Every week, In the NVIDIA Studio will spotlight incredible content creators, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at their story, their inspiration, their process, their unique artistic flair, and more – for all of the world to see.
In the NVIDIA Studio is more than just an art showcase. It’s a check-in on the full creation process, from concept to completion. It’s where creatives can find resources and tutorials to solve previously insurmountable workflow challenges
It’s also where the newest creative innovations that artists like you can incorporate into their projects — optimized NVIDIA Studio drivers, updated GPU-accelerated tools in the software platforms you live and work in, or hardware releases for those who are ready to upgrade.
This week, we’re deep-diving into the creative workflow of concept artist Pablo Muñoz Gómez.
About the Artist
Pablo is based in Australia and is equally passionate about helping digital artists, teaching 3D classes and running the Zbrush guides website with his creative specialties: concept and character artistry. View his courses, tutorials, projects and more on his website.
Pablo notes that “Often the inspiration for a new piece comes while working on something else.
I think that I get inspired relatively easily, but I try to filter the excitement of a new idea and try to have some kind of story behind it before I start, even if it is a quick sketch. Having a simple background story helps me ground the idea and helps me justify any design choices I make in the development process.”
Life experiences also play an important role. Per Pablo, “I think pretty much anything you do will be influenced, to an extent, by your past experiences. So I’m sure a great deal of the things I’ve experienced in my life have made their way into my artworks. However, I don’t believe I consciously create artworks purely as a reaction to the things that happen to me.”
Dubbed 3D Forest Creature, Pablo came up with the idea beginning with a story, “A very small fantasy character that lives in the forest and spends his life balancing rocks, the larger the stones he manages to balance and stack on top of each other, the larger he’ll grow and the more invisible he’ll become. Eventually, he’ll reach a colossal size and disappear.”
Pablo begins his journey in a 2D app, Krita, with a preliminary sketch. The idea is to figure out how many 3D assets will be needed while adding a little bit of color as reference for the palette later on.
Next, Pablo moves to Zbrush, where he uses custom brushes to sculpt basic models for the creature, rocks and plants. It’s the first of multiple leaps in his 2D to 3D workflow, detailed in this two-part 3D Forest Creature tutorial.
Pablo then turns to Adobe Substance 3D Painter to apply various colors and materials directly to his 3D models. Here, the benefits of NVIDIA RTX acceleration shine. NVIDIA Iray technology in the viewport enables Gómez to edit in real time and use ray-traced baking for faster rendering speeds — all accelerated by his GeForce RTX 3090 GPU.
Seeking further customization for his background, Pablo downloads and imports a grass asset from the Substance 3D asset library into Substance 3D Sampler, adjusting a few sliders to create a photorealistic material. RTX-exclusive interactive ray tracing lets Gómez apply realistic wear-and-tear effects in real time, powered by his GPU.
3D workflows can be incredibly demanding. As Pablo notes, the right GPU allows him to focus on content creation. “Since I switched to the GeForce RTX 3090, I’m simply able to spend more time in the ‘creative stages’ and testing things to refine my concept when I don’t have to wait for a render or worry about optimizing a scene so I can see it in real time,” he said.
Pablo sets up his scene in Marmoset 4, critically changing the denoiser from CPU to GPU. Doing so unlocks real-time ray tracing and smooth visuals in the viewport while he works. This can be done by accessing the Lighting then Ray Tracing selections in the main menu and changing the denoiser from CPU to GPU.
With the scene in a good place after some edits, Gómez generates his renders.
He makes final composition, lighting and color correction in Adobe Photoshop. With the addition of a new background, the scene is complete.
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