3DValley Featured 3D Artist of October 2006 – Daniel Moreno. Daniel is a 3D artist from Brazil. He is also one of the first artists who joined our gallery 4 years ago. He has studied at Gnomon School of Visual Arts in Los Angeles, where he had teachers like Dave Mullins (PIXAR) and Kevin Hudson (Sony Pictures). Currently he is specialized in Character Animation and working on a 3D animation movie in Brazil. Please read our interview below to get to know Daniel and his work a bit better.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do in your daily life?
Daniel: My name is Daniel de Albuquerque Moreno. I was born on 1978 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My interest in animation developed watching several movies and playing games which used 3D Animation. So, I went to Los Angeles, Ca where I studied at Gnomon School of Visual Arts taking “Character Animation” with Dave Mullins (animator in Stuart Little, now at PIXAR) and learning how to animate and analyze animations. I also took “Character Construction” with Kevin Hudson (Sony Imageworks, now at Amblin) learning how to set-up different characters in different ways. Since then, I’ve been practicing and creating new animations. I also took part in Anima Mundi 2000 and SIBGRAPI 2000. Right now, I am working at Start Desenhos Animados where we are producing the first full 3D animated movie in Brazil.
Christa: Do you have traditional art experience?
Daniel: I have a degree in Design. I also took some analog classes at Gnomon: sculpting, and some drawing classes too.
Christa: You are also a very talented 2D artist. Do you think you are a better skilled 3D artist because you are also a trained 2D artist?
Daniel: I think it´s a good thing to draw, because it’s the fastest way to express something on my head without going thru a lot of commands in a 3D program. I think that knowing some 2D art increases 3D art because you can experiment fast and without a computer. Be it poses for an animation, a character model sheet, a camera angle, or even a general concept of the image layout. It is very IMPORTANT to take some 2D classes to work out you hand AND eye. Perception is something that comes with time.
Christa: Which software packages do you use for your artwork?
Daniel: Right now I use Maya, Photoshop and After FX for work. I used to work with Max a long time ago. Sometimes I do some freelance works using max (usually animation: Character Studio or CAT).
Christa: You can’t use your software without the hardware, so what do you use?
Daniel: I got a Pentium HT 3.2Ghz with 1.5Gb RAM, Geforce 6600GT, Wacom Tablet Intuos 2 (I dont know the size but it´s the medium one).
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?
Daniel: Well, being an animator in Brazil means you must know not only animation but a bit of everything. On commercial stuff, I plan the modeling and effects aiming for the animation. Sometimes you even use animation to model and such. Character modeling and animating usually need a lot of references (for realistic stuff) but I confess I really like cartoon style. We already got too much reality in our lives After modeling I usually light the scene (in gray scale) so I get all the contrast I need: black and white. After that I begin texturing and then animating.
Christa: What and/or who inspires you?
Daniel: A lot of things and people inspire me. People that inspire me are some of my teachers. I had such as Dave Mullins (Cars, Stuart Little, The Incredibles), Kevin Hudson (Stuart Little, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, Hollowman), and Frank Gladstone (Sinbad, Shark Tale, The Lion King, Pocahontas)… From the net I like the work from Michael Sormann, Jeff Lew, Keith Lango, Pascal Blanché, Loganarts, Antropus… these are in 3D Art, but I also have directors I also like: Michel Gondry, Tim Burton, Guy Ritchie, Tarantino… the list could go on and on…
|End of war||Eltros – Click here for animation|
Christa: Do you have a favorite genre?
Daniel: Yes, I like to animate in cartoon style. For images I like some fantasy (we got too much reality already
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
Daniel: Well, I like that Unimes commercial I did it all myself (click here to go to the animation). Although the shader I would like to use was the pink and blue one. It´s difficult to get a commercial in which animation is involved. Usually we do effects mostly. But now I am working on a 3D Animation movie, and I believe it will be my new favorite piece.
Christa: What is your goal as an artist?
Daniel: My goal is to work at a big company making movies or games. These are the things I like the most. I would specialize in Character Animation which is a passion of mine.
Christa: Besides 3D Valley, which other CG sites do you visit regularly?
Christa: Do you have any tips for the artists who admire your work?
Daniel: Well, just keep practicing. That’s the key. Also, there is no easy way, so don’t jump steps. I believe you have to go and check every step either in animation, modeling, and rendering.
|Burger King – Commercial||botafogo praia shopping – Commercial|
Christa: During your education you had teachers like Dave Mullins (animator in Stuart Little, now at PIXAR) and Kevin Hudson (Animator Sony Pictures Image works). What did you learn from them and how are they as a teacher?
Daniel: From Kevin I learned mostly the setup for characters and props. Ik, constrains and such that are very useful when animating. He is a great teacher, very patient. From Dave, I learned the technique and care I use today for animating. Of course I had to study a lot to get the hang of things. It’s just a concept to work but you got to practice a lot. Dave has a more traditional approach for animating. He is also a great teacher and friend.
Christa: How is the CG industry currently in Brazil?
Daniel: The CG industry in Brazil is a growing industry, it’s mostly driven by TV commercials but now there are some people making 3D for movies (mostly effects) and even some working with games. But these are still small opportunities in that area.
|Macuna 1- Video clip
for DJ Ramilson Maia
|Macuna 3 – Video clip
for DJ Ramilson Maia
Christa: Which projects have you worked on, do you have a favorite project and if so why?
Daniel: Well I have worked on a lot of projects from TV Commercials, music video, a little with games and now working on a feature film. All the TV commercials were a real rush. They never had sufficient time for experimenting, working with publicity is always a rush. For the Macuna video we had a month to finish it, and it wasn’t such a haste to do. For the cloudy sky of “Caminho da Nuvens” we had also about a month. At least the experience I have with motion pictures were not of a rush… We had time to put work in it, so that increases a lot the quality. I must say that the movie we are working on at Start Desenhos Animados got to be my favorite. It’s a fantasy cartoon world, like I said before, these are my favorite genres. Plus when I worked on commercial stuff, time was something we didn’t have so there were some mistakes or limitations but on this one we have more time, and although we have some CPU limitations, I still think we are getting much better results.
Christa: Which project are you currently working on?
Daniel: We are working on the sequel of “The happy cricket”, which was a 2D feature film. This time it’s going to be all 3D. It has a lot of beautiful scenarios and colorful characters. I think it will be a hit.
Christa: Which areas of your work do you enjoy the most?
Daniel: I really enjoy Lighting, Rendering and Animating. That’s what I have a lot of fun doing. Oh I also write some useful (at least for me) Mel Scripts
|Desk||Handcuffs – Commercial|
Christa: What do you use as reference for the moves in your animations?
Daniel: It really depends. If I go for animation stuff you can check on BBC Motion Gallery that has a lot of references on animals. For human characters we use Muybridge (The first photographer of movement), we use ourselves and the mirror, movies… You just have to watch people walk around. For cartoony stuff, there are lots too.
Christa: Is their something you can’t work without?
Daniel: I can’t work without music and wacom tablet! I just use a tablet for everything not only drawing. After you use a tablet for long you will not want a mouse anymore. Not much of a caffeine addict here. Sites (Online Radios) I listen to are Pandora, and Launch.
Christa: When you are not working or creating something what do you do?
Daniel: I really like going to the movies, watching cartoon and playing games
|Nescafe – Commercial||Pimpinela – Commercial|
Christa: Thanks for the interview Daniel! And much luck with your career.