Character Artist Patrick Beaulieu
Interview by CGIndia (Amit Dixit)

CGIndia Interviewed Great Upcoming Character Artist and animator Patrick Beaulieu, who talks about his work, inspirations, carrier, Character design and digital art in general. We thank him for taking time out from his busy schedule to chat with us. Click on Images to Enlarge them. Thanks!

CGIndia: Please, Tell about yourself and how you get into CG?

Patrick: I've been interested since I'm little about artistic skills, so I decided later on to get a 3D foundation here in Quebec City in 1999. I’ve started make 3D in 1999 at Athena College. (One year foundation) . At school I discovered animation and character creation so I decide to invest my time in animation and cartoon design. That’s it!

CGIndia: What all work experience you have till date? For which company are you currently with and as?

Patrick:After school, I’ve start working is a small video game company as animator. That’s was a great experience to work at Art Media, working in a small company can be really hard, You need to work fast, You need to be good in multitasking..… But that a great things, you have a lot of responsibility, and afterwards… you can do what you want, you are ready for everything. After that, I move on Television Company and worked for one year on an animated series. That’s was really cool to work on TV show, that’s totally different than video game, so I got a lot of new skills there. After 1-1/2year or so, I move to Montreal for working on Film industry, again as animator. I’ve learn XSI at Hybride for working on different film like Racing Stripes, Sin city, Shark Boy and Lava Girl. That’s was totally different than working in television and video game… You can take time to work on a shot, you need to make all shot look perfect. After 2 years working at Hybride, I decided to move to Quebec, I’ve found a job at Ubisoft as Lead animator… and after one year, I decided to move at Activison, Beenox as Lead animator.
Last year I attended the International Animation Conference at Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico and spoke about the principle of animation and gave a speech about animation methods. I just came back from Singapore, where i gave an conference about animation principles.

CGIndia: Can you, please tell us a bit about the way you work on your art? Do you have any traditional art background?

Patrick: I m a 2D artist, who happens to work in 3D. I’ve always like to draw and work on 2D, but since I’ve meet the computer and all possibilities, I’ve change a bit and completely turning my eye on the 3D. I try to keep my focus on to have a great image or great animation based on 2D animation or drawing principle but with 3D, everything is possible, if you want, and you can do a really cool animation with great character render and nice animation really fast. In 2D it’s possible too but its much longer time … That’s why I love 3D.

CGIndia: Looking at your awesome digital art images, I feel you have an outstanding eye for detailing and excellent “texturing” skills, especially with fur. Do, you like to give a tip or two to our reader and budding CG artists?

Patrick: Working with fur is really easy, there’s a lot of plugin doing furs or feather... the complicated part is to use it correctly. Creating a great ambiance, lighting and realistic fur with 3D software is a big task. I put 20 % of my time working on the fur, orientation, style, size, length etc…And 80% working on my lighting and colors. To give a good feeling to your image, I really like to use backlight to add an edge light around the character, its help to read the silhouette. To light my characters; like Freaky bird, arnolf the mouve and many others, I used a standard renderer (scanline), with 3 light setup plus 2 or 3 light for the backlight. That’s it! It’s fast to render, faster than V-ray or Mental ray etc... The render is different too, but it's work ... Finally, working on lighting is a big step, put a lot of time on it and don’t think that plugin is always the solution, your idea and your creativity will always be the winner !

CGIndia: What all 2d/3d software’s you generally use in your projects?

Patrick: At Home, I always used 3D studio max. I used shag hair to create fur for feathers on my characters… for the texture, I use Photoshop. I was an Xsi and Maya user 3 years ago at work, but now I Switched back to 3D studio max at work. Anyways, it doesn’t matter which software you use, the only important things is the idea, and the potential to create something cool ! But in general, that’s all the software's, I use.

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