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Kirsten Mcdowell August 22nd, 2022

Artist Interview with Wabatan

Brazilian Artist Wabatan talks ArchVis, Corona Renderer and breaking into the industry.

Thanks for agreeing to talk to us here at CGHero; we love having you on the site. Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Wabatan Mantovanello Oliveira, I'm 33 years old, I'm from Brazil and I was born in São Paulo. I have a degree in Product Design and my work and experiences are diverse.

I started doing small jobs in photography, then I moved into IT area, where I graduated as a Computer Technician; however, shortly after I felt it wasn't for me.

I took two courses in 3D, and entered the Faculty of Design and during my studies I worked in a textbook publisher as an iconographic researcher. I stayed there for 3 years, then I left and went on a trip to north east Brazil in search of knowledge and a freer life experience. I worked as a volunteer in a Hostel where I could exchange a lot of experience and stories with wonderful people.

I returned to São Paulo after 7 months, and started working as a Dog Walker for another 3 years, until the current pandemic started. At that moment, I began reinventing myself started looking for something I could do from home. It was then that I decided to get back into 3D. I learned through websites and YouTube channels, following tutorials, all specifically focused on ArchViz. After about 4 months I got my first client, for whom I develop environments to market products - in this case, it was picture frames for the company Obrah. Today, I have 2 clients; I have a home office, I work alone and I try to evolve each day more with my work.

Could you tell me a bit about your education and your background? How much of your knowledge is self taught?

As I said, I have a degree in Product Design, (an area I have never worked in since graduation!) and I have a pretty diverse amount of experience, such as photography, book editing, as a graphic design teacher, a iconographic researcher, a freelance designer, a computer technician, a hostel receptionist and dog walker - just to name a few!

I consider that 80% of my knowledge in 3D and ArchViz was self-taught. I did 2 basic courses in 3DSMax, which was focused on modelling and animation. All of my rendering knowledge is self taught.

Could you tell us a little about what the game development scene is like in your part of the world, Brazil?

Both the game development and the e-sports scene has grown a lot in Brazil. Still slowly, but there are already several companies developing indie games that are finding success, some winning some international awards.

That said, we are far from being among the best regions of the game development. There isn't enough investment in education and opportunities for artists here. People who stand out end up going abroad in search of better opportunities.

How long have you worked in ArchViz? Have you ever not been an artist?

This month will be 1 year since I started studying 3D and ArchViz. I never have, (and still don't) considered myself an artist, not yet. I'm still an apprentice in search of knowledge and looking for my own artistic style.

Are you a full time freelancer?

Yes, I currently only work as a freelancer.

Do you have a personal favourite piece of work of yours?

I do not. I'm quite self critical, so I don't consider my work very good yet. They're enough for what my clients are looking for, but for me personally, they're far from being something I like. I'm constantly trying to improve and evolve; maybe one day, when I create a scene I'm proud of, I'll put it on CGHero. Currently, the work that comes closest to this is a piece I made for the Rebus Farm contest. I didn't win any awards, but I executed my vision for the scene perfectly. That said, I prefer personal work as it gives me freedom to create without so many deadlines and demands in what I'm doing.

I love the way you use lighting in your ArchViz work; there's a very fresh, bright feeling to it.  I particularly love this one: Could you break down your approach to making this look as real as you have?

I don't particularly like this scene so much! This was a scene I did at the beginning, when I was studying a little more about Corona Renderer and at the same time having to develop this work. I didn't have a lot of time, I was working to a tight deadline, but I did my best. I always look for references to make my scenes, I'm not very good at composition but I like the lighting part and so I tried to compensate by making the environment feel fresh and airy.

I would also like to know how you made it look so amazing I would actually like to live there!

Hahaha, thanks! that's the idea, for people to feel comfortable when they look at the scene.

As for the foliage in your scenes, how do you create/find these?

The foliage and models are always from sites like CGMood, 3Dsky and so on. This is one of the biggest challenges for those starting in this area and living in Brazil. These models end up being extremely expensive in our currency.

We often have to make our own models or use free ones, but often they aren't great quality. However, I see everything as an investment, so I end up buying some models because I know this will give me increase the quality of my work, and in turn more clients.

What software do you prefer in your workflow? I know you like Corona Renderer.

I've always used 3Ds Max, I think it's amazing. I use QUIXEL a lot for textures and Photoshop for post production. I'm starting to study ZBrush to improve my 3D expertise, specifically to branch outside of ArchViz.

Thank you so much for talking to us! Do you have any shout outs?

I am very grateful for the opportunity, this recognition is really important to artists like myself. I'm happy to know that more people from different parts of the world are looking at my work and taking an interest in knowing more about me. It just makes me think that what I've done so far is the correct path, and that I'm heading in the right direction.

Thanks to all team CGHero for all the help and attention you have given me. Cheers!

You can find the amazing Wabatan on CGHero.

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