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Olive Titouan: From the School of Self-Taught
Posted: Nov 30, 2009
Published by: the area
Homepage: Visit the page
Software: Autodesk Maya
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The Area:
Bonjour Titouan and welcome to the AREA.
Hello everyone. I'm really happy to be there!
The Area:
Being a 23-year old CG artist, at this young age, you already have the direction of where you want to go. We can see in your work that you like to create characters and you have a great sense for colour and lighting -- what would be your dream job?
Well I don't know if I have a “dream job”, my goal is to work in the industry creating original and captivating characters and moods on innovative projects.
Of course it's always a dream when we hear those names spoken, like DreamWorks or Pixar, but I assume I have the time to think about it haha. :-)
The Area:
What are you currently doing now?
I'm currently working on several freelance projects.
The rest of the time and as often as possible, I work on my personal projects trying to improve my skills and my knowledge.
The Area:
You have furthered your visual skills by taking up traditional art study – would you ever consider going to French CG schools like Gobelins or Supinfocom?
I've made the choice to learn by myself and I've never regretted it, but I think you really need to consider all the positive and negative points beforehand to make this choice. Everybody isn't made out for this! You really have to be motivated because nobody will be behind you. You're not supervised. It has never been a problem for me, but I think that point could be harder for some people who are used to always having someone behind them to tell them what they have to do. It was a really good experience for me and I know some people who have been really disappointed by their school and have decided to learn on their own.

Anyway I really think one path isn't better than another. You just have to ask yourself good questions before making your choice.
The Area:
So you have always been fascinated by art, even as a child. What was the decision that made you move over to the 3D side?
Yes I was already playing with a pen when I was a child, I even tried to create my own comic but stopped before the end hehe :) I've since discovered CG through video games, I was fascinated by the characters I saw and I tried to draw them out.

I made my first steps in 3D on my first computer when I was about 15 years old, trying to put volume into my sketches.
The Area:
There are numerous 3D apps out there – why have you chosen Maya for your work?
I remember when I began to learn 3D, I tried several different apps. I wanted to see which was the best for me. When I opened Maya for the first time, I saw that it was done for me. It was really intuitive and customizable with all the marking menus. I could finally create my own workflow. And I just stopped to open other apps after that.
The Area:
You have created some fantastic characters. Can you tell us about “Jeune Princesse Mandchoue” (Young Princess Mandchoue), who is she and what is her story?
I wanted to create an original young girl with an elaborate 'hairstyle' and makeup, something colourful and detailed with some mysterious elements.
I tried to give a particular and charismatic mood...
But well, I'm not good at describing my pictures. I prefer that people imagine their own story. Each person sees different things in an image and that's just what I like!
The Area:
The image is beautiful in its simplicity – awesome colours, great modeling, lighting and rendering. What did you use for rendering and what was the most challenging part in making her?
Thanks ;) I used mental ray to render this image. The most challenging part was certainly the rendering because I wanted to have something really close to what I had in mind and it had to be really clean even at very high resolution. I spent a lot of time on the shaders too, and on the texturing process.
The Area:
Mister Dandy is a bit reminiscent of Willy Wonka from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. The fancy suit, top hat, vibrant colours…and the addition of tropical fishes! Can you tell us about this image – who is Mr. Dandy, was this commercial work?
Mister Dandy is a personal work. At first it was just a 'sculpt exercise' done in freestyle with no references. But when I found the shapes really good and funny, I then tried to push this sculpt higher -- adding a hat and a jacket, and I finally created the full body. I then began to search some references in books and on the Internet with “dandy” as the keyword, I then found some pictures on Tim Burton's film (I didn't see the film prior to this). The colour and the style was very close to the orientation I wanted to create for this picture and I decided to keep those same colours and patterns.
The Area:
I noticed that you used Paint Effects in the image…most identifiable are those clusters of crystals. Did you use paint effects for anything else.. grass maybe? And the flower on his jacket? ;-)
Yes you have a good eye! I've rendered a Paint Effect pass for this image: crystals, starfishes and the flower.
The Area:
In your own interpretation of Captain Nemo and his Nautilus submarine, did you draw upon any visual adaptations of Jules Verne's writings for inspiration?

Though it is ‘one’ image, we can observe that there are many assets within the scene. Effort put into evoking the feeling of solitude through the environment with whale, the ship in the background, items on the desk and wall, Nemo...was no small task. Can you tell us what this image was created for and how long you had spent on it?
This image was done for a contest based on Jules Verne's universes where I won third place. I always draw many sketches beforehand, to begin the digital work. This way I exactly know where I'm going. I think it's really important to follow a directive line.

I decided to show Nemo in his Nautilius and to try to describe the sadness, the rage and the conscience of this man through this picture with the sea in the background, which is the only thing able to appease Nemo's heart and all his suffering. It was a really hard work and I don't know if I achieved my goal. Anyway you'll understand the story of this artwork better of course, if you've read the book ;)


I spent almost 3 months on this picture.
I rendered this image with the help of render passes. Assembling the scene was certainly the most difficult because of all the elements. I don't know why, but the modeling of the face, his expression and especially the posing for Nemo was really problematic even if I finally managed to do something which I was pretty happy with…

The Area:
Do you have any plans to produce animations with Nemo or any of your characters?
Of course I'd like to create animations but the fact is that it takes a lot of time! And I spend already a lot of time with all my 3D stills works. But if I have the opportunity one day, no doubt that it could be a very cool and instructive experience! :)
The Area:
Who or what are your sources of inspiration when designing characters and are there any CG artists who directly inspire you?
There are a lot of people that I greatly admire but the artists that I currently really like are Justin Sweet and J.B. Monge. I really like their talent and their style.
The Area:
What is your favourite part about doing 3D?
Modeling and sculpting are certainly the most interesting and challenging parts for me, but I like to be able to do all of it. I try to push forward all aspects of doing a picture from the beginning till the end!
The Area:
For those who have just discovered 3D – can you share what was the hardest part when you started doing 3D, how you overcame it and if you have any advice for them?
Learn to draw, study traditional art, look at the world with attention and trying to transpose what you see is, in my opinion, very important.

Staying in front of your computer is not always a good thing for inspiration. It's sometimes better to go outside and look at the clouds, the sun and all your surrounding environment. When you come back, you'll see the things differently and in a better way.

Everything is hard at the beginning. But with patience, time, passion and tons of work, we’ll come to forget the technical aspect to concentrate all our efforts on the artistic side and that's where it becomes really interesting.
The Area:
Thanks Titouan :-) for sharing your colourful world to us, we hope to see more of your work in the future.
Thank you. It was really a pleasure ;) Don't hesitate to have a look at my website to see more of my work: http://digitalia3d.teria.fr ;-)

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Newest users comments View All 11 Comments
Posted by curupira on Jun 11, 2010 at 02:13 PM
if you was doing some work on a character how much will it be would you sell the Young queen
Posted by daltronic on Jan 06, 2010 at 12:48 PM
very inspiring work and comments.
Posted by Aydoren on Dec 30, 2009 at 05:47 AM
it,s great work,have you ever tryed animating your work.
Posted by ghouse on Dec 10, 2009 at 03:28 AM
Posted by Naoufel on Dec 07, 2009 at 05:16 AM
Nice arts.
Very good.