Today we will visit Spain, lovely country where many of us were there because of holidays, good gigs and fantastic medieval festivals. Emma and Jordi are lovely married couple, who had deal with digital art, modeling in 3d world and photography. They both have amazing experience and very good education which helps them realize their dreams. Jordi is 3d modeler, photographer who made content for Poser and Daz Studio. He is sponsor of 3d Creative magazine and 2d Artist magazine. Emma, his wife is Digital Artist specialized in Fantasy, Sci-fir illustrations. She is also blogger, had many interesting exhibition in Spain and other countries. More information about their activity you can find in this interview 🙂
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez
Artienne: Hei Emma and Jordi! What were your first steps when it comes to modeling and digital art?
Emma and Jordi: We married very young and by that time we had bad paid jobs and dreamed with having a better job some day. As Jordi was very good with computers and he programmed since a child, we thought that a good way of getting what we wanted was doing video games. We did an amateur one, an arcade, and one day, looking for information in the public library we found a book about online virtual reality. For some time we were very immersed in VR trying to make a business of it. We created 32 virtual worlds to chat in 3D and lots of avatars, an artificial intelligence bot that spoke to people online, and a server to share events. But we never got any sponsor or public aids to start our business. When we were thinking in make our mortgage bigger to get the money, Second Life appeared. Many of the small virtual worlds businesses started to close, so we didn’t dare, and we didn’t started ours.
During that time, Emma started to do illustration works and exhibitions, and Jordi started to do technical documentation for virtual worlds software. One day Emma discovered a place called Renderosity where she started to sell Photoshop brushes. Months later Jordi started to model in 3D for his Renderosity store. In that time we had 2 independent accounts as vendors. We started to adapt our skills from virtual worlds to Poser/Daz Studio, and did the same kind of 3D projects we were used too: characters, scenery, poses, clothing, jewelry, hair… And when Emma reached the Top Sellers, to be able to send products to Prime there was the requisite that we had to be both top sellers, so the old products we shared couldn’t be sent to Prime. So we merged our stores with the brand we use today, EmmaAndJordi.
Artienne: You both have an excellent education in the field of graphic design, digital painting and photography. How looks the educational system in Spain. Is the school, can prepare people to the profession or you need to have a look for more additional courses?
Emma and Jordi: For many years we worked and studied at the same time. Emma is graphics designer and Jordi studied photography in one of the most important schools of Barcelona, and also has a Master in virtual reality, and in marketing, although it is Emma who always dealt the marketing in our stores, as Emma’s father was an important business man and always told her notions of marketing, sales, and business strategies. But for what we actually do as 3D content creators there is no official studies. We learned lots of things during all this time, and that gave us very varied skills that now in this job make sense together.
Product “Violin Soul” designed by Emma and Jordi
Personal Transporter by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: What are the basic steps of your work in modeling and digital painting? Where it all begins and how it is transformed in the final result? What makes your work in the greatest difficulty? What are you working the longest? How looks your cooperation? Can you tell us more about product Violin Soul?
EmmaAndJordi’s works have two parts: the artistic part and the technical part. The artistic part is made by Emma: concept, texturing, materials, the shape of characters, the makeups, poses, expressions, promo work, thumbnails, etc. Jordi is the modeler, does the hair and clothing shape, rigging, morphing, shaders, scripting, technical work, and the artistic part of modeling. We collaborate all the time, so some designs are of we both, so most of the time this is mixed. We work in two desktops with different computers in the same room, and are working together all the time.
About Violin Soul: we like heavy metal, rock, Gothic rock, fantasy movies, vampire books… all this has a aesthetic and culture we show in our products. Actually the 3D products are a reflection of their creators, of their interests and how they see the world.
Artienne: What programs you use in your work? Do you use programs such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, After Effects,Sketch up, MS Paint or Softimage DS? What do you think about 3ds max? I heard opinion that 3d max can not give very high quality and you need to buy more expensive tools like “RenderDriver”.
What is your attitude to the plugins. Some artists claims that plugins are unnecessary because 3ds max is a very good program. Do you were using plugin from Blur Studio, Brazil, Meshtools, FreeHand tools, Character Studio, Stich, morph-o-matic or matterwaves?
