Prop Art (Rendered) Winners Interview — Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms

1st place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Alina Pesotskaya

Today we’re continuing our Dragon’s Rise interview series with a conversation featuring Prop Art (rendered) winners Alina Pesotskaya, Malwina (Mawluna) Czech, and Hugo Bliard. Submissions to this Challenge category were judged on their creative details, functionality, and concept execution. Artists were challenged to create props that told a compelling story through modeling, texturing, and lighting.

Read on to discover what strategies Alina, Malwina, and Hugo used to create their winning artworks.

2nd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Malwina (Mawluna) Czech

Why Did You Decide To Enter the Dragon’s Rise Challenge?

Alina: I have been participating in the ArtStation Challenges since I started doing 3D graphics. I look forward to every Challenge; I love the feeling of belonging and unity in the ArtStation community. And of course, this is a great opportunity to practice something new.

Malwina: The moment I saw Adrien Cantone‘s fun, colourful submission, I knew I had to participate! In the past two years, next to a full-time job, it proved to be really difficult to find the motivation and energy to finalize a personal piece. However, with this Community Challenge I had a deadline and a supportive community that really helped me push through it! I’m extremely happy and proud that I managed to finish it on time.

Hugo: Last year I couldn’t participate in the Challenge because I didn’t have the time, and I was a bit disappointed. When this year’s Challenge came along, I had a lot more time. Above all I came across Adrien Cantone’s work which I really liked, both in the design and in the artistic direction of his submission, and I really wanted to recreate his work in 3D!

3rd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Hugo Bliard

What Was the Inspiration Behind Your Submission?

Concept art by Lara D'Adda
Concept by Lara D’Adda

Alina: I really like the works of Riot Games studio. Especially the textures in Ruined King. I haven’t played the game, but I spent a lot of time viewing the assets created for the game. I especially liked how the textures of wood and stone were made.

Malwina: At first I was a little intimidated by the many ‘creature-like’ elements in the concept and its vibrant colours. While many of the design choices worked illustrated, I had to explore quite a lot while sculpting. The dragons especially took some time to get charming and cute like in the concept. Playing around with textures to make it look appealing in a PBR was challenging but a lot of fun as well.

Concept art by Adrien Cantone
Concept by Adrien Cantone

I really tried to infuse Adrien’s illustrative features into my style within the translation to 3D. I added little dots and details in my textures which are also visible in Adrien’s illustrations. My biggest goal was to channel the delightfulness of these concepts into my 3D pieces! I really hope I executed it well!

Hugo: I was already very motivated by the desire to recreate Adrien Cantone’s work. I also looked a lot at the other submissions…so many people made quality assets that pushed me to do my best! I was also inspired by previous Challenges, notably Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World and the work of Robbie Walker, to frame my scope and the level of quality I wanted to achieve.

1st place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered) artwork by Alina Pesotskaya

1st place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Alina Pesotskaya

What Part of Working on the Challenge Did You Find Most Exciting?

Alina: Of course texturing. I really love handpainted textures, they look very artistic. In general, I enjoy painting textures the most and working with color and tone. I tried to determine which moments of the composition were important and required emphasis, and where the viewer’s eye should glide without clinging to unnecessary details. It was difficult, but in the end, the work looks solid and harmonious.

Malwina: It was exciting to work on all the dragons and dragon elements. I’m not a character artist so it was very different from my usual tasks at work. I learned how to translate my knowledge into a kind of different category. I would not have expected it to be so much fun! Following how other participants interpreted the same concepts in 3D was really insightful too. I like to think that we all helped each other to fill some gaps.

Hugo: When I finally finished all the submission pages and validated everything in time! I was really happy to have managed to finish it, that was my main goal.

2nd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered) artwork by Malwina (Mawluna) Czech

2nd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Malwina (Mawluna) Czech

What Advice Do You Have for Future Challenge Participants?

Alina: The most difficult thing is to calculate the time and finish the work on time. I advise challengers to set intermediate deadlines and work a little every day. It is also better to finish the work a little earlier in order to have time to submit the work for the Challenge correctly.

Malwina: My biggest advice is to take physical and mental health first before forcing yourself into a deadline. I saw some wonderful artworks unfinished with words of regret which I understand but I have much respect for the ones who stopped to prioritize themselves. It is a hard decision to make but only follow through if you’re having FUN! It should be an enriching experience and not one that leaves you drained and exhausted. Listen to your body and schedule your work well!

Hugo: I think you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to finish on time or wonder if you are competent enough to participate, just go for it if you want to do the Challenge! As long as you’re having fun making your submissions, that’s fine!

3rd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered) artwork by Hugo Bliard

3rd place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Prop Art (Rendered): Hugo Bliard

Read our previous interview in the series with the VFX Art (Real-Time) category winners >

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