Q & A with Chung Kan
3D Concept Art presents an Q & A with a very talented artist specializing in texturing and modeling in Cinematics for the game industry, Chung Kan. He has been around for about fiften (15) years working in production of short and feature films, advertisements and games. For companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Swingin’ Ape Studios, Cinematico, Reflexive Entertainment and many more. He has worked on almost 20 high profile game projects and some of very well-known Cinematics, like World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Cinematic and the list doesn’t end here.
He uses his skills and experience to make create concept art and illustrations, both 2d and 3d. He also teaches valuable know-how in different workshops and has been a modeling instructor at The Art Institute of California. He has been involved in High-profile AAA game projects like Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, Baldur’s Gate; Dark Alliance II and many more.
With a pleasure, 3D Concept Art present Chung Kan.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about you and how did you become interested in the art of 3D modeling and art in general?
| Chung Kan: → Growing up as a kid, I was always interested in drawing/painting and pretty much anything art related. As I grew up and went off to college, I wanted to gear my studies toward an art career, but 3D back then was just in its infancy, so my initial path was focused on 2D animation.
During one of my 2D workshops I was attending at the time, the instructor introduced me to 3D animation and the power of what computer generated imagery could achieve. I instantly got hooked and found my true passion. I ended up buying a computer the next day, obtained some relevant software, focused my 3D studies outside of my standard college courses trying to build a decent portfolio and I’ve been at it ever since.
| 3CA: When you started as a 3D artist, of your experience, what were the most difficult stages in your career when applying for jobs, finding your niche and really what you wanted to do in this field?
| C.K: → Back when I was learning 3D and trying to build up my portfolio for a job, my biggest challenge was not knowing exactly what to put in the portfolio or what employers were looking for. I didn’t have any peers with the same 3d career path to bounce ideas off of, as well as not knowing anyone in the industry at the time. Back then, there wasn’t a clear road map on how to actually get a job doing 3D so I was essentially going into it blind. That was very stressful.
I was fortunate enough to land an internship to gain experience at a small local game studio during my last years in college. The benefits of working at a smaller studio allow you to wear many hats and the opportunity to try a lot of the other disciplines. With that experience I learned that my passion lies in more of the modeling/texturing side and after seeing Blizzard’s early pre-rendered cinematic work from back in the days, I knew what my career goal was and what I wanted to do.
| 3CA: Where do you get inspiration from and who are your role models?
| C.K: → I get inspiration from pretty much everything around me, from movies, traditional artwork and to all the great digital artwork on the web being generated by so many talented artists out there. I’m also fortunate enough to be surrounded by a bunch of super talented artists in all different facets of the art spectrum during my everyday job environment.
This setting definitely gives me daily inspiration that motivates and challenges me at the same time to be a better artist. As far as role models, that would be too many to list, but I’ll say there have been many that I’ve personally known or have known of that have helped shaped who I am today.
| 3CA:You have been around for a pretty long time, and also for about 10 years at Blizzard. How do you manage to keep developing your skills? Keep working as a Lead Cinematic artist and still have time express your talent out of the office? What are you advices for keeping going strong?
| C.K: → I think about art as not just a destination with an end goal, but a journey of constant learning and evolving with the times in hopes of always improving as an artist and on the craft. I’m also fortunate enough to be around really talented peers where I can absorb some of their knowledge to help keep up with my own skills. It is challenging sometimes to always be motivated to constantly hone your craft especially since the majority of the day is already spent working in it, plus if you factor in personal life with family and kids, there is just never enough time or energy in the day to be able to dive into personal work. I think good time management and a nice balance to everything is the key and constantly try to motivate yourself with whatever inspires you.
| 3CA: Any good advices for artists and students who want to get into the business as a 3D Artist in fields like Cinematics?
| Chung Kan: → Focus on the fundamentals first from traditional arts like drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. Having a strong art foundation will only make you a better digital artist. 3D applications and all those fancy complex Softwares are just tools just like a pencil or paintbrush which only just helps convey your artistic creations. 3D, in general, is very broad with many disciplines in the pipeline from modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, rendering, compositing, fx, etc. Don’t spread yourself thin by trying to learn everything, definitely explore them all to see what suits you best, but focus on just one or two disciplines, especially if you’re interested in film or cinematics work. Most positions are separated out into their respective specialities.
3D Concept Art Community thanks Chung Kan for this interview. He has been involved several well known AAA titles. He is a very experienced artist. Many thanks for his guidance and advices. Don’t spread yourself thin, specialize and explore until you find what is your passion.