ArtStation Masterclasses 2 Spotlight: Toni Bratincevic

The ArtStation Masterclasses 2 – Games Edition is your unique opportunity to learn and engage with superstar artists in the industry. Early bird pricing ends on Monday, July 2nd so be sure to get your ticket today!

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Looking at his art, you may be surprised to learn that  Toni Bratincevic is a self-taught 3D artist. He never had the opportunity to study either art or animation in school, and instead holds a degree in IT. His interest in 3D art first began in the 90s, thanks to movies like Jurassic Park and Terminator 2, which lead him to explore the medium as a hobby. Close to 15 years ago, he had the opportunity to work as a 3D generalist for a company in Croatia. A few years later he moved to the United States to work for Blur Studio, and then with Blizzard, focusing on pre-rendered game cinematics.

Masterclass – 3D Illustration and Environment Modeling Workflows

Toni will demonstrate the techniques and workflows used in making his 3D environments and illustrations. He will explain the entire process from the initial idea to the finalized product and will show you how to organize environment scenes for better management and more efficient rendering. Students will then be able to better understand the entire process of creating 3D environments and be able to integrate some of the techniques into their own workflows.

Being a self-taught artist comes with its challenges, what would you say are some of the benefits and how have they helped you improve your skill?

Being a self taught artist gave me one of the  most valuable lessons for working in this industry, and that is that it doesn’t matter if you are a self-taught or getting a degree in 3D art, sooner or later you will be on your own and will have to adapt to new challenges constantly without somebody holding your hand and leading you through your career. So basically, in order to survive, you need to be independent and learn new stuff every year to stay up to date in an industry that is constantly changing. Also, knowing how to analyze your work and getting a good idea on how to make it better on your own without others input is very important. It is a part of being independent and self-taught. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need others commenting on your work, it just means that you need to train your eye to catch something that doesn’t look good.

Tell us about one of your most valuable learning experiences.

Compete with yourself and not others! I think that is one of the lessons I learned while working in this industry, and I think that it is the best way to become really good at what you do. When you compete with yourself, you always try to overcome your limitations and get something that looks better than the previous work that you did. Sometimes you fail, sometimes you get it right, but at least it doesn’t lead to frustration which happens when you compete with others who are extremely good at what they do. Yes, it is good to have artists that inspire you, I also have few of them, but I have never tried getting on their level because I knew that I could never do that.

What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced working in the industry?

I would say that keeping motivation high was my biggest challenge. There are many situations where you are not motivated enough to work on something, but being a professional, you still need to deliver high-quality work. When I was younger, this wasn’t a big issue because I was very excited about working in this field, but over time, this somewhat became a thing that bothered me every now and then. But, that is one of the main reasons why I, still today, do a lot of personal work where I have my space to explore different ideas, try some new modeling techniques and just enjoy doing 3D art.

What is one of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on and why?

A couple of projects really stuck with me as the proudest moments I’ve had over my career. The first one is probably the test footage that I worked on at Blur studio for the Deadpool movie pitch. There I worked with Tim Miller and a small team to develop a short full CG sequence that kinda kickstarted the Deadpool movie. It was really fun because it was a very small team of talented individuals and I was responsible for the modeling/texturing environment and finishing up a couple of shots. Another project that was really fun was the opening cinematic for The Old Republic game, where I was a scene assembly lead at Blur studio. I modeled and textured a complete hangar and finished almost 30 shots for that cinematic. I do like to be challenged, and I think that in those moments I gave my best.

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