Meet our AREA August 2020 Artist of the Month, Bertil Svanekiaer! Bertil is a 3D artist who creates incredible renders - many of them celebrating dynamic black characters. Read on to get to know him, his inspirations, and his work a little better!
Hi! My name is Bertil Toby Svanekiaer and I’m from Accra, Ghana. I'm a 3D Character Artist, Animator and the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Indigene B.R.O.S, an animation studio that exists to impact positive social ideology through animation and illustration.
How did you get started in the 3D industry?
“I had a dream”! That dream was to make games. In 2004, I got this mysterious call from a guy called Naasei. He was looking for artists to bring onboard for his game project. I had been recommended to him by someone (to this day, I don’t know how that someone knew me, but I'm glad the introduction happened). At the time, I knew nothing about 3D, but I was excited about it because we were going to be making games. So, I joined the team and the journey of my 3D career started.
What was your first job in the world of 3D?
My first job was with Optec, the company Naasei started. My job there was to model and texture simple game assets. From there, my interest in 3D grew exponentially, as I discovered more about 3D software and its capabilities.
What inspires your work?
I would say life in general. People around me, family, friends, other artists and experiences. For some reason, I've really grown fond of creating realistic-looking African hair.
What do you love about your job?
The ability to create, bring something to life, and seeing how others respond to it. That feeling is priceless.
What's your least favorite part about your job?
Retopology. My least favorite part used to be UV mapping but that has gotten considerably easier with newer versions of Maya. I think the Retopo process will also improve, it's just a matter of time.
What would you like to see more of in the 3D industry?
I would hardly call it an industry in Ghana. With that being said, I would like to see more people go into 3D. It’s a broad field and there's room for everyone.
What project have you worked on that you are most proud of?
That would be a piece I did called “Friday”. Aside from being a fan favorite, I learned a lot in the process.
What's your 3D pipeline like?
My 3D pipeline involves a lot of software, including ZBrush, Substance Painter, Photoshop, After Effects… But my main 3D software is Autodesk Maya.
What tips do you have for someone just starting out in their 3D career?
Never give up. Never stop learning.
What projects are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a few personal projects, one being a tutorial on how to achieve the look of an African hair using XGen. I’m really excited about that and hopefully, it will be on my YouTube channel soon.
Want to see more from Bertil?