Victor Hugo Aguilar Reyes, MEXICO - Category Winner: Digital Sculpture
Victor Hugo Aguilar Reyes is a biologist intern, in Puebla, México. His career is involved in the research and conservation of biodiversity, but his other passion is to paint and sculpt using traditional media. Quite recently he changed to using ZBrush.
“So when I started in the competition, I decided to dedicate my work to all these species of beautiful turtles. In the life cycle of this species the hatchlings will never know their mother so I tried to sculpt a meeting between mother and young turtles recently arrived in the ocean,” Victor explains. “I tried to represent the hope that the sea turtle hatchlings could survive and join the turtle population.”
“To create the sculpture I used ZBrush 4,” explains Victor. “I chose the ZSpheres tool to create the fins and head and a sphere primitive to create the shell, then I used Retopology to modify the geometry and sculpt the anatomy of the flippers and the head of the turtle.”
For the body, Victor painted masks creating the main scales in the head according to the anatomy of this species. He emphasised the main scales of the head, distinguishing this species from others. “Once I have drawn the scales with the masks I used the inflate and clay brush to create more scales in the neck, I used standard brush and some alphas created in Photoshop to create the details of the skin and wrinkles of neck, using inflate brush too,” he says.
“I used Transpose to make the pose of both adult and hatchlings, creating a pose that reflects an encounter between the young and the mother. The original composition was of a meeting, but I decided to place the hatchlings on the shell of the mother to link them with the rest of the sculpture.”
“The number of endangered species increases and we are the only ones who can save these animals from extinction. Every person and every child should receive environmental education and know that this planet is not only ours but belongs also to all other species, it is our responsibility to take care of them and respect their right to exist.”
Tiago de Silva, PORTUGAL - Category Winner: Mother's Love
Tiago only decided to participate in the Share One Planet competition after considering his options carefully. Seeing so many talented artists being called into action, he decided to enter even though the competition was tough. The message he wanted to convey was to merely contribute to the topic, as opposed to winning anything at all.
"Once I decided to do something a lot of ideas began popping up in my head," Tiago said. "I had to narrow what I would do so, I chose two topics, Mother’s Love and a Portrait."
"I think the mother panda and the cub was something that came to my mind, it’s one of those things in nature that we are all fascinated with. Watching how such a huge creature, however clumsy, can nurture their cubs so well and how they survive in their harsh environment in the winter."
Cheng Rui, CHINA - Category Winner: Herd
"I was so very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this 'symbiotic competition' of Share One Planet," said Rui Cheng.
"After the beginning, I'd intended to draw just an animal portrait. I picked some animals, it proved very difficult to choose one, so I decided to draw them together as a group image."
"This is a very meaningful game too. I spent a long time considering the meaning of the expression in the work. I hoped firstly to attract the attention of the audience, then I tried to show the need for the audience to answer the question in the mind of the subject. Such as to show the theme of: the current situation of many rare animals is not optimistic; they are at the edge of extinction; in a number of years, they will disappear from Earth? Or will they still be able to thrive? This will be human decision," he continues. "I tried many compositions, used a solemn colour, and selected the expression of the animals, to convey more of the feelings of sadness."
"The works draw very easily. I used the Easy Paint Tool, the SAI software to draw,this is great painting software, is very small and very practical. In order to complete the work in the period of the competition, I worked directly on one layer to complete all the drawing, using only a simple water color brush. Finally, I will import the image to Photoshop, the brightness and color adjustment."
"When I know if my group portrait group of the first, I was very excited, the contest judges to make the evaluation of my work, I am glad that my work properly convey the idea of I want to express, from the judges reviews, I could see that they are clear to interpret my work."
Samantha Hogg, GREAT BRITAIN - Category Winner: Prey and Predator
Sam Hogg is a full time concept artist for Jagex Games Studio in Cambridge. "I wanted to tell a story, to leave it up to the viewer to decide how the image came about and how it ended. It struck me that no one had ever seen snow leopards truly hunting in the wild - you never really get to see that tense battle between predator and prey. There's this wonderful moment where the prey realizes it's being hunted and the battle can go either way. That's often lost in a lot of the photos or video footage you see these days."
"With this basic principle in mind, and the snow leopard and ibex as my animals of choice, I went about trying a number of thumbnails. I eventually settled on a long portrait composition, as it's something that's not often seen in photos or TV. This went against the general opinion of nearly everyone I showed the options to, but I decided to follow that instinct. I really wanted the snow leopard to be the star, which was key in my decision of how to light and place the animals (the ibex taking more of a backseat in the tonal range). Placing the leopard at the top of the image and in a pool of moonlight meant the viewer would see him first. I'd also placed the curves of the mountainous rocks and snow, not to mention the ibex's face, as a loop that would eventually carry you back to that deliberate cyan gaze in the big cat's eyes."
"With digital, it's way too easy to rely on suggestion of detail, with textures and custom brushes, but in this case, I approached it in much the same way I would with a traditional media like acrylic, with a base underpainting or key tones and hues, and then lots of laborious detailing of fur. Making sure I had enough subtle shifts in hue and tone was the key to making the animals pop. I ultimately settled on doing a more stylized background, something that wouldn't draw the viewer's eye away from the animals. Overall, I feel this competition really pushed me in terms of showing off what CG art is capable of. I can't say how stoked I was to have received first place in my category, as the competition was amazing! Share One Planet it definitely an experience I'll be taking part in again."