Interview with Lukas Walzer

Lukas Walzer is a 3D Artist from Hamburg, Germany with 3 years of industry experience.
He likes to work with Blender and Adobe Creative Suite.

What led you into the CGI/2D? Tell us your story.

I was studying Industrial Design from 2012-2016. I always enjoyed designing objects, but the closer my graduation came, the more I realized that what I enjoyed the most was visualizing my designs in 3D renderings, while others were building fantastic real-life models of clay or wood. My graduation project however was rather theoretical and lacks applicability till the present day. It was good work, though, but when looking at my co-students‘ works, I noticed on some of them suddenly something I had neglected so far: The overwhelming possibility of presenting a product in a way that makes it sublime and desirable. I understood that design is more about winning hearts than clever solutions. That somehow changed my mindset completely and led me on the way to my first job as a 3D artist half a year later.

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

Pinterest! First and foremost. It’s like several dozens of museums you can visit instantly. I am constantly searching for images that inspire me and gather them in large collections that may or may not have a connection to a current project. I am also really mad about colors and composition and there are some really inspiring movies and series out there.

How does a typical working day look like?

I get up at 7:30am, go to work at Animationsfabrik, Hamburg, where I spend 8 hours doing all sorts of tasks, modeling and texturing characters, working on pitches, developing workflows etc. In the evening I work on my personal projects from about 7:30pm till 11:00pm, then eat something and watch Netflix till 1am. Yeah, sounds really boring and structured, but I’m just too lazy to think of other ways how to spend my time, haha 😀

What does your workplace look like?

My workplace at Animationsfabrik is just a typical office workplace with three displays, a graphics tablet and several vinyl figures that are accumulating. My workplace at home is a tiny desk with just enough space to bear a display, mousepad, keyboard and occasionally a small graphics tablet. There’s also a microphone attached to it.

How do you stay motivated in this industry?

Especially in Germany we sadly don’t have that great animation tradition or culture as in other countries, so at work my main ambition that drives me is the will to do something better and make the projects I work on the best I can possibly make them.

What is your passion beside CGI/2D?

Erm, nothing? 😀 My free time is almost exclusively occupied with CGI, but I meet with friends for Pen & Paper RPG on a regular basis.

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

I just work constantly on personal projects that are all aimed at being published on my portfolio. Also challenges like the ArtStation Community Challenges are always welcome to give an extra motivation to create something.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Mainly Blender for almost everything. I also use Photoshop a lot since I love doing concepts for my own artworks and also post-processing my renderings. Recently I also use Substance Painter from time to time.

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

I wanted to learn Houdini, Substance Designer and UE4 for some time now. I feel like they could provide my with all the stuff that I love so much – working with nodes, playing procedurally, designing environments – but until now I sadly wasn’t motivated enough. I hope that will change in the near future.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

Gormenghast series, Mervyn Peake
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
The City of Dreaming Books, Walter Moers
(The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien, but I guess most will already have 😉 )

What music do you listen to while working?

A bit Postrock, a bit Indie, a bit Folk, but I especially like music that I can’t really categorize. I want to point out Joanna Newsom (Ys is for me the most beautiful album I ever listened to), Alt-J, Agnes Obel and Canine.

Any advice for new Artists?

Start early on finding unconventional or remarkable ways of doing things. Pursue whatever is the most fun and the easiest for you that only you can do. Remember that CGI is – as all things – no closed space, so look in all directions for things you can pick up and make your own. Real innovation will never arise from the common ground.