Interview nr.28 Zachary Schwartz

Interview nr.28 Zachary Schwartz


1. How old where you when you got interest in creating art and what importance does it have in your life today?

I think it was around 16 years of age that I actually began making art. I did have somewhat of an interest in creating prior to that; for example seeing CGI in films, and being an avid gamer, I was already creatively primed for what goes into making these experiences happen. 

One day I was at school during lunch, and a guy brought up that he had the software 'used to make 3D things in games and movies'. I went home that day, did a search for 3Ds Max, and here I am now. Still using 3Ds Max (among other software), & loving it. To follow up that, I fell in love with 3D art from the beginning, and right now it's one of -- if not the most -- important things in my life.


2. What’s the greatest obstacle/challenge as artist and how do you tackle it?

The challenges may differ per artist, and per discipline. Many challenges come & go. Many are interconnected. One of the big challenges with 3D -- in real-time rendering at-least -- is making art that looks pretty, and pushes boundaries, but is still functional (for example keeping reasonable frame rates).

Trying to manage your workflow on top of managing how that the content integrates into a pipeline, on top of factoring in unknowns, can be daunting at times. This is something that becomes easier to piece together with experience. In a similar vein there are challenges that arise in production rendering, such as knowing how you want to achieve an artwork as you imagine -- and what techniques are most suited for the output.

Sometimes the limitation is hardware, sometimes software -- other times it's the absence of knowledge. I think that one of the beautiful things about CGI is that it covers such a wide-spectrum -- in both art and tech -- that there are always new challenges to meet with.


3. Artists finds inspirations or ideas from all kind of places, where or how do you find inspiration?

Sometimes I'll see an image that I find super cool, or impressive, and this prompts me to make something similar. There are some games & attached lore that inspire me; and there's been a few times where a dream inspired me.

Music does as well. I've taken inspiration from artworks based in classical/renaissance styles, and from the polymath Da Vinci. I also find a lot of inspiration in the technical side of art actually.

For example, how an engine or piece of software can emulate components of nature. In the last couple years, I've really enjoyed delving into some programming/visual scripting, as well as using Substance Designer for generating procedural textures. As you practice these systems & the logics behind them, you begin to see more patterns --- as well as better understand the preexisting perception of other patterns. Generally speaking, my inspiration comes from observing other creative energies, and wanting to mold my own.


4. Looking at your gallery, you have great eye for details especially in Castle Wing 2. How did you achieve/create this artwork?

That was actually a case where I took inspiration while watching The Borgias (a tv series). There was a scene where the pope and someone else were strolling through one of the Vatican wings, & I suddenly felt like doing another interior architectural piece.

I had the idea & the image of what I wanted to make; as with a lot of my art I let the idea evolve during the creation process, adding details/adjusting lighting accordingly.

I did the scene modeling in 3Ds Max, arranged textures in Photoshop as well as utilizing a library of some photo-sourced textures (this was prior to using Substance for texture authoring), and rendered it in Octane.

5. Did you learn or studied in school/toke any classes to develop your style?

I didn't take any formal schooling/classes for art. Pretty much everything that I've learned is due to trial-&-error, practice, and online research. Studying is something artists do proactively if they really want to refine their expertise, or expand upon it. Although I didn't do schooling for 3D, it's still a valuable resource.


6. Last question. What tips would you suggest for the beginning artist?

Believe in yourself, & the thing you want to create. Remember this is a journey, with highs and lows. Patience is a virtue.Be open to absorbing information, learning from what others have done, and riding the waves. =]

All artworks copyrighted @ by Zachary Schwartz

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