Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 by Julian Karsunky
2020 has been a turbulent year, and many of the challenges it presented will most likely keep us occupied in the foreseeable future. As public life has once again come to a standstill in large parts of the world, art continues to be a much-needed outlet and readily available source of comfort and solace for many. One more time, let us come together and celebrate our final 3D Artist of the Month of the year: hailing from Armenia, Alexander Alojants found that his professional and personal work has kept him going even throughout the most difficult times.
Check out our interview to learn more about Alexander’s history, the merits of competitions and inspiration found in worn down basements.
Started as a simple modeling lesson for a friend, this image gradually turned into a full-blown personal project.
Hi Alexander, thanks for joining us! To start things off, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello everyone! My name is Alexander Alojants and I’m a 31-year-old 3D artist from Armenia. First of all, I want to thank RebusFarm for providing artists around the world not only with a great service, but also with opportunities such as this one to promote themselves and their work. I’m really honored to be chosen as 3D Artist of the Month!
The pleasure is all ours! Do you recall when and how you first consciously encountered CGI?
I first encountered CGI while studying Design at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia and I started learning 3ds Max during my fourth year. I definitely remember being excited by the idea that I can model almost anything I see in real life in 3D.
What training or education do you have?
I have a Master's degree in Mining Engineering and a Bachelor's degree in Design. All 3D software I learned either by myself or through the mentorship of my friends.
When and why did you decide to pursue a professional career as a 3D artist?
Almost five years ago from this very day, I took on my first CG-related freelance job as a 3D modeler at Art Land Design Studio, a rather big archviz and animation company. Those were my first steps in the industry, and I have been constantly learning and mastering my skills ever since. Even in those early days, I liked it a lot, and I could make good use of my previous education as an engineer as well. That is how I got into 3D modeling and CGI.
The texturing of the guitar’s surface proved challenging at the time, but Alexander ultimately rose to the occasion!
Please tell us about your current job situation! Are you currently employed or exclusively working freelance?
At the moment, I’m working as a freelance 3D Artist, specializing in creating photorealistic 3D assets, environments, and interiors. My services include 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering using V-Ray, Corona Renderer, or any PBR workflow.
Some of my previous and current clients include 3DTuning.com, Punctum Images, and Myth Factory Studios, as well as some local brands like Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory. With Myth Factory Studios, I recently had the opportunity to work on a yet to be released project for Netflix.
Do you have any long-term goals? Do you have a dream job, whether it’s a specific position or a certain company you admire?
At the moment, my main goal is to keep improving in what I do until I reach top level. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll find my place in a team of one of the biggest players in the gaming or movie industry, such as EA, Ubisoft, Weta Digital, or ILM. Dreaming, some say, is not harmful, after all.
How are you holding up in these trying times? Has the current crisis impeded your work?
These are tough times we’re witnessing. On top of this whole pandemic situation, my country is in a war situation right now – which is a terrible experience all around. Working hard is the one thing that keeps me going through this entire year. Work, and of course art, in all its possible forms.
Is there a specific design philosophy or school of thought you adhere to? What inspires you as a 3D artist?
I'm not sure if I have any specific design philosophy or something like that, but I always feel inspired by what others do. In terms of visual inspiration, I always find something to learn from movies and great photographers. Thinking about it, I guess movies are my main inspiration source in terms of aesthetics, but there is a lot of beauty just waiting to be discovered in our immediate surroundings, too.
Some of your more recent personal projects feature instruments and various music equipment. Are you a musician yourself?
That’s right! Music is a big hobby of mine. I played in a band when I was a student, and I continue making music as an independent electronic music producer to this day.
This collage shows the various lighting settings Alexander tried out for the scene.
Let’s talk about your work in more detail, starting with your depiction of the PRS Custom 24 guitar.
Can you first of all describe the circumstances that lead to the creation of this piece and your fascination with this particular guitar model?
The project started as a modeling task and a lesson for my friend Zareh Ghasabyan, whom I was mentoring at the time. When the model was done, we really liked it and decided to create a nice piece of work in order to present it properly. I also have to mention that my friend became a specialist and my partner now.
Why this particular guitar though? Because we used my own guitar as a real-life reference, which is not actually a PRS, but a similar model from a company called Harley Benton.
