Interview with Alex Maltsev

CG Artist, currently base in Kyiv, Ukraine with over 15 years of industry experience. My main working tools are Cinema4d, X-particles, Octane, Cycles 4d and Redshift renders .

When did you start working in the CG industry?

This is quite long trip) I was born and grew in the Mariupol city and how many myself I remember, I always liked to create something and invent. Since the childhood my mother imparted to me artistic skills and creative thinking. My first computer was ZX Spectrum and the graphic Art-Studio program. Over time I have learned to repair electric devices, working in the service center. Thanks to these skills I have come on local television channel where I was taken to work for the position connected with service of the equipment. There I have for the first time seen there is a video editing on computer, now it sounds ridiculously and strange, as differently it is possible to do it? It was 2000 and the material filmed with the camera wasn’t digitized, and at once was cutting from a film at stations of linear editing directly from Betacam casettes. It was the first acquaintance to Adobe Premiere, After Effects and DPS Perception graphics card. By the way, I still store the install disk with AE4 for memory) At me have just demolished a roof when I have seen what these programs are capable of. With big scandal I was transferred from a prestigious technical position on the ordinary designer. This moment can be considered counting of my career of CG Artist. In the afternoon we worked, and at night studied software, did tests with tracking and a keying, earned additionally doing commercials. I have an archive of works since those times, sometimes reconsider it, and you know that, there were quite interesting projects.

The matter is that at that time there was no such Internet access as now and there were no trends therefore everything had to be thought out most) Video tutorials in such volume and access as now too wasn’t. The first lessons of AE which I have seen were on the website, they are still active and them it is possible and it is necessary to study to the beginning motion design artists. Over time my skills became stronger and I very much liked in what I was engaged. In several years I have begun to feel a lack of complexity of the tasks offered me though i’m ready solve more serious tasks, it was necessary to look for them in the big city and I have moved to live to Kiev where has quickly found work in post-production studio. Here I have really felt the opportunities as there were many tasks and I wasn’t afraid to undertake even what not strongly I understood. It is one of my most important credos – not to be afraid to do something new even if it is impossible, not to be given. There have passed several years and I was ready to open own studio, as happened in 2009, having called it Baker Team. It was extravehicular activity as except creativity on you additional tasks in the form of rent of office, search of clients, work with personnel and so on begin to hang. We were quite successful studio and worked practically with all Kiev big advertising agencies and production houses, but I can’t brag of really decent works from this period. Growth as artist can’t just be in such situation when you combine so many tasks, and I just didn’t want to earn money, remaining at one level, seeing as on Behance cool works appear, and there are no mine.Since 2016, I have smoothly switched to the freelancer mode CG, saying goodbye to my last employee who was with me until the last moment, Hey Anton! For this moment I was quite quite good compositor, working in AE and Fusion and for 3D tasks i used Maya, and I understood that I need to move aside to Cinema4d as it is more opportunities for motion design, but for me it was so painful that I tried to avoid this moment to the last.

Next year I have spent for studying of this program, new to me, and have opened for myself an Octane render. This experience can be visualized approximately as the revived Neo opens eyes and stops the bullets flying to it. I studied the C4d tools and began to use actively them in my personal and commercial projects, trying to pay attention to quality, but not quantity.
After I shared the work named Mighty in Octane render Facebook group, received the offer to make a tutorial of it from the Qixel company which I did about a month it there was a surprising experience) And if not persistence of Eric Ramberg, then this lesson wouldn’t be in general

Moving on a gradient of complexity of tools to C4d, I have turned out in X-particles where I arrive at the moment, trying to study most well this super combine)

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Practically I solve all problems connected with a compositing in AE though I perfectly know Fusion and Nuke. As I am responsible for the pipeline and I don’t depend on anybody, AE gives me a full range of tools in one package, including tools for a rotoscoping, a keyng, color correction, plus such powerful plug-ins as Stardust, Particular, Element, Plexus.
C4d helps me to solve any problem in 3d. As a render I use Octane, Redshift and Cycles4d.
I haven’t bad dealt with Realflow and as the proof my works are in their 2017 showreel what I am grateful to the Nextlimit company for.

Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?

I am generally inspired by works of colleagues on a Behance. Always fresh content from steep artists, everything is sorted into categories, good search and an opportunity to collect the collections. I like to take a pictures, and in a lens of the camera it is possible to see the world around from a different angle that very much helps with the ideas.
Can do it strange, but I do not look for inspiration in movies with abundance of computer graphics, and the style of an anime to me is still unclear
My inspirers is Patrick Clair, Somei Sun, Rik Oostenbroek, Ondrej Zunka, Andrew Vucko, Lightfarm Studio, Lambuja and it is the list not complete.
One of my favorite websites for inspiration is and i follow on a large number of CG and creative canals on Instagram.

How does a typical working day look like?

One of the most important advantages of freelance is freedom. On it I have no typical working day, almost every day I take at different speed and in the different sequence. This gift needs to learn to use correctly I have learned to consider time-management that commercial projects didn’t suffer, but with it at me everything is all right and to it when operated my own studio.

What does your workplace look like?

A convenient workplace for an artist is an investment in a quality work done. There should be a comfortable chair, a powerful computer and a monitor from which your eyes will not hurt. I have a setup of 2 monitors: the usual widescreen LG27, the second professional EIZO CG246.

How do you stay motivated in this industry?

I don’t try myself to motivate myself with something, I just very much like to do what I am able to do. Frankly speaking, I in general consider that I don’t work, and I just spend a good time and clients pay me money for it) But to come to this ease, it was necessary to pass a difficult way. Perhaps causes additional motivation to training of work of other artists whom I try to approach and perhaps even to be better, but it is purely sports moment most likely.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I give all rest of the time out of the computer to my wife, my daughter and my cat. Very much I like to cycle racing.

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

I am active on Instagram where I share the short experiments in 3D and I try to make out projects accurately and qualitatively on my Behance page.
If you found something new, share with others, because they will share with you too, we are dependent on each other.

What Software do you want to learn in future? And why?

I have an experience practically in all modern programs for CG graphics creation, but this list I want to add Houdini, Zbrush and Substance Painter in the nearest future. I usually accept functionality of C4d, but these programs can significantly supplement it.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

I can recommend a couple of books: Garni James. Color and light and The Third & The Seventh: „From Bits To The Lens“

What music do you listen to while working?

Music for me is a very important tool for toning during work, and I periodically update my playlist. I listen to completely different music, besides heavy metal, techno, reggae and country.

Any advice for new Artists?

To be kinder, more courageous and ambitious. Possibly it is obvious and simple recommendations, but the internal harmony allows to concentrate, acquire new tools better. In your works will appear more colors and organics. If you want to grow as the artist, try to limit yourself from a negative and excess vanity. Never stop if something does not work the first time, it is normal, listen to nobody and just move further. Spread the best works on your taste in social networks to receive as much as possible criticism, and not just positive and generally prejudiced responses from the friends. You will feel that moment when you have made finally something really outstanding. And it does not take much time, just believe in yourself and continue to study.