My name is Marco Di Lucca and I am an Italian digital artist based in the San Francisco Bay area for the past 8 years. I have been working in the movie industry for about 14 years. Before that I was living in Italy and working in advertising and in small post productions for about 6 years.
Since leaving my native land I have had the opportunity to live and experience different places the first of which was New Zealand where I joined Weta Digital during the production of King Kong and ended my time there about 5 years later after having finished work on Avatar. I then moved back to Europe (London) for a year when I joined the DNEG team.
However, my dream growing up was always to move to California, the base for major VFX companies and ILM in particular, (George Lucas and now Disney Industrial Light & Magic). I initially moved to the US to join the Digital Domain team in San Francisco and eventually got a job at ILM where I stayed for 4 years. I am currently employed at Apple.
I started using software when I was 16 (I am 45 now), which is when I was exposed to AutoCAD (we are talking about v2 :) ) since my studies were related to architecture and civil engineering. I had the chance to learn the software inside out and I kept working with it both at school and at architects/engineer’s studios where I was going to practice. Back then there was no 3rd dimension yet and jealous of my friends owning Amiga computers on which they could already run various 3D packages I was eager to see something similar on the PC side. I had to wait until 3D Studio Max for DOS came around and that’s when I became completely hooked with the 3D world.
Despite being far away from where the CG world and software companies were established and the lack of information that I could get my hands on (there was no internet at that time as we know of today) I spent countless hours learning on my own.
I knew there was more high-end software out there and only after several years, on my first paid job, I got my hands on what became my true love for 3D....Softimage|3D. It had been ported on from Irix to NT.
I used and followed Softimage during its best years, the transformation years with Twister, Sumatra and eventually XSI. I only stopped to use it when I started using Maya which coincided with my relocation to New Zealand and the job at Weta, whose pipeline was, and I trust still is based around Maya. To this day I use Autodesk Maya daily as well as, Mudbox (in which I do all my sculpting and painting and which I witnessed the development of back at Weta). I enjoy being part of that beta testing team.
Regarding computer graphic I was always fascinated by the possibility of achieving a photorealistic look in a render and the more time passed the more it became clear as to what I liked to work on the most, which is digital humans.
Victor is the latest of many personal projects I have been working on in my spare time with regards to rendering a likeness of the human face but it’s the first one that I decided to render with Arnold. It’s based on the namesake character seen in a French TV series called ‘Les Revenants’ and the Victor of season 2.
Previously my working pipeline involved rendering in third party rendering software which obviously involved lots of data to be exported/imported and with limitations especially when it came to hair/fur. That was possibly the main reason why with this project I decided to stay within Maya and to do all the grooming with XGEN interactive and finally use Arnold for rendering skin.