In this month’s Meet the Artist we have a talk with the talented 3D artist Eider Astigarraga.

Meet Eider Astigarraga

My name is Eider, I am a 3D artist from Basque Country, Spain. I’ve been working in the industry for 6 years and have taken part in the making of several films, series and games. I am currently living in Valencia, Spain and am working as a 3D artist for a videogame company that makes mobile games, called Codigames.

Eider Astigarraga Interview 3d artist
Meet the Artist: Eider Astigarraga

I was born in San Sebastian (Spain), in a small city located in the north of Spain. I am currently living in the same country but recently decided to move to another city, Valencia. I’ve found the transition to be very different – the environment, the people, the weather…

As an artist I focus mainly on modelling and texturing. What I most enjoy is creating cartoon type characters. When I was I child, a very loved teacher once told me that every creation I made was real in another reality. Since then, I constantly try to reflect on her advice and try to make the most out of all opportunities. I also always try to bring inspiration and good vibrations to everything that I do.

I love creating these little characters and bringing them to life.

I also always try to bring inspiration and good vibrations to everything that I do.

I studied Fine Arts at university in Leioa, Spain. I started my artistic journey doing traditional and manual art. Later, I specialized in 3D and digital art. Nevertheless, no matter what media I’m using, I always try to apply the theories that I have learned about from traditional art.

I usually keep in contact with the artist community in my town through online platforms like Artstation, which is the biggest community of 3D and concept artist I know. I also use Behance, Instagram and are a part of some specialized 3D groups on Facebook where artists share their art daily.

I usually get inspired by the work of other artists. Sometimes I get hooked by a concept and turn in to a 3D version. I model the basic shapes in 3D Max and then I take it to Zbrush to refine the model. If possible, I like to reuse base characters with correct topology and then adapt it to the new character design. That way, I save time on the technical process and can focus solely on the creative part of the process.

When I’m close to finishing a model, I move back over to 3D Max with a light setup and then back to Zbrush just to make sure I am achieving the desired result. It’s incredible how specific lighting can change the look of a model. Once I finish a model, I open the uvs and texture the model in Substance Painter.

For final renders I use Vray or Corona in 3DMax. I also sometimes use Keyshot and Photoshop for a bit of postproduction.

Often, when I work on the same model for a long time, I’ll start to feel stuck – I get used to seeing the model in the same way, I feel it doesn’t work and I’m not sure how to improve it.

What I do in this case is to get a render or a capture of the model (no matter the stage of the modelling) and take it to Photoshop. Here I play with the shapes and proportions to see how they change. It’s just easier to go back and forth. By doing this, I can figure out what to fix in the 3D model.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawing and painting, imagining fantastic places and creatures. As I grew up, my priority shifted towards getting a job as a creative, so that I could spend my time doing what I love. Time is the most valuable thing we have in life, and we spend most of our day working. So, I felt it was very important for me to somehow turn my passion into my job. I couldn’t really imagine it any another way. Looking back, I wouldn’t put in all that effort or spend many hours feeling too exhausted to do anything – if I didn’t have this passion. So for me, it’s not just a job.

Time is the most valuable thing we have in life, and we spend most of our day working. So, I felt it was very important for me to somehow turn my passion into my job.

I first learned how to use Softimage for modelling at school, but soon after I started working for a company where we mainly used 3DMax, so I got used to it. It’s still the program that I use today. I also use Zbrush for both highly detailed and more organic models. I have to say I enjoy it very much, it’s very similar to using clay. When I’m creating characters I sometimes use Topogun for topology purposes.

I use Substance Painter for texturing and Vray and Corona for rendering in 3DMax. I tend to alternate between Keyshot too. I also use Photoshop quite a lot, for some either postproduction or sketching.

I am not selling my art currently but you can see my work up in Artstation, where most people get in contact with me.

I am consistently trying out as many creative media and creative approaches as possible.

I studied fine arts at university – my goal at that time was simply to experiment with everything I could. So, I tried a bit of everything – photography, graphic design, painting, sculpting, illustration, ceramic, graphic techniques, lithography etc. But once I had finished my degree I felt that I hadn’t found the place I wanted to be. Against all odds, as I had always been bad at computer science, I tried working in 3D. I finally felt like I had found what I had being searching for.

Since I was already working at home, the impact of the looming pandemic hasn’t necessarily impacted my routine. I’ve gotten used to working at home and now, if anything, I feel more accompanied as telecommuting increases drastically. I now get to work next to my boyfriend!

I draw inspiration from a multitude of artists. Let me mention just a few from my long list; modelers Brice Laville, Brandon Lawless, Leo Rezende, Francois Bouquet. Look and Dev artist Vicent Dromart, designers Chabe Escalante, Puba 24, Mark Hansen… There are so many incredible artists out there.

For the longest time I’ve been trying to learn how to use Substance Designer. At the moment I’m really enjoying learning how to use it. I find it to be so customizable and open to experimentation – I wonder where it will take me in future…

To find out more, you can find Eider at: Linkedin, Artstation, Facebook and Sketchfab.

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