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Marceli Guziewicz Graduate Character Artist Portfolio

Marceli Guziewicz Graduate Character Artist Portfolio

Marceli Guziewicz
by marceliguziewiczart on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

This is my current graduate portfolio and showreel. I hope to be a Character Artist in the future, and would love to hear what you think about my current work. I am interested in working in VFX or games, but I am submitting to the VFX category as most of my work aims for a realistic style.

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Hi! I'm Marceli and I have just finished my Honours degree doing the Animation course at DJCAD, University of Dundee in Scotland. Our class of 2020 went through a lot of troubles this year, as did all students across the world, but I am proud to say I submitted all my work and got grades I'm super pleased with! I decided to submit all my graduate portfolio work to the Rookies to hopefully build some connections with other artists.

I have four projects currently in my showreel and on my Artstation. I've been working on these for over a year so a couple of them I have grown not to like as much anymore, simply because I've learned so much since starting! I have future projects planned already, so I can apply what I learned, and hopefully like my work for a longer time.

In my final year of university, I was also lucky enough to receive a mentorship at AXIS Studios in Glasgow. My mentor Amy is a lead character artist there and really helped me improve the quality of my work.

'Harbinger' Character Sculpt

'Harbinger' is the work I'm most proud of, because it is the most recent. I wouldnt have had time to make a full production model, so I decided to focus primarily on the sculpt. My mentor from AXIS gave me a lot of feedback during lockdown, which helped make this project the best I could make it. I used poly paint to add some colour and then posed and rendered multiple passes all in Zbrush. It was actually really fun, because it was super quick and gave nice results. I then done some composition in Photoshop, to give the final image.

I started with blocking the main shapes and proportions.

It was challenging to make the anatomy look correct but also so alien. I wanted him to look like he had a sort of exoskeleton like beetles do and to look crustacean with all his plating. All the 'tendons' being visible on the arms and connecting like insect legs do helped give that effect. The thin stretched skin on his chest was also fun because it was so different.

The final sculpt looked something like this. I gave the cloth and leather quick UVs in Zbrush so i could use some alphas as displacement and then hand sculpted on top to give a more organic look. I posed him using Transpose Master and set up some lights and I was good to go with some renders. I was worried it may look unfinished because it has no UVs or good topology or proper texture maps and PBR renders, but in the end I am happy with the results. It seems to be getting a fair amount of love on my Artstation so I'm glad my sculpting skills held up the project and that people like it.

'Dwarfen Axe' Prop Model

I wanted to improve my hard surface modelling, so i decided to work from this concept. I modelled the whole thing in Maya, apart from the Dragon head which was done in Zbrush. I was also wanting to experiment with Real-Time rendering so I decided to present the final model in Marmoset Toolbag. I think it is very interesting how modern real-time technology is now getting used in Film, like the amazing work done on the virtual set of 'The Mandalorian'. 

I started with making a mid-poly in Maya

I then took the model into Zbrush for detailing. After feedback and some paintovers by my AXIS mentor, I was able to improve the readability of the piece and make it more appealing. The slider shows the new versus the old.

I then retopologised the final model, aiming for topology that would work for games as I was going to render this in Marmoset. However this could also be a background prop in a Film with VFX. I would like to work in VFX or games, so I wanted to test this out for the first time. I also used Marmoset for baking, which proved a bit time consuming but gave more fidelity.

During texturing, I got a lot of feedback on the colour of the gold components, either too bronze or too yellow, and the amount of grunge which made the whole thing look too 'dusty'. 

'Vessel' Cinematic Character

'Vessel' is a project I started a long time ago but only finished recently. Therefore there is a lot wrong with it which I would change, but that would have meant going back to the start. However I still think it gets the look of the concept right for the most part. It just proved much more complicated than I thought.

I started with Zspheres for blocking the monster and a low poly basemesh by Vincent Menier which I had purchased from Flipped Normals.

I got a lot of feedback as I went, and I began by doing paintovers of the concept to determine how to tackle all the different components.

The Human part was the most difficult as it was purely anatomy. You can see some before-and-after slides where the stomach was way too ripped, and the arms are something I spent the longest on as to me the anatomy there was a huge challenge.

This was my first time working with UDIMs and I ended up using 9, all with 4k textures. I textured it all in Substance Painter, but i would like to experiment with Textures XYZ and Mari in the future.

I was doing render tests and even rendered a turnaround, but that was before receiving the feedback about the human anatomy, so I went back and forth with fixes until the final result.

Self Portrait

This is the oldest piece in my portfolio, and I have learned a lot since. However this piece got me the place on the AXIS mentorship, so I think it showed enough potential. I used only photo reference and no scan data or displacement maps. All details were sculpted in Zbrush and the textures were a combination of polypaint and Substance Painter. It was also my first time doing groom, which I want to do in the future and take my time to learn and get better results.

I have come a long way since BFX in the Summer of 2019. I hope you enjoyed looking at my work and learning a bit about my process. 

Follow me on Artstation:

And Instagram:

Thanks! And stay safe!

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