Meet the 3D artist: Jakub Goda
Fancy looking at some awesome 3D eye candy while also learning about the artist’s inspiration and techniques? Then check out this showreel from 3D artist Jakub Goda and read his insights…
For this series, we’ve found some truly inspirational 3D artists who have been kind enough to share their CG tips and secrets with us.
This week, meet Jakub Goda, a talented 3D freelance artist from Slovakia.
Cool CG showreel
We saw Jakub’s showreel just last week and simply had to know more about him and his superb 3D work.
3D artists share their tips
We hope that you learn new techniques to help you to improve your CG skills, and most of all, that you enjoy the cool 3D artwork displayed here…
3D World: How did you break into the industry?
Jakub: It started with some smaller modelling/rendering job requests, when various people reached me via mail saying they saw some of my work and asking me if I’m available for task like this or that.
Then one day, maybe five years ago, I had some mail from Slovak director and co-owner of postproduction studio who invited me to an interview in their Bratislava-based studio – AVI studio.
After this I had a chance to work on more interesting high-profile projects in a team with experienced profesionals and gained really valuable experience.
Actually most of commercial works showcased in my showreel are done in AVI studio, but we are cooperating on freelance basis so I do work also for many different studios quite often also remotely/online on various continents around the world.
Watch Jakub Goda’s showreel
It’s probably important to say, that even though I have already quite rich experience from working on various projects ranging from TV commercials, game industry and also some arch vizualizations, I haven’t really had a chance yet to work in any huge productions on feature films – and this is my ambition.
3D World: What first inspired you to become a 3D artist?
Jakub: It was quite spontaneous or even incidental I would say, I was something like 15 years old and I saw one of those 3ds max books in a bookstore and when I saw screenshots from 3ds max interface it all seemed so interesting to me, so I tried to install trial version of it.
Then when I create my first primitives and rotated it in viewport or followed some of default tutorials, I was really astonished.
This was actually growing continually as I was learning more and more and discovering all the options which 3D gives you, like particles, animation, sculpting, different kind of plugins, fluid simulations, compositing options and tricks etc.
Also when I understood how massivly it’s used nowadays in movie productions and how important it is in that process, I was convinced that this is definitely really interesting craft for me. So one thing was the process, the workflow which I found really catching and then the other thing were those results, outputs themselves. I mean what some people can create in CG is just beautiful and definitely really inspiring.
3D World: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Jakub: I’m quite a movie fan, so this is definitely one of the sources.
What I need to say is that even though I definitely admire and bend before the postproduction/CG work on movies like 2012, Transformers, Avatar etc. and I would also love to have opportunity to try working on such a production, I’m still also little mad on the other hand, because I feel this trend of focusing on CG/VFX part of it at the expense of traditional film crafts like script, story, characters, idea, the actual content.
The results are movies which are amazing on a surface, fun to watch as a relax, but empty, trivial and unnecessarily in their essence. I think modern CG options should be used as an additional tool for director to support their idea or to help to execute it, to give them more freedom in what they are able to do. Not to concentrate on it right from the beginning, base the movie on it just because it has potential to sell.
[Ed: It's a good point and one that we could discuss further in our upcoming 'Twitter Debate', which will contribute to live discussions as part of Adobe's Creative Week.]
That’s the reason why I’m usually more touched by less VFX-based movies, for example recent movies like Tyranosaur, Detachment or Iranian A Separation or less recent The Hours, Oldboy or some of Kim Ki Duk’s, Lynch’s, Aronofsky’s or Iñárritu’s movies.
I also like photography, it’s definitely inspiring to see how the light and materials actually behave in the real world and how they are depicted by the real camera lens. It’s also good to study composition, colour or tone balance, depth of field etc. Then it might be little cliche to say, but I’m generally inspired by the world around us, by everyday’s situations, environments or nature. And I love to travel, so I would say I got used to absorbing the world visually quite intensively.
3D World: What is the most enjoyable project you have worked on so far in your career and why?
Jakub: I probably won’t forget working on the space shuttle commercial (it’s also in the showreel), because of the amount of stress in the end, couple of days before deadline.
