Q & A with Jonas Skoog
3D Concept Art presents a Q & A with Jonas Skoog, a very talented artist specializing in characters. He has been around for about thirteen (13) years working in the entertainment industry. He has worked with companies like Visual Art, Blur Studio, Axis Animation and more. As well beta tester for ZBrush R7.
He is currently working at Goodbye Kansas Studios on several high profile projects, creating high-end characters for cinematic game trailers, film, and tv. He has worked on titles like Overkill’s The Walking Dead, Conan Unconquered and recently Cyberpunk 2077 cinematic trailer and several projects still in development.
With a pleasure, 3dconceptart presents Jonas Skoog.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about you and how did you become interested in 3D modeling and to work in the entertainment industry?
| Jonas Skoog: →My name is Jonas Skoog and I am working as Lead Character Artist at Goodbye Kansas Studios.
I’ve been in the VFX industry for about 13 years. During my years I have mostly been working with game cinematics for companies such as Ubisoft, DICE, Sony, Blur Studio and CD Project Red. Besides cinematic work, I also create in-game and feature film characters on occasions.
From the beginning, I was set on becoming a concept artist. I have been drawing and sculpting my entire life but it wasn’t until I was about 13 years old (back in 1994ish) that I was introduced to 3D Studio MAX. Back then 3D was kinda crappy compared to today’s standards but I was instantaneously hooked, abandoned my 2D dreams and haven’t looked back since. From having to build everything with box modeling or NURBS to the sculpting software we use today has been a fun journey. I went to Nackademin two years between 2002-2004. The program was named Digital Graphics and was oriented on 3D graphics.
| 3CA: Being a Lead Character artist isn’t an easy task, can you explain to us how a day looks like for you?
| J.S: → Working as a character lead no day is the same. One day I might be prepping base meshes making sure all characters are coherent and pipe friendly. The next day I am sculpting a face, creating clothes in Marvelous Designer or working on our skin shaders.
Other days I might be sitting in different meetings the entire day. Being a character lead means your workday is divided between both management and art.
You are part of all the different stages in production to make sure the character quality is reached technically as well as artistically.
The diversity is probably what I like the most about my job.
| 3CA: Where do you get inspiration from and who are your role models?
| J.S: → Nowadays it is impossible to avoid inspiration from all over. There are so many great communities/conferences and blogs all over that you get hand-fed with information.
The same goes for my workplace at Goodbye Kansas Studios where we have a multitude of awesome artists in all fields of the pipe as well as a steady stream of freelancers. When it comes to role models I think I find it as hard as anyone to name-drop just a few. I draw knowledge and inspiration from both old-timers in the industry, colleagues as well as great upcoming artists.
| 3CA: When modeling and sculpting characters daily, you start to get a feeling for form and shapes. What is for you the key for a successful character that can be turned 360 degrees?
| J.S: → The key is to know your basics. Get all shapes and silhouettes in place before pushing the details. Also, remember to continually look at your model from different angles and lighting conditions to spot areas that need more work. On the other end equally important is knowing your pipe for the character to behave correctly from most angles. There are so many components and teamwork behind a successful character.
The topology must be animation/simulation friendly thinking about deformation and warp/weft.
Cloth layers must be optimized yet not show any gaps. Vert order must stay consistent as not to break stuff further down the pipe.
There are so many small parts that must work together besides just making a pretty model.
| 3CA: Any good advice for artists and students who want to get into the business as a 3D Artist in fields like cinematics, commercials, in-game and feature film? Also going for a career in the entertainment industry?
| J.S: → There are often no shortcuts. Work hard and make sure your art is seen! Remember that Failing is GOOD. That just means you have learned something and get better at it!
Working with cinematics, games and film is a team effort. As important as being a talented artist, equally important is being a team player. Being nice and sharing your knowledge will take you a long way!
3D Concept Art Community thanks Jonas Skoog for sharing his know how. Don’t forget, to be nice and be a team player!