March 4th, 2016
Fabrice Boquet: From Space Industries To Blender 3D
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
How did you break into the industry? What helped you get your first job/sale?
I am an aeronautic and space engineer. I don't work for 3D industry but for space industry.
What do you think are the most important skills for a designer to have?
It is important to have a keen sense of observation, to be original, to be inspired and understand the masters of the trade. (e.g. architectural designers). You also need to understand the use of colors and light balance/combination, texturing, and composition rules for the final rendering.
What kind of research do you do before you start a project? Do you go with the flow or have a very good idea how everything goes?
I wander the web looking for inspiring photos related to the project. I choose only the most pertinent photos. I then use pen and paper to draw the scene and/or the main subject of the project (e.g. modern house) following an original idea (e.g. the house will be shaped like a hill).
Then I block the scene in Blender by creating and positioning simple 3D cubes representing the main parts of the final image. I also position the camera using photographic composition rules (e.g. the law of the thirds) to get the best view angle.
This is the starting point: the 3D scene with cubes in Blender, the reference photos, and the paper drawing representing the main subject of the project. I can afford to do some little changes later.
How would you best describe your projects in three words?
Photo-realistic images, mainly related to architecture.
What tool would you consider indispensable for your work?
Blender of course, and a photo editor (e.g. Gimp or Photoshop) to work on or create some textures.
What would you recommend a beginner to start with and what to avoid? What would you have told yourself when you were starting out ?;
Look for step by step video tutorials describing a project performed by its author; I am a huge fan of Andrew Price, and I recommend watching his easy to understand videos on Blender Guru. You should also read books related to 3D tool handling.
But don't try to create complex things from the very start! Create simple projects focusing on a particular aspect of the design or tool (e.g. how to master a new material/ procedural texture, how to correctly light a scene).
Participate in contests: this is probably the best way to improve your skills because you can see other ideas on the same subject.
What/who are your influences in life?
I like modern and contemporary architecture, science fiction, space science, and also photography.
How do you take a break from work? What are your hobbies?
I work in the space industry, so Blender is my hobby! I also like reading books: science fiction, astrophysics, history, sometimes philosophy. I also very recently tried Arduino.
Are there any future projects you can tell us about?
I would like to participate in international CG contests, and to create an incredibly photo-realistic image. Maybe a Blender video tutorial, too.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still in the space industry, but with much more improved skills in CG.
Tell us what you think!