Featured 3D Artist of October 2008 – Benoit Patterlini

3D Valley Featured 3D Artist of October 2008 – Benoit Patterlini or maybe for you all better known as Noart. Benoit is a self taught artist who began with drawing at the age of seven. He studied architecture and today he works as a freelance artist in Paris, France. His two main objectives are working as a 3D graphic designer for prominent architects in Paris, such as Claude Vasconi and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The second is creating digital art projects which are focused on science fiction. His style is a mix between US comic strips (Marvel heroes), science fiction movie (Star Wars) and contemporary Architecture. Please read our interview with Benoit below to get to know him and his work a bit better.

Gallery album of Benoit Patterlini
Blog of Benoit Patterlini

Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do in your daily life?

Noart: I’m a self-taught artist who began drawing at the age of seven. The American comic strip has always inspired my work. I have studied architecture, as it was a good compromise between my professional and creative sides. It also allows me to continue utilizing my passion for drawing. And best of all, I still create comics. During my second year of studying Architecture at Marseille-Luminy, I had the chance to meet Philippe Caza, which was a great learning opportunity for me, and he still gives me advice on my work. I have been in Paris since 2001 and I have two main activities. The first is working as a freelance 3D graphic designer for prominent architects in Paris, such as Claude Vasconi, Renzo Piano and Jean Nouvel. The second activity is creating digital art projects which are focused on science fiction.

Where did you go to school and how did they prepare you for your career?

Noart: I’m an architect DPLG, I have learn perspective and the art of drawing with one teacher; Mrs. Barthelemy. She encouraged me and helped me develop my own style; she was the only one who really spent time with pupils.

Christa: Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?

Noart: Absolutely, when I was seven years old, I saw my cousin drawing “TINTIN” and I was very impressed. I wanted to do the same thing, it was like an addiction. One year later, I read my first comic book and I fell in love with comics.

Stem Building Project X

Which software packages do you use for your artwork?

Noart: I model with Lightwave, 3dsmax and Rhino, it depends on the project. I render with Maxwell render for still images and use the fprime plugin for animation in Lightwave. I composite my artwork with Photoshop. Whatever your softs are, I really think Photoshop is the most important soft in my workflow. It is very easy to create a story with Photoshop. It offers good compositing options and higher end editing tools than 3D programs. When I work with psd, I feel like a DJ mixing a set. I sample light effects, depth of field and reflection effects all thanks to layers.

Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?

Noart: Before each new artwork I try to check my head and to explore something new. When I’ve found the main theme, I make a sketch on a paper sheet; my aim is to find a good frame. This step is really important and decisive in my work. The camera defines the fore ground the second ground and the background. I mean, in this way, I model details for the foreground and add some new elements which are going to create an attractive point in the picture. The main textures are simple but they have to be real. For the glass, I want to have a perfect transparence with the good refraction index. For the metal, I want it to be really rough. Thanks to the multilight the lighting with Maxwell which is very cool… You can have different renders with the same multilight file. Each lighting source is a distinct canal which can be turn off or on and increased to 1000 percent. The render time is not really fast, but with patience you can have several atmospheres (night and day) for the “same price”. I thus render several layers, also multi-alpha channel and z buffer channel. I mix them in psd and create the final atmosphere. I don’t have the final cut in my mind, my work can take several directions, and I look for the best atmosphere with different tests.

Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?

Noart: Yes, I think “corridor” is my favorite piece, because, it is the most achieved artwork I ever made. I wanted to create a spectacular sci-fi scene with architecture. On this project I used Lightwave 3D for modeling. Lightwave is really good to design amazing organic shapes. First I modeled the whole shape such as the glass structure on the right and the metal structure all around it. This artwork is based on zbuffer and the atmosphere on it, is the best I have done. The architecture and lights are masterized. I really love this one.

The corridor

What is your goal as an artist?

Noart: My goal is to share with other artists and beginners the knowledge and develop a new art style which will be well-known all around the world. I would like to be exposed in art galleries as a classical artist and not as only “3D artist”. Our 3D artist community is still not well-known; I hope it will change… I would like to teach in an art school, find new artists and help them to develop their style… I would be proud of that.

How would you describe your personal style?

