ArtStation Masterclasses 3 Instructor Spotlight: Gino Acevedo

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Masterclass instructor Gino Acevdeo is the Creative Art Director at Weta Digital where he focuses on cutting edge design technologies. With over 20 years of experience in the film industry, his credits include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gozilla, King Kong, Planet of the Apes and Men in Black.

Masterclass: Creating Translucent Creature Skin

Gino’s course will cover his process of modeling a creature head, completing rendering passes in Keyshot and then adding final detail coloring in Photoshop.

How did you start working in movies?

I first got my first professional start at the age of 18 when I started with a Halloween company called Imagineering in Phoenix, Arizona. I was hired to design Halloween masks and work in the Research and Development department. While at the company, I met a gentleman by the name of Barry Koper who was a very well established makeup artist in Los Angeles and  would come out to Imagineering to design the makeup for the company’s catalog showcasing all of their new makeup products. Barry took me under his wing and would introduce me to the great makeup effects artists in the business, hoping that someday I would move to LA and work with them.

My dream came true and I did move there in my early 20’s, first working with David Miller who designed Freddy’s makeup for the first Nightmare on Elm Street. By this time, he was working on part 5 and asked if I would like to come and join the team at the workshop, giving me my first film job and credit.

From there I moved around to a few other shops working on such great films as : Point Break, Alien3, Death Becomes Her, Wolf, Demolition Man, The Nutty Professor, Men in Black, Independence Day and Godzilla to name a few! In 1998, I was asked by Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop to join their team on the Lord of the Rings films. From there, I decided to permanently move to New Zealand and have been working on some of the industries blockbuster films.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love working with people and collaborating with them. Doing film work is a real science and each project brings its own challenges so you need to keep on your toes to troubleshoot problems that may arise. Coming up with a design whether it be a practical makeup or a digital effect, and to follow it all the way through its conception to finally seeing it on screen to see the audiences’ reaction is a big pleasure for me.

Tell us about one of your most valuable learning experiences on the job.

Probably the most valuable thing I have learned is how to be a team player and work with others. Sometimes they learn from me and sometime I learn from them. It’s a team effort working with so many talented people to make a project come together.

What is one thing people who follow your course can expect to learn?

I hope that people can takeaway a bit of my techniques about color and how I use them to add to the translucency of the skin by being patient and building up the layers.

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.