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Looking inside butterfly"s soul.

For our first interview in Vray World we chose something different from the usual questionnaire. We preferred Skype with a written text hoping for a better result. Thiago Lima is a Brazilian 3D artist whose passion and love for 3D art could be an inspiration to all of us. We had been observing his projects for a long time and we were sure that he was about to present something good. To be honest, we never expected it to be that good! His last project pleasantly surprised us! Butterfly-The Short Film. Thus, we decided to look inside a butterfly"s soul. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.

VWTeam. 

Hi Thiago. We are very glad to make this interview after your last project " Butterfly - The Short Film""  which has been  awarded on Vray World.com and other forums. We are impressed with  your final result and the way you presented your general idea. Please tell us a few words about your path in 3d world.

Thiago Lima.

Well... At first, I took up 3d as a hobby and just to have some fun while mixing some characters with objects. I learnt Blender in a free workshop here in São Paulo, Brasil. After that, I met a few people who used to work with Maya and 3D max and because of them I started using Maya and mental ray for render  also because the tools, shortcuts and visuals are very similar to Blender ones, at least at that time.

Then I found out about V-ray and 3Dsmax with another friend, I tried it and loved it. I"m a graphic designer so in the beginning I used 3D simply as an extra tool for my print jobs, later I used it in web design jobs and finally in architectural jobs. This was until I reached my own style and quality. I mostly learnt 3d by myself, just looking for some tutorials and rendering a lot of teapots :)

VWTeam. 

Nice. So you have come a long way and you have experience with several kinds of software and tools. Do you think that a program could make a difference or is it just a tool in the artist"s hands?

Thiago Lima.

Day after day I’m becoming more and more certain that it’s just a tool. I know that some software like 3Dsmax and Maya have more features and tools to make some goals easier to achieve, but I used to think that the best Software is the one that you use better.

VWTeam.

I totally agree with you Thiago. Even I have not used as many programs as you. Trying to approach the artistic perspective of your project  I would like to ask you how you got  inspired  to do all this presentation and how  you transformed it into a 3d artwork.

Thiago Lima.

Well... It"s a great question. I actually wrote about it on the concept part of my project. When I was just a kid, I painted butterflies neatly. The method was to draw just on the one side of the paper and then fold both sides to have a mirrored image. The most common image was a butterfly.

I spent a lot of time thinking how I could make this butterfly on an arch project. I thought a lot of things like: A building made just with mirrors, or just fabrics reflection on the water making one butterfly side, some painting on a building’s wall making the same effect. So, finally I started drawing a project and after various options I chose the one I published. As I’m not an architect, this was one of the hardest parts for me.

VWTeam.

Did you sketch it all in a paper first or did you just start 3d designing directly?

Thiago Lima.

I sketched. I was trying to make some really different projects and I was tired of seeing the same kind of square architecture in the middle of trees posted in all forums everywhere.

VWTeam.

So you feel like a real painter when you create a project, don’t you?

Thiago Lima.

I think it"s the nicest part of my work. Since I"m a graphic designer I have a different view of architectural works. I make it all about colors and composition and not about great architecture with some great architect’s influence or mood.

At my Graphic Design College I studied Colors, Photograph and composition, so they’re very attached to me and my works. About being a painter, I think the unique models and the unique textures are the real palette of a 3d artist. That"s why I hate to use pre-made stuff.

VWTeam.

Do you think that high quality visualization work is an issue of cleverness or just hard practice and imagination?

Thiago Lima.

I think it"s an issue of hard practice. I have a different view on cleverness, talent and imagination. I think the artist needs more and more references everyday, not just about 3d but about the world, about everything that surrounds us. I think that someone who travels more, reads more and so on will have more chances to be "more creative" and "more talented" in every field of work. I think my graphic design and photographic experience has a direct influence on my "talent" or my "creativity".

VWTeam.

So Thiago... I will try to search inside the "artist"s soul" now. I would like to show you two of your project"s images and ask you something specific about them.

My opinion about those two images is that they could describe a story. A dramatic feeling with strong saturated hues and unusual vegetation around the project could create an awesome painting but what about living inside this house and near this kind of environment? I think that there are mixed feelings, an impression about the image and a bit of fear to live in it. Don"t you think so?

Thiago Lima.

This is so nice, first time that someone described these images from this point of view. Well I actually agree that it’s kind of creepy in some shots. Maybe it is such an unusual house that anyone would think someone could live there. I think it looks more like a space to leave the entire world outside, like a shelter or something....

VWTeam.

So I didn"t make a mistake about your thoughts... I’m glad for that :) Why didn"t you add the human element in your project? If you had tried to add, for example, a man who was writing or better a disappointed woman with her face bowed to the interior it could be really interesting, don"t you think?

Thiago Lima.

Well maybe, I really didn"t think about people in this project. But some shots like this one:

shows that we have at least 2 people in the house... someone who left a message on the mirror and was obviously a woman because she wrote it with her lipstick. Some other things like a bathtub full of water, bed messed up, dinner room with plates on the table, lights on etc indicate there’s someone living there... I just wasn"t so direct at this point, but surely it could be a nice approach too.

VWTeam.

Are you an artist who accepts criticism easily? What do you believe about negative comments and criticism?

Thiago Lima.

Well I think it"s great to receive criticism because without it you could hardly be a complete artist. But there are 3 kinds of negative comments:

  • Your work is not good, because of A, B, C...N things, change this this and this to make it better.
  • I don’t like it.
  • Your work is not good.

In the first case, it’s the criticism that you need to review and that will help you become better.

In the second and third case we have personal thoughts that cannot be reviewed. It has nothing to offer in order to do something better, so just ignore this. Actually, I spend so much time thinking about my projects that when I publish them I have almost no time or intention to change anything else, but I learn from all the critiques and do not make the same mistakes on next jobs.

VWTeam.

So do you find our way of criticism in Vray World a right way? As we always try to help members in a low quality level with targeted comments and not by saying WoW or it"s not good...

Thiago Lima.

Sure. You’re doing a perfect job. Saying "WOW" helps no one. It’s just nice for an ego boost, but it’s worse than the worst critiques.

VWTeam.

I will continue with one more question. Why do we crave for awards from some forums where one or a small number of judges vote...?  My opinion is that awards are more important when our colleagues have voted. That"s why in Vray World we let our members vote.  For some artists an award has no meaning. What"s your opinion about that?

Thiago Lima.

Well, I post to a lot of forums and I almost always like to be recognized by my efforts, especially in the Butterfly project which was a long and huge one. Sometimes you aren´t though and you know that you deserve it, thus it becomes very frustrating, especially when the forum doesn"t haveclear criteria for it.

I don’t quite like the public vote because in most cases there are more things involved like friendships, personal taste and things like that. I think the best award would be 80% of votes castby great and recognized artists and the rest by the public. But the criteria need to be clear and fair to everyone who sees it.

I think awards are great, they give you strength to keep moving forward. It’s great. And some awards, like Vray World ones really make a difference when the time comes for a client to choose between you or another artist.

VWTeam.

We will think about this 80-20 seriously Thiago. Even until now there has been only one time when members changed the final result. As we vote 50-50 %. Thiago before we began our interview I had been searching for a name to give as a title...Now that we have finished I have something in mind. "Looking inside Butterfly’s soul"

Thiago Lima.

Great... Really! I love it!

VWTeam.

Our conversation inspired me for that; I really enjoyed it. Thanks a lot Thiago. I really appreciate it.

Thiago Lima.

Please note that it is a great satisfaction to be interviewed by Vray World, I was nervous so I just forgot to thank you in the beginning :) It was my pleasure.

 
 

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