I will keep adding more info here soon, in the meantime if you have any questions feel free to ask them here as a comment to this page.

Thank you,


– What software do you use?
I started with 3dsmax and thats my primary software, at work i have to use maya so thats also part of my workflow. For sculpting i use ZBrush from Pixologic. My renders are done with Mental Ray from Max, VRay from max and ZBrush for concepting.


– What are your computer specs?
I’ve worked with a very bad machine for many years and i still dont have nothing fancy, so dont take this as an excuse not to start working. With that said i currently have a PC, Windows 7, i7, 32gb ram with a GeForce GTX 780, i also have a Cintiq 24hd touch.


– Although your work is already awesome, you continually focus on trying to improve your practice. Are there any skills you’re developing at the moment?
Not really, im always trying to improve my art in general at this point. At the beginning of my career i used to create personal pieces based on an aspect that i wanted to improve or learn for my pipeline, for example build characters for cinematics, ingames, etc. I’ve done enough projects to learn techniques that at this moment my personal works are focused on my art in general.
Im always improving my art and learning new softwares and techniques at work, a lot of stuff that i always try to implement on my personal pieces.


– You’re constantly coming up with cool new ideas for your portfolio, where do you look for inspiration?
Im always looking online for inspiration and i inspire myself a lot to see what other people are creating.
Most of the time a simple sketch gets me excited to create a new piece. What i try to force myself to do is always start something new, to keep it fresh and exciting. I have a lot of unfinished projects but i always learn something from them. Starting new pieces and keeping it fresh always inspires me to keep making art.


– In the last few years we’ve seen some amazing innovations with the availability of home 3D printing and scanning, as well as the continuing improvement of 3D software. Are there any new technologies or tools that you’re really excited about?
Im really looking forward to the future of the 3D printing machines, a top quality machine will be affordable and people will be able to share his sculptures. Talking about softwares i think we are already ready for that, ZBrush have amazing tools and we can do pretty much everything at the present.
I’ve been working for over the past year with top quality scanning at SONY and i can say that the future is really good on that side, scans are being used on almost every aspect of the pipeline making the quality of assets a lot higher, its here to stay. Bodies, clothing, faces, blendshapes, environment, etc; its an amazing addition to the pipeline and scanning will be used even more in the future.


– This year, large numbers of the VFX community went on strike and there were green screens all over the web. How do you feel about this movement? Would you like to see improvements in the way VFX artists are treated?
For sure i would love to see improvements, but i dont think its going to happen. Unfortunately the industry is really competitive and the technology is becoming every year more available. New studios with great quality work are being created every year and there is not enough projects for every body, this creates competitiveness. There is a lot more stuff involved on this green screens problems but its hard for me to say what is going to change. We also have problems on the game industry as well with studios being closed because of money and investments but i guess nothing compared to the VFX industry.


– Could you describe a typical day in the life of a lead character artist?
It really changes from studio to studio. At Bioware for example we had tasks and deadlines and weekly meetings, so you know what needs to be done and when so you can manage your time to get it done in time. At SONY VASG since i had to deal with many different projects for different Sony studios there are a lot of meetings, than meetings and more meetings..
Now that i’m at Sony Santa Monica Studio as the lead character artist and i’m a lot more involved on all the stages of the project so i still go to a lot of meetings, but with the help of a few producers im able to still create a lot of art. So manage artists + meetings + art.


– What would you say are the key things to consider when designing amazing characters?
Not really how realistic the eyes of the character are, but when you look at the character what does it mean to you. What kind of feeling does he gives you, what is he doing or going to do. Even a character like the Raptor that doesnt have eyes, you should be able to identify the character feelings and history within the design.


