3D Valley Featured 3D Artist of December 2007 – Anna Celarek. Anna is a young artist from Poland, she currently lives and studies Technical physics in Vienna, Austria. She is a self taught 3D artist and after using 3D Studio Max for several years, she currently works with Wings3D and Blender to create her projects. Please read our interview with Anna below to know her and her work a bit better.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do in your daily life?
Anna: My name is Anna Celarek, I’m 22 years old. I’m born near Katowice in Poland. Some people say it’s an ugly city, well in fact it is a bit polluted and the snow is gray there instead of white, but I liked it. When I was 6 years old my family moved to the little village Kramsach in Tyrol in Austria, a place where you can’t see the horizon because mountains stand in your way. I spent most of my life there. Currently I live in Vienna and study Technical Physics; I’m in the 4 th year. I’m not sure yet what to do with my future, I could work in physics or in graphics, both are interesting and it’s a difficult decision.
Christa: Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?
Anna: I think it was in the kindergarten; I couldn’t make contact to other children because I was a bit shy and didn’t speak their language well, so I spent most of my time drawing. I was really proud of it because all other children admired the drawings.
Christa: Did you attend a formal art school?
Christa: Which software packages do you use for your artwork?
Anna: My first 3d program ever was AutoCAD 14, but that’s a long time ago, and it didn’t work well for organics. I used 3dsMax for almost 7 years, combined with VRay renderer, and perhaps 2 years ago I started to use Wings3d for modeling. For my last project, which was an animation, I used Blender, and I think now I’ll stick to it because it is really powerful and develops very fast. I hope one day VRay for Blender will be available. For post production and textures, I use mostly Corel Photopaint.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?
Anna: When I have an idea, I start searching for references. I hardly ever make concept sketches; I just start modeling as soon as I have enough photo references. I model from box because that’s the only possibility in Wings, so I start with a rough shape and then refine it more and more. For the textures in most cases I use photographs, put them onto the uvw layout, many layers of different photos, some dirt over it, some color correction etc. My work flow is a bit chaotic, I do texture and light more less at the same time, and sometimes I start adding new models to the scene when others are already completely finished with shader and texture. Usually the idea develops while working on it, before I start I don’t have a clear plan. But I noticed that this doesn’t work out well for animation, because it causes extra work. I have to rethink the process.
Christa: Who or what would you describe as having the most influences on your work/ style?
Anna: I think there are too many influences to name them all. But I’d like to point out two artists who influenced or inspired me, both in a completely different way. One of them is Neil Blevins. When I got 3dsMax into my hands for the first time, there was a little picture gallery coming with it. Some car visualizations, some vacuum cleaners I remember, which were really impressive from the technical point of view, but not as exciting as pictures. And there was this one picture by Neil Blevins, it was an eye with cables and pipes hanging out from it, looked really great and showed me that more can be done in Max than boring product visualizations. I wanted to be able to create things like that. The other one is Marcin Klicki. I know him from a polish forum. He has impressive modeling skills. The reason for naming him in this context is that I learned really a lot from him, I haven’t learned so much from any other artist. He always shares his knowledge with other people, he made tons of video tutorials about Zbrush and Wings (which quickly became my favorite program), and he always helps and gives advices. He is responsible for a big part of my skills in 3D.
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
Anna: Yes, the naked mole rat. When I read about it for the first time, I couldn’t believe such animal is possible. It’s really crazy, they live there somewhere in Africa, in colonies with a queen and female workers just like bees or ants, they can’t feel pain because some amino acid is missing in their skin, they are completely naked, they send out delegations to copulate with the neighbor colonies while in the own colony only the queen is allowed to do it. And they look really funny when they dig their earth tunnels: they array in a row one behind the other, and each one digs with the front feet and with the back feet it throws the earth onto the one standing behind him. I’m sure that God made a joke by creating naked mole rats.
Naked mole rat
Christa: What is your goal as an artist?
Anna: I want to learn Animation. I made already one, but it was not so good, I want to make it much better.
Christa: Which areas of creating do you enjoy the most?
Anna: Modeling. And pressing the button for the final render.
Christa: The textures from your Chameleon image are made with ballpoint. I still really like it and was wondering why did you decided to do the textures with pen?
Anna: Well at the beginning, standard photographic textures were planned for that model. But I couldn’t get it look right, the scales didn’t fit well onto the model, apart from that it was very difficult to find scales at a sufficient resolution. That time I was working part time and had access to a very good scanner at work. Putting both facts together, I decided to draw the textures by hand and scan them. It was more work than I thought, because there was no possibility to copy and paste parts of the texture as you can do with standard methods. I had over a square meter of texture to draw, and my table was too small. But it was a good experience.
|Chameleon||Cat in tree – Click here to download animation
Christa: In general how much time do you spent on modeling on how much on textures, and touch-ups?
Anna: I think I spend most time for textures and shaders, for tweaking them. Modeling is rather quick because in most cases for the details I prefer to use textures and not modeling.
Christa: Many of your images have something funny or sad and some both. One of my favorite images of you is the Naked Mole rat with camera. I also love the lighting of that image. How do you come up with the idea for this particular image?
Anna: I saw a photograph of a naked mole rat on a forum, it looked very strange, and after some research I was really fascinated by the animal and knew that I have to make a picture with it. At the beginning the plan was to make a dark studio scene with hard spot lights, the poor creature standing alone in the middle trying to hide its nakedness from the camera. Then I changed it to something more old-fashioned, also because the old cameras just look better.
Christa: On you personal website I noticed that you also like to paint and draw. What advantage does one has over the other for you?
Anna: Drawing is relaxing, because the technical problems are reduced to a minimum, so you don’t have to think much while drawing, you also have no hardware limitations and such things, and you have no stress with program crashes and bugs. Well I haven’t painted for years, somehow I always find time for 3d, but for drawing hardly ever. I like 3d more, but I can’t explain why. Maybe because I can turn the model around, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s more challenging for me, because I learn new things with each project, while with drawing I just get experience and practice but not really learn.
|Snail & Fiat 126||Banana|
Christa: Are you currently working on something that you can share with us?
Anna: I’m working on an animation: a hen in a factory, named Freddie, having problems with her egg. But there’s not so much to show yet, so far it’s just an idea in my head.
Christa: Do you have tips for beginning artists?
Anna: Complete what you started, even if it won’t be beautiful at the beginning.
Christa: Besides 3D Valley, which other graphic sites do you visit regularly?
Anna: My favorite place is max3d.pl, I also often visit 3dmaxforum.net, tr3d.com and recently blender.pl. The big sites like CGtalk.com, 3Dtotal.com and raph.com I visit mainly for looking at the gallery, but I’m not really active there.
Christa: Is there something you can’t work without?
Anna: I can work under each condition.
Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?
Anna: I try to spend some time with my boyfriend.
Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Anna!