Sunday, May 1, 2011

Featured artist: Steffen Unger



Hello friends,

this month I present you an artist from germany: Steffen Unger. Steffen is already well known in the graphics market and offers his talent to different companies in germany and international. Steffens main skills are sculpting and texturing characters, but he is well experienced in all kind of computer graphics for entertainment projects, too.

Have fun with the interview
Chris


The artist
How old are you?
29 since a few days.

Where are you currently living?
In Berlin/Germany.

What are you doing, when you switch your PC off? Do you have other hobbies?
Oh those are pretty rare occasions, as mostly I'm pretty busy, however I try to travel at least twice a year, mostly inside europe as it doesn't take as much time flying around. But when I'm here and have freetime, the usual stuff, going to the cinemas, meeting with friends, going to a restaurant, from time to time going into clubs, or museums, I guess what a lot of other people also do in their freetime, I don't think I'm that much different in this matter.

About the work
How did you get the idea to be an digital artist, why digital?
Well I kinda slipped into it, I did it in my freetime when I was at school, met a cool guy (www.hannohagedorn.com) who was at that time art intern in a gamecompany, I started testing their game. After finishing school I entered that company as an intern, later did my apprenticeship there and quite some time later, while Hanno went off for bigger things I stayed at that place for the production, became leadartist - and well became over the years the person I am now.

Do you have a special education in arts?
As said I did my apprenticeship in that company as a media designer, but it has nothing to do with arts or my job at all, it was more or less something to get my parents off my back, to have something "safe" in my pocket, to rely on when this game thingie doesn't work out.

Are you employed or do you work freelance?
Since the company closed in 2007 I am doing freelance work, I kinda like beeing free and not having to work on the same project for 5 years, instead switching every few months and have more variety in productions.
But for the right company and project I sure would go back into a studio as well, I love beeing around other artists, from time to time I work at clients offices but its not the same thing as working on a project from beginning to end.

Which recent projects were the most important for you?
Airborn, my - or our - own brand, me and some friends worked on for quite some time now -we changed it a lot recently but it is still fun to work on. If we have the time to do so, its a bit annoying to work on something in your freetime, it happens that I or others just lost the drive for a while, and therefore it takes quite some time to get anything done.


Which project was a particular challenge for you?
I think it was the last Settlers project for Ubisoft, trying to get as close to the very stylized conceptart as possible or enhancing it. I didn't succeed on all characters, but I proud of quite a lot of them, was a fun and challenging project.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Everywhere I guess, other artists, movies, my surrounding, knowing a lot of artists around me it kinda helps me staying focussed and trying out new things.

Are you creating realistic artworks too or mainly abstract?
What is abstract and what is realistic? I'm sure no modern artist doing highly abstract works, I'm still playing more in the figurative field than anything else, but mostly in a more stylized manner. While I like doing more realistic stuff as well, I rarely get the chance to work on those.

What are your plans as an artist for the future?
Finishing the first episode of Airborn would be cool thing to achieve.

Which software are you using for your work, and which hardware?
My main app is 3dsmax, but I use a lot of other tools alongside it, zbrush for sculpting, form development and detailling etc. Xnormal for Texturebaking, 3dcoat mostly for retopo and Photoshop alongside Deeppaint and Crazybump to do textures.

Which tool do you like the most and never want to miss?
Really hard to say, I like portions of most tools I use a lot while there are things I totally dislike, in really all of them. I think it is the mix that makes me do my work in an effective way.

The portfolio
If you are more interested in Steffens work, feel free and visit his website:
www.steffenunger.com