Meet the Artist :: Maciej Kuciara

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08 August 2013   #16
Originally Posted by jameschoebroyo: Hey Maciej!
Thanks for doing this.
I was hoping you could talk about visa's and immigration. I'm a student outside of the US and am trying to gain as much knowledge as I can about what it is like trying to immigrate there since that is where all the major studios are right now.

I guess I'd like to know about the studios involvement in getting you into the US and the government's too, but also I'm curious about you working on the latest xmen movie. I hear that working in Movies, you have to be in LA to get the jobs. Does this affect the way you have to deal with your visa situation?
Thanks!


Hey James,

Starting with immigration question. As far as I know there are 2 kinds of working visas: H1B and O-1. First one is easiest to get as it has the lowest requirements and is usually granted to corporations that hire workers outside of US - the only requirement is college degree of 3+ years I believe (google it up). O-1 visa (the one which I'm on right now in US) is extraordinary ability visa which is only granted to workers with substantial amount of experience in their field and quite hefty amount of publications (international and national).
It's always a company that wants to hire you that will petition for either of those (depending which one applies to you). Both of those visas allow you to work ONLY for your employer that sponsored your visa. You cannot freelance on those. Big advantage of O-1 visa here is that you can have more than one of those (which rarely happens, since it cost roughly 5k and you would pretty much have to do 2 jobs at once, again possible, but highly unlikely). The only way to freelance in US is to get green card, or any of investors visas (E1 or E2, for which you need ALOT of investment capital).

About movies - you don't need to be in US to work for movies. Quite frankly most of hollywood films are produced outside of US these days (for instance Guardians of the Galaxy are done in London, likewise with new Star Wars). What will get you film jobs are two things: your work and your connections. It's easier when you have good friends that know you and trust your artwork quality and professionalism. Great work alone can get you on few films as well, granted your work is outstanding enough to get production designers/producers/directors attention.
The big advantage of being in LA is that it's way easier to meet artist that work in film but also that you're surrounded with industry talent, which encourages and forces you to constantly improve your work.
The new x-men movie.. I'm not sure how much I can say without spilling the beans and getting in trouble haha. I'll just say I worked on it for over 3 months and it was a blast. I can't wait to see it on a big screen!
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #17
Thank you so much Maciej, that was ridiculously helpful!
__________________
Here's my small and insecure blog www.JamesChoe.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #18
Hello again Maciej, I was wondering if You could share some of Your older works from before your first job as an artist - I'm thinking about the time when You were still learning this stuff.... Pure curiosity...

And another question: do You think that someone who is starting out (or still learning) should try to "touch" all of the subject matters of concept design...??? What I mean is should I try to be at least good at environments / characters / creatures / vehicles and so on.... or maybe It's better to focus on one specific matter like creatures / characters and stick to it. I'm asking because from what I think is when You are hired as a concept artist your boss expect that You can do any kind of concept art, let's say that today You do a futuristic vehicles, and tomorrow they tell you to switch to fantasy creatures or somethink like that.... So to cut this LONG question short: Is it better to specialize in one subject matter or maybe try to be at least familiar with all range of subjects...

i know that one should say that esentially all that You are creating is 3d form no matter what subject it is but still I think that to come up with a good design of something You need to focus on it by putting the time and energy and practice, so at the same time sacrificing the rest of the subject matters....

How do You think...??? thanks in advance for answer...
__________________
http://www.artstation.com/artist/Marou
http://www.max3d.pl/forum/showthread.php?t=82190&page=2
 
Old 08 August 2013   #19
Originally Posted by marowak: Hello again Maciej, I was wondering if You could share some of Your older works from before your first job as an artist - I'm thinking about the time when You were still learning this stuff.... Pure curiosity...

And another question: do You think that someone who is starting out (or still learning) should try to "touch" all of the subject matters of concept design...??? What I mean is should I try to be at least good at environments / characters / creatures / vehicles and so on.... or maybe It's better to focus on one specific matter like creatures / characters and stick to it. I'm asking because from what I think is when You are hired as a concept artist your boss expect that You can do any kind of concept art, let's say that today You do a futuristic vehicles, and tomorrow they tell you to switch to fantasy creatures or somethink like that.... So to cut this LONG question short: Is it better to specialize in one subject matter or maybe try to be at least familiar with all range of subjects...

i know that one should say that esentially all that You are creating is 3d form no matter what subject it is but still I think that to come up with a good design of something You need to focus on it by putting the time and energy and practice, so at the same time sacrificing the rest of the subject matters....

How do You think...??? thanks in advance for answer...


