A few weeks ago, we were lucky to have Cézar Brandão participate as one of our students for our online beta class. Entitled Modeling a Realistic Highpoly Bust in Zbrush, this 4 week session was taught by our lead instructor David Lam. Cézar is an outstanding artist who is making great strides in the CG community. He has already been nominated and awarded with several community awards, including the top row on Zbrushcental and the CG Hub Editor’s Choice. Enjoy our exclusive interview and learn more about Cézar and his passion.
How did you initially get interested in the field of cg art?
Well when I was 16, I found a small school in my hometown Sao Paulo, Brazil. A guy there was teaching 3DSMax and when I saw that guy open a cube in the viewport, I realized that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.
What kind of training / school do you have that has led to you obtaining your skills?
Well I did courses at 3d schools in Sao Paulo and here in LA. In Brazil it is very difficult to find good courses in 3D, so I learned a lot of things myself at home just looking over the internet for tutorials and always looking at the work of all the masters we have there. Also, traditional sculpting helped me a lot.
Who are your artistic influences, which artists are your idols?
Jamie Hewllet for sure, Scott Eaton, Samuel Poirier and (I know he is not an visual artist like a painter or sculptor) Jamiroquai inspires me a lot.
What software do you regularly apply in your 3D projects and to what degree?
Well today I have to say that I use Zbrush 80% in my projects. But I also use 3DS Max, UvLayout, TopoGun, XNormal and Photoshop for game ready characters. For my personal stuff, it’s just Zbrush and Photoshop.
Why do you like Zbrush so much?
They changed the way to model. Now it’s really artistic (no technical things to stop the artist). Because of this I love Zbrush! I just go there and start doing what I have in my mind. It’s super fast to see your creation come to life, which is a key thing that Zbrush allows you to do. Now your character doesn’t look like he’s dead without expression; now you can really put life in a character and give a soul to him.
So using Zbrush, do you use it also as just purely a sketchbook?
Yes, it’s like Alex Oliver said, people have to use Zbrush not just for professional use but like a traditional sculptor would in his studio.
How many days a week or hours a day would you say you sketch, rather then finish a piece?
I try to spend 7 hours everyday in Zbrush. Now it’s getting difficult to do that because of some work but I can say that I do like 3 sketches every week, and just pick one to continue.
What new projects do you have in the pipeline that you are excited about?
Well, at the moment I have a piece I’m working on for an art show which I will finish real soon. And I’m doing some tutorials that will be really cool.
I guess you’re not allowed to give any details?!
Ha, ha yes I’m sorry. I can’t but it will be out soon. Keep an eye on my blog.
What art shows have you participated in and what was the experience like? Are there any other awards you want to tell us about?
It was a surprise but my artwork was in the Gnomon Gallery Show here in LA, where I studied. It was awesome. It’s the first time I saw my piece on a wall in an art show, super cool. And the top row in Zbrushcentral was the biggest surprise. I didn’t expect that! Besides that I got picked a few times for the CG Hubs Editor’s Choice and the new forum, CG Feedback.
Besides working on the next art show, are you still in school or looking for work?
I just finished a traditional sculpture course and next year I will be doing more traditional sculpture courses. And yes, next year I will be also looking for work in a company.
Can you tell us what is your dream project/company and why?
Well my dream company is Blizzard. The guys there do an awesome job with everything and I’m just loving what they are doing with Diablo 3.
So I am guessing the Diablo franchise is one of your favourites…are there any other games you like?
Yes I Like Diablo, but I also like Warcraft, but I don’t have time to play. I just love the art and the characters.
Speaking of the art of Blizzard… last year SlipgateCentral won the international 3D character challenge “Dominance War 4” and got hired right after that by Blizzard. So I am guessing you will participate in “Dominance War 5” this year?
That guy is amazing, his work is absolutely great. Yes I will participate this year, and I hope to do at least 10% of what Slipgate does.
I am glad to hear you will participate! Which alliance/community will you go with?
I will fight for CG Hub!
You were talking about how hard it is to find a 3D school in Sao Paulo. Do you think our online education is a good solution?
I admire what you guys are doing…trying to make quality 3D education available worldwide.
How was your experience with the Rydan Workshop?
It was super fun, the teacher was really nice and the interaction with guys was very good. You guys are really nice, it was awesome.
What do you think is the Rydan Worhshop’s greatest strength?
The online support classes, and the help that you guys offer, really. I’m impressed how you guys are nice and ready to help.
Interview by Daniel Begic