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本期采访的嘉宾是一位在英国的 3D 艺术家,看看本期嘉宾将会给大家带来什么新的思路和有趣的分享。

本期嘉宾:Ivona Alexandrova

Winner of Chaos Group’s THU raffle at Total Chaos 2019. This render depicts the artist’s inspiring experience at THU 2019.

Q:Ivona, can you introduce yourself to us?


A:Hello! I’m Ivona. I am a creative artist specialising in 3D Visualizations with a strong passion for creating unique Story Telling using a variety of 3D tools. I have been in the creative field for over 8 years and I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the greatest talents in the industry. In my practice, I strive to implement my traditional background in the era of digital innovation and bridge the gap between the artistic and technical side in the pipeline. I am interested in producing 3D images – both moving and static and work out the most efficient way to visualise ideas. A particular interest of mine is the intersection of CG and Science together and using technology as a bridge to achieving photorealism and pushing boundaries on the screen.

你们好!我是 Ivona,一个创造艺术家,非常热衷于使用各种3D工具创造出独特的故事。我强迫这个创意领域已有 8 年以上,很幸运能结识一些某些最优秀的人才。在我的实践中,我努力将我的传统背景融入到数字创新的时代,在艺术和技术方面的鸿沟上构建轴向。我对制作3D图像很有意义-包括动态和静态图像,并发现最有效的我来特别注意的是 CG 和科学的交集,并使用技术作为同轴电缆来实现照片级写实表现,以及突破屏幕的局限。

Q:Can you share your winning work in Total Chaos and the inspiration behind its creation?

你能分享一下你在 Total Chaos 的获奖作品和它的创作灵感吗?

A:The initial work I applied with, according to the rules, had to be a written motivation. I told the unedited story of how grateful I am to all the obstacles and happy coincidences that led me to this point of my life and be part of the event. A lot of times, I see people striving to present things as being so well directed and perfect. In a way, it seems one has always had things figured all. It almost makes you feel insecure and doubt your journey.
My path was roundabout, and I went through so many areas. At times it felt like my normals ere pointing at the wrong direction, and I believe everyone experiences this to some extent. Yet, as long as you dare to make a change, it is never too late to reverse them. Instead of faking it, I embraced all my failures, and I was so blessed to find the right community and a few amazing people who appreciated this and gave me a chance.
After Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, I did a scene for my presentation and sharing the THU story. I created and 3D camera model and used some photos I did at the venue. The background is the actual building in Malta and the keyring is there to refer to a character at THU. Implementing both 3D techniques and some personal details enhanced the storytelling in the scene and made it more engaging.

在加入 Trojan Horse was an Unicorn(译者注:一个 3D,视效,概念艺术等相关的线上社区,简称:THU)之后,我为我的展示作品做了一个场景同时也分享了THU的故事。我创造了 3D 相机模型,并使用了一些我在现场拍摄的照片,背景是层次的剧院真实的建筑,钥匙圈指代了 THU 的一个人物。并且我采用 3D 技术和一些个人细节增强了场景中的叙事感,有助于更加引人入胜。

Q:Are you working on anything new these days, as everyone is working from home? Can you give us a brief introduction to the workflow of the software you use now?


A:I am a social person, and spending a lot of time in isolation is a great struggle for me. Working and doing 3D daily helped me keep my sanity during the lockdown. I am currently working remotely on a VR Project with some talented people from the VR Manchester community. Besides work, I’ve been spending the extra free time we were blessed with to dig deeper in Houdini and proceduralism. I love experimenting with new techniques and discover better ways to optimize my workflow and be more efficient in a studio environment.
I still stick mainly to the Maya-Zbrush-Substance Painter and Vray for Maya workflow. I am working towards implementing more Houdini and merging my artistic background with my passion for programming and science.

我是一个喜欢社交的人,花很多时间独处对我来说是一种巨大的煎熬,每天做点 3D 工作能帮助我在禁闭期间保持理智。我目前正在远程工作一个虚拟现实项目,与一些虚拟现实曼彻斯特社区(VR Manchester community)的人才合作。除了工作,我一直在用额外的时间深度挖掘 Houdini 和程序主义。我喜欢尝试新技术,发现更好的方法来优化我的工作流程,这会使我们在工作室环境中达到效率。
我仍然主要坚持 Maya-Zbrush-Substance Painter 和 V-Ray for Maya 工作流。我正在努力尝试更多的使用 Houdini,替换我的艺术背景与我对编程和科学的热情相结合。

Q:Chaos Group recently launched V-Ray 5 for 3dsMax. Have you tried it out? Which of these features are you interested in?

最近Chaos Group推出了 V-Ray 5 for 3dsmax,你有尝试体验吗?你对其中哪些功能比较感兴趣?