Noart: I try to explore several universes for each single piece of my work. I always try to evolve and develop my own style. I can say I love living colors and for each artwork, I work with 2 or 3 main colors. I really love blue and golden color. I’m fond of dynamic camera because there is motion on it. Anyway, my style is a mix between US comic strips (Marvel heroes), science fiction movie (Star wars) and contemporary Architecture.

How much time do you spent on modeling on how much on touch-ups in Photoshop?

Noart: I spent 40 percent on modeling and 60 percent on touch-ups in photoshop. I can spent much time with psd when I work for clients. Often, they don’t really know what they want. That is the big problem on architectural visualization, they don’t have ideas and they think you are going to find out the concept.

Building tree

What would you say is the most important aspect when creating a realistic 3D scene?

Noart: Actually, with new render softs such as vray or maxwell, creating a realistic 3D scene is less difficult then a couple of year ago. The most important thing is to find a good contrast and some good colors. You can sample with psd your basic 3D image and fake the reality. I don’t think faking reality is the most important when you create a 3D scene, the most important is to find a link, telling a story.

You currently work as a freelance artist. What made you decide to try on your own?

Noart: I feel free in this way, I mean, I can work with different clients on several projects. I love working with a lot of people all around the world…. I am not obliged to work several times with people I don’t appreciate. When clients call me for artwork they want to have a new vision of their project.

Can you name a career highlight?

Noart: Yes, just a couple of week ago, I worked with Jean Nouvel’s 3D team. I had to render 2 images for the “Philharmonie de Paris”. I’ve learnt very much, and created images very different from my own style. Their style is more monochromatic than my style. It was really interesting to check my head and evolve to something else. I have the chance to work with them on other projects…

How do you keep motivated when things get tough in studio?

Noart: Actually, it depends on relationship between the staff and me. Sometimes, I have to check my mind and take a deep breath when things get tough. If someone messes around with me, I try to talk with him the day after, to understand the reason why we both couldn’t communicate.


How do you handle the business side of being an artist?

Noart: When I was a beginner, I made some mistakes with my first contracts. With experience, I negotiate my price as I want and I refuse clients when I don’t feel them.

Can you tell us a bit about the current CG art scene/ industry in France?

Noart: The main CG art scene is based in Paris and the best companies have more than 70 percent of contracts with international architecture offices. They make all animation projects and for the other ones it is very difficult to find work… For still images, it is simpler to have clients and to start a company. For the little ones like me, we have to work within 3D teams as freelances during the week and to work also with individual clients, during the weekends and the evening. In France, a career is also based on your relations and not only on your talent…

How do you see the future of 3D in combination with Architecture?

Noart: With advances in technology and the wider availability of software, I see a time not so far away when individuality may be sacrificed for uniformity. In a couple of years, many 3D artists will be able to fake reality simply by pushing the render button. indeed, with Vray and the Maxwell render engine used to create photo realistic images, faking reality is less intricate, I predict. Architectural visualizations will be easy to access for the whole 3D community and especially for beginners. With all due respect to architects, a uniformed rendering look is going to appear and each project will look like all the others. Hopefully, software such as Photoshop, are the solution to break uniformity and standardization of architectural visualization for some of us.

Saving the planet

Do you have any tips for the artists who admire your work?

Noart: You have to be able to draw anything at any time and know how perspective works. If you are a student, walk in the streets with a sketch book and draw what you see: you have to develop accurate sight for architecture and art. I suggest visiting museums and galleries to see great architecture first hand and gain aspiration as there is no substitute for first-hand observation. I also advise developing an interest in contemporary design and ensuring you keep track of architecture news and current trends, best found online. Each week, I have a look at the best 3D art sites on the internet…

Christa: Besides 3Dvalley.com, which other graphic sites do you visit regularly?

Noart: CGsociety.org, 3DM3.com, CGarena.com, the123d.com, 3dvf.com, Highend3D.com, and CGchannel.com.

Is their something you can’t work without?

Noart: A good chair and a good screen. It’s very important, when you work 10 hours a day on computer; you have to watch your back and your eye sight. Since one month, I carry glasses because my eyes where injured by a bad screen…

What do you do when you are not working or creating something?

Noart: I practice a lot of sport such as swimming (for my back) and bicycle (mountain bike). I read comic books and literature (I am found of Bret Easton Ellis and George Orwell).

Golden city

Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Benoit!

Gallery album of Benoit Patterlini
Blog of Benoit Patterlini
Interviews with other artists

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