Exploring the Art of 3D Realism - #MemberSpotlight

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There surely are some stunningly talented artists out there. 3D and VFX Artist Daniel Magyar is without a doubt one of them.

A fan of 3D realism and clearly a skilled creative professional, Daniel has been playing around with 3D software since his elder brother introduced him to the beauty of modelling, and the level of detail in his works really shows. Now Dan loves to draw inspiration from all the other talented artists out there – which, he admits, can bring you down just as much as inspire you.

In this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about the art of 3D realism and why it is important to do your research, at all times, to grow your appetite before you sink your teeth in the real thing – the process of creating something beautiful.


How did you get into the industry?

Back in 1990 when I was twelve, my brother, who was 20 years old at the time, showed me the 1st edition of the 3D Studio. He said I musn't play games on computers and that I had to play with that software instead. Besides the 3D Studio there were some image and sound editing pieces of software installed on that computer. Those were my first steps into the infinite empire of fantasy.

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I live in Budapest, Hungary. I’m a freelancer and work for all kinds of production companies. Mostly VFX post production tasks in movies but I do a lot of different projects like TV advertisements, music videos and 3D modelling. I have clients from all around the world. 

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

I've never thought about that. I haven't got a plan-B.


Can you explain your creative process?

The pipeline and the process all depend on the project. I can’t say anything new because the creative process is the same as of any other artistic processes. I would just like to highlight the research phase. I usually start with researching. Collecting references is like reading the menu in a restaurant. My appetite is increased in this phase. I really love this stage, it’s like an exploratory expedition. The other very important component in my work process is the communication with the clients. I try to see clearly as much as I can and I try to clarify 100% what exactly my client expects to avoid any future misunderstandings. This can easily be a lifesaver for me. 


How would you describe your style?

Every project I work on requires realism. Putting a virtual 3D object into a movie or removing something from the screen can’t be done otherwise, only realistically. In the various fields and styles of Arts, realism is definitely the genre that has always attracted me the most, so this is a perfect match.

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

There are tons of genius artists out there. When I browse on 3D sites and in groups, I always find a lot of very talented artists. Sometimes it shocks me, other times it pushes me forward. Otherwise, I really like classic art painters, the real giants of art. Cézanne, Rembrandt, Duchamp, Shishkin, Ferenczy just a few names of my heroes.


How has technology affected the way you work?

I couldn't do my job without technology. Nowadays we have a lot of perfect software for all kinds of tasks for example scanning, painting, sculpting, modelling, animating, editing etc. When I started, there weren't as many software and tutorials on the internet as nowadays, because there was no internet at all. Hahahahaha... So this development of the tools and the apps is absolutely useful for an artist like me.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

When I finish a large scale project I often feel empty and I can't do anything for a while. But It's ok, it's 100% natural. This is when I start reading new books or learn how to use new software or plugins. You can't operate continuously on maximum capacity. If you try you will burn out. I always setup targets and goals of what I would like to achieve by the end of the day, week, month or year. Sometimes just something small but sometimes I aim for bigger targets. For example, now I would like to make a 3D animated short movie called "The Fortunate Son". It would be ideal to start this project this year sometime. So these days I dedicate all my free time and energy to this. But it's always hard to get motivation or to stay isnspired.


What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

In 2011 I had a chance to work in the “Flying Monsters 3D” with David Attenborough as a 3D environment Artist. It’s a 3D documentary about flying dinosaurs. The Movie won the Specialist Factual BAFTA Award in 2011. It was a great moment of my life and a very special feeling to work in a production like this.

How do you recharge away from the office?

The best way of recreation for me is to go out in the nature with my family. We love walking around the hills, going on smaller excursions. Nature fills me up with its beauty.


What is one tip that you would give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

That they should build their portfolio as soon as possible. The sooner you start the faster you find followers and some of those followers will want you to work for them. So I think this is the most important step to find your first few comissions. No matter what the quality of your first jobs are like, no one starts at the top. After a while everybody can check your path, where you were coming from and where you are now, like the earnings report on the stock market. Someone will pay attention to you, believe me. 

What’s your one big hope for the future of the industry?

It would be nice to see more precise body and facial motion capture systems on the market. I think AI will have a significant role in this Industry. I hope the next 5-10 years will blow up the CG industry with brand new ideas based on AI and deep learning.


If you could change one thing about the industry, what would that be?

3D & VFX artists should receive more respect. If I could change one thing about the industry I would try to make that change in that direction.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I'm a big science fiction fan and I love Asimov and Philip K. Dick. So if you come across books from these two authors don't hesitate to buy them. You won't regret it.

Take a look at more 3D artists here!


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