Bernard Beneteau started his career in 2001, in Montreal, Canada. He freelanced for multiple clients with projects as varied as pre-rendered cinematics, product development, advertisement, and online games. Beneteau went on to work full time with DC Studios, Ubisoft, Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. The latest AAA projects he has worked on are MK vs DC Universe (2008), Mortal Kombat (2011), Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013) and Mortal Kombat X (2015).


Mortal Kombat – Ermac Fan Art by Bernard Beneteau

Please describe what you do.
I specialize in the creation of characters and creatures for video games, pre-rendered cinematics and VFX. I also do concept design in that field as well as promotional Key Art. I am currently working as an “Advanced Artist, Characters” at NetherRealm Studios (WB Games Chicago).

My career started 14 years ago in Montreal after graduating in Multimedia Design, specializing myself in 3D graphics. I have worked freelance with diversified clients for a few years until I joined ranks with DC Studios, in Montreal. I worked there for a couple of years alongside amazing artists. I then joined ranks with the giant Ubisoft for a short time to then make a transition across the border to Chicago, where I was hired as a Senior Character Artist by Midway Games. I started out in a Character Central Group, providing support to multiple projects in development at the Chicago studio and other Midway branches. I eventually got recruited to work full time with the Mortal Kombat Team in 2008 and I have been with this team since then.

MK X- Predator- Key Art by Bernard Beneteau

What’s the most important tool you use?
My brain! (At least I try to). Right after that I’d say pencil and paper; this is the medium that allows me to think and explore raw ideas unhindered and uncensored. There is something about it that makes my brain think and act differently than doing the same process on a computer.

The tools I use to develop those raw ideas (or bring teammate’s ideas to life) are mostly ZBrush and 3dsMax. I love to sculpt in ZBrush; I not only use it for sculpting production assets, but also to do concept design, sculpt maquettes and prototypes pretty quickly. I also use 3dsMax extensively for hard surface modeling or anything that requires a clean and controlled topology.


MK X- Predator by Bernard Beneteau

Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why?
Artists from the past that inspire me the most would be Bernini, Caravaggio, Prud’hon, Repin and Giger, just to name a few. They inspire me mostly for the beauty of forms, light & dark contrast, expressiveness and audacity.

There is a multitude of active artists that inspire me daily; Every time I get to the office and look around or go online I see work that motivates me to push myself and my art further. The list of inspiration here would be too long so I’ll only focus on some of the artists that directly mentored me and to whom I’ll always be indebted; I had the privilege of taking two weeks of intensive training with Carlos Huante through AnatomyTools and I can say with all honesty that he unlocked me artistically. Andrew Cawrse, from AnatomyTools, is another master artist that provided me with the training and motivation I needed to reach higher artistic goals. David Jamieson and Melinda Whitmore of Vitruvian Studio in Chicago gave me an excellent classical-type training in figurative art for multiple years which helps me tremendously with my career and personal art.

Superman – Regime by Bernard Beneteau
Flash - Insurgency by Bernard Beneteau

When not creating world beating art, what do you like to do? What are you currently doing, reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
I like to draw as much as I can; Study the masters, draw from life, refine my style and develop my own voice. I hang out at the Art Institute of Chicago quite a bit, studying work that inspires me.

I am fascinated by fear and its multiple cultural iconic representations. There is something about this feeling that shakes our mind out of the mundane and forces us to confront parts of ourselves that are often buried or inhibited. I dislike excessive violence and gore but I do like horror with multiple layers of depth, like the Silent Hill franchise or movies like The Babadook. I have a soft spot for everything Blizzard Entertainment and these days I am hooked on The Last Of Us soundtrack while working.


Mortal Kombat - Sub-Zero by Bernard Beneteau

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
There are a lot of exciting things happening on my end at the moment. I am fortunate to be exponentially passionate about my career year after year. I am currently working on some video demos and tutorials that will gradually become available early 2016. These will all be tied in with a personal IP I have been developing for a while. Some of my followers on Instagram (@bernardbeneteau) might have caught a few early samples of it.

MK X- Goro by Bernard Beneteau

Can you tell us a little about the above image? 
These are renders of the high resolution Goro I made for Mortal Kombat X. This was originally created for promotional Key Art and also for the subsequent game model and textures. I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to redesign such an iconic Mortal Kombat character; I created concepts, digital maquettes, highres and lowres models, textures and so on.



Concept

Breakdowns

Most of the costume was modeled in 3dsMax and detailed in ZBrush. The body was sculpted in ZBrush and used Displacement Maps in 3dsMax for renders.  Hair and fur created in 3dsMax using Ornatrix. Textures done with Photoshop. It was rendered in multiple passes using VRay and compositing done in After Effects.




Thanks Bernard! Check out more here:
Bernard’s CGPortfolio http://beneto.cgsociety.org/
Bernard's Personal Site: http://www.beneto.ca/
NetherRealm Studio: http://www.netherrealm.com/