Artist Interview with Andre Bales

In this interview I talk with Andre Bales (second place winner of the former Weekly CG Challenge #101) from Curitiba, Brazil. He will give us some insights of his journey as CG artist and a look behind the scenes of his winning artwork.

Andre Bales
3D Designer from Curitiba, Brazil

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Andre's winning artwork of Weekly CG Challenge #101 “Forest Spirit”

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Most of the people that know me call me just Bales. I live in Curitiba, Brazil, I’m 25 years old, I work in the motion design company chromagarden, I have a wife, a 2 year old daughter and 800 hours of gameplay in Team Fortress 2 (Yeh).

To summarize my story, I have always liked to draw, at 12 years I started to use Flash MX (I miss the Flash). I did a lot of ugly animations until one day I met Blender 2.42, a gray and pink software that used the wrong button to select the objects. In 2010 I attended a graphic design college and I worked in several companies where I did layouts, logos, business cards and so on.

Although I like design I was unhappy with the kind of service I was doing and little by little I started using more blender to migrate from that area. In 2016 I was unemployed and with a lot of free time I used all my strength to create a portfolio with only 3D projects. I deleted from my portfolio 5 years of graphic design and I added only 2 3D projects.

It was at this point that I discovered the Weekly CG Challenge, so I used my spare time to create my own 3D projects, have members’ support to improve my arts and still have the chance to win some prizes.

I became second winner in week #55’s theme Worn Hands. I was very excited, enjoyed the prizes and I continued posting. I participated in weeks #55#58#65#74#75#80-81,#99 and now  #101.

Andre's art progress
The three winning artworks of Andre

Among all these I won in 3 weeks and managed to build a more interesting portfolio. With this portfolio I got a place in the company that I’m working on now and I’m very happy with my 3D designer position (uhull).

2. Where did you find the inspiration for your latest entry?

Searching on ArtStation I came across a work by Anastasia Nikulina, a very talented artist and her very thought-provoking work. What I wanted was to give life to one of her characters using various features that I always wanted to use but never had a chance, for example Armature, Hair, Smoke etc.

Artwork by Anastasia Tupikova

3. What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image?

I use Blender for practically everything, also for designing the textures.

The Blender add-ons I used are:

And in post I compiled and added color and glow effects in After Effects, where I used the Magic Bullet Look.

4. Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

To create any project I divide it into 4 steps:

  • Briefing: Where I dive into the subject. I researched a lot and tried to develop a basic timeline.
  • Sketch: At this stage I scribble how the composition will be, decide on all items that will be added (like clothes, fluid, smoke, texture, etc). In this project, specifically, I downloaded a low poly model and positioned it to have the silhouette and established the camera angle.
  • Development: this is the longest step: I begin the modelling, texturing, material creation and so on. Everything according to the schedule was established. I always start with the most time-consuming and most important step, if I can not keep up with the schedule, I can deliver at least the minimum.
  • Details: In this step I add small details to make a difference. I usually finish the project 2 days before delivery. I use those last 2 days to add these details, such as a larger glow in the eye, or particles flying around the neck.

Usually I download some items from the internet, but I also always modify them and make sure that these items are never the main ones of the scene. For example, a table in the background, or a simple material. Never forget to add credits.

5. Can you give us a short breakdown of your entry?

6. Any advice for people who want to learn 2d or 3d art? (2d if you are an 2d artist, 3d if you are an 3d artist)

I have two tips:

  1. The first is focus. I really enjoy playing video games, I always played a lot and I always play, but I replaced hours of games every day for weekly minutes. If you devote your time on something you will get better.
  2. The second tip is: Finish what you have started. Everyone has a project that has been in a forgotten folder: Get this project, set a deadline and complete it! Of course there are projects that will never come out of the drawer, but try not to accumulate, start with simple projects. It is better to present in your portfolio a simple object well rendered than a detailed high poly Orc that has stopped being developed since the year before!

6. Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

I will list those who inspire me:

Thanks for the interview Andre!


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