3D generalist and character artist Karagiannis Stavros creates realistic renders in ZBrush for clients and personal work – check out Lion-O and Jean-Claude Van Damme…
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
My name is Stavros Karagiannis and I am from Athens, Greece. I have a BA in Fine Arts in painting, and I am a self-taught 3D artist. I have been working in the industry since 2007. For the past two years I have been studying human anatomy and morphology to improve my character sculpting skills. Right now I am working as a freelancer, mainly for commercials and games.
3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
My style has an inclination towards realism, although I have worked in the past for stylized and cartoony projects. Creating characters and figures is the subject of my preference. I enjoy sculpting dynamic poses, trying to figure out the anatomy beneath (like a metal ecorche if I may say) skin deformations and folds, muscles, fat, and how they are all combined in harmony to portray the final result. The most favorite project I have worked for is the "Night Run” where I had to sculpt a male runner statue. From my personal projects, I would say that two are my favorites up to now; "Lion-o”, a "Thundercats” fan art that I finished almost two years ago and Jean Claude Van Damme "Bloodsport” likeness which is still in WIP stage.
3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
When creating characters I always start in ZBrush. Either from a generic base mesh, or Zspheres. After completing the first stage of modeling, I then export the model and maps and import them all to 3ds Max. Next step is lighting the scene, creating the shaders and applying the maps to render in V-Ray. This is the point where I slowly see the improvements I have to make the model/ maps and so on. It all shows on the render; the problematic areas are unveiled under testing in different lighting conditions. So after a lot of back and forth the project finishes. My personal hardware is an HP Z800 workstation with 24GRam and two Xeon 5650 CPUs. A bit old, but gets the job done at the end of the day.
3dt: What inspires you?
Searching the web for inspiring CGI renders (mainly character-based themes) on websites such as 3dtotal, ArtStation, ZBrushcentral, Pinterest, an even Google. Seeing what other artists come up with is an inspiration boost that I find it really edifying and constructive. Looking for human bodies in photographs captured in dynamic poses and motion is also something that intrigues me and gives me new ideas.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
By expanding my knowledge and evolving my techniques and the workflow of my work, makes me better and provides me with the experience I need to take my work to a higher level. Slowly most of the time, but it works. "Practice makes perfect” they say.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
My favorite digital artists are Kris Costa, Marco Di Lucca, Klaus Skovbo, Brett Sinclair, Scott Eaton, Marlon R. Nunez, and Daniel Bel. I love their anatomy and morphology knowledge and the way they use their knowledge against their subjects. Some of them are able to texture and shade a model to extreme points of realism that leaves you speechless. It is good to see and know what the best in the industry do, so you can understand where your work is standing, what you have to improve and why.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
All I can say right now is that you can expect more human figures in dynamic poses, with better anatomy and morphology and better image compositions. My ambition is to depict all that in realistic renders. Another theme I am planning to approach in the future is creatures. It is a theme that gives you the opportunity to take anatomy to hyperbolic levels by accentuating features and body parts.
Karagiannis Stavros on ArtStation
Karagiannis on Facebook
Take a look at "ZBrush Characters & Creatures”