Hi Jose, could you introduce yourself to the viewers and tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Jose M. Lazaro. I was born in Spain. Actually I’m working as a character artist. I began my career in Computer Graphics long time ago but I started to work the past three years, because I was finishing my studies in Fine Arts.
My first job was at the most important and biggest videogames company in Spain, Pyrostudios although it was a big company and they had a lot of talented people we passed some difficulties and I decided to change. I carried on in Mercury Steam for a while, they are doing the next Castlevania. To be honest I think it’s the biggest and best game making in Spain so far.
Now, I open new frontiers and I’ve moved to UK to work in another videogame company called BlitzGameStudios, right now we are finishing the next game to Namco Bandai, and I couldn’t to be more happy. We are making a good title with a good license, Dead to Rights.
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As a character artist what are your major principles for doing a great 3D Model?
I think depends on your purpose and final model, it’s different to model for videogames than films. But the most important to your character is found its right personality, obviously when you are designing the character. Sometimes we waste time to make a massive mutant bodybuilder mecha character with a lot of big guns and knives but we didn’t think if that is necessary to improve the character.
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How long does it usually take you to create a 3D model?
Well, that depends on the character as well, but I usually spend between one and three weeks for character.
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Do you do any preliminary drawings before you model, or do you just start and see what happens also how long on average do you spend on an image?
When I design my own characters I usually draw sketches to understand better the form. I’m not the best drawer in the world but I have enough knowledge to concept some ideas. I spend a lot of hours searching references as well to have a better idea.
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Do you think sketching is necessary for the 3d Artist or is there any other way round?
There are many artists that don’t need draw because they have a good 3d mind and they have good concepts from others workers, but draw usually helps to understand better any form. In my case, it’s more clear some simples shapes to find out the correct form.
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You recently completed “Morgan Freeman project” a 3d model that you have been working for almost 2 years could you tells us a bit more on how you went to create such detailed work?
I spend 2 years because I didn’t have a good level to complete the quality that I wanted. I respect so much this actor, I wanted to make a good tribute. Sometimes we start a project that we never finish it. I start this project like a test but I preferred stop it until I could improve it.
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Are you formally trained as an artist or are you self-taught? There’s a well known debate in the design community regarding the role of education in a designer’s work versus no design education, what do you think about this?
Yes, I self-taught in cg but I trained as a classic artist in fine arts. I think it´s nonsense debate because we have a special artist education from kids. Although you study fine arts you must work at home and investigate by yourself. When you finish your studies or you start in a company you aren’t a complete artist because you need experience to figure out better your work. The best school is work. I think it´s more important the balance between talent and the hard-work as well.
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On which projects you are working these days, and which project you enjoying the most?
I’m starting one model that I would like finishing to integrate in a cg sequence. I would like to start other short film because I had an animation education but I need money and a lot of time but meanwhile I have to finish the character that I have in development.
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What software programs do you use for your CG and why?
I usually use 3dsmax, it’s the software most famous in Spain, I use Photoshop because I think it’s the best and Zbrush and Mudbox as well, I love both software but at the moment I find more companies working with Zbrush.
Actually I’m moving to others app like Maya that it’s the app I use at work, I didn’t like Maya, sometimes it’s so confuse to make simples task. I would like work with XSI, I hope Autodesk don’t stop its evolution and make a good job.
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Since you love creating characters, please give us a look into your top 3 favourite characters, and also explain what makes them so special.
One of my favorite characters is Predator. It’s special because I think it´s perfect. His personality is totally clear, an alien hunter who hunt to put his skills to limit. I love the design between primitive and advance technology as well.
I love the personality from old anime characters like Vegeta. I like the characters with thoughts more mature. It’s very interesting to see these characters in action and put the moral to the limit. Sometimes in the Western style we have characters so flat, good o bad guys.
About cartoon character I like the simple and emotive lamp from Luxor Jr.
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What was the most important lesson you have learned since you started designing 3d characters that might help the newer modellers getting into 3d?
Good question and easy answer, anatomy and be patience and, of course, be a hard worker. All of the people that they worked hard now are working in different industries, from videogames until effects for next amazing movies.
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Besides modelling and design, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to cook but I think I’m not a good cocker and actually I’m learning play bass guitar.
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Where do you plan to take your designing career in the future? And what do you hope to accomplish in the next couple of years?
A big question I don´t know the future is really uncertain.
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We like to thank Jose for taking the time out to talk with us.
For more info visit Jose’s Blog:www.josemlazaro.com