Q & A with Daniel Bystedt
3D Concept Art presents a Q & A with Daniel Bystedt, a very talented artist specializing in characters and creatures. He has been around for about ten (10) years working in the entertainment industry. He has worked with companies like Bläck Studios, Milford film & animation and been instructor at ZBrushworkshops. As well beta tester for ZBrush both R5, R8 and 2018.
He is currently working at Goodbye Kansas Studios on several high profile projects, creating high-end characters and creatures for cinematic game trailers, film, and tv. He has worked on titles like Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, Unity Demo and recently Biomutant cinematic trailers and several projects still in development.
With a pleasure, 3dconceptart presents Daniel Bystedt.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about you and how did you become interested in 3D modeling and to work in the entertainment industry?
| Daniel Bystedt: → I got into computer graphics and art relatively late in my life. I switched career from a stable job at a cinema at the age of 27 and started to study cg at Digital graphics, Nackademin here in Stockholm, Sweden. I had started dabbling in cg a year before. This was 2007 so the recourses online for learning was really scarce. A lot of people in my class was really helpful and shared a lot of tips about which sites online had relevant tutorials etc.
After graduating in 2009 the economy went really bad so a lot of people in my class had a hard time finding jobs. The few people that still works with cg from my class are a really great bunch and we all still keep in touch. A lot of them actually works at Goodbye Kansas studios like I do.
| 3CA: As a character and creature artist, of your experience, what are the most important to understand and master to be able to achieve a believable character or creature?
| D.B: → Studying and understanding animal and human anatomy are great. I would although like to say that it is important not to get stuck in the muscle aspect of anatomy only. I see a lot of people just focusing on anatomy (eg muscles only) like there is nothing else. The final form of the character is really what is important. The surface is not only muscles but also built up by fat, skin, surface details etc.
Another good thing to focus on is the presentation of the subject. If you’ve done a great sculpt of a character or creature I find it is really important to put them in an appealing pose as well. It’s also a great idea to render the sculpt in a nice lighting as well. Try to look at other peoples art and see what type of lighting they have used.
Finally, I would really like to recommend using references as much as you can. I use a great application called pureref (www.pureref.com) when I use image references in my workflow. A good tip is to also place the reference as close to your sculpt as possible from time to time. It’s so much easier when your eye doesn’t have to travel that far. This is especially true when comparing colors. Also, make a habit of screen dumping your work often. It’s great to be able to go back and see what you have achieved and also to be able to find “happy mistakes”.
| 3CA: Where do you get inspiration from and who are your role models?
| D.B: → I have a lot of talented people at where I work at Goodbye Kansas Studios that keeps me inspired. To drop some other names I would say, Simon Lee, Stephen Oakley, Aris Kolokontes and Darren Bartley to name a few.
| 3CA: Your latest work was very impressive, were you did a creature sequence with the new blender viewport. Tell us about the project?is Blender becoming competitive?
| D.B: → Blender is definitely competitive. When it comes to modeling it’s one of the best tools out there in my opinion. When it comes to sculpting I really prefer ZBrush though. Blender has got some great tools for both manual and procedural modeling. It also has a great community of people who develop add-ons (take a look at blendermarket.com for example) that can enhance the existing tools within the standard version of Blender.
The project “Tree creature” that you mention was done for testing the new real-time viewport Eevee in Blender 2.8 that is currently in development. I wanted to see if it worked well with an animated character in the viewport and it really did. The creature was sculpted in Zbrush and textured in substance painter and substance designer. I hadn’t really rigged or animated in Blender before, but it worked really nice after learning those tools. It is really inspiring to be able to see your character and environment in a real-time viewport. I am really looking forward to the official and stable release of Blender 2.8.
| 3CA: Any good advice for artists and students who want to get into the business as a 3D Artist in fields like cinematics, also going for a career in the entertainment industry?
| D.B: → My best advice is to keep your head down and just focus on making art. Be ready for frustration and disappointment in your own work, but as long as you practice you will get better. Take a habit to go back to art that you have completed and critique it like it’s someone else’s work. Another good habit that has helped me a lot is to try and do sketches in 2d as often as you can. It’s really a great medium for practicing.
If you want to work at a certain studio it’s a good idea to research what type of art style that they use in their trailers, games etc. If they use a stylized approach to art, you should try and show similar work in your portfolio.
3D Concept Art Community thanks Daniel Bystedt for sharing his know how. Don’t forget, practice, practice, practice!