Patryk Urbaniak and His Constant Drive to Learn

by Joshua Diokno   

Mr. Patryk Urbaniak knows that no two days are the same when you’re working as a digital artist. A single search through the internet may push the artist to explore and learn further about the craft. One movie watched may lead to an art piece or an expansive career. Before the artist knows it, ten years have passed, resulting to an impressive body of work. Such is Mr. Urbaniak’s journey as a digital artist. He is aware how the game keeps changing and methods keep evolving. But he knows, as time and time again had taught him, that a good artist is an adaptable artist.

And Mr. Urbaniak is not one to strain or languish in a project that does not seem to get off the ground. Instead he gives himself time and space, allowing him to recuperate and be a little kinder to himself during times of setback or lack of inspiration. Truly, he is one artist we can all look up to.

Let’s get to know Mr. Patryk Urbaniak through this short feature and be inspired by his journey in the 3D industry.

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”?

Patryk Urbaniak (PU): I have always felt an urge to create. Firstly, I was editing movies to my taste. After some time, I got myself into motion graphics and after some time I dove head first eyes closed into the 3D world. I loved it so much that I stayed for another 10 years and I don’t see myself leaving this industry any time soon. Each day comes with new technical issues; each render comes with artistic challenges and each time I feel excited to tackle all of them.

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?

PU: Yes! Back in 2000 I saw the “Harry Potter” movie and was charmed, even though I was young, I knew it was only a movie but didn’t realize how much work went into creating something like this. Years have passed and I stumbled across PANTURAL car animation featuring some cars and a chopper racing on a track. After I saw the wireframe renders, I started Googling, asking questions, and got some information about the first versions of 3DS Max. After that, I was spending all my free time in front of the computer and I was constantly learning something new.

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

PU: I still have a lot to prove in this field and with so many great artists constantly publishing amazing art it’s hard to make a dent into an industry like that. My favourite part of the profession is that you just learn constantly, without any stops. One thing leads to another, one search forces you to learn something in between and you find yourself diving deep into countless posts from years ago of how someone achieved that effect or fixed that problem.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

PU: We usually have a morning meeting with production and we talk about timings for upcoming days, what was done a day before and what has to be done today. After that we gather for some dailies session to comment and give feedback on your work. As a lead, I tend to spend a fair amount of time helping other people with their tasks.

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

PU: In my personal work, I struggle a lot without having a pipeline and programmers’ support. In my studio work, I struggle a lot with having the pipeline. It’s a paradox where you want to achieve some effect. Sometimes it’s easier with help of some tools and sometimes when you are experimenting, you are the slave of the process and data exchange between departments. But usually for me the challenge is always the same. Create as realistic representation of a certain topic as close as possible to fool my target audience into believing it’s real. This is the hardest and the most gratifying aspect.

XC: As we had already mentioned, we had the chance of seeing your works online. We noticed your regard for detail which led to your concepts’ close likeness to their references. Do you have favorite pieces among st your works? If so, what made them your favorite?

PU: Before I made Terry Crews’ likeness, my favorite piece was the “Space walk”. I made it a year ago for a contest that I luckily won. This work kept me motivated for a good two months; the topic of the moon and astronauts has always been interesting for me. I’m a big nerd in terms of space, science and micro verse, that’s why I love Ant-Man so much! Currently, I’m the proudest of the Terry render as something like ZBrush started only as a hobby and now it’s finally getting somewhere!

XC: What would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?

PU: I feel like the “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” gave the most satisfaction from all of the movies I made as it was my first Marvel project. I still remember the smell of the studio when I went in for the first time. So many great people were working on that one and I made great friends long the way.

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

PU: I think I’m a good Lookdev artist with a solid understanding of lighting and the science behind it. I’m coming from a generalist background where I was usually responsible for all of the aspects when making something creative so whenever my render doesn’t look good, I could only blame myself.

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

PU: I would definitely work in a bakery, imagine smelling fresh bread and pastry all day long. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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

PU: I made a mistake of ignoring life-work balance in the past and I was trying to brute force a lot of things in my education process. I would just like to say to all of you here that it’s okay to take a break; it’s okay to rest and sometimes the most rewarding art comes from doing nothing for a long and them coming back to your scenes. Forcing creative process is very hard and can damage your perception. When you feel like you’re at the edge, leave it for some time and come back to it after. It will have more advantages than you could think of.

Thank you for having me 🙂

Mr. Patryk Urbaniak graduated from the Warsaw School and has been working as a Digital Artist for 10 years. He is 29 years old.

Want to see more of Mr. Patryk Urbaniak’s awesome works? Click here!

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