Alessandro Baldasseroni is lead character artist at Blur Studio. His character modeling work can be seen in recent game cinematics, movies and commercials including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Thor: The Dark World, Elder Scrolls Online, Batman: Arkham Knight, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Far Cry 3, Fable 3, Mass Effect 2, Halo Wars and Dante’s Inferno. His artworks have featured on international magazines like 3D Artist and 3D World, and art books including Expose, Elemental and d’Artiste and Digital Art Masters. He recently recorded the educational DVD Stylized Character Modeling for Production for The Gnomon Workshop.
Tell us about your journey
Even though I was always fascinated by drawing as a kid, I didn’t really have any formal art education. I studied information science in high school, and math at university – then I guess the universe had other plans for me.
After military service, I got a job as an AutoCAD operator. Around 1996, I got introduced to 3D Studio MAX, as it was then called, and started playing around. Computer graphics at the time were quite pioneering, and it was a great challenge to achieve anything visually decent.
I spent an awful lot of my spare time on that program, mostly figuring out technical stuff. Improvement was slow, since I was basically learning by myself, but I slowly built a small portfolio that I later submitted to a videogame developer in Milan. Luckily, they hired me. This was the turning point in my career, when I decided I could do CG for a living.
Since then, I’ve kept improving my portfolio. I was a generalist in Milan, but in my spare time I was mostly focusing on hi-res characters. Posting on forums and getting art published on art books helped me to achieve international visibility, through which I got noticed by Blur Studio. I freelanced for them for a year and half, after which they asked me to relocate to the US in 2007. Since then, I’ve been doing character modeling for VFX, game trailers and commercials.
How do you want to impact the world?
I don’t really want to impact the world, nor I think it is realistic. I’m happy to receive positive feedback from people in my field who like what I do. Occasionally, I choose projects I like to work on, when time permits: mostly to help friends or just because the IP is interesting. In my spare time, I like to work on projects which aren’t as restrictive as production work, like simple illustrations or digital sculptures. Most of all, I’d like to have a family and live peacefully.
What are you passionate about?
I’m inspired by people with intellectual spirit, a strong will, and the capacity to get it executed, in any form and any medium. I’m passionate about anything related to visual arts in general: mostly fine arts these days, and movies. Outside CG, I read a lot, mostly novels and essays.
What would be your #1 advice to other artists?
Since most people ask me to provide them with resources and links to tutorials, I’d say that trying to overcome the inertia that comes from being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there is a big step in the right direction.
It’s also important to realize that most people who deal with 3D will end up as production artists, so more than having original concepts, it’s important to be able to execute existing concepts well. Choose a concept from an artist you like, ask permission to do it in 3D and try to match the original as best as you can. It’s the easiest way to build a solid portfolio.
And don’t let the quality of the works around you discourage you. Every professional out there today started as a novice.