Claudiu Tanasie: True Talent, Genuine Wisdom
Mr. Claudiu Tanasie is one artist who knows his strengths and knows how to use them well. He has been in the Digital Arts industry for a solid 15 years and had delved into various projects, each imparting in him new techniques and a brand of discipline.
But of course, much of what Mr. Tanasie knows, how he weathered and took his chances are attributed to his passion and actual talent. As such, the artist is someone who relies not only his capabilities, but true wisdom.
So now, let us get to know Mr. Claudiu Tanasie in this short feature and know how true artists are made.
Xeno Creatives (XC): As with any craft, we understand that passion will make one’s chosen discipline. For your case, how did it start becoming a passion? Would you consider it a “calling” as a lot of your contemporaries do? When did you get involved in the 3D industry?
Claudiu Tanasie (CT): When I was a kid I used to draw a lot, but with time, the interest faded away. I reconnected with art, this time in 3D form, when I bought my first computer while I was in university. I was studying electronics and programming at the time, so a computer was essential, but when I stumbled upon a copy of 3Ds Max everything came back. I rediscovered the joy of creating artworks, and my technical background helped me understand how 3D software works.
My first paid work came about through pure luck. A Hungarian studio was producing a demo to pitch to a publisher, and because they were at the very beginning of the project, they didn’t have an artist, so a producer handled the recruitment. When they finally hired a proper lead artist, the bar of quality I needed to meet hit me like a rock. Luckily, I was very passionate and motivated and quickly learned.
XC: Would you say that there was an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who was a catalyst of your involvement in the craft?
CT: I don’t think it was one in particular, but a combination of movies and other types of media I saw as a teen. Star Wars, Robocop, Alien/Aliens has a profound impact on my young psyche. A few years later, the Blizzard and Blur cinematics would steer me into an even more specific path.
XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?
CT: I have been fortunate enough to work on some great projects. Some were both critical and financial successes, others have a special place in my heart for reasons that apply only to me. I don’t know what the future holds, but I hope I can continue working on projects that I can feel proud to have worked on.
XC: How does your day look like in production?
CT: Because of the complexity of the characters in modern projects, my day can vary depending on the phase the current asset is in. If I’m only at the start, I might search for high res reference images, read things or watch YouTube videos to understand how some things work. Most of the time is spent on the modelling, so there’s a big chance my day would be spent on Maya or ZBrush, pushing or pulling vertices. If the asset is in the texturing phase, I would be in Substance Painter with a ton of reference images on my second monitor. Because a current gen character takes somewhere between a few weeks to a couple of months, each of these phases will last multiple days. As such, it’s a matter of getting with the flow and churning out the best work you can.
XC: What are the common challenges that a 3D artist like you encounters day-in, day-out in a project?
CT: Figuring out the best approach for the current problem is probably one of the challenges that I usually face. Sometimes it’s a technical problem, sometimes it’s an artistic one. It’s your job to find creative solutions around technical restrictions, software shortcomings and bugs, to keep your character grounded in the universe of the project and to efficiently fulfil this role. Also, keeping up with the new developments and trends in the industry.
XC: We’ve seen your works online and we may we just express, your attention to detail is just amazing. Your creature concepts are deliciously outlandish. Your sense of anatomy is spectacular. But among your works, do you have favorite pieces? If so, what would these be and why? Also, what would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?
CT: It’s always the last, until I start on a new one. More often than not, I spend way too much time on one art piece. But do note that I do so to take the work further—to do something new, to push a bit more than I did on the last one. I do like working on different pieces for various things, but it’s hard to say I like a certain work more than my other works.
XC: If you were to market yourself what would you highlight as your edge?
CT: Because I’ve been working all my life either in an outsourcing studio or as a freelancer, it’s easy for me to adapt to a new project, no matter the style. That being said, I don’t particularly like one genre over the others, and I actually feel the need to change things at least every other year.
XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what would you be working as?
CT: I would probably be a programmer, since that was the path my life was heading before I got into 3D, but I could also see myself doing something connected to storytelling.
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