Name: Alexander Lysak
Job: decorator, freelance 3D artist
Web site: https://www.facebook.com/cg.artmixer?ref=tn_tnmn
3DA: Why have you decided to work in 3d-field and when have you started?
AL: In year 2000 being a last-year-student (decoration artist) I had and internship in an advertising agency. I was studying different software for vector and raster graphics for making concept layouts. One of my colleagues, experienced graphic designer, introduced me to the 3d world by showing me Maya, that shocked me with its unfriendly interface :) Later he gave to me an installation cd with 3Ds MAX and a huge manual to read. I was learning 3Ds MAX step-by-step and then I found out that my favorite movie, “Fifth Element” by Luc Besson, was done with the help of this software – and was so inspired by this fact that I decided to become a professional in 3D. Coming home from work I learned to create 3d-objects. After about half a year I made my first interior. Later I was transferred to a design department to make design of shopping windows and lighting signs for cafes and shops – and I had to make photo-realistic presentations of my designs. I could not miss this opportunity – I got a very powerful pc and was finally making 3d during y work-time. By the way, I never used that huge 3Ds MAX book – just opened it once and then forgot about it. So everything I know now I learned by myself.
3DA: Describe to our readers your usual workflow.
AL: Every project I start with collecting information: drawings, textures, photos etc. Professional architecture photos help to understand the atmosphere – to play with light and shadow and to create realistic details of the environment. Then I start modelling architecture, furniture and accessories. I use Revit, 3Ds MAX, Mudbox and ZBrush. Next step: textures and materials. Some of them I draw in Illustrator and Photoshop, others – directly in Mudbox over the 3d-model. All the 3d-project I handle by myself: from the initial idea and sketches and to post-production in After Effects or Nuke. I do not usually use Photoshop for final images, because I work with 32 bit files. I try to minimize the usage of side software, but still sometimes use such plugins and scripts like MultiScatter, Forest Pack Pro, SoulburnScripts, Quad Chamfer. I am a perfectionist by nature and pay much attention to details, to the quality of models and textures. I think this is the key rule for reaching success – the more attention you pay to the details, the better final result you have.
3DA: What was most difficult for you when you just started working in 3D? And what is now?
AL: In the beginning the most difficult was to model complex objects, upholstery or objects with complex connections. With more practice I stopped being scared by classical carved furniture or high-tech objects – I can easily handle that. Now I have more difficulties with video editing and animations, but I try to go deeper in this subjects to be able to offer new services. Also I have some difficulties with projects with complex particle systems, like smoke, water, fire – I need constant practice for that, because calculating this sort of visual effects requires a lot of time.
3DA: Looking back on your education process what you would have changed now? And what you consider right and would do exactly the same?
AL: I do not regret anything. All the experience that I have during my professional career is priceless. But nevertheless if I could turn time backwards, I wish I had an architectural education beside the decorator’s one. Now being a grown-up personality, I have a clear picture of my likes and dislikes and I understand that architectural education would be useful for my work. I concentrate on interior and product design right now and my 3D skills help my to visualize my ideas.
3DA: Which was the biggest problem that you faced working on a project and how have you solved it?
AL: The most serious problem was creating classical interiors with a lot of geometry in the beginning and in the middle of 2000’s, when computers were not strong enough. I had to invent different tricks: hide everything behind the camera, create Proxy, even delete back parts of the sofas close to the walls – in other words, to make everything to have less polygons and to lower memory use. Now with the hardware progress it’s not a problem anymore, but back then it created a lot of trouble.
3DA: What forecast you can make about the future of 3d-world in general?
AL: It’s a very dynamic industry that in future can have a huge impact on the humanity and will allow to create impossible and even unimaginable things for different spheres: architecture, medicine, car design, robots etc. Not long ago everything was turning around cinema production and video games, but now people are starting to see a deeper picture and to use 3D technologies wider and wider. I would like to wish a good development for this industry and success and many creative ideas to all those who decided to connect their lives with such and interesting sphere like 3D.