Artist of the Month: April 2015 – Drea Horvath

Posted by Xfrog on April 1st, 2015

Norge
Spring SlimeRocky Shore 2AsturiasBlooming

1. Q: Where are you from and how did you get involved with computer graphics, and how long ago?
A: Originally I am from Budapest, Hungary, but I live in The Netherlands near Nijmegen for 3 years now. I first became familiar with computer graphics – more exactly with 3D environment design – in 2007, when I was browsing wallpapers for my old Intel Pentium 4-based desktop. After finding some impressive 3D environments, I was inspired to learn to create my own wallpapers. That’s how it all started. After some research, I found out that most of the environments were made in Vue 6. I downloaded the free PLE (Personal Learning Edition), and fell in love with the software immediately. When Vue 7 came out (about six years ago), I purchased Vue Infinite, and I’ve been creating 3D landscapes ever since…
Bonsai Gnome Home

2. Q: Do you use computer graphics for work or personal art, or both?
A: I’m lucky to say I use CG both for work and for personal fun. About two years after becoming familiar with Vue, I started receiving requests for different kinds of commissions. I was even more motivated to put some more effort into mastering 3D environment design, since I saw more and more possibilities coming in my way. Peaceful Japanese GardenTo gain some relevant experience, I joined a team of talented and enthusiastic game developers as a Level Designer in 2009. That’s when started working together with 3D artist, music composer and producer Michel Rondberg, who became my partner and fellow co-founder of our company. Besides game development, I accepted smaller freelance jobs, such as background or flyer design. In 2011, Michel and I decided to start our own, joint venture, developing 3D content for Vue and other major 3D applications. In the beginning of 2013, we founded D&D Creations as a General Partnership. Besides opening our own 3D content webshop, we have launched our 3D Visualization, Audio Production and Training services.
Besides D&D Creations, I am also a contributing author to 3D Artist Magazine. You can find a list of my publications on my LinkedIn profile, as well as on my website.

3. Q: Do you have artistic training/background or self-taught? Where did you study and what?
A: I’m self-trained; I haven’t completed any official training in CG, though I am planning to go back to school and expand my knowledge in some areas. I did – however – receive some valuable advice from experienced, well-established artists in the beginning of my career, including Eran Dinur, Dax Pandhi, Artur Rosa, Vladimir Chopine, just to name a few. I also aim to attend as many conferences focusing on CG as possible. It’s always nice to take a peek behind the scenes of major big-screen productions, learn more about the latest techniques, R&D and effective pipeline management. These events are perfect for networking as well.
Lost and Scared

4. Q: What software do you use?
A: My main tool of the trade is Vue xStream, which is perfectly integrable into any production pipeline involving Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds max, Softimage, LightWave, Nuke, AfterEffects or Unreal Engine. In most of our projects, I use Vue for creating – and sometimes animating – entire environments, making HDRi skydomes, skyboxes or spherical panoramas, also in .EXR format for seamless integration. Yingxi 2014Besides Vue, I also use 3ds max and mental ray for rendering, After Effects for compositing and animation post-processing, and Photoshop for postworking still images. I have also started learning Houdini, plus – as Unreal Engine 4 became open-source – it has also been added to my arsenal.

5. Q: How did you find Xfrog and XfrogPlants? Do you use Xfrog, XfrogPlants or both?
A: I stumbled upon Xfrog plants a couple of years ago, when I saw several renders including them on different art gallery sites. Since the SolidGrowth plants that ship with Vue are not suitable for foreground due to the highly unrealistic, flat alpha mapping on leaves, I was really happy to see the detailed, realistic and accurate plant models from Xfrog. First I just downloaded some free models, then we had to purchase the entire Volume Bundle of 3000 models for a big-scale production, involving animations of 3D environments representing landscapes on different parts of the world. Though I haven’t had the chance to create my own plants in Xfrog, it is really convenient to have bundles of geographically accurate plants in different ages or variations for such projects.

Private Golf

6. Q: Do you more enjoy modeling plants, creating ecosystems or making background elements for architecture?
A: I enjoy creating ecosystems the most. Very often we get briefings that involve creating environments of a specific area on the planet, with accurate ecosystems. I work based on references provided by the client, plus I do my own research regarding the flora of the area. Then I go through our Xfrog libraries and pick all the species I will use in the environment. I enjoy this process a lot, because with each project I learn something new about the actual ecosystem of a place.
Beautiful Oceania

7. Q: What feature would you like to see in Xfrog?
A: Since I’m not a frequent user of the software itself, I can’t say too much here. I would, however, be interested in a version integrable in 3ds max.

8. Q: What plants would you like to have as next library produced by Xfrog?
A: I would love to see another underwater pack (similar to Red Sea) with more coral and anemone variations. Furthermore, since I love making tropical landscapes, I can’t get enough of tropical plants. Buffalo RiverI’d be happy to see more plant species from Southeast Asia. It would also be nice to have a bundle of massive, gnarly “hero” trees; there is a high demand for them.

9. Q: What is your favorite thing about Xfrog and XfrogPlants?
A: Convenience. Since Xfrog offers libraries of detailed, accurate plant species based on geographic locations, we can easily create the right flora for projects focusing on an existing location on Earth, such as documentaries and educational films. The documentation shipping with the libraries is also extremely useful; sometimes the client likes to pick the plants species they would like to see in the project. The documentation of the Prehistoric library, including the quick guide to prehistoric periods was especially useful for choosing plant species for an educational film for students, since it’s impossible to have any photographic reference from that era, and you also can’t travel back in time…yet.

10. Q: What would you like to see improved about Xfrog and XfrogPlants?
A: I would like to see more plants with full geometry for more convenient rendering, especially for animations.

Little Lake Cottage

The Special One

See more of Drea’s work at dreahorvath.eu and ddreations.eu. You can also see her Cornucopia 3D portfolio, find her on FaceBook, or follow her on Twitter @DreaHorvath_DDC

3 Responses to “Artist of the Month: April 2015 – Drea Horvath”

  1. […] can read my AOM interview with Xfrog here. Besides the general who-you-are and how-you-ended-up-in-the-industry questions, we also focus on […]

  2. Elke Bassler

    Ms. Horvath is a great artist and I love her very landscapes!

  3. bobbystahr

    Great interview. Have seen your beautiful work often and it’s nice to have a back story. Keep on Tweaking!
    pax et lux
    BobbyStahr

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