Interview with Dino Muhic

Dino Muhic is a Motion Graphics & VFX Artist / CG Generalist / Art Director from Hessen, Germany with 11 years of industry experience.
He likes to work with Cinema4D.

What led you into the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.

I started photoshopping my own photos and artworks with 17 years, right after I got my first PC and always wanted to go into VFX, because I’m a huge film-freak since early child years.
I loved watching movies even as a small kid and always appreciated the CGI and SFX in them.
It went so far that I started recording horror movies very early (I think with 10 years) on VHS tapes, which I still got.
It was always obvious to me that those monsters in the movies are not real, nor is the blood or gore and I always wondered how they did it. My technical curiousity was always quite high.

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

It’s hard to NOT get inspired these days. The internet is just too full of good stuff to look at.
So much, that I kinda started to watch less and less and rather went back to just diving deep into my own imagination to find original ideas and stuff I really like and which defines me and who I am.

How does a typical working day look like?

I’m a typical 10-7 worker when I’m freelancing. Waking up is quite hard though, since I tend to work on my private stuff long into the night when my wife falls asleep on the couch! ­čÖé

What does your workplace look like?

My workplace is a typical one-screen setup. I use a Samsung S27D850T because I find the 2,5k resolution on a 27 inch screen pleasant for the eyes. However I am more often directly working with clients in their studios and thus use much bigger screens there. At home my PC is coupled with a Surface Book 2, which is my companion when I’m offsite and also acts as a second working tool at home. I still use my first Wacom, the Intous 3 Pro wide, which just won’t break, no matter what I throw at it! Best pen tablet I’ve ever worked with. I finished building a Multi-GPU Workstation just this month, which will be fed with multiple RTX, since I love GPU rendering.

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

I’m lucky that I can work on amazing projects with amazing teams. I’ve met a lot of great people in the 10 years and love spending time with them. That’s also why I like to work at studios more than at home. My colleagues and the fun I’m having with them and how we can push each other to get better is what keeps me being a freelancer. I have visited some great places while being a freelancer, which I otherwise would have never had the chance to see. I would be doing what I am doing right now, no matter how the industry would be, because I really did transform my hobby into my daily work. This has its upsides as its downsides but I’m happy where I am.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I love drinking great coffee and probably will become a barista when I can’t work in front of a screen anymore, so there’s that. I started taking photos when I got my first pocket camera with 15 years, especially beautiful landscapes or people. The first thing I bought from my money which I earned as a freelancer was a DSLR, because there is a connection between photography and CGI. For both you have to develop an eye for beauty, you have to learn how to deal with shadows and light and how a lens works, how an aperture and focal width setting can change the appearance of something. But the thing is, I just LOVE looking at beautiful things, no matter if its a gorgeous sunset, a body or an architectual or design work.

I’m just a sucker for beautiful art, no matter if its visual (nature, film, CGI) or hearable.
I’m a guitar player in a band for 12 years now, which was formed with people I went to high-school with and we still produce music and meet each other every week. I am also playing piano since I’m 8 years old and like to write my own songs and record them.

I’m coming from a musicians-family where all have a great passion for music, so thats a big part of my life.
One day I plan to release an album with those songs. It’s a big point on my endless bucket list. Life is not long enough to ever get me bored. I wish we had 48 hours per day and not just 24h. Chilling on the couch and watching anime with my wife is also quite high on the list.

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

I always try to get my work online as soon as possible and also communicate this with my clients I work with. I tend to not do jobs, which I can’t talk about or post online afterwards. Being present in the industry is important (for me) and I make sure to collect all the data I’m allowed to, so I can use it in a showreel. Though my last showreel is from 2013 I have enough footage now to edit a completely new one, however time is the biggest problem.A good online presence is part of the game, though I’m totally NOT an instagram user (I have an Instagram account but I only use it for my photography).

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Mainly Cinema4D, with Octane and X-Particles as the main plug-ins.
I also started using Realflow and Redshift lately. For the comp I use After Effects and Trapcode/VideoCoPilot plug-ins, which is where I started initially.

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

I would love to learn everything Substance-related (Designer, Painter and so on) but the Node Editor in Cinema4D R20 is so powerful, I wonder if I will have to learn substance at all anymore.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

The only one I ever had: Kribbeln im Kopf by Mario Pricken and Christine Pricken
OK, here is the thing. This is the only book I cared to read, because one of my professors at my university was a fan of it. However, everything I learned I did by the power of the internet and my own curiousness. The internet is the biggest dump of knowledge ever, you just have to learn to navigate it.

What music do you listen to while working?

  • Pantera
  • Trivium
  • The Prodigy
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Old Muse albums
  • Led Zeppelin

Everything rock and heavy to be honest. There is so much good music out there, its a wonderland.

Any advice for new Artists?

Just be curious, try stuff out, play with it, like I did with LEGO for the first 15 years of my life. Develop a rich fantasy in your mind, from then on its relatively easy. Don’t copy Beeple please. :p