Passion and Calling: How Mr. Gary D. Tang Became a Professional in His Field

by Joshua Diokno   

Mr. Gary D. Tang, a student of CGI from the Gnomon School and a professional in the field, is well aware that despite all his learning, education, and experience that there is still a lot to learn from the industry. He knows that while he is young and tenured in the industry, catching up with the fast-paced developments is a game he should know how to play.

Getting hooked on video games had him started, later on realizing that 3D creation is a calling that he simply couldn’t imagine himself not doing. And boy, are we not disappointed with his practice, one look at his works online and one could already assume that this guy is indeed a professional—he even has the “Avengers Infinity War” trailer to speak of his portfolio, not to mention his stint at industry titans, Dreamworks, Encore, and FuseFX, Blur.

So now we present Mr. Gary D. Tang in this short feature in the hopes of enticing those wanting to penetrate the industry to take the dive head-on.

Xeno Creatives (XC): We understand that with just about any craft, passion takes precedence. In your case, how did it start becoming a passion? Would we be right in assuming that you consider it a “calling” as a lot of your contemporaries do?

Gary D. Tang (GDT): I think it started becoming a passion for me after I got my first job in the industry. Upon finishing school I thought I knew a lot about CGI from school, but it was after I got my first job I realized how much more of learning there still is out there and how little I actually know. The drive to learn more made this a passion for me and I do consider it a calling because there are some days where I lose track of how many hours I spend on a project because I was so immersed in it.

XC: Was there ever an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who served as a catalyst for your involvement in the craft? When did you get involved fully in the 3D industry?

GDT: I think most of it started with video games for me. The game that drove me to CG is Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne, it was everything to me back then, I remember spending over 6 hours a day playing that game. It was after that, that I wanted to work with creating things in the future. I fully got involved in the 3D industry after I finished the military and started attending the Gnomon School full time.

XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?

GDT: I believe I do, I think being a generalist and open to learn different things opened up a lot of new opportunities for me.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

GDT: I believe it’s much like any other jobs, I clock in, I do what I’m assigned and take an hour break for lunch. But since I really enjoy doing what I do, it doesn’t really seem like work. Sometimes the day goes by so fast it hardly feel like work.

XC: What are the common challenges that a 3D artist like you encounters day-in, day-out in a project?

GDT: I think a common challenge is keeping up to date with all the new software and updates today. Today’s software and tools are evolving so fast that it’s easy to fall behind.

XC: It’s such a delight to see your works online. Your concepts are endearing. 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?

GDT: I think my favorite piece is the recent Cyberpunk Vegeta piece I did as a personal project, one reason is because I learned a lot of new techniques in the process. And since I didn’t have anyone to answer to, I was able to Art direct it myself all the way through.

I think the most exciting project was actually my very first project wherein I worked on the “Avenger Infinity War” Trailer. At the time It blew my mind that I was able to work on something so big straight out of school. I was nervous at first, but having finished that project gave me the confidence I needed to carry on more difficult works.

XC: If you were to market yourself what would you highlight as your edge?

GDT: I would highlight my generalist skills, knowing a bit of everything gives me a chance to work on different things. I think for smaller studios really like it when an Artist can do multiple jobs at once, and that is one of the main reasons I get hired.

XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what would you be working as?

GDT: I think if I wasn’t a 3D artist I would be going back to the military, my second option was always to get my degree and return to the Marines as an officer

XC: What is your message to other artists especially in these trying times?

GDT: I would say trying times like these is a good chance to focus on one’s skill, or develop a new skill, it is a great opportunity to improve one self.

Want to see more of Mr. Gary D. Tang’s amazing works? Click here

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