пятница, 27 ноября 2015 г.

Интервью с Alexandre D. Ferra

Всем привет! Сегодня Вашему вниманию я предлагаю интервью с Alexandre D. Ferra, (www.alexandreferra.com) концепт-художником (в т.ч. игры Dedline), чьи работы Вы наверняка видели на разных ресурсах: 3dtotal, zbrushcentral, cgsosiety и т.п. 

How to apply achieved knowledge gained in real world to your design (for instance concept design)? What subjects are you more interested in? Maybe astronomy, or material engineering, chemistry, or something else? 

I like to keep my curiosity alive it’s an essential quality for me, a basic rule leading to many more, therefore I’m interested in many subjects! Obviously closely related subjects like engineering, design and astronomy, allow me to provide the necessary knowledge to support the credibility of a concept. 
But I’m unfortunately not an engineer and I am unable to approach design creation with a technical eye like an engineer would. Therefore I try as best I can to acquire the basics and above all the logic from scientific news reports and specialized websites on specific subjects to get a better grasp of the specifications of the real world and how to apply them to designs, using both their strengths and their weaknesses. 
History of product design is also very interesting, seeing the evolution of a product over time, how its functionalities and ergonomics evolve depending on evolution of the market and technology. 
I also read books or dissertations on subjects such as transhumanism, economics, mythology, marketing or more simply science fiction novels each being a good source of inspiration and knowledge, this gives me good insight into both past and present philosophies and the opportunity to have a better understanding of the limits and environment of our time and of periods past. 
And last of all I do a lot of photography. For me working on and understanding light is also paramount, both for the materials used but also for the overall render, as it is part of the design’s credibility, at least as much as does its physical and technical aspect. 


What is more important for you when you are designing something? Is it functionality, aesthetics, or you are trying to achieve wow effect? 
All of the above! I can’t just focus on one aspect, that would be to neglect the design phase. The functionality, the aesthetics and the “wow” effect are all necessary if I want the result to be as realistic as possible and to set it within its own specific environment bringing it to life. 
When I start working on a concept I try above all to do my research and to properly define the limits that it is likely to encounter during its potential “lifetime”. It’s a bit like creating a character profile. I determine character, dimensions, strengths, weaknesses etc… 
Then I can start a block mesh work, and establishing a silhouette and the key points of functionality, only then can I put it all together using aesthetics. The “wow” effect comes in at each step where it abides with the rules that I have set myself beforehand, prior to creating the design. It also comes into play during the detailing phase, which is one of the most enjoyable stages. 
I have to manage to simulate the constraints of the real world and take a few steps back and add that little extra bit that makes the design original with ideas for innovative functionalities or shapes. 
I think this is both a weakness and a strength of concept design, I try to make the absolute most of this! 

Which existing concept designs do you like and why? 
If I had to name but one it would be Syd Mead. He is a huge source of inspiration for me, his professional background allows him to really anchor his concepts into the real world. All the more so, that beyond mere concepts, his illustrations always come in the form of advertising materials that you would usually see in the streets or in magazines, boasting the qualities of a product in its rich and utopic environment. 
This what I like the most. I have always been fascinated by the world of communication and advertising, and with his concepts he is not only selling his idea of a product but also the lifestyle that goes with it, each of his images includes a entire identity, a whole universe. What more do you expect from a concept, but to be dragged into its world? 



Do you sketch and how do you apply it to your work? Could you show some examples? 
I like to use base meshes or Zbrush to etch a basic silhouette and the main outline of the model. I also use overpaint. For me this is a good way to get an overall idea of the final design and to highlight the relevant areas and to perform different tests. 
It can be quite complicated to remain inspired on certain areas, changing medium can be a good way to have a fresh look. 

Can you say something about composition? What knowledge is useful and what is catching your eye? 
I tend to use composition in its broadest sense, the rules of composition which apply in the cinema, photography and painting to image structure work as well on the components themselves, in particular on the mechanical parts, this allows me to add much more naturally detail to my works and to get a good balance, thanks to well apportioned distribution of lines, rhythms and details. It’s also a good excuse to establish swiftly a rhythm in terms of colour/materials. 
Ultimately the final composition of the image is an additional increment in the process used since the beginning 

What is important in model detalization? What should you focus on in order for your design not to look fussy and over detailed, as if it was assembled from all ideas that were in your head? How to compare number of details and scale in a right way? 
My previous answer is already a great help for me during these stages. To which I would add scale. It is essential for the eye to have focal points on which to concentrate. I like to add in a gauge such as a person, a screw, a bolt, a car or a door during the modeling phase, according to the scale of the model, which allows me to then develop the rest while keeping good overall proportions. 

What in your opinion makes models more realistic? Of course, it is a summation of facts, but are there any tricks? 
Paying attention to all these little details will naturally make the model more realistic, the brain detects all of these defects naturally and as a result we find it difficult to accept the model as such, without necessarily understanding why. A good management of scale of detail, of textures but also of masses limit the risks and are also good guides for the creation phase. 
In imposing these types of rules to one’s process, design comes more naturally. For me it’s important to try to impose as much as possible problems similar to true-life situations, trying to get as close as possible whilst taking advantage of all of the artistic benefits at my disposal allowing me to anchor with greater ease the concept in the real world, which is what makes this job so exciting! 

What are you doing now? 
This year I finished a trailer project on which I have been working with several friends, which I hope will soon be released. Since I have been working on the creation of a personal IP on my free time and my work as a freelance hard surface modeler props & vehicles at Blur and other studios. 

Well, and of course the usual farewell for newbies :) 
It’s really easy when you begin to let technology guide you and to be content with the first results, but that is also the best way to not make any progress and to develop the wrong logic, bad reflexes, while losing what’s the most important in design: your personality. 
Software is getting each day more simple and you can find tutorials, videos, classes for absolutely everything. One shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that they are just tools and that ultimately the only thing people will remember and that will set you apart will be the way you see, imagine things and how you transcribe them. 
In the beginning copying others may be a good way to analyse the works of others and to make progress, but the next step must be to take a step back and find out what characterizes us and how to incorporate this into one’s art. This also transpires in the way we convey ourselves and in what is well suited or not to “sell” one’s artistic profile to the general public and to professionals. 
Publishing at any cost every little piece of work via the social networks in order to be seen is not really the best way to promote oneself and to progress; it may be sometimes better to be patient and publish less work but with more personality and with precise objectives, rather than series of concepts which will drown in the shear mass of data and which will be swiftly forgotten. 
And this is such more exciting to try to make more than an image, to make something which brings emotion and imagination. Actually, this is the most exciting part of this job for me! 

Спасибо за помощь Eugene Labinsky.

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