My colleague had some troubles with a simulation in thinking particles and he got stuck on it for certain time, so there was actually much more work falling on me as it was planned to, but we spent something like 50 hours in a row at work and finally did it, everybody including client liked the work so there was that feeling of great satisfaction in the end after all that pain.
3D World: What 3D tools and techniques do you use on a day-to-day basis?
Jakub: I use 3ds Max as my primary software with <a href="V-RayV-Ray as a renderer of choice. After Effects for postproduction, ZBrush for sculpting, PFTrack for camera tracking and FumeFX for fluid simulations. Currently I have an ambition to dig more deeply in Nuke and Realflow for some water sims.
3D World: What’s your favourite 3D package?
Jakub: 3ds Max, probably just because it was the first app I got my hands on and so far I haven’t found a strong enough reason to switch to another package.
3D World: What’s your favourite film? (Containing VFX/CG)
Jakub: Containing VFX/CG and not sure if it’s really favourite, but I like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Fight Club for instance.
[Ed: Great choice. Fight Club is one of my personal favourites too, and Giancarlo Bonati's choice in last week's Meet the 3D artist - that's two to Fight Club so far in this series!]
3D World: What’s your favourite animation?
Jakub:I really like Persepolis or Waltz with Bashir. From those more CG based I was amazed by ILM’s Rango recently, visually and in term of VFX work it was just amazing, it was interesting to see cartoon characters developed to another level of realism, but still maintaining their cartoonity. Pixar’s movies are classics and I admire their animations even though it’s seems all little too similiar after a while.
- Read the Making of Rango – How VFX shop ILM took a bold step into feature-length animation with Rango and its paid off, bagging an Oscar for Best Animated Feature!
3D World: What advice can you give for aspiring 3D artists looking to break into the industry?
Jakub: It probably won’t be anything new if I say that I think there is no better way than to work more and more, to create your own projects, or even test renders, try new software, follow the news in the industry, share your works with others or eventually specialize, if there is anything particular where you found your interest concentrating.
3D World: Do you have a technical ‘secret’ or top tip you could share?
Jakub: I’m trying to use default shortcuts as much as possible, it keeps me more flexible when I’m working on various places on different computers.
So instead of customizing shortcuts in my situation, it was good idea to go to Customize user interface dialog in 3ds Max and just check all the default shortcuts, some of them are actually pretty convenient for me and I got use to it and I can be pretty sure I will be able to use it on most of max installations anywhere.
V-Ray RT or similiar viewport renderers are great way how to speed up your lightning workflow, I definitely recommend it. And Place Highlight is a nice 3ds Max tool [which enables you to place your] light in a way that it will be reflected on a certain area you want.
It’s always good to take your render with all the passes at a certain stage and play with it in postproduction even if it is still far from finished.
[It gives you a better] idea of where you are going with your render, and shows you if the lightning etc is right and if it will work as you would like it to. If you do it in software like After Effects, it’s really easy to replace it with newer renders later.
Even if you don’t like the way Graphite was implemented, there are some nice tools like geopoly, quadrify, step loop, loop tools, or some other selection tools (like select by numeric or random). It’s good idea to go through all these and see which are interesting for you.
3D World: Do you have any comments on how the industry has changed since you first started?
Jakub: It’s changing constantly and quite rapidly I would say. More new tools are being developed, scanning models instead of modeling them from scratch is becoming easier and more accesible, 2D is blending with 3D in some areas like with relightning options in Nuke, virtual production options are becoming also more accesible for directors, so they can actually see not only greenscreen all around them but already the virtual environments, there is huge wave of stereoscopic productions with new professions rising up from it.
Also important is the trend of globalizing postproduction where the postproduction’s facilities are becoming distributed much more evenly around the globe and many things are outsourced to the countries with cheaper workforce.
It is a very exciting time to be working in CG! Jakub makes some great comments here. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading his insights. If you’ve got any opinions on Film and Video, then remember to tune in to Adobe’s Creative Week. We’ll be bringing you more about this soon, in the meantime check out Adobe’s Creative Week
Go to Jakub Goda’s website
on Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 7:00 pm under Artwork, Features, Showcase.
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Tags: 3D artist, 3ds Max, After Effects, CG, Jakub Goda, Meet the 3D artist, Photoshop, showreel, V-Ray