Featured Pro Portfolio: Thuan Nguyen Minh Duong

Thuan Nguyen Minh Duong is a character modeler based in Vietnam. On his home page, he uses the ArtStation Pro Vertical theme as a way to scroll through all the main highlights of his portfolio while keeping more detailed shots and breakdowns on the Mosaic tab.

Check out Thuan’s ArtStation-powered portfolio website.

While he is young and hasn’t been working in the industry very long, he gained some attention for his remarkable work in the Ancient Civilizations Challenge and has much to share on his learning experiences.

Tell us about one of your favorite pieces.

My favorites are be Project Talis and The Samurai Yoshitsune but if I had to choose, Project Talis is probably my most favorite. I got to create my own design and direction, giving me the creative freedom I wanted. Before these 2, most of my projects were fan-art or pre-designed characters. Both these projects have brought me many successes and achievements but he main reason I love them so much is that I get to do a lot of research and learning. Then with a lot of hard work and dedication, they become everything I wanted them to be when I first pictured them in my head.

For the Samurai, I spent many sleepless nights to make the deadline for the ArtStation Challenge. I ended up testing out a lot of new techniques and it helped me to gain experience in PBR texturing. Project Talis is simply a very drawn-out 3 month project if you include the rendering time. Since I had no reason to rush, I got to make her at the level of detail and polish I wanted, to the best of my ability. Still though, I can’t really do my projects without coffee and sleepless night!

Her entire creation process asked me to push all of my limits in CG and I made a tutorial to share the experience with others. One of the best memories of this project is that I always had my girlfriend by my side encouraging me and she just couldn’t stop asking for a pink version! So in the end, I made a pink version for her.

What do you think makes a standout portfolio?

In my own portfolio, I arranged my projects in chronological order so that visitors could see my progression.
In my opinion, having projects arranged in chronological order is very nice. A detailed profile can help me understand a great deal about an artist, so a well crafted profile summary is important as long as an artist stays true to who they are and provides accurate details. Of course, well rendered artwork accompanied with clean renders, breakdowns, guidelines and process shots are also nice too because it helps to better understand.

 What kind of training  did you have to get to the level you’re at now?

Most of my experience comes from online tutors – from free lessons from tutors on Youtube to paid training from all kind of websites. I only started in June 2015 and I learned everything from tutorials on main websites of the program I would use ( Blender.org, Pixologic) then later Quixel and Allegorithmic. During that time, I constantly look for harder and more demanding projects to work on to challenge myself and expose me to newer aspects of making a 3D model that I have yet to encounter.

I constantly encounter harder and harder problems which I solve by looking for resources online to help me get through it. You may say I learn from mistakes but I honestly think that this is the best way any of us can learn. In mid 2017, I joined a 3D outsourcing company in Vietnam and started working on several AAA game titles before I realized this is not exactly the place for me. I quit it a few month later, but I learned a lot.

What is your dream career?

For now, I’m planning on starting a Figurine making studio. Future projects as well as finished products will be posted on ArtStation too. Perhaps later on, working for game making companies will be more enjoyable than outsourcing companies. I may never know. I’ve always admired how Blizzard made my childhood with Warcraft III and Starcraft so maybe I’d aim towards them in the future.

See more of Thuan’s work on his portfolio website. To learn more about ArtStation Pro websites, click here. 

  • Share this article

About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.