AnimSchool simply provides an enormous amount of resources, knowledge and help for a modeler in the making. The impression that struck me from the very first introductory class was that modeling requires particularly keen attention to detail, as it is the convergence of design, technology, anatomy and craft. As I got to more advanced classes, this impression only solidified. As a result, our own judgement changes, we scrutinize things more, and we develop a deeper appreciation for good craft wherever we see it.
2. Tell us about yourself and how you got into 3d
I was born in Venezuela and lived there until I was 17. Getting a computer from a very young age exposed me to a whole new world of animated games and digital art, and it didn't take long for me to start learning how to create things. Eventually I found happiness in doing that.
Venezuela, even then, was a dangerous country. But here I had an escape from it with technology and art!
Sometime growing up I also met someone who was very influential in my life, and whom I admire. He studied 3D and was able to do amazing drawings and animations, and I think he gave me the confidence and the necessary mentorship to start playing with different 3D programs like Blender, Maya, and Cinema4D.
I've been working for a little over a year remotely as a Rigging Artist for a studio based in California. Still, I would like to find something where I can be on site as well, perhaps something more involved. I'm hoping I can do that soon, after graduating and producing a new demo!
4. So you can rig and model! How has knowing both fields benefited your work?
5. Tell us about your tank girl model!
Well - the concept for her was made by Cory Loftis and when I first saw it, it really hit me. It has so much personality. Then it was just a matter of doing it, and Advanced Modeling in ZBrush was the key to learning how. Over the course of 11 weeks, we gathered references and started going for it. Our instructor was incredible, and we would get just on point critique and lessons on how to improve.. this process happened again and again, until she was finished, and even though I'm very happy with the result, I'm even happier of the things I learned, because it opens the door to a world of characters we can take on the challenge of doing in 3D.
6. Care to share one of the things you learned?
I gave this one some thought.
I haven't, at least not yet. I feel more inclined to take on new projects with what I've learned from past mistakes - and this stills in me a sense of excitement as well. But it is in no way a bad idea, and it is ultimately necessary. For example, for my next demo reel, I'm sure I will have to revisit and mend a lot of things if I plan to present them next to newer, better projects, or else I run the risk of people thinking I have bad judgement or bad taste.
8. Do you have foundation skills in traditional forms of art?
Yes, I have a bachelor in fine arts, which sounds loftier than it is. I learned to draw using charcoal, but we also learned clay sculpting and baking. Even though I don't use traditional mediums anymore, I wish I still did. Yet every bit helps and reinforces
3D skills, I think.
9. You've made some great progress since taking your first class at AnimSchool. Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Yes, absolutely. I would urge everyone to try to connect beyond the classes with the other students that are putting in their time and effort. In my case, a few of the people I met on my first class accompanied me until the later ones, and doing google hangouts with them allowed us to critique each other while working on our projects, and that was great! I'd also recommend trying to do every art class, even if you don't draw; you will learn a lot. Lastly, I'd recommend taking advantage of the general reviews available during the week, because the feedback is very, very useful.
10. Thank you, Juan. Any last words for our readers?
I think I'd just like to add one last comment.
And it's to echo a tweet from one of my instructors here. He said we are responsible for our own success. And I think it's awfully true. It's easy to fall on the trap of thinking there are magic buttons, techniques or plugins or software, but it comes down to discipline and determination and love for the craft.
Thank you, Juan Diego Lugo for allowing us to share your progress and for taking the time to speak with us! If you'd like to see more examples of Juan Diego Lugo's work, check out his ArtStation !