Meet our AREA December 2020 Artist of the Month, Guga Baraldi! Guga is a 3D generalist artist born in Maceió, Brazil, and based in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2012, he co-founded a Brazil-based boutique 3D studio called Studio Didalí. Read on to get to know him and his work a little better!
How did you get started in the 3D industry?
I began studying 3D during my architecture degree. In 2004, I started Arch Viz modelling using AutoCAD R13 (that was only the version my University had. We needed to input all the extrudes values by hand, poly-by-poly... Oh my god, it was a nightmare.) I also started using Discreet 3ds Max 6. When I finished my degree, I started a career as a graphic designer and I also did freelance Arch Viz jobs. Later in 2012, my partner David Almeida and I created Studio Didalí to work in 3D animation for Arch Viz and advertising campaigns.
What drew you to a 3D career?
I think it happened pretty naturally for me. I always liked drawing as a child and my parents encouraged me to practice art. Years later, when I was 17, I got my first computer and I was so delighted that I spent entire nights drawing on Paint Brush. In my first year of university, a friend of mine showed me some 3D images he had produced using 3ds Max. Those images blew my mind. It was love at first sight. I haven’t stopped studying and creating 3D images since.
Where do you find inspiration?
I try to look for references in everything around me. I'm really passionate about classical art movements though. In my opinion, the Renaissance and Mannerism have given us some of the best artists of all time. I also love photography, cinema, graphic design and cartoon animation. I think my work reflects these eclectic interests, which moves between stylized cartoons and a more realistic style.
What's the best part of your job?
I love all the possibilities that the 3D world gives us. With the use of technology, we can create incredible stories that go beyond reality and present us with alternative worlds that can evoke all kinds of emotions.
"With the use of technology, we can create incredible stories that go beyond reality and present us with alternative worlds that can evoke all kinds of emotions."
What's your least favorite part of your job?
Hmmm… technically speaking, retopology and open UVs are the parts I like the least. But they're fundamental steps if you want good results. So it’s important to do it well.
What would you like to see change in the 3D industry?
Why is every project on a tight deadline? In my ideal world, there would be more respect for artistic and creative work. That way, we would have production without the crunch time, and the professionals could enjoy their work process.
What project have you worked on that you are most proud of?
I like the non-commissioned work that we did at the studio, based on Goro Fujita's concept, called "Leaving the Nest". A few months after we published it, ChaosGroup contacted us to use the image in the advertising of the Total Chaos 2018 event. It was really cool to see the work stamping the campaign for such an important event in the 3D world.
What does your workflow look like?
My main workflow has been beginning with ZBrush for organic modelling and polypaint. Then I use 3ds Max for retopology, open UVs, polygonal modelling, textures, and assembling the scenes. I also use V-Ray for lighting and rendering. When we work in partnership with other studios, we sometimes use Maya and Arnold as well.
What is the most valuable advice you've received in your career?
That good control of techniques and tools is a consequence of studying. It takes time. So, don’t rush yourself. Instead, keep up the hard work with consistent practice, and studying every day. You’ll get the results.
What advice would you give others wanting to work in the 3D industry?
Learn the fundamentals of 3D.
Always produce personal work (because not having the pressure of the client and a deadline is excellent for self-development and mastering new skills).
Don't forget to use good references. I recommend keeping an interest in related activities, like drawing and photography. They’re excellent for expanding your visual perception of the world.
What projects are you working on next?
Currently, I am working on a 30” video for a Christmas’ marketing campaign for a Brazilian supermarket.
Want to see more from Guga?