In this interview, we talk with CGHero artist, Milivoj Popovic about his experience, his work, training, and what he is working on right now.
Milivoj is a Lead Digital Sculptor, Producer, and award-winning 3d modeler (CGChoice Award, RebusFarm Artis of the Month, 3DTotal Gallery Award, Artstation Pick, CG+ Editors Pick...). He has over 16 years of experience producing amazing work from concept to finished hero shot, and 3D printed figurines.
I am the co-owner of the award-winning Prime Render Studios, which is based in Split, Croatia. I have an MA in Sculpting and a BA in Computer Programming. When I'm not sitting behind my computer Sculpting, I'm sitting behind my drum kit or meditating.
I started doing CG back in the Amiga 500 days (man time flys!), and I fell in love with it! Back then we had a worldwide demo scene, which was basically a bunch of kids coming together into collectives. We would create demos to show off our artistic and programming skills, and trying to push the boundaries! It was great and exciting, and that's how "Trip" collective was formed which later became Lemonade3d Studios, and recently rebranded as Prime Render Studios.
Early days, I use to believe that 3D was the best, and specific software is the best and such. But as time passed I learned that medium and software are not important, and now I am open to all means of creative expression!
It's great to work in an environment where you can see your artistic vision come to life! As a Senior Artist and department head, you have a lot of responsibilities, but you also get a lot of creative control and that is both wonderful and scary! The best kind of combination.
Also, making short animated films leads to a lot of travelling, visiting film festivals and talks all over the world and that is so superb! You get a chance to meet and talk to so many amazing people and you can't but be affected and inspired by it.
In my career, I've worked with a lot of different programs. LightWave, Modo, Marvelous Designer, Cinema 4D are just some of my favs, but Zbrush is on the top list! Lately, I have started exploring with Blender a lot! I LOVE the open-source/power to the people platform on which it is built and with the 2.8. version it can stand shoulder to shoulder with any other 3d software out there.
We have, just a few days ago, finished a VR short film "Dislocation", that I co-directed with Veljko Popovic. It was a wonderful project that occupied us for the better part of the last year and a half! The project is set to hit the film festival circuit once the Corona madness is behind us. On top of that, we are now in pre-production of our first feature animated film, with the likes of Pedro Rivera (screenwriter of The Platform) and Dave Copper already on board!
On the teaching side, I have my "Sculpting in Zbrush" Udemy course that I'm really proud of. I feel like I have some of the best students out there and I love interacting with them. I have just now launched a contest as well, with some amazing prizes! I invite all to join our "Sculpting in Zbrush" family and see what it's all about!
The most valuable skill you can have is problem-solving. If you can turn your creativity in this direction as well, you will become irreplaceable. Creative thinking/problem-solving is something that will always be needed and it's a quality that is hard to find.
Also, remember to go out and live life, don't just be sitting behind a computer. Creativity is based on experience and having a rich and open mind, which you won't find just sitting on a chair all day!