Learn how Tiago Mesquita uses V-Ray for Maya and his artistic talent to turn nostalgia into vivid visual stories that make you chuckle like you’re five again.
Tiago Mesquita currently works as a 3D modeler and look dev artist at Vetor Zero. His main focus is on producing characters and props for animation, which was a dream of his since childhood. In his spare time, he enjoys eating Japanese food, playing the keyboard, and catching up on the latest movies.
What level of planning – sketches, notes, brainstorming, mood boards – goes into the creation of a new character?
Firstly, I try to get some inspiration, whether it's an event, a scene from a movie, or a new idea for a character. I create a sketch by drawing on paper or directly in 3D, then I try to tell the character's story.
I love using VRayEnviromentFog in my images, it brings realism and works great with the light effect. I also like to create materials with VRayAlSurface, mainly for skins and translucent materials.
Tiago Mesquita, 3D modeler & look dev artist, Vetor Zero
How did you land the opportunity to work with such big names like Mcdonald's and Toyota?
I currently work for a studio in São Paulo called Vetor Zero. It is one of the biggest studios in Brazil and has big clients. It was there that I had the opportunity to work on these projects that were really cool to do.
What were some of the challenges you faced in the process of creating the father and look dev in “The Journey” commercial?
One of the challenges was being able to work on one of the film's main characters, trying to meet all the requirements of the client, directors, and coordinators. It was a job with a short deadline and we had a great team to carry it out. It was very rewarding to see the end result and see my work there.
Your attention to detail is evident in all of your work, especially in the closeup of the turtle. The grains of sand look so realistic sticking to the turtle’s face and resting on his back. How did you create and place the grains of sand so strategically in “Looking for Home”?
This was one of my favorite tasks! Creating and placing the grains of sand was a really big challenge. I used a Maya plugin called MASH to spread the sand grains on the turtle's shell and on the plane where the sand would be.
How did you create the turtle’s skin and shell? Do you use tools to gather references or rely entirely on your imagination?
For the skin and shell, I created the texture and displacement maps in Substance Painter and applied the VRayAlSurface material to give it more realism and translucency. I always look for some references on the internet, be it photos, movies and drawings. All information helps to have a job well done.
How about the creation of the eyes? How did you achieve such a beautiful reflection?
The reflection in the eyes was very simple, I used a VRayLightDome to light the environment with a beach HDRI. It ended up fitting perfectly with the camera position and environment.
What projects do you have lined up next?
I have some ongoing projects inside the studio in which I’m using V-Ray. I also have some personal works in progress that will soon be posted on social networks and in my portfolio.