– Do you have any tips you could offer to aspiring character artists?
Whatever you do always have a plan, try to always learn something new and improve your skills. If its to model an ear, make it the best year you could have done, but dont spend a lot of time on it. Your first ear will never be your best one, and you will see how bad it was after you do your second one.
So keep it fresh and keep working.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)


– You’ve had a pretty exciting career. What would you say have been the highlights?
I had the chance to work on projects that i always dreamed about and im really fortunate to be able to do that. Unfortunatedly every project have his ups and downs and no project is a perfect project and people know that after a couple years in this industry. When i finish a personal project is when i feel the satisfaction and those i believe have been the highlights of my career.


– Do you have any ambitions you have left to achieve? What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have so many projects that i want to do and so little time to do them. You can expect to see a lot game titles with my work on it and im working on book projects, dvds, classes, events in my hometown, statues, toys, etc. I have a lot of good friends that helps me with projects and they keep me inspired to create new stuff so hopefully you will see me around for a while.


Where do you find all your resources? I have your Anatomy bundle, but you have a lot of resources on there like muscles, the proportions of the body with the head counts, etc. I can’t find too many good ones, especially of the heads.
There are many books with that kind of information but not a lot of stuff online. That was one of the reasons why i started making my own ecorche on the first place. Try to put all that info together and learn. A good website for that kind of stuff is http://www.anatomy4sculptors.com/



  1. Where do you find all your resources? I have your Anatomy bundle, but you have a lot of resources on there like muscles, the proportions of the body with the head counts, etc. I can’t find too many good ones, especially of the heads.

  2. (Added the answer at the bottom of the page, thanks for asking)
    There are many books with that kind of information but not a lot of stuff online. That was one of the reasons why i started making my own ecorche on the first place. Try to put all that info together and learn. A good website for that kind of stuff is http://www.anatomy4sculptors.com/

  3. hey rafael im huge fan of your work! you and frank tzeng are my inspiration for my involvement in 3d modeling! but i wanted to ask you something very important. so i have been thinking of attending OC arts of institute but it is very expensive! i already go to a community college but the game design programs suck here. ive learned a lot about modeling and sculpting in blender, maya and zbrush from watching numerous videos on youtube and digital tutors more than my school. in your experience do you think its worth going to AI? does the industry ask you specifically for a degree or do they just go for the portfolio you have? im 19 by the way and i have huge passion for game design and 3d modeling and i feel like i can learn alot through doing it in the comfort of my home. and ive also seen an interview of you mentioning that you were self taught? thank you for your feedback hopefully i’ll be as good as you one day(:

  4. Hi Miguel, sorry for taking so long to answer this.
    – Its really important to seek a degree on arts in general when trying to get a job on this industry, this will help you grow professionally. But to get into a studio unfortunately what matters is your portfolio. I recommend building your portfolio during the same time as doing workshops, courses or even doing your degree. Its not easy but that’s the way you will get a good job. Thats what i did, i studied 3D softwares by myself and i had the chance of an internship very young on a effects house, that helped me get into the industry but really working on my portfolio at the same time as working fulltime is what got me where i am today. Hope that helps.

  5. Hey bro, amazing work here. I could only dream of accomplishing what you have on here. I have a question for you…and any advice you give will be greatly appreciated. I’ve been a comic book artist and 2D artist for 5 years. I’m trying to get into the business as a character artist but I only know Zbrush and photoshop. I feel the work should speak for itself but is that enough to get me an entry level job in the field?

  6. What software do you use to draw on your screen over zbrush? I think it is useful to measure proportions while working on your model.

  7. Rafael, meu nome é Lohran e atualmente estou cursando Engenharia da Computação na Unifesp. Futuramente pretendo trabalhar na área de jogos, estou até fazendo o curso Playgame da SAGA em São Paulo. Minha dúvida é: para chegar até uma posição de diretor criativo ou diretor de arte de um studio, qual seria a melhor trajetória profissional para se seguir? Seria melhor fazer uma faculdade de design de jogos ou até design, ou seria melhor continuar na engenharia da computação e ir fazendo cursos de desenho para ficar bom? Na verdade, sei que a resposta depende mais de mim, mas gostaria de saber qual sua opinião ou se poderia me dar alguma dica.

    Obrigado pela atenção.

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