Hey Marek,

There is nothing wrong with focusing only on one specific subject, in fact, putting all attention on very specific thing will likely make you an expert in it sooner, than if you would want to cover more than a few elements of art. The disadvantage is however, that you will likely be able to only handle very specific tasks, which automatically narrows the amount of clients that will look for your work.
Whats more important is that you're absolutely passionate about what you do, and that you're always curious and always challenge yourself. People tend to set up specific goals for themselves and then stop when they reach them. Truly successful artists (from my experience and from other great professionals in video games and film) are those who never stop, but find new goals and challenges to overcome.
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #20
Hey Maciej, hope you don't mind another question,

in your learning, how did you go about learning the fundamentals/foundation skills? Also, how would you recommend somebody who doesn't have access to schools like Art Center or FZD school to learn these well? Another question with relevance, do you think the fundamentals can be learnt by doing studies and doing a lot of paintings rather than doing focused studies on perspective and all the other fundamentals?

Thanks a lot.
__________________
Here's my small and insecure blog www.JamesChoe.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #21
Originally Posted by jameschoebroyo: Hey Maciej, hope you don't mind another question,

in your learning, how did you go about learning the fundamentals/foundation skills? Also, how would you recommend somebody who doesn't have access to schools like Art Center or FZD school to learn these well? Another question with relevance, do you think the fundamentals can be learnt by doing studies and doing a lot of paintings rather than doing focused studies on perspective and all the other fundamentals?

Thanks a lot.


I didn't have a privilege to attend any art school (there was never money in place for that) and I had to self-teach myself in times scarce of tutorials and workshops (there where gnomon DVDs of course, but pretty much nothing else in terms of free content you see nowadays). I tried to look up that material myself in public libraries and just go by-eye. Posting works on forums helped too, since there were at least a few people I came across that had better understanding about art back then.
To answer your next question. These days getting learning materials is super easy. There are gnomon dvds, digital tutors, lynda, dozens of online workshops, tutorials, free stuff on youtube, you name it. Of course it much easier to digest all that when you have a course planned by an art teacher for you. You can still go with it by yourself, you just need to be little more smart about it
I would say best way to learn is to read up about fundamentals (or look for online workshops/tutorials, there are plenty!) and practice.. ALOT! Raw knowledge won't get you far, you need to work it like a muscle.

Hope that helps
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #22
Hey Maciej, first of all I'll just get this out of the way and tell you how much I love your work and I pretty much consider you my favorite modern digital artist, one of the best around and a true source of inspiration (and some frustration at how good you are)

Now questions, questions...

- I heard the podcast you did a while back with Ash Thorpe and you discussing how it's much easier becoming good at illustration than at design. Since you're mostly self- taught, how did you learned that skill in particular? How do you actually practice your design sense?

- Lately you've been posting some awesome 3D work. You've mentioned that you've taken a sabbatical in order to learn some modo and zbrush. Do you get bogged down a lot in technical details when learning the tool (such as clean topology, edge flow, quad modeling, render setups, materials, etc) or do you try to skip the boring part and get to the core of it, trying to push the more creative side of things instead of the technical stuff?

- In addition to being an awesome concept artist, you've also a very talented matte painter. What are the biggest differences in your workflow when dealing with matte painting in regard to concept art?

-And last, could you tell us how potato salad helps you achieve the awesome results you've shown us in these last few years.

Thanks in advance man!
 
Old 08 August 2013   #23
Originally Posted by Helioart: Hey Maciej, first of all I'll just get this out of the way and tell you how much I love your work and I pretty much consider you my favorite modern digital artist, one of the best around and a true source of inspiration (and some frustration at how good you are)

Now questions, questions...

- I heard the podcast you did a while back with Ash Thorpe and you discussing how it's much easier becoming good at illustration than at design. Since you're mostly self- taught, how did you learned that skill in particular? How do you actually practice your design sense?

- Lately you've been posting some awesome 3D work. You've mentioned that you've taken a sabbatical in order to learn some modo and zbrush. Do you get bogged down a lot in technical details when learning the tool (such as clean topology, edge flow, quad modeling, render setups, materials, etc) or do you try to skip the boring part and get to the core of it, trying to push the more creative side of things instead of the technical stuff?

- In addition to being an awesome concept artist, you've also a very talented matte painter. What are the biggest differences in your workflow when dealing with matte painting in regard to concept art?

-And last, could you tell us how potato salad helps you achieve the awesome results you've shown us in these last few years.

Thanks in advance man!


Hi Helio,

Apology for coming with late reply to this one, overwhelmed with work!