Emma and Jordi: We mainly use Zbrush and Silo, Photoshop, Freehand, and a ton of smaller programs that allow us to save time to shorten the production time while keeping a high quality. Zbrush is the most powerful application to model in 3D in an artistic way and is essential for many parts of our work. But our Zbrush is very customized and adapted to the way we work. At the beginning it is not very friendly but it allows a lot of customization. We know many people don’t like it because they didn’t adapt the application to themselves but we did and now use it for most of our work, except for things that require very low poly work or very precise adjustments.
About 3D Studio Max, Jordi used it in a very old version when we began but then used others as Hexagon, or Shade. When it comes to 3D modeling applications, there is not one better than the other, each person finds one or the other better because it fits their way of working or thinking more, or has tools that they find better. Our advice is always to have some knowledge of the most popular ones, and find the one that fits best with their way of working.
Character: EJ Adora designed by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: “Rosalia”, Agatha, Luvia, Adora, Graciana, Estella , Rita are some of your best products.When you create a model of people. What you use for the reference? , Photographs with real models or your own imagination? Do you use the technique of “photogrammetry”in your work? How looks your work on skin texture? Did you create your own texture or rather buy from other artist, vendor?
Emma and Jordi: Our characters are very detailed and have a lot of skin work. For them we use high resolution photos, but not from an only source. We use many different photographies in a same character. We don’t use resources. At the beginning we did it, but now we prefer to make them from several photo stock images we buy.
Character: EJ Rosalia designed by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: Emma -On your blog, you mention often artists such as Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. Is only these artist had the greatest influence on your digital painting?
Emma and Jordi: Absolutely! And Ken Kelly. When I was a child I was absorbed looking at Frank Frazetta’s illustrations. I used to look at disc covers of rock bands. When I saw Steve Vai’s disc cover “Love and Warfare” I decided that I wanted to become an illustrator.
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez
Title: The Unicorn Under The Moon
Artienne: I really like your artwork“Spring in the Golden Garden””the Dreamer Mermaid”and The Unicorn under the Moon”. Is it a mixed media, photo-manipulation or digital painting? I understand that your artwork, images were printed on canvas? Have you thought about the release of the book with your digital painting ?
Emma and Jordi: All my illustration works are mixed media. They combine many different techniques to get the result I want. At the beginning when I did the exhibitions, I printed it in paper, but the matt crystal was very expensive, and the glossy one gave problems with reflections and light. So in an exhibition I tried to print it in canvas, and liked the result so much that I started to print in canvas, and my “Justice” illustration in canvas visited 36 exhibition rooms. In my web page they can be bought printed in canvas.
I have my web page very outdated, I have to find time for that. Yes it has always been in my mind to make a book with all my illustrations. I sometimes write and thought in mixing tales with my illustrations. I will do it some day.
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez,
Title: Spring in the Golden Garden
Artienne: You participated as illustrator with 5 books. Can you tell a little bit about your experience as book illustrator?
Emma and Jordi: The experience of watching your work in a book is wonderful. My father was a business man of book publishing. Since I was a child I saw books and dreamed with being part of them and not only editing. But everybody expected that I was a book editor as my father. Watching my illustration in a book was achieve a dream of my childhood. In addition, one of the books was a selection of sci-fi works made by the ex-Marvel UK editor, John Freeman, and another had Ken Kelly as judge. Those two books are very special for me because they are not only important professionally but also at an emotional level. I chose the artistic part and although it has been a long and hard path I finally can say I got it to be my profession.
Artienne: Emma you had many of exhibitions and conferences in different places in Spain and other countries? Which one was your best exhibition and conference? Jordi also has deals with photography. Did you have any exhibitions together? What were your greatest achievements in this field?
Emma and Jordi: My favorite exhibition was in Barcelona, in the Dali museum in a dedicated room for a collective exhibition. As Dali is one of my favorite painters it was a blast to have one of my works close to his paintings. My favorite conference was about digital art. Many people who didn’t know about it was amazed with the topic, the room was full, with people standing because the chairs were full, and the public was very warm and nice.
We have exhibited together, Emma with a painting and Jordi with a photography in Taza (Morocco). The exhibition appeared in the news of the public television and it was great.
Artienne: Jordi you are making contest for Poser and Daz Studio! What this mean? Can you say more about it? What are you working now?
Emma and Jordi: Not in this moment but we have it in our thoughts.
Artienne: Any plans for the future?
Emma and Jordi: Our plans is to keep on giving the best of us in our products. And in the personal side we are thinking in moving from our city and go to a new and exciting place where we can continue developing our creativity. We always thought that home is where the heart is.
Product “Temple Guardian” designed by Emma and Jordi