Interview with Mohammad Hossein Attaran

I started CG by learning 3DsMax in 2008. It took almost 2 years to learn Zbrush for me. But I had a 20 years background of art. I used to paint since I was 3! My Mother did a great job helping me flourish. It took about 2 decades for me to know that CG is the thing for me. I tried in various fields such as realism drawing, cartoon, caricature, portraits , etc.

Mohammad Hossein Attaran is a 3D character (hardsurface) designer from Tehran, Iran with 11 years of industry experience. He likes to work with ZBrush, Keyshot and Photoshop.

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

When I look at my childhood paintings, I see that I always loved mechanical subjects! I really don’t know why but Construction machines, spaceships and aircrafts where always my drawing subjects. Before I get familiar with CG art officially I had tried to do concept art in my own way. Toy magazines (that my aunt had brought me from London!) and sci-fi Hollywood movies where the main inspiration sources for me in that period of time.
My cousin had founded an animation studio 2006. I never forget the day I went to visit the studio. The all the artists where seriously busy doing what was a dream for me till that day. I entered there proudly and got out like I knew nothing. But that made to put all the effort to learn CG and concept art. 2 years I won in a national sci-fi concept art competition. That really made me very determined. I tried to update my skills by learning ZBrush. In those days not so many used Zbrush for hardsurface purpose. I found out that this is what I needed all my life!

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

I don’t usually go somewhere to get inspired but every where I go, I try to get inspired! I have trained my eyes to search for inspiration everywhere I look at. No matter whether it is a kitchen tool in a local restaurant or a gigantic military machine in a military show. I try to get a point in everything I watch. Silhouettes, surface details, rhythms and mechanical connections are the main things that usually get my attention.

How does a typical working day look like?

I usually help my father at his home tools store from morning till noon. And the rest of the day I care about my personal business which is an art studio running with my sister. But it all starts at midnights! I do my favorite hobby when everybody else are asleep. I go to my pc and open up ZBrush. After that I don’t know how the hours pass after eachother.

What does your workplace look like?

Nothing that excites you. A simple pc with a 19” LCD monitor and an intous4 tablet (which was not there when many of my works where being featured in CG communities!) I don’t know if a 27QHD cintiq comes handy to me but I’m sure that I can’t afford it smiley):)

How do you stay motivated in this industry?

I always search for inspiration during the day. While I’m walking down the street or when I’m watching a music video! I never quit spending an hour every morning in CG communities and seeing the newest artworks. They really motivate me.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, photography and walking. But designing mechanical 3d character is always my number one hobby.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

I use ZBrush to create the 3D subject from A to Z. (rarely I need to use 3dsmax for extra hardsurface modeling). then I use a combination of ZBrush, Keyshot and photoshop for rendering and post work.

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

Frankly I don’t feel a sever lack of software in my arsenal. During the years I have developed my own pipeline based on my own style and I feel quite satisfied. Everything is well organized and fully optimized. ZBrush has added some useful features for hardsurface design lately and I think it’s enough.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

A brief History of time by Steven Hawking. That really blows my mind and makes my brain to work.

What music do you listen to while working?

No particular music. I usually turn on shuffle in my recently added playlist while working. I also Listen to cultural/political podcasts sometimes. I’m sure that was not the kind of answer you expected to hear smiley)) I do love rock music thoughwink.

Any advice for new Artists?

Spend time and effort on something you enjoy doing it. And keep doing it as much as you can. No matter what others say. Being active on social media is fully recommended too.