Let’s go way back. Where were your born and raised? Where are you now? What sparked your interest in digital art?
My name is Yinxuan Li Dezarmenien, I was born and raised in China. After university I went to France and then married a French guy and started my freelance work as a 3D artist there. This year we moved to Montreal, Canada.
My husband sparked my interest in digital art. My major was 3D animation, but I was not sure what I should do when I graduated. I thought I could become an animator, but as my husband is already a 3D animator, he found I made better models. He encouraged me to create characters and make them in 3D. He always tells me that he likes anything I make in 3D, and he is so proud of me, I'm very touched. I'm not a very confident person, his courage helps me a lot.
Life in pink. Picnic Day
Please describe what you do. What are some of the projects you have worked on you've worked on?
I work as a freelancer, I do the model, texture, lighting and rendering. I worked as a freelance for game studios, advertising companies, and children books. Recently I started creating some Line stickers, which is something I really like and it's interesting.
What’s the most important tool you use?
The most important tool I use is MODO, it's very easy to use and always gives a nice result, most of my works are made with it.
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
The last work I did is "Summer" she is a girl I created as a character for a Line sticker. That's an app which you could use on smartphone to chat; everyone can create their own sticker, sell it and chat with it. I saw a lot of very interesting stickers creations, beautiful, or very humorous. I thought that would be very exciting if I could make a sticker with my character. So I tried with a character I did before named "Little Rose", the girl with a red hat. It was not as easy as I thought to create the stickers, it has to have 40 different emotions. Eventually I was happy with the result. So after that I made the new girl named "Summer" and her sticker, there will be more to come later, I'm currently working on them.
What movie and/or game from the past do you wish you had worked on and why?
I wish I could have worked on Tangled, this movie relaunched all the Disney princess, and was a big step forward for CG animation; very inspiring.
What do you like to do away from the computer?
Listen to music, watch films, do some jogging and play with our cats.
Can you tell us a little about your process? For example your CGChoice winner above.
As I said above, Summer is made for Line stickers, I chose the 9 poses as a picture, actually there are 40 poses, and can be used as emoji, to represent the motions when we chat.
I always start with a general idea, and take notes of everything that come to mind. Then I search for reference on the internet, and gather my reference together. For this one, it was pictures of girls, actress etc, who have the poses or expressions that matched my notes as close as possible. Then I draw some sketches, or sometimes I start directly on the 3D model.
Once the model and the textures are done, I make the blend shapes and rig in Maya, pose it and transfer to MODO. When I pose the character, I use the pictures as reference, very helpful to make the character come alive. I'm not very technical, so to save time, the blend shapes and rig are just very basic, it is not perfect for animation, and usually I need to do some changes in MODO to make the result look nice before rendering it. For example, the elbow which was not on camera, I didn't do anything, but when it is on camera, I changed the shape of the elbow. After rendering, I do some tweaks in Photoshop to make the color look better as well.