It is always a great pleasure to sit down and chat with a great artist, and I am proud, that from week to week we can talk to a young and talented artist. This week our guest is Jonas, a 3d artist. I promise, we won’t have artists who work only with 3d softwares.
Hi Jonas! Glad you are here with us! So tell us a little about yourself, who you are, what you do?
Hey David, glad to be here!
My name is Jonas Skoog and I live in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden (the land of meatballs and beautiful blond women hehe).
I am currently working as a freelancing 3D Artist, specializing in character art.
Browsing through your gallery, I see that your definite favorite area is sculpting and character modeling. Was there a particular event that motivated you to get into 3D?
It was actually back in ’99 I think when a friend of mine in art class showed me this awesome program where you could rotate and move stuff like they were real world objects (3D Studio MAX R2). That was the first WOW moment in my 3D career. I can still remember the goose bumpy feeling of using it for the first time haha.
The second WOW came to me during a period where I was quite sick of 3D and didn’t feel that it gave me that great artistic feeling traditional clay-sculpting does. The big turning point was MUDBOX 1.01! Using this new mind-blowing software gave me the exact same feeling 3D Studio MAX R2 had done a couple of years back and from that day on I can´t spend more than a few days apart from a sculpting app like Zbrush and Mudbox before I start feeling the craving haha..
Do you practice any other art? For example traditional sculpting or drawing?
Yes, I love traditional sculpting and drawing! Those are the basic tools which I grew up with. I have been taking traditional art classes all my life and loved every second of it. I actually still have a big old drawing table in my studio (living room) which I dust off from time to time! When it comes to drawing I always start of my sculpts with making lots of concept sketches the old fashioned way. Mostly for the flexibility and speed it brings.
Did you receive any formal education in 3D? Did you go to any school, or did you just learn it by yourself? (If you learned by yourself, would you like to go to a professional school?)
I have a 2 year ”Digital Graphics” education in my backpack, although I can honestly say that what I have learnt the most from are self-studies and perseverance. I wouldn’t say that 3D educations are bad, just that an education alone can’t make you good. It is all about how much time you are willing to spend at getting better. If there is a will, there is a way!
Which area do you like the most in 3D (modeling, texturing, animating, rigging, rendering), and why?
The area I love the most is without questioning Sculpting. There is a very special feeling of seeing something take form and evolve into something beautiful. I have always been drawn towards sculpting and spent most of my time sculpting in clay before 3D was presented to the public. With that said I still enjoy all the other parts as well since they all contribute to the final piece.
Where do you get inspiration for your characters?
Everywhere! No matter if I am sitting in the subway or at home flipping through the different 3D communities. I usually bring my iPad2 with me where ever I go in case I get struck by this great concept idea that needs to be catched before it disappears. Somehow all my best ideas always pop up when I am farthest from home and my computer haha.
What softwares do you use? What is your workflow between the softwares?
I am a big fan of Zbrush, which is my number one tool. It can often carry my entire workflow all the way up to rendering and sometimes even include that as well. But since it can´t do everything I also put my trust in Maya for sculpting and tweaks. Lately I have also gotten into learning Vray for 3ds max which is a really amazing renderer. My workflow is often pretty standard:
1: Kitbash basemesh in Maya/Create basemesh in Zbrush using Zspheres.
2: Sculpt away in Zbrush!
4: Texture with Zbrush polypaint and clean up in Photoshop.
5: Render with Vray or MentalRay.
6: Comp/Touch up in Photoshop.
7: Feeling proud for a moment! : P
Your beauty rendered characters look amazing, do you achive the skin texture and subsurface scattering completely within a 3D software, or does Photoshop has something to do with it?
Thanks! I guess it depends on what look I am after. I sometimes sculpt all the fine texturing in Zbrush, but usually I leave it for the bumpmap within Photoshop . I pretty much always use a bumpmap to make the details pop anyways. The SSS effect is all 3D. Most softwares nowadays have such amazing subsurface materials right out of the box.
Is there any 3D artist who influenced you, who you look up to?
I haven’t really thought about it for the last years since there are sooo many talented artists around to be inspired from. I would say that I foremost look up to different 3d studios and gaming companies and the awesome team efforts they display. I am actually really proud to be Swedish with great game developers like Dice, Avalanche and Starbreeze!
It was different when I was younger, then I had lots of art idols! The two artists that really inspired me in my youth with their art are Joe Madureira and Quinton Hoover. I just love the comics drawn by Madureira and the “Magic, the gathering” cards done by Hoover.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My plans are to be the best artist I can possibly be, work hard and be rewarded!
Thanks Jonas, it was a pleasure talking to you! The best for the future! : )