The Art of Mr. Philipp Techreib: How Immersion in Pop Culture Helped Him Hone His Talent


by Joshua Diokno   

It’s amazing how Pop Culture takes a hold of a spirit of an era. It inspires dreams, sets trends and builds ideals. For new budding graphic artists, it gives venue not only for creativity, but a trajectory for a way of life. Such is the case with Mr. Philipp Teichreib.

Mr. Teichreib had been immersed in Pop culture for most of his young adult life and it had imbued in him discipline and further improved his already existent talent.

Let’s get to know Mr. Philipp Teichreib in this short feature and be inspired to chart your own creative journey.

Xeno Creatives (XC): Has producing 3D art always been a passion for you? How did your involvement in the 3D industry start?

Philipp Teichreib (PT): Thank you for having me for this interview Xeno Creatives!

I started being passionate about 3D art when I was about 16 years old (I’m now 22). I grew up playing video games and watching tons of movies. The animated films from DreamWorks, Pixar, and Disney inspired me to take a look behind the scenes and I found out about Blender and Maya. Before that I never really had much contact with art in general.

XC: Would you say you already have a solid place in the industry? What’s it like being an active part of it?

PT: I wouldn’t say I have a solid place in the industry yet. I’m still a student and need to find a game/film studio to do an internship. I’m imagining it being very exciting to work on characters for big projects. Aside from studio affiliations, being part of the artist community is really rewarding. When I’m uploading new 3D art I get constructive criticism and get to talk with other great artists on the internet.

XC: What or who influenced you the most going into 3D creation? Was there an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who led you to decide that digital art production is something you want to do for life?

  PT: I think DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” had a big impact on me. The great characters and animations made me really curious about CGI and art in general. The “Learning to fly scene” in this movie is especially awesome and inspirational to me.

My actual artstyle is inspired by all kinds of movies, games and Japanese pop culture stuff like Final Fantasy and Berserk. But also by industry masters who focus on realistic designs like Rafael Grassetti.

Could you describe how your day looks like in production?

Since I don’t have a place in the industry yet, I can only describe my basic personal workflow:

When I do a character, I first spend a lot of time working on the sculpt in ZBrush and Marvelous Designer (if there is any clothing involved). After finalizing the shapes, I do animation friendly retopology and UV’s in Maya. Then I’m heading back to ZBrush and sculpt all the fine details on my highest possible subdivision level. After that I bake the displacement maps and create textures in Substance Painter (and Mari). In Maya I create a rig, pose the model, light it and render it with Arnold. The final render is then composited in Nuke and put on ArtStation for display.

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

PT: I optimize my workflows on a regular basis. Often I find myself having a problem with a new workflow and the solution is literally one click on the correct button. When there’s no helpful information online I’m trying to find this button for days (or weeks!) and it can get very frustrating (especially in Maya). But when I finally found it, I never forget it. It’s like trial-and-error learning.

XC: We’ve seen your works online and we must say, your collection is indeed impressive. Noteworthy in your portfolio is your attention to detail and each piece’s originality. 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?

PT: Right now “Queen of Crows” is my most complex character art and therefore my favorite piece. But in the end I’m never fully satisfied with my work. I can’t ignore the flaws and places I have to improve. I think having this attitude is rewarding in the long run.

My most exciting project is the one I’m working on right now. It’s a CGI short film (my graduation project at university). I’m working completely alone on it and it’s a massive undertaking, because I’m trying to achieve cinematic quality. The “Queen of Crows” will be one of the characters featured in it.

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

PT: I know many different softwares and workflows for various tasks and I’m thus prepared for different situations. This means consistently output professional results in unfamiliar situations. And if there’s a situation I can’t handle, I can learn the needed workflows online. The internet is an amazing place for learning.

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

PT: I remember wanting to be a cop, but who didn’t at some point?

I also play the piano, so I guess I could’ve been a professional musician as well.

Want to see more of Mr. Philipp Techreib’s amazing art? Click here!

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