Meet our AREA January 2021 Artist of the Month, Dongyoung Hwang! Dongyoung is a South Korean self-taught 3D character artist and an Industrial Design student at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle, Germany.
How did you get started in the 3D industry?
I entered the 3D industry because I love movies and games. When I was young, I’d watch movies and imagine that I was the person who created them, and I’d imagine the reactions of people enjoying the film as though they were enjoying my film. Later, I started taking photography and 3D classes in college, and I developed an interest in CGI.
What inspires your work?
The beginning and the end of a movie inspires me, so does a strong character. I always keep a note of the characters who linger in my head long after having watched a movie.
What would you like to see change in the 3D industry?
It may sound idyllic, but I think the era of making movies on your own is coming. Even if it's not commercial feature films, I hope the era of single-person-made short films will come. It’s part of the reason I learned 3D.
What project have you worked on that you are most proud of?
My first work, "Jojo Rabbit - Thomasin Mckenzie". Apart from the quality of the work, it was the first time that I finished a piece from beginning to end by myself, which gave me a lot of confidence in my artistic ability. That work feels like a first love.
What does your workflow look like?
My work begins with video viewing. I always rotate the video to observe the subject I’m exploring. There's a lot of information you can get from video that you can’t get in an image, such as movement, mood, and general nuances. Video is also a good medium to observe changes in facial expressions.
When I sculpt a face, I spend most of my time correcting the eyes. I also try to minimize the differences between the texture I painted and the actual rendering. I typically paint while performing a render test in the software I’m rendering in. I use V-Ray as the renderer because I find it interactive. I try to keep the process as simple as possible.
What advice would you give others wanting to work in the 3D industry?
That everyone has to find their own way. In my case, I'm learning 3D on my own.
Watch and follow tutorials on YouTube and online. While you're at it, try to keep track of the methods that are most suitable for you. Eventually, you can create your own process and share it with other talented artists.
Don't feel as though you have to focus on just one project at a time. Our eyes easily get used to subjects, so if you keep looking at only one thing, your eyes will interpret everything subjectively. But if you go back and forth between projects, the little details become more obvious.
What projects are you working on next?
I’ll be working on comic book characters. I want to re-create the faces of the live-action characters from movies, but take inspiration from the original comics for clothes and other assets. I'd also like to make my own original characters, which I've recently started sketching. I’ll make them in 3D once I sharpen my skills a little more.
Want to see more from Dongyoung?