Interview with Lionel Diwald
Published on 10/01/2018
What led you into the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.
A few years ago I started to study Media Design here in Vienna. My main 3D application back then was Autodesk Maya. I was always fascinated by moving through the realm of 3D, but never felt comfortable in Maya. At that time I started to work in an office where I did a lot of After Effects and Premiere Pro. But the urge for real 3D work was always there. Back then it was only for school and nothing professional. About two years later at the beginning of 2016 I forced myself to create an image everyday to learn C4D. This was incredible difficult and exhausting at early stages but it paid off. I started a Tumblr blog under the name praynori to release my stuff. You can find all of my old artworks there (praynori.tumblr.com) Since then 3D became part of my daily life and a huge help to create and produce quick ideas and images.
Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?
To name a person its definitely my mother. She is an incredibly creative and crafty women with a great problem solving mind. When I was lost after High School and didn’t know what to strive for in life she pushed me in the right direction and supported me through all the years. Besides that I get a lot of inspiration through films especially short CG movies, commercials and title sequences. Its incredible and motivating to see what one person or a small team can produce. To name a few industry related artist is really love the work of Sava Zivkovic, Kristoffer Brady, Nicolas Lopardo, Chris Bjerre, Pascal Blanché, Michael Rigley, Somai Sun, Taehoon Park and a lot more. Be open minded and get hold of your surroundings. Literally everything can trigger a creative thought that sparks an idea.
How does a typical working day look like?
If I have to work at the office I get up at 7 o’clock in the morning, spend a few hours there to teach video editing and motion design. After that I head home, fire up my PC, put on my noise canceling headphones and start doing 3D stuff for the rest of the day.
What does your workplace look like?
Its a classic dual monitor setup with my old Wacom graphic tablet. I will definitely upgrade to a single widescreen monitor in the future, but right now its more than enough for me. I try to declutter my desk and room as much as possible. Its really hard for me to think in a messy environment. A mechanical standing desk is also something I want to invest at one point. Back pain is true!!!
How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?
That’s a good question and kinda hard to answer. I guess it depends in which part of the industry you are working. When you have to chase after a long overdue payment and send like a hundred emails to accounting just to get your money its frustrating and daunting. We all work for money and try to make a living. That part of freelancing sucks big times. On the other hand you will meet a lot of great people, online and in real life. The creative community and especially the C4D one is incredible helpful and awesome. What keeps me going everyday is to learn new skills and tools all the time. Its easier than ever with such a vast pool of knowledge out there to learn from.
What is your passion beside CGI/3D?
I guess its all kinda 3D related. I recently got into photogrammetry, virtual reality and 3D printing and cant wait to see what we can do with technology in the future. Its incredible to see all the development over the years and to know we only scratched the surface of it. This plus artificial intelligence and deep learning will change almost everything sooner or later. Really exited to get my hands on a 3D package in like 10 years from now. I also enjoy building PCs and new technology. Besides that I try to cook moore, leave the house more often and play with my two beautiful dogs. They are unbelievable cute with a mix of cat and dog character and a fox-like face.
How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?
Just keep working and be consistent about it. You will get better all the time and people will notice you. At the moment I am in the middle of cutting a reel and create a CG related website. Its hard!
What Software do you use to create your artwork?
Cinema4D is my main tool for sure. I do quite a lot of work in After Effects especially post production. But I also use Photoshop, Illustrator, Substance Painter/Designer, Marvelous Designer, Zbrush, Fusion360, DAZ3D…
What Software do you want to learn in future? And why?
When I have to name a software it will be Houdini. Its just the next smart thing to learn for every 3D Artis who wants to get ultimate control over every aspect. I dig the node based workflow a lot and it blew my mind after I understood the power of proceduralism. Besides software I really want to step up my understanding for design and form. Since literally everything is useful knowledge for 3D you can use almost every art form to get better. I would also love to take more photos and film outside.
Which books would you recommend to the read?
Here is my small current book shelf. I heard good things about “Notes on a Nervous Planet” I want to check that out. “Manage Your Day-to-Day” was also a good read lately.
What music do you listen to while working?
When I have to work I try to stick to instrumental or classical music. I also listen to a lot of elelctro. Nils Frahm, Oneohtrix Point Never, Aphex Twins, Forest Swords to name a few. Podcasts and documentaries are also huge part of my day and a great background noise to stay in zen mode and get things done.
Any advice for new Artists?
I feel pretty new to the CG industry myself so no hidden secrets from me. Don’t compare your work with people you look up to when you start out. You will naturally get better over time and enjoy your journey. The progress you will make over a year is huge. Ask if you don’t know something the community is incredible helpful. Join your work/passion related discords and slack, its so easy to stay in touch with these tools.