A:I’ve been recently working procedurally and tackling a lot of data and detail. I was curious to do some tests, and I was amazed that I managed to handle a lot of detail and visualize heavy scenes rendering on a laptop. The UVW randomizer is by far my favourite feature. This, combined with the post-production features, eliminates the need to constantly switch between software. It’s never been faster and more convenient to achieve convincing results.
I started my journey in CG using 3Ds Max and Vray years ago, and I am always excited to see how much things have evolved. When I was 8th grade, I was part of a Virtual Archeology club where we were doing a lot of research on the Bulgarian heritage. As an outcome, we reconstructed and visualized the Preslav Gold Treasure with Max and Vray. A passionate project I want to do in my free time is to revisit and rerender this scene and see how much things have developed. I am beyond excited to put these features in my practice even further.

几年前,我使用 V-Ray for 3dsMax 开始了我的 CG 之旅。看到 V-Ray for 3dsMax 的快速发展,我特别兴奋。我记得在我八年级的时候,加入了一个虚拟考古俱乐部,并有幸成为其中的一员,在那段时间里我们做了很多关于保加利亚遗产的研究。最后,我们使用 V-Ray for 3dsMax 对 Preslav Gold Treasure 进行了模型重建和可视化展示。很希望我能在空闲的时间再次重温这个美妙的场景,看看现在的技术都发展到什么地步了。我非常期待能将这些功能进一步应用到我的实践中。


Q:If you are one of the contestants in this competition, do you have any novel ideas about this competition?


A:When it comes to inspiration, I usually find mine in nature and the real world. My favourite source is the mountains in Bulgaria or urban architecture.
Sometimes, however, inspiration doesn’t come easy, and starting is the hardest part. When I feel stuck, I always rely on the exercise ‘crazy eights’ – doing 8 sketches in 8 minutes. The idea is to generate as many ideas as possible within a short timeframe, focusing on quantity of ideas, not quality. Once you’ve got a bunch of divergent thinking on one topic, to begin converging on some winning ideas by voting on the favourites. Throughout the process of ideation, you start to develop concepts even further. This exercise works every time, and some of the ideas your brain produces while being under pressure are unbelievable.


Q:As a judge of this competition, what would you like to share with other young artists who are just starting out?


A:Starting out and finding the right career path can be among the hardest periods in an artist’s journey. There are so many areas you can go into, and it is almost impossible to be equally good in all fields. The best piece of advice I can give is to learn the fundamentals and then keep on building your skillset. Don’t just learn the software it changes so rapidly. Invest some extra effort mastering the core principles. They will never go out of date!
It is easy to open an art platform and get discouraged by other artists quality of work. Yet we all share the same struggles, and there is no shortcut. Setting realistic goals and achieving them will have a much better impact on your development. Don’t worry, you will progress in no time, just be dedicated. Moreover, connect with as many people as possible. Getting feedback is priceless, and it is the fastest way to learn from your mistakes and improve. The CG community is so friendly and encouraging! Just be active even if you feel your work is not that great yet. Even award-winning Supervisors have their doubts and insecurities. It is normal, and we all have to embrace it.
One positive thing we can take from this pandemic is that a lot of events went online, and most of them are even free. It is easier than ever before to participate, learn new things and connect with people all over the globe. Don’t miss the chance.


Q:As a young artist, what mistakes do you think are easy to make in the process of creation?


A:In the modern world of digital innovation, we are overwhelmed with unbelievable content. It is fantastic to aim for producing high-end visuals, but unfortunately, it does not happen straight away. More and more people skip the foundation steps and jump straight in the deep. You can learn any software but the core skills I often see missing with some young artists is observation and understanding of the real world.
The first and most important foundation is identifying the right proportions and use them as a tool to troubleshoot what may appear off in the scene. Having a strong observation will help to create informed decisions about your work. Even the most beautifully rendered detail can evoke a sense of uncanniness if the base is slightly off.
Also, we are always talking about innovations in CG and the technical specifications, but the storytelling is often neglected. All the tools we use are just a way of unfolding the narrative. Creating the story behind every object in the scene and doing the layout in an informed way will make it more engaging and with the audience.


Q:Do you have any ideas about your future job? Would you consider coming to China to play or work in the future?


A:Once the pandemic is over, I would love to be part of a big team of talented individuals in a studio. I hope I will have the opportunity to put my creativity into a more technical role and achieve new heights. I still cannot tell where exactly I am going to relocate in these uncertain times but I believe exciting opportunities await around the globe.
I would love to work on a project in China! I love the culture and it has been a dream of mine to visit this part of the world one day. In fact, I applied to be a mentor at a Summer school in China last year. I prepared workshops for 3D innovations, VR, Bio-printing and all the exciting career opportunities you can have with 3D. Due to financial circumstances, I had to postpone. Now it is another motivation for me to work hard and fulfil this dream in the future.


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