My name is Sergi Camprubí, I’m a 3D character artist and founder of S3ART Store. I'm very passionate about what I do and I’m committed to keep learning every day. What I’ll show you through this website is based on my experience and personal research. I do believe I could help you as well as other buddies, by sharing what I know.
I have always been a creative person since a very young age; always drawing up characters and making crafts from anything I had around. One part of me knew that my passion for drawing and sculpting was going to be a big part of my life. This hasn’t changed much over the years, but not always I had it so clear.
After graduating with a computer science degree, I had in mind to continue studying something about programming. Until when filling out the access form to a superior degree, I saw they also were offering studies on "3D Animations, Games and Interactive Environments". I didn’t think twice, this was something that involves both worlds and I couldn't miss this opportunity!
There I learned the basics of 3D with Blender — this software is like wine; every year is getting better! Fortunately for me, it was not that hard, but it’s true that 3D demands dedication.
I remember those good times with nostalgia, making the kind of friends that last over time like Gerard Pasqual, a beast on Character FX with Houdini. Also, I would like to make a special mention to Elf Pla who unfortunately passed through this last 2020. He was the professor who inspired and shared with us the passion for this discipline. I owe him everything I know about this world.
What I did after the studies
Finishing the studies are always a turning point where you have to decide your future. The good news is that in this world you don't need any studies accreditation at all, as your skills are more valuable than your accreditations. But instead, you need to have a good portfolio well differentiated from the rest of your classmates. So, that's why at the end of the course, I had to decide in which direction my professional career will take.
After thinking about it, I was recognizing myself more as an artistic person than a technical one. I decided that making characters is what I had liked since I was a kid, so I pushed hard in this direction to learn how to make it professionally. At the end who wants to dedicate themselves to any branch of 3D, can’t stop learning because the software is continuously updating and adding new features, there appear new and more optimized workflows; also, it’s different to work for a movie or a game…
I started to learn digital sculpture by myself. Luckily for us there is a lot of good content out there where you can learn anything and most of the time for free. But I remember the first tutorial I got was a paid one from Matt Thorup. Although this tutorial was very tough at the beginning, it helped me out to introduce myself to ZBrush and build my first complex character.
Developing my workflow
ZBrush for me was a revelation, I love it so much! For a few years now, it has become one of my main software for sculpture creation and an integral part of my workflow. But like everything, it has its shortcomings when it comes to editing mesh vertices, retopology and UVs creation.
Here it is where Blender takes importance as I can easily transfer meshes between both software, make the relevant modifications and then send it back thanks to the GoZ plugin.
To paint the textures, I use Substance Painter. The learning curve is easier if you already know Photoshop or any other painting software as it also works by layers.
Sometimes I use Marvelous Designer to do some complex clothing with realistic wrinkles, but usually I sculpt them to the mesh or I use the new cloth physics feature added to ZBrush 2021 to generate those wrinkles.
When it comes to generating the final renders sometimes, I use Blender Cycles, but lately I use ZBrush to render my characters as it provides a lot more passes to play with, also it gives a non-realistic painted feel to the artwork that looks awesome in my opinion.
Finally, for the compositing process I import all these passes in Photoshop. It means that I split the render in multiple images that contains different information. For example, the shadows on one side, the lights on the other, ambient occlusion, diffuse, gloss… Making it easier to manipulate and make adjustments to the final composition.
After a few years and lots of interviews with recruiters, I realized that there is more supply than demand for a 3D Character Artist role and companies, obviously, only hire the people whose modelling style fits on their needs. In the end, there were not many opportunities at all…
I came to the conclusion that if it was so difficult to access the industry, it would be better to look for opportunities elsewhere. So, I asked myself, what I could do for a living?
One day, to try luck, I decided to upload in one of these marketplaces some resources that I already have created previously for a project I was working on.
That month it got only one sale… but hey, less is nothing! My philosophy is that if someone decides to buy you a product, more people will do it. With that in mind, I started to bring a big variety of tools and utilities that, most of them, stands out to be an easy-to-use solution for (most of the cases) the ZBrush software.
Over years, I did a lot of things like create characters for commission on these freelance websites like Fiverr, or make renders for huge architectonic projects.
But nothing is more rewarding than getting good feedback of the people that are already using our tools and utilities for their personal projects. Also, companies like Gizmo Studio or Falcons Creative Group have trusted on us and now are enjoying our tools for their productions.
Why S3ART Store?
The reason behind S3ART Store is to make a place where we can have more freedom when it comes to share the fruits of our experiences in the digital art world and provide fantastic tools that will help you as well as other studios with their own artistic journey.
Fortunately for me, it has been, and I have managed to make a living out of what I love doing. Also, I’ve been fortunate to receive great feedback and critiques that have helped me further improve myself as an artist. This is the reason why I share with you what I learned, through my journey to hopefully inspire others to make the most out of their passion as well.
Founder of S3ART Store and passionate about the 3D art world. 3D Character Artist on free time located in Barcelona.