organize your work etc.)?
The main software I use are 3ds Max and Maya, V-Ray, Painter, MD, Zbrush, RizomUV and Nuke.
There are plenty of great plugins like Forest Pack, Tyflow and so on.
Best tool to organize your work is a proper daily routine. I think once you can schedule your free time for personal work and stick to it, you will always have time to do even a quick asset.
6. Are there any particular techniques that you use often?
Not really, it’s pretty much all the stuff we all know, nothing fancy at all.
Before dawn of Mari or Substance Painter I tend to use a lot either Blendbox mapping (triplanar) or curvature/dirt nodes to texture and shade my models.
7. Can you give us a short breakdown of your entry?
I start with a blocking in 3D and composition.
Then I move to pre-light stage which helps me to establish the focus and which elements require heavy lifting.
Next, modeling, UVs, textures, shaders and back to lighting, that’s when I spend a lot of time to really nail the mood down.
Last but not least – compositing, I do like to rebuild my shaders in Nuke and do some additional tweaking if needed making sure I don’t go overboard and finish up with another Insta filter. 😉
Good tip that I can share is to render at higher resolution and then resize your image down to desired resolution keeping the details, it does help to bring all those tiny details back to your artwork and it won’t disappear when you post it online.
8. What was the hardest part on creating your entry?
Creating the books was a time-consuming process, but lighting I would say was the hardest one.
9. Have you learned something new from participating in this challenge and if yes, what?
A lot! I had to get out of my comfort zone and do something I haven’t done in a long time (interior). I think every single project once finished gives a lot of back in terms of learning.
10. Any advice for people who want to learn 3D art or join challenges like this?
If you would love to learn anything, it’s easier than ever nowadays.
The internet is full of great resources, free webinars, live streams and so on. It’s down to your own engagement with the subject and how much “bum hours” you are willing to spend to learn.
11. Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
There are too many to list but I can name few ;).
My biggest inspiration was and still is Marek Denko, a true master at his craft.
10. Any good books, podcasts, YouTube channels or other useful / inspirational content you can recommend to other aspiring artists?
I would highly recommend a daily dose of research of any kind, materials, shapes and forms, lighting, etc.
Digital Art Masters – great books for inspiration.
YouTube is literally packed with awesome channels: