Marcus Chaloner is a 3D artist, currently working in London, England, as a freelance motion designer.
I wanted to have a chat with him because of the quality of his projects, especially for his last one named Succulents, and as a Cinema 4D user too! Marcus likes to try new workflows, and seems very curious, thanks to his 3D generalist profile, like he admits.
Marcus is working with Cinema 4D, Redshift as the render engine, and is doing a great job by adding Houdini to his pipeline.
In this portrait, we will learn how Marcus Chaloner got into the digital industry, more about the softwares and render engines he daily uses, his last project, and ultimately he will give us some tips and references.
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Marcus Chaloner – Digital portrait of a freelance motion design and 3D artist
Hello Marcus. Can you describe yourself for the readers?
Hey! I’m a freelance motion designer based in London, where I’ve been working for the past 11 years. I studied graphic design at the Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall for three years, then after graduating in 2007, I was lucky enough to get a job at a digital advertising agency called Glue London (now Isobar). I worked in the interactive film and motion department called Superglue where I learned the ropes of 3D/2D and development. I’ve since been freelancing for the past 6 years, working with some great teams in and around London.
I felt in love with your last project Succulents. Actually, like I told you before, I bought a book about succulents plants, full of beautiful shots, and I was thinking that it could become a great subject for 3D, with their shapes, variations, colors. How did you have the idea to start a project on that subject?
I’ve been interested in the beautiful mathematical patterns in all flora since starting my career. I even did a dissertation about the golden section in design and architecture (although I don’t think my writing skills were up to scratch as it wasn’t my best grade!).
Looking at my succulents at home, I realized how clear that pattern was and wanted to replicate it, after finishing some client work that partly involved creating palm trees in Houdini.
You’re using Houdini, Cinema 4D and Redshift for this project. Can you tell us how you manage to use each of them to get those results?
Houdini was used entirely for the procedural creation of each succulent. Then the model was exported to Cinema 4D where it was lit and textured using Redshift.
I’m also curious, because I’m a Cinema 4D user 🙂 You made the switch obviously to Redshift. What was your render engine before that? And why do you use now Redshift?
I’ve been a bit of a late adapter of the GPU renderer scene – at first, I was skeptical, I wanted to see how it all panned out – but I think I left it a little too late. I still feel I’m playing catch-up at the moment!
I’d been using the Physical Renderer up until around 2017. I had a short spell with Cycles 4D (which I still use) and now I’m using Redshift for mostly everything.
I’ve found Redshift the most versatile and production ready so far. I can’t see myself changing it for something else any time soon – I’ve been so impressed with the development team so far – I really hope it continues.
” Just thinking about what’s possible (in 3D)
hurts my head a bit “
The subtitle of your project refers to the procedural modeling in Houdini. Could you share some explanations about the possibilities of Houdini? Is Mograph still useful for you?
I’m really pleased I’ve managed to even attempt to scratch the surface of what’s possible in Houdini. It’s daunting when you first open it, especially if you’ve come from such a nicely designed app like Cinema 4D, but the workflow just makes so much sense. You quickly become frustrated by the destructive nature of most apps.
I think using Mograph module has helped me wrap my head around this way of thinking. I also still use it in most projects. I’m enjoying the shift to these procedural methods, with the likes of Substance Designer becoming more common amongst motion designers.
What do you like the most in 3D projects?
It’s cheesy but the possibilities are really endless with 3D. Just thinking about what’s possible hurts my head a bit, with that also comes the worry that you’re not pushing it as much as you can, be it character animation/texturing/lighting.
I think it’s a symptom of coming from a generalist background. You want to try and do everything, and run the risk of biting off more than you can chew.
” Get stuck into creating dailies, make mistakes,
put your stuff out there and seek feedback “
Which softwares do you use and why?
Cinema 4D as it’s built so well. Easy to rig up lighting (which is what I use it for mostly).
Substance Designer and Painter for texturing. I’m yet to take the plunge and use something else for UVing so, for the meantime, I’m using Cinema 4D to do it, which I have to admit, isn’t great. There are a ton of good apps for this. I just need to invest time into figuring it out.
Do you have any pro advices you could give to artists who wants to become digital artists?
I’d encourage anyone starting out to just get stuck into creating dailies, make mistakes, put your stuff out there and seek feedback. Don’t get complacent, keep learning.
Where do you find your inspiration? Are there any great artists that you follow?
I do spend a fair amount of time on Pinterest/Behance/Instagram so I find it’s sometimes good to get away from what can be a bit too convenient. I like to go for a run or long walk to clear my head and think about ideas.
Thanks for your time again Marcus Chaloner and this great interview! 🙂
You can find his works here:
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