Sahar Ben Shimon: Without Rest from Learning

by Joshua Diokno   

Mr. Sahar Ben Shimon is one busy body.  He never backs down from any  challenges and pushes further for every chance of growth in the industry.

Mr. Shimon was educated in 3D at HackerU. While on it, he took some online classes as well through CGCLASS Online in Israel.

But he didn’t stop there. Even now as Mr. Shimon is already working for the 3D industry, he carries on with his studies through the Think Tank Online Course.

He has served the industry through a lot of different channels. Mr. Shimon has worked for 2 years as a freelancer with a couple of studios specializing in games, films, commercials. And just last year, he has even worked for
Snowball Studio on a Disney TV show called, “Muppets Babies”.

But of course, Mr. Shimon is not without influence. He has had teachers and mentors whom he looks up to such as Eldad Sery, Naor Levy and Itay Schlesinger.

All these experiences and individuals configure into the amazing artist that he is today.

So let’s get to know this 26-year old wonder as we delve into his life as a well-versed 3D artist.

Xeno Creatives (XC): How were you introduced into the 3D industry? Did you start off with simple pencil on paper—was it ever a thing for you? If so, what motivated you to focus on producing digital art?

Sahar Ben Shimon (SBS): First of all, I want to say thank you and that I’m honored to have been asked for an interview by you guys so thanks a lot Xeno Creatives. While I was in High School I’ve always been thrilled by World of Warcraft cinematics. I was always curious with with how these are made. This is what hooked me into the world of 3D.

XC: How long did it take you to learn the ropes to become a 3D artist? What is it like being thrown into the industry? What’s the culture like?

SBS: It took me 1 year to get a grasp of it all. I got out of school just to realize I still have a lot of places to improve so this is why today, even though I already work within the Industry, I still push myself to learn new things to become the best that I can be.

The culture at every work place that I’ve been is really great. All were gamers and geeks just like me. They were all genuine creatives and were really nice. They were more than willing to help each other and do not try to push each other aside.

XC: Was there ever a digital art piece or artist who influenced you–solidified your place in the discipline?

SBS: One year ago I decided to go back to HackerU my original school and learn ZBrush with a teacher and a mentor, I looked up to even up to this day. His name is Itay Schlesinger–his work has always been so clean and stylized. After taking a really good ZBrush course with him I realized that the best way to success is through true hard work and repetition. He is a big inspiration to me.

XC: What’s your workflow like? Could you describe how your day runs in production?

SBS: I usually start out by picking a concept I like. Mostly, I pick out characters. I then take to Photoshop to first analyze the concept, to understand the form and personality of the character. I then move to ZBrush and start to block out the primary forms with primitives. I then go to Dynamesh and start refining the concept to get the character and its personality. Later on, I do a retopology of the character in Maya and perform UV so I can also make my textures.

Moving back to ZBrush with good topology, I refine the character and create the details. Then I texture it in ZBrush or Substance depending on the amount of realism that I want. By the end of the production, I move it back to Maya for rendering with Arnold or Vray.

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

SBS: Technical issues can sometimes push you off balance and slow down the workflow.

And I think the greatest issue that every artist faces is how to make himself better all the time.

XC: What would you consider to be the biggest challenge you had encountered working as a 3D artist?

SBS: I think my biggest challenge was my first ever paying job. While studying in HackerU, I got a job to create a commercial for and babysitting app all by myself.

They needed 2 minutes of video. I had to make the models, Textures, animation, renders, and comp.

It was really overwhelming. Luckily, my good teacher, mentor, and friend, Naor Levi helped me out as he always had (and still does!) He gave me great advice on how to make it happen. In the end, I created a complete product and the customer was more than pleased.

XC: What would you consider to be your biggest success in the industry yet?

SBS: Working with Snowball Studio on a Disney TV show called “Muppets Babies”.

XC: If you were to market yourself as a 3D artist, what would you highlight as your strengths, your edge?

SBS: I think my strength lies on my will to succeed as a 3D artist no matter what. I really would like to learn from other artists and co-workers; I have been told that I learn pretty fast.

XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what could you see yourself working as?

SBS: If I weren’t a 3D artist today I probably would be a Chef or at least a cook. I really love food and cooking such I find really creative. I really was planning on being in the Culinary Arts before I was introduce to 3D art.

The last thing that I hold important for me to say is that I could have never gotten to the place I am today without the support of my loving wife. The love and the support that I get from her is unbelievable and helped me to push myself to become the best that I can.

For any aspiring artist, I hope they will get the love and support I got It kept me going even when the time gets tough.

Again, thanks for the interview!

Want to see more of Mr. Sahar Ben Shimon’s works? Click here!

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