To add some buzz to his entry, he contacted me and ENR for an exclusive interview...and I’m glad to help a brotha (and fellow Marvelite) out!
FPB: First off, tell me a bit about yourself, where you’re from, how you got into digital art and 3D modelling, are you in the video game industry? If so, what projects have you worked on, etc.?
DD: My name is Damien, I am originally from France and I am a Character Artist at Behavior Interactive in Montreal. I went through a lot of steps before becoming 3D artist. I have started my studies to become an electrician. Then I headed towards computer software with C/C++ programming courses. On my 22nd Birthday, one of my childhood friends told me about the 3D training course he was taking at the Paris University.
After hearing that, I was sold. I loved the creativity of it all and the chance to be part of video games or films production really got me interested to be part of the industry. I started slowly and built up experience using Maya (3D Animation & Modeling software), and went to University to earn a degree in 3D. The program lasted 3 years and I graduated in 2009. I then worked as a freelance Artist for advertising and short films but it was not enough, I really wanted to work in the video game industry. So I decided to leave my friends and my family, and my eyes were set for Montreal. It was not easy to carve out a place in Montreal as there are a lot of video game companies and a lot of competition for jobs as well.
I was able to get some work as an artist on some PC games and iOS games like Dungeon Gate, Gravinator and others which were canceled unfortunately. I took another job at CAE, a company which specializes in flight simulators. I was in charge of the visual aspect for a virtual maintenance training simulator for the future mechanics. It was a really interesting job but there were no room for creativity, and it was not gaming… So I pushed myself again and devoted a full year of my evenings and weekends to work on personal projects to build up a portfolio worthy of gaming company. I took anatomy courses to study the human body, because I wanted to specialize in character modelling and that really helped a lot. During this period,
I entered numerous contests, to push the limits of the skill and creativity. It was a great way to learn and focus on a particular goal. With enough built up, I finally had the opportunity to be hired at Behavior interactive! It was a long journey, but I can proudly say I am now where I want to be!
FPB: Tell me a bit more about the contest you entered your “Deadpulk” design. How did you hear about it?
DD: Gameartisans is a website for artists and is place I normally visit for everyday art content. Ever since starting out in 3D, I was always curious see others how certain artists approach different designs. It’s a place to get inspired and take in some really nice pieces of art, and at the same time, learn few things from experienced Artists.
Gameartisans organizes several challenges a year, but it was the first time that I took part of the Comicon Challenge. The previous year, the site hosted the BlizzardFest Challenge which I also participated in.
FPB: Clearly you are a of Hulk and Deadpool, have you always been into comics? What inspired you to combine Hulk & Deadpool? What were some of your favorite characters and stories growing up (if any)?
DD: I love comics! Who does not like them?! I have grown up with comics and one of my favorites is Spawn. Actually I have a fairly large figurine of Spawn on my desk at home. I always loved the Hulk also, but I really I did not know much about Deadpool. With the movie slated to come out next year, I knew more about this character and get ready. One of my friends told me that it’d be a good idea to mash-up these guys up.
FPB: What were some of the challenges artistically in combining such physically different characters as Hulk & Deadpool? Was the process difficult?
DD: Scale! Finding the perfect balance was the most difficult. I obviously wanted to represent the character turned from his normal form, so his weapons, guns and grenades were too small for him if kept at a relative scale. But I had to compromise because I could not keep everything tiny. So I made the belts and other equipment to a larger scale, or else, you would not have been able to see any of the details. Specifically the swords were something I had to tweak as he did not seem menacing enough when he hand them in his hand. Originally they were a little bit too tiny and looked like toothpicks. Mainly the challenge was to have a homogeneous character in terms of shape.
FPB: Was Deadpulk your first and only choice of characters to mash-up? If so, what other characters would you love to take a stab at?
I wanted to have a powerful character, defined by its shape. My first choice was always to mash-up Hulk with something else, but I was unsure of the other character. I wanted fun character that completely contrasts Hulk. At first, I thought Iron Man, but with next Avengers film coming up, the “Ironhulk/hulkbuster” was already over done. As I liked Spawn, It would have been a good candidate, but the thought of having a huge character with small weapons intrigued me (almost like an inverse Rocket Raccoon). So I went with Deadpool and I am pretty happy with the result.
FPB: Do you have any advice for young people out there that are looking at video game design/3D modelling as a career path?
DD: A lot of people want to work in the video game industry and it is not easy at all! My advice to them are: do not stay in your comfortable zone, the technology is changing so fast that you need to refine your skills daily. Try new and upcoming software, experiment with different workflows. Do not limit yourself to one style. Show your diversity and present your work in such a manner that gets attention.
Get inspired to keep working harder and harder because the competition is out there.
And the last one thing, be curious about art and its history in general. Learn about European painters and sculptors of the 19th century. All of this has helped me in my progression become a 3D Artist and I hope it will help people to achieve their dreams.
If anyone would like to see more of Damien’s work you can visit his online portfolio at THIS LINK, and you can even play with Deadpulk (sort of) with this interactive 3D rendering of Damien’s creation HERE!
You can follow and root for Damien’s Deadpulk at the contest’s website! All of us at ENR and eXpertComics.com wish him the best of luck!
I’m just here wondering if Deadpulk prefers chimichangas or shwaarma?! Anyhoo, that’s all for now, Bleeder Buddies! 'Til next time!