What were your main goals in doing this project? What parts of the image were particularly important to you?
As I already mentioned, my main goal was to create a polished scene and backdrop in order to present the guitar model. At the same time, I wanted it to be more than "just a render" – I was looking for a genuine artistic quality.
What were some of the challenges you had to overcome?
The texturing of the guitar wasn't an easy task for me, as I wasn’t proficient enough with Substance Painter at the time, and therefore used 3ds Max tools only.
How long did it take you to complete the project?
I might be wrong, but I think the modeling took about a week or so – remember that it was part of a teaching process. From there, getting to the final renders took a couple of weeks, as it was a personal project that I only worked on it in my free time.
A look at the wireframe highlights how impactful the grunge aesthetic is for the overall scene.
Written on a rather bleak looking wall, the scene prominently features the famous quote “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”, which also serves as the title of the project.
In how far does this quote reflect your own understanding of art in general and your own artistic endeavors in particular?
I find this quote very informative in terms of how a piece of art should be. Of course, it’s not 100% accurate. Some pieces of art bring peace and joy to everyone. But in most cases, this quote works well, especially when we take a look at history and analyze those pieces of art that made the biggest impact on mankind. Those that were revolutionary.
Tell us a little bit more about the overall aesthetic and the composition of the piece.
In terms of aesthetics, I wanted to create a place where this instrument is being used, where the creative process is going on. I definitely didn't want to have a clean, beautiful room. Instead, I was looking towards a more "grunge" looking environment. Recalling some of the basements our band used for rehearsals back in the day helped with that!
Once you had a basic concept in mind, how did you approach realizing it?
I spent a lot of time finding the right composition for the main image. I was continuously experimenting with different assets in the scene, their placement, and lighting conditions.
What software did you use to create this piece? Any plug-ins you found particularly helpful?
I used 3ds Max, Corona Renderer, and Photoshop for creating textures and post-processing the final renders. I didn't use any particular plug-in or script while working on this project – but had I known Substance Painter as I do today, it would have made my job much easier!
Are you satisfied with the results? What has the feedback been like?
As an artist, I somewhat feel I should never be fully satisfied with my work. In all honesty though, I do like it. The feedback I received was mixed, but the majority was positive. And the fact that RebusFarm now chose to feature my work also makes me think that I'm doing well in my progress!
What is one thing you have learned from this project that you can share with us?
That every single experiment has the potential to become a work of art.
‘1993’, Alexander’s submission to one of Fabio Pavelli’s rendering challenges, is not only a surge of nostalgia, it also shows some of his early musical influences.
You again made good use of some of the assets in ‘1993’, your entry for Fabio Palvelli's ‘Macintosh 2020’ rendering challenge.
Tell us about this project and your overall experience with this competition!
Yes, I decided to reuse some assets in that competition because of the tight deadline. I had only five days to work on my submission, but I still wanted to create something impressive. Despite this, I was lucky enough to get 5th place, which was really exciting! I once again want to thank Fabio Pavelli, RebusFarm, and all others who make similar contests for artists from all over the world to present their works.
Generally speaking, how important are personal projects to you and why?
In my opinion, personal projects are really important not only as part of a portfolio and demonstration of your capabilities, but also as means for artists to seek out and overcome self-imposed challenges.
Have you used RebusFarm before? If so, please tell us about your overall experience. Is there anything you especially like about our service?
Unfortunately, I've never used RebusFarm before, but I’m very much looking forward of trying it out soon!
In closing, is there anything else you want to say? Any present or upcoming projects you’d like to mention?
I have several unfinished projects in the works, but I don't want to give too much away at this point.
I want to encourage all artists out there to take a chance and enter contests such as this one. While the rewards in terms of exposure and promotion are certainly worth it, there is so much potential to grow as an artist and a professional, regardless of results and such. Thanks, everyone! Keep on moving vertices!
Alexander, thank you so much for taking the time and all the best in the future!
Keep up with Alexander Alojants and his work here:
HOW TO JOIN OUR MONTHLY CONTEST
You want to be our next featured 3D Artist of the Month and win 250 RenderPoints? Just visit our 3D Artist of the Month competition page and submit your entry. We'll choose the best image and contact the winner.