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Jean-Francois Sarazin Interview
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in france, 1977. I've always been drawing as a hobby, and I grow with my uncle, crazy about computers. I wanted to be a lawyer, and I started study in high school, I got my first computer for sound editing. I wasn't interested in 3D, all I knew was creepy balls on checkers. Then I watch "Tintin" from Supinfocom. I knew this will be my next job. I stopped my studies, and I started Supinfocom.
What are some of the projects you worked on?
I work on a few TV series, Funny Little Bugs, Pet Alien, SamSam... on a few TV commercials, on the video game "Dark Messiah". I learned maxscript in production too, so I writed a few tools. I've just created a society to hold this. You can get some tools at "www.vanilla-seed.com". At the moment, I work on the second short film of Jeremy Clapin, "Skhizein". A very interesting story, a new approach of 3D, I can't tell more about it...
What inspire you?
Many things, I don't define myself as an artist, more an artisan. When I create, I have rarely a personnal message to deliver. I learned to tell stories with picture, and I'm quite happy with that.
Which artists have influenced you?
I really like fantastic stories, surrealism and strong personnality. David Lynch, Tim Burton, Myasaki. But when I mean fantastic, I don't like universes like Lord of the ring. Too many laws, too many rules. When I'm surprised by a film, the half of the work is made.
Could you tell us a little about "L'ours et les deux compagnons".
L'ours et les deux compagnons was made for a contest, for the site 3DVF. The only thing was to illustrate a poem of Jean de la Fontaine.
What inspired you for this image?
I really like childs book. Many creatives among this. It inspired me, I think.
How important were sketches, etc... for this image?
I made a few sketch with tiny papers, to find the composition of the pictures, then I draw and color with photoshop to find the mood.
How did you model the bear(s) and the hunter?
I modeled all the characters with 3dsmax and subdivision surface. Bears was modeled in pose, the hunter was modeled and then skinned.
Is subdivision surface your preferred technique for modeling characters?
I use Subdiv for organics models, but when I modeled animated fabrics or robotic things, I like to use patch.
How much detailed are these models?
Hum, it depends of how big will be the model. Big bear was 1500 tris, little bear 670 tris and the hunter 4100 tris (all before meshsmooth iteration 2).
How important is modeling for you? Do you try to have your model as detailed as possible or do you rely on textures to add detail?
In this case, fur can hide low definitions parts. Big bears required 800 000 hairs, the big part was manipulate this without burning my little computer (AMD 4200+ - 1 GB RAM)
How did you create the fur?
I made the fur of the big bear with the standard hair and fur from 3dsmax. I ever tried it, it was a test for me, I used to make fur with shag fur.
Have you encountered any particular difficluties when creating the fur, or was it straightforward?
Strange things happens. When I rendered HD, some square of furs disapeared. I had to compute little parts and reassemble it further. When trying to paint fur attributes too, when you have an heavy model (5700 tris not so heavy...) it begins to be very hard to comb fur with the "style hair" windows. I'm happy with the result of hair and fur, but disappointed with the ergonomy.
How did you create the background?
Background is all 3D except the sky. Forest was made by scattering planes with a texture of tree precomputed on it.
What kind of lighting did you use?
I use the tool Vanilla Pass Manager on this scene, so I have made many many passes. And each pass had his own lights. I have compute an occlusion pass too, but it was useless. So just spotlights and omnis, maybe twenty.