Hi Danko, since everyone calls you that we’ll do it too;) thank you for giving us some of your time.
But thank you for this opportunity 🙂 Well yes! I like go by Danko. Now also my family use it 😀
1. You are a 3D artist with a lot of experience behind you. Can you tell us how everything started?
Everything started as a thunderbolt, I was preparing my PhD thesis when I accidentally came across a digital sculpture program called Zbrush, which convinced me that what I had studied for 10 years, as biologist, wasn’t what I wanted to do all my life. Let’s say I had a bit of doubt for some time, but I decided to start again and reinvent myself at 30 years old! From there I started to study self-taught, while I also used to do as web designer in a local agency, then slowly came the first clients, and the choice to put myself totally into 3D art as a freelancer.
2. What was the real turning point in your career?
The most important breakthroughs were two, the first was the pixologic qualification certified instructor for zbrush, that gave me a boost in visibility and credibility in the field of didactics, but from a work point of view, the achievement of my first toprow on the site Zbrushcentral.com with the “Joker” work, was like being projected into the stratosphere.
In 2012, I end up in the toprow of the official website of Zbrush.com which was one of the greatest awards, and I remember after that I was contacted by a lot of people, companies and facilities.
3. You have different specializations (modeling, digital sculpting and texture painting). Which one you like most and why?
In the field of character design I really like every aspect of the pipeline, although it is obvious that with the increasing frequency which I work on projects aimed at printing, with sculpting I am certainly more at ease, while for texturing and shading (while working) I need to improve. ☺
4. What does it mean, in particular, to be a modeling / digital sculpting / texture painter?
Specifically means being the one who creates and colors the 3D assets that are used in productions. Generally there are specializations in this field, there are those who are more involved in the creation of characters, creatures, those of the environment, those of hard surfaces (vehicles etc).
This is true if you work in large studios, while as a freelancer it may happen that you are required to do things that are not relevant to your branch. I mostly like the characters, but I’ve worked on productions like the environment or hard surface modeler.
5. Have you got any particular artistic influence in your professional choices?
This question could really be infinite, as the artists I admire are a lot.
Only in the field of the CG I could make a list of 10 pages, but if I have to choose just one name will be the following: artistically I have an admiration for Alessandro Baldasseroni, our connoisseur and internationally renowned digital artist, currently character artist for Riot (League of legends) and freelance digital sculptors for the world’s leading manufacturers of statues. A great artist and a great person.
6. What’s the best approach to digital sculpture project, such as the “Old And Rare” series? How is it born?
As in any project I’m participating in, my approach is to implement a solid preplanning of what I’m going to do, analyzing detail, the subject and the purpose of the model.
Based on this I can build a sort of mental roadmap of what will be the best steps to approach at the project.
An inevitable ingredient is to work concentrate with the right amount of focus but never exaggerating. I’m not a proponent of overworking, because it’s a long-term strategy that worsens you and impacts negatively on productivity and projects.
7. What are your future goals?
I am not an ambitious guy, at least from a pragmatic point of view.
So I’m not interested in making a career in the big studios, becoming famous unless it turns out to be the supreme lord of the galaxy. In that case maybe I might be a little interested. Surely I am a very demanding guy with myself, so in my future I would like to be able to improve and raise a little more the quality of my work.
8. What do you think is the better way to develop more computer graphics in Italy?
I have my own view on this subject that it is a bit discordant with the commonly accepted one, and it might lead to a big talk.
Perhaps you have to think viceversa, which is, that computer graphics isn’t underdeveloped in Italy, but you can do some kind of production in just few places in the world, which are the 4-5 places of CG: Canada, USA, England, New Zeland and another one I never remember :D.
So perhaps we should begin to change our mindset and realize that to make it possible and reach certain types of productions, we have to move to those few oases in the desert. This is from the point of view of the market, while as far as the culture of the GC is concerned I would like computerize school programs, so also high schools students can get closer to CG.
9. What do you recommend to your students during your courses and to those who want to invest their future in computer graphics?
1-Do not be fooled by those who make so many promises, courses and workshops can help but try to experiment yourself .
2-There is no magic recipe or professional secrets, if you want to improve the only way is to work hard.
2-Complain less, or do not complain and do more, because the only variable for the success that you can control is yourself.
3-A job could be never fun, even though it’s a matter of sculpting puppets. Learn to rely more on discipline than on motivation.
5-Be always professional, and avoid the widespread tendency of using social services to put in place problems and disputes that you have with clients and buyers.
6-Always devote some time to yourself and the people you care to prevent work become nauseating.
7-Do a healthy life, with a good amount of sports, balanced nutrition and a bit of healthy sex.
Thanks again for having shared a bit of your life with us and wish yourself luck for everything !!