Hi guys, how are you? I'm Caio Salmont, I'm 30 years old, from São Paulo and I have a degree in Graphic Design. But contrary to what my academic background says, I have never worked in the field of art, look how crazy that is…
All my life I drew, I always liked to do doodles, monsters, characters and everything that was right. Over time, I began to understand things better and began to improve my trait. At 18, in my first job, (classic call center) I decided to go to college that could lead me to the path of art. However, I had a good opportunity to work in the service of a large bank, I even finished college, but I was very layman about the job market in the art area and because of that I decided to establish myself in the bank and left art only as a hobby, because I was afraid that as soon as drawing became a professional obligation, I would lose the taste.
Well my friends, that just proved how inexperienced I was, working with what we love is something extraordinary, but it took me a while to understand that. It's not that I didn't like my job, I was always very happy in the jobs I had, it's just that I always felt that something was missing, I liked it, but I didn't love it.
For a while I ventured into creating logos, I didn't publicize anything or present portfolios, I just did it for friends who knew my drawings and asked if I created something, so, depending on what it was, I charged a symbolic value. Until in 2019, together with a great childhood friend, I started a drawing course at the art school of the incredible artist and Professor Mario Freie, in Suzano, SP. As soon as we started the course my head turned, because I never went after a professional in the area to understand techniques and learn more, I always had art as a hobby and I was simply drawing and trying to improve by myself.
In the classes that took place on Saturday mornings, the topic was always free, it was a very quiet course in which I could choose a grade that the teacher would direct me to, or I could say “professor I want to learn realism” or “I want to be a designer of mangoes”. Professor Mario is amazing and has a vast knowledge about the art.
In this course I came to understand that a sheet of paper is not just a sheet lol. There are several different weights and materials, as well as painting techniques with black, white and colored pencils. I managed for the first time to make a realistic drawing, I made Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie. I was surprised by the result. I drew, but I never took the risk of doing something realistic, because I knew I wouldn't get a satisfactory result.
I continued with my work, at the time I was working as a government support analyst at a telecommunications company, keeping art as a hobby, but this time with ideas of working as a freelancer parallel to my job. Unfortunately, Covid-19 arrived and left us in a torturous quarantine, which lasts until the moment I write to you, and because of that there was a break in the course. I continued my drawings at home, that's when the old digital marketing started showing me several advertisements for a 3D sculpture course for collectibles, specifically by the artist Álvaro Ribeiro who is an absurd reference in this universe of collectibles, and that's when I decided to show my face in the world of 3D.
I bought a Wacon digital table, model CTL472, which served me very well. I started scribbling in some specific programs to draw and I just loved it, I even found it a bit “stolen” to draw on digital compared to the classic one, because you can have more than 100 different types of dashed lines, which on paper you have to train and develop techniques to achieve each stroke, in addition to several other factors, but the initial idea of the table was not even to draw, but to help me perform the 3D modeling.
I installed the Zbrush software on my PC, which is not a gaming PC, in fact it is well classified as a PC for casual use, as soon as I tested the program and saw that it was ok to use, I signed up for the basic course on collectibles from artist Álvaro Ribeiro and that's how I started my new journey.
In the first project we developed an Orc, called Durorck, which is a character created especially for that course, with cartoon-style traits with some accessories that becomes a cool challenge for those starting out. I spent about 1 month to finish the project, there were days that I spent two hours, three hours and even 6 hours modeling, but I didn't model every day, and when I finished I was amazed.
When you finish the project, you learn how to prepare the file for a 3D printing, (the famous cuts that people “love”) and how to render, which is to present your model in the portfolio. We took some prints of the pose we liked the most, threw the image in Photoshop and there the magic happened. It can be rendered in different types of software, depending on the experience that the person has.
As soon as the entire course process was completed, I signed up for Álvaro Ribeiro's advanced course, participated in the 5th class, and then the challenge started to get difficult. The duration of the course was 3 months, with biweekly lives for a short feedback. In the course, we learned the stages of modeling and choosing a concept, which is where you choose what to model (we could choose between a scene from a movie, manga, comic book or even an art you created). Then, we start the modeling process by blocking the concept, to understand if our idea, which is in 2D, will work well in 3D. Then comes the refinement part, which is when the idea is ready and we are actually going to start bringing our modeled piece to life. Finally, we worked on the rendering and presentation of the model.
During the course we learn from scratch how to sculpt an entire human anatomy, being able to choose the male or female figure, but the classes continue with a male body. In this part of anatomy, the mission was challenging, there was a Sunday that I spent almost 12 hours to sculpt the character's torso, I dedicated myself to the fullest. For me who was just starting to understand 3D, delivery times were challenging.
My character was Dr. Doom, Marvel's villain specifically from the fantastic four. It was a powerful challenge, but I managed to complete the course and deliver my project until the date of the last live and I was only able to accomplish this feat because I had an absurd support from my wife who relieved the housework for me, gave me a lot of feedback and lifted me up several times to not give up. Clearly if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have made it! I also made some “virtual” friendships with other students that I can now call friends who helped me a lot on this journey.
After completing the advanced course, I understood that this would be my new hobby and my new passion, and since then I dedicate 90% of my free time to 3D (in this case, the free time I have for myself. I have a wife, a doggo and the rest from my family lol, I have to have free time for them too! It's important to manage in the best way possible, be careful with that, guys).
I continued to make sculptures in 3D, focused on making sculptures for collectibles, as there is a difference in modeling.
You can make a 3D art, migrate your files to several different programs and put clothes in one program, hair in another, colors in another and thus complete your art, or model only the part that will be visible to present something more artistic, modeling for games and several other modalities…
Today I follow the modeling solely in the Zbrush software, and I finish the render in Photoshop and/or Keyshot renderings giving more focus on my technique in modeling for collectibles.
Currently I am part of the study group of the artist Fabio Nishikata who has a unique technique and is a splendid artist, his course follows a freer course with recorded classes, but with a wide variety of contents that I have not yet finished absorbing, even because the content is always updated.
I continue to dedicate myself a lot to 3D, as it is something that requires many hours of training to evolve. Only those who really love it are in 3D, because it's not easy. Currently my plan is to keep studying and work on my sculptures focusing on collectibles, for who knows how to get into a 3D modeling company for collectibles, or even work as a free lancer. The goal is to have modeling as a profession and thus complete the dreamed of “working with what I love”.
Character 3D Artist located in São Paulo, Brazil.