3DValley Featured 3D Artist of February 2007 – Cemre Ozkurt. Cemre is a Character modeler, animator, and concept artist from Istanbul, Turkey. He recently accepted a job at Electronic Art after have worked for four years by Blur Studios in Los Angels. Some of the projects he worked on are: Sponge bob ride, Spiderman 2 game cinematic, Unreal game cinematic, Fight club game cinematic, Oscar nominee short film Gopher Broke, and some more. Read the interview to get to know Cemre and his 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?
Cemre: Sure, I’m a Character modeler, animator, and concept artist from Istanbul. Currently I’m working at Electronic Arts in San Francisco as a Character artist. Before EA I have worked at Blur studio in Los Angeles for 4 years. Before that I worked at several different game and animation companies where I started working after graduating the Graphic Design Academy in Istanbul.
Christa: When did you first notice you had artistic talent?
Cemre: When I was 3 years old and painting on the kitchen door.
Christa: Which software packages do you use for your artwork?
Cemre: I used 3D Studio MAX for 11 years but I switched to Maya, because EA is using Maya for character modeling.
Christa: Besides a great digital artist you’re also a very talented traditional artist. Do you think you are a better skilled 3D artist because you are also a trained 2D artist?
Cemre: Absolutely, any kind of artistic knowledge is helping ones to another. It also helps if you are a 3D artist and wants to learn 2D art. But I think drawing is good start for art because you can see the result faster. 3D art is more painful and a slower way of creating art.
|Treeman (2D painting)||Kocadilli Sisko (2D painting)|
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?
Cemre: For my personal art, I start with drawing concepts. Like I said I can get faster results with it. After I’m happy with the concepts, I start modeling it. Depending on the model I use Backdrops for the scene. Working with backdrops is good, if is the concept art is very clear and defined, otherwise I’m just looking at the concept. For 3D modeling I use polygon modeling. I start with a box and I modify it with basic extrude, cut, move, scale and rotate tools. For texturing I use Photoshop, and Bodypaint and I render it with Brazil.
Christa: What and/or who inspires you?
Cemre: My Artistic inspirations started with French Cartoons, like Tintin, Asterix, and Lucky Luke. As a kid I copied them with a photocopy machine. Later many artists inspired me, like Frank Frazetta, Brom, and Joe Sorren. Other things inspire me also like reading books, listening to music or watching movies. I’m learning to play the guitar these days and I figure that will be good for inspiration too.
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
Cemre: My last drawing is always my favorite. I like my old drawings also but new borns are always cutter. Gorillaz is drawn in 2005 but I painted it just last week.
|Gorillaz (2D painting)|
Christa: What is your goal as an artist?
Cemre: I want to do better arts, more cool stuff and create an piece of art that can impress people.
Christa: Besides 3D Valley, which other CG sites do you visit regularly?
Christa: Do you have any tips for the artists who admire your work?
Cemre: Keep working on what you like. If you think it’s cool, keep doing it. Get critics from the people who know about art. Join the art forums online and meet with other artist. Work hard but don’t just stay in your room. Go play soccer, watch the birds, get a lap dance. These things will improve your artistic vision.
Christa: You work at Electronic Arts as a character modeler/ animator. Can you tell us a bit what it means to be a modeler/ animator for a company like EA.
Cemre: It’s great to work with talented artist and engineers. It was my dream to work with a creative team like this, It’s definitely much better than working alone in your room. Talking with people and seeing other artist work improves your vision and your experiences. It’s also great to work on projects that millions of peoples will see. It’s not like making a piece of art and hanging it on your wall. This feels much better.
Christa: Which areas of your work do you enjoy the most?
Cemre: I must say I like to work on a little bit of everything in the process. But if I had to choose one it would be character modeling.
|Viking – animation created with 3dsmax 5, voice over by Al Pacino.|
Christa: How many years are you working in the CG industry?
Cemre: So far 11 years.
Christa: Which projects have you worked on, and which one was your favorite project and why?
Cemre: Lots of stuff, like Sponge bob ride, Spiderman 2 game cinematic, Carol of the Bells, Sonic, Unreal game cinematic, Fight club game cinematic, Tak, Zodiac killer, Oscar nominee short film Gopher Broke, and Gentleman’s duel. My favorite would be Spiderman 2, I really really liked what I did on that one.
Christa: You have worked a lot on movies and games. What kind of project do you prefer working on.
Cemre: I like to work on artistic projects with a great scenario. Modeling Giant robots, weird creatures are fun but there is should be a reason for that. If you are doing it just for doing it, sometimes it’s not worth working on. You know like “okay this creature is cool and it eats babies, awesome!!! But why?”
|Huso fiction – Voice over Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction)|
Christa: What do you use as reference for the moves in your animations?
Cemre: We use real clips, mirrors, and other artists animations. Sometimes we draw key frames by hands.
Christa: Is there a personal or work related project that you are currently working on and can tell us something about?
Cemre: I’m working on a weird surreal short movie. In the movie there is a man’s face sticked on the wall and he is trying the fix some kind of puzzle with his tongue. I told you it’s weird.
|B.A. soldier – Sonic||Creature|
Christa: If we would follow you for one day on your work, what would we see and/ or learn?
Cemre: First of all you will learn how to drink 5 cups of tea in 15 minutes in the morning. After that you will probably going to see how I start working/ modeling a character in a professional environment. Professionally modeling a character is 50% of the whole work. Other than that the most important thing is communication and to figure out what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. I organize my work and do presentations for every step of my work. I show people my work and what kind of steps that I’m going to take and on what levels I’m working on. My Lead also has to know what I’m doing and what kind of issues I am having.
Christa: Is their something that you can’t work without?
Cemre: A Wacom tablet is very important, good screen and a fast computer is also important. But most important I think is the internet, I can’t work without it. Doing research, finding tools, tutorials, photos or video references. On the internet you can all find it all very fast. I noticed how desperately I needed the internet when I had a DSL connection issue for 3 hours 🙂
Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?
Cemre: I play or watch Soccer, ride my motorcycle, watch movies, read comic books, buy crap from eBay, drawing rectangles while talking on the phone, watching the empty walls and more of this kind of fun stuff.
Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Cemre!