Sergio has created many amazing stylized and cartoony renders using mostly Blender. His unique style and fun artworks were crying out for an interview here in BlenderNation, so here goes!
Give us an introduction, who are you, how old are you, what do you do, where do you do it?
I am Sergio Raposo Fernández. I am from Spain, and I am from 1982. I have painted all my life, because my mother is painter and she has taught me this job. But always I was more interested in the animation world. Always I have been a 2D defender, but five years ago I met Blender and I was impressed about 3d possibilities.
How long have you been creating art?
Since I can remember. I loved the classical 2d movies of my age, from Disney or Don Bluth, and always I was with my watercolors trying to paint like them.
My mother has been my teacher. She is painter and I have lived between pencils and oil paintings. It has been a great luck for me. Besides I have studied Illustration in an art school, and recently I have coursed a 3d Master in Trazos Academy in Madrid.
Do you have a favorite artwork that you created, which one is it and why?
Curiously my favorite artworks are the less valued by the people. I love the cartoon style, so I was happy making artworks as “Tombstones” or “Retro Kids Bathroom”. They are more child’s, so I like them. I don´t like the hyper-realism, my passion is make environments for animation movies.
I see that your environments are very stylized and I love it, when did you start doing that and what inspires you to do it this way?
I always have been inspired by the cartoon style, but I started to make more stylized artworks when I met Blender. I am very inspired by the 3D movies from Dreamworks, Pixar or Sony Pictures. I learn a lot of things watching animation from these companies, it is the best school.
Tell us a little about your latest art, what motivated you to create it?
“Cartoon Spain” is my latest artwork, and it has worked very good - a lot of people liked it. It isn’t my favourite artwork but I am satisfied with it. Usually I make environments inspired in real cities, as Paris or London. And I thought why not to make an environment inspired by my country. I think Spain works very good for recreate fairy tale landscapes because there are a lot of medieval villages, with castles and ancient churches.
A quick step by step would be nice, how did you create this image?
For this image I “traveled” by Spain with Google maps. It is a tool that I usually use to make my environments, because it gives me a lot of information about the places I want to recreate: what kind of architecture there are, which are the materials used in the buildings, if there are vegetation and what kind, etc. Then, with all this documentation, I start with the 3D. I don’t make concept art, because for me 3D is other tool more for paint. So, I “paint” directly in 3D. For this image I modeled all in Maya, and then I exported the scene to Blender for render it with Cycles. I used HDRI lighting because I like more this illumination than others.
What is your workflow when you create art?
First I collect visual information of the place I want to recreate, usually with Google maps tool. Then, I start to make the scene in 3D. I model all objects in a real scale and proportions, and then I deform them with Lattice tool. When I have modeled all objects, I “move” by the scene looking for the best perspective, the most beautiful angle. And then I texture all and set up the materials. Of course I have chosen before an HDRI texture for the lighting. I use displacement modifier for some objects, as floors or facades, but generally I get reliefs with only bump maps (my computer is bad and I have to work with the less geometry possible).
Which softwares do you use, and how do you use them to create your work?
I have knowledge about Maya, V-ray and Blender, but generally I model the scene in Maya and then I export it to Blender for rendering with Cycles. I like to model in Maya because this software is very friendly for use Tablet. However, Blender has Cycles and I think it is a very good render engine. It has GPU render, and the view-port rendered option is wonderful, very fast and helpful. V-ray has the same view-port option, but it is more slow. Of course I use Gimp or Photoshop for the post production.
What are your ambitions?
I would like work in an animation studio. But my dream is to live of my artwork, as a traditional painter, selling my artworks in art galleries. But it is difficult because it is 3D, not traditional paintings.
What do you do to take a break from art? How do you refill your artistic energy?
If I could I would be painting all the time because I have a lot of ideas for recreate in 3D. But we are humans and we need rest. For to turn off, the best for me is to sleep. And I love to walk too. I live in the countryside, in a very peaceful place and I usually walk, because the Nature is very inspiring. I would like to say that we must protect Nature because the human is destroying it. I hope that governments attach importance to climate change.
Any favorite artists?
Now there are a lot of great artists. With Internet we can see artworks from all the world, it is wonderful. But I feel predilection for the old school artists from Walt Disney studios. For me, there aren’t more beautiful movies than “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or “Pinocchio”.
Any tips to artists out there?
I always say that the most important thing for to make art is enjoy with it. If we don’t enjoy, the inspiring dies. So, the artist has to be happy painting. I paint cartoon environments because it likes me.
Sergio has been very nice to answer all of these questions for us, so don't forget to leave him a nice hello in the comment section below!
Also, if you have any questions that are not answered here, let us know. Last but not least, who is the next artist you want to be interviewed here on your favorite place to get some Blender news ;)?
I am very pleased to see an interview with my favourite 3D artist, Sergio Raposo Fernández. Great choice, Yanal. :-)
Sergio, I'm wondering what approach you use for texturing. I'm still struggling with that part (and many other parts) of 3D modelling and I have been using your Wild West image for inspiration. Would you mind explaining how you did the texturing of the sherriff's office, please?
Thank you very much Yanal and Blender Nation for this interview, it is a honor for me.
Hi Chris, thank you very much for your words. In the Sherriff's office walls I used a very simple nodes. I show you here the material setup and the texture I used. I think that the material setup is very important, but make a good UV too. My materials usually are very simple, with bump maps and glossy shaders, but nothing more. So, try to find a good lighting angle, where the shadows are more visibles (If you see all my artworks, the perspective is always the same, because for me it works good). Thanks Chris.
Thank you so much, Sergio! :-) That is very generous of you to share your node setup. Very much appreciated.
Thank you very much Chris!
Glad to hear that :)
Very beautiful scenes.
Me too I prefer light models and simple materials (I hate rendertime :D ), but my results are extremely far from yours!
How about the time for modelling, for texturing and for rendering (and the hw you use)?
Hi Blend-it. Yes, the rendertimes are horrible jeje. In my artworks I usually take one month for make all, from the concept art or early idea until the final postproduction. And the render time is usually around four days. Thank you very much for your comment!
Sergio. Eres un Maestro y fuente de inspiración de muchos de nosotros.
Un vistazo el leer esta entrevista y volver a perderme en tus increíbles trabajos.
*vistazo = gustazo .
Hola Angel. Muchas gracias por tus palabras. Es muy gratificante pensar que mi trabajo inspira a otros artistas, pues pienso que esa es una de mis metas: aportar algo positivo.
Un saludo Angel.
Hello Angel. Thank you very much for your words. It is very gratifying to think that my work inspires other artists, because I think that is one of my goals: to bring something positive.
Best regards, Angel.
Tus trabajos me inspiran mucho
Muchas gracias por tu comentario. He visto tu website y me encantan tus trabajos, enhorabuena.
Un saludo y gracias.
Thank you very much for your comment. I have seen your website and I love your work, congratulations.
Greetings and thank you.
I love the vintage vibe on his cities. Really nice see that :)
Old school's style is the best ever!
Thank you very much Lucas. I am fan of your artworks!