Q & A with Juan Luis Mayen – The Winner Of The Creatures Vs Humanoids Challenge
3D Concept Art presents a Q &A with Juan Luis Mayen about The Humanoids Vs Creatures challenge. He is a very talented artist, currently working in Netherlands as an architect and a 3d concept artist. He specializes in architecture, creatures and bjd dolls for 3d printing.
He submitted one model to the contest and ended with a great end result, a bipedal creature with a nice story behind in a futuristic world. With a pleasure, 3D Concept Art presents the winner of The Creatures vs Humanoids Challenge, Juan Luis Mayen.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about you and how did you become interested in the art of Character and Creature design, and 3D modeling?
| Juan Luis Mayen: → My name is Juan Luis Mayén, and I’m an architect and illustrator, and I started learning 3d modeling in 2003. I remember I was amazed at an image of a robot made in 3d, inside some kind of hangar, and in that moment I said to myself: ’I have to learn to do this’. In September 2003 I started a one-year course about 3D Studio MAX (version 5, hehe). Afterward, when I introduced myself to the world of 3d modeling, I became more interested in organic modeling, since I like fantasy books and films more than sci-fi ones, and that was my preferred field of modeling.
Years after that, I discovered Zbrush, but I found it so difficult in the first moment that I was overwhelmed with it. Finally, I went through some courses in ZClassroom, that helped me a lot to learn the software, and with some practice and interest, you can achieve great results. For me, as for many people, it’s the best modeling/sculpting tool.
| 3CA: You came in the first place in the Creature vs Humanoid challenge, how has that affected your interest of 3D modeling/sculpting and has the tools you won helped your further development in this field?
| J.M: → Well, for me it was an honor to win the first prize, as I have participated in some other contests in the past, and I didn’t win the first prize ever. This has given me more confidence to work for other contests. So I would like to thank all the judges for considering my piece of work to win.
About the software I won, it is great to have such great tools. I used Keyshot demo for rendering my contest entry and found it gives really good results with not too much effort. At the moment, I try to learn Substance Designer and Painter, and to combine them with Marmoset renderer, which I think is a workflow that is being used more and more nowadays, and I see amazing works on the internet. I don’t want to forget to thank all the other sponsors (Redshift, Furryball, Quixel, Topogun, HDRMaps and Pixologic) as I have a big arsenal of software with me now.
| 3CA: When you joined the challenge, what were you first thought on how to be able to deliver an interesting concept and as well finding a uniqueness with the specification added to the challenge?
| J.M: → I preferred the creatures from the first moment, and the first thing I thought was: ’I have to design a creature, but it cannot have human resemblance or proportions, as I think more people will do humanoid concepts’. I was looking for a different aspect that would make my creature tell something very different from the other entries, and that was the non-humanoid shape.
| 3CA: Tell us about your concept idea and which parts was the most challenging ones when trying to create the vision you had?
| J.M: → My concept started to like some kind of giant bug, mixed with a bird (I like strange creatures, I know, hehe). At first, I didn’t know how to solve the shell part, and I knew this had to be the most interesting part, as it’s the biggest and most visible of the creature.
→ After this, I thought my creature could hold a prisoners’ cage under the shell, but when I started to sculpt my concept it didn’t work, and I opted for a giant sting (going on with the bug concept) that could have a throne or saddle for a Lord. In general, I looked for strong reasons to decide how to design my creature, as the muscled legs for running fast, the birds head to make it more aggressive, etc., and give character to my creature.
| 3CA: What is your advice when it comes to being part of International challenges like the Creature vs Humanoids challenge?
| J.M: → I can only advice people to participate in contests, as for me it’s the best way to learn and make a finished piece. Sometimes, it happens to me that I start a new piece, and at some point, I get stuck with some part, and this makes it hard for me to finish it.
→ If you are working for a competition, you have nothing to complain about, you have to finish it! Also, with contests you have the option to see other people’s work about the same subject you are doing, and this can inspire and help learn from each other. And of course, you can win prizes!
| 3CA: What can we expect more from you in future and see more of?
| Juan Luis Mayen : → At the moment I am sculpting different stuff: characters to build a strong portfolio, and some creatures I have started and hope to finish some day. In the meantime, I will try to participate in some contests, as like I said, for me, the best way to finish my works is having a deadline.
Congratulations to the first place in the Creatures vs Humanoids challenge. 3D Concept Art Community are very happy to help with all the sponsors involved in this challenge. Keep working hard, be creative and be a creator of imagination.