Quick answers:

When it comes to design vs illustration.. Since I never studied art in college (let alone have any classes about design), you should take my answers with a grain of salt. What I feel tho and what a friend of mine Sean Hargreaves told me once, is that it's much easier to learn how to render and illustrate, rather than come up with good design - design is not only 'the look' but also function. Creating things that have function is damn hard, at least for me. I watched a great documentary on netflix few years ago, called Objectified - it explains this topic wonderfully.
I personally feel that getting good sense of design is strongly connected with understanding how the world works and applying that knowledge to your art. And like with any other muscle, training it.. alot.

About 3d. My sabbaticals were actually strangely aligning with client work downtime... When i was learning both of those tools, i tried to narrow down to things i would specificaly need for my own projects or work. Say taking just specific tools out of the box. When you approach new software with that mindset you can learn things fast. Thus, I didn't bother too much with technical aspects, unless they're posing problems that I wouldn't be able to solve in photoshop.

Matte painting: it's really hard for me to talk about matte painting, since it was very short episode in my career in 2008-2009. Like with any other art challenge I posed upon myself, matte painting was something I wanted to try really bad and see how much I like it and what are pros and cons. Unfortunately I found way more cons and I didn't feel like time spent was justified with what I felt I wanted to do. I definitely took away quite a lot of knowledge I could use for my concepts later on - matte painting gave me much better understanding for lighting and render qualities.

Lastly, potato salad is just an Naughty Dog concept team insider joke I like to throw around for no reason
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 08 August 2013   #24
Love you work! Very Inspiring!

Do you think you would consider doing a workshop here using modo etc?
 
Old 08 August 2013   #25
Maciej, thanks for your reply and insight man, appreciate it!

Yeah, I find it difficult to get that sweet spot between functionality and cool/interesting design and shapes too, has to be the point I'm working on the most right now.

Also, looking forwards for you to start doing some livestreaming and let us peek inside that head of yours. Anything planned yet on that matter?
 
Old 09 September 2013   #26
Originally Posted by electrique: Love you work! Very Inspiring!

Do you think you would consider doing a workshop here using modo etc?


Originally Posted by Helioart: Maciej, thanks for your reply and insight man, appreciate it!

Yeah, I find it difficult to get that sweet spot between functionality and cool/interesting design and shapes too, has to be the point I'm working on the most right now.

Also, looking forwards for you to start doing some livestreaming and let us peek inside that head of yours. Anything planned yet on that matter?



Jonathan, Helio. I might. I want to do some kind of livestream at some point. Perhaps with some modo work, painting, or both. Just not sure when, since I have to prioritize time for work and family first.
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 09 September 2013   #27
Hi Maciej!

Well more or less everyone asked and you answered it all i wanted to know.

Still, i have one little question about 3D software you are using, nothing technical no worries.
I was just listening your interview on CGMA workshops and you mentioned several times that you used Maya for some basic geometry and texture and then in Photoshop did all the rest on a lot of "The Last of Us" concepts. Now as i can see for your 3D artworks you mainly use Modo.

I am curious, is there any particular reason for a switch from Maya to Modo?


Thanks!
 
Old 09 September 2013   #28
Originally Posted by klaudio: Hi Maciej!

Well more or less everyone asked and you answered it all i wanted to know.

Still, i have one little question about 3D software you are using, nothing technical no worries.
I was just listening your interview on CGMA workshops and you mentioned several times that you used Maya for some basic geometry and texture and then in Photoshop did all the rest on a lot of "The Last of Us" concepts. Now as i can see for your 3D artworks you mainly use Modo.

I am curious, is there any particular reason for a switch from Maya to Modo?


Thanks!


Klaudio, Maya is wonderful software used in majority of studios worldwide (we use maya at naughty dog as well). It's also way more complicated for modeling and rendering, especially for non-technical guy like me. I prefer things being simple so I can produce quick results.
I stumbled upon Modo thanks to Scott Robertson. From all the softwares out there, it has all I need for concepts in one package: easy modeling, lighting setup and rendering. Learning curve for Modo is way easier than Maya in my opinion too. I used Modo for production work 2 weeks after I picked it up.
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Old 09 September 2013   #29
What's your favorite genre of game to work on?
 
Old 09 September 2013   #30
Originally Posted by superhomosapien97: What's your favorite genre of game to work on?


When you work full-time for the studio, you don't really have a choice but to work on what studio is working on. When you're freelancer however, you get to which project you want to work on (assuming you're good enough to get enough offers, so you can pass on projects that aren't interesting to you).
Anyway... I really love sci-fi.
__________________
maciejkuciara.com
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.