The Substance Art of Magdalena Dadela

  • Game
  • Interview

If you are a ZBrush artist, you should be familiar with Magdalena AKA Intervain’s work.
Every piece of her portfolio seems to tell you a story, from a World not that far away.
She recently decided to rely on Substance Painter for the texturing and rendering process: we were so delighted to learn this that we wanted to know a bit more about this talented artist.

Hey Magdalena, thanks for taking the time to this interview!
First things first: could you tell us a bit more about introduce yourself?

Hi and thank you for having me 🙂 My name is Magdalena Dadela and I’m a character artist currently living in Canada. I grew up in Poland and studied literature and linguistics there before moving on to Canada to join Vancouver Film School’s 1 year 3d Animation and Visual Effects program. There I discovered my love for 3d modeling and have been improving my skills ever since. I have been working in the industry for the past 10 years both in film and in games. I have been lucky to be able to start my career instantly as a character artist and work on some amazing projects over the years.

You have been gaining a great reputation over the years in the Zbrush Community, for the quality and subtlety of your work. Do you impose yourself any guidelines or rules when to keep this consistency? 

That’s nice to hear there is a consistency in my work. All I think about is trying to do the best I can. I’m not trying to be consistent between different pieces but I guess it’s like having a ‘style’. Just a certain something an artist has because the work reflects their interest,  is done by their hands and is seen through their eyes.  

The themes you choose are both unpredictable and refreshing, with a lot of attention to the pose of your characters. In which words would you describe your own work?

The themes of my work reflect my interests. Art, fashion and literature are probably the biggest sources of inspiration.

I would call my work realistic with a touch of soul. I like to represent characters that are believable but not overly realistic. I don’t strive to make the skin shader exactly on point or the pores exactly life-like. In fact putting in a lot of details is definitely not me. I want to be able to breathe life into my characters with form alone and give them personality without loosing myself in wrinkles and unnecessary noise.

“The integration of Iray has been rather amazing. No need to leave the software at all. Just press a button and voila :)”

Textured and rendered in Substance Painter

You have recently integrated Substance Painter in your texturing and rendering pipeline with Iray (we are all super proud here :-)). Could you explain what motivated your decision ?

Well I’m a bit obsessed with textures and contrasts of materials in real life. I absolutely adore art which combines for example glass and concrete. I love when gold and black charcoal meet. Substance Painter allows me to play with similar effects in 3d without spending weeks on blending nodes and waiting for long renders to finish. I get immediate results and the integration of Iray has been rather amazing. No need to leave the software at all. Just press a button and voila 🙂 Obviously the best thing is the fact that I just paint stuff directly on the model. The technology is really inspiring.

What is your favourite SP feature so far?

So far it’s a small thing – folders within folders within folders 😀 I love to combine smart materials with multiple masks over and over again. It creates amazing textural effects. It is super fun too.

Oh and I really love the baking 😀 The curvature map in Substance Painter is great.

“I really love the baking 😀 The curvature map in Substance Painter is great.”

Courtesy of UBISOFT

Could you detail how you use SP2 in your workflow?

So far I’ve been mostly using Substance for doing quick idea development and texturing  zbrush sketches for effective presentation.

Beyond your personal work, do you use SP in a professional context for texturing ?

I do but it’s not yet my main texturing app since I really feel I need custom brushes and alphas for it to do what I want and I haven’t had time to concentrate on making them thus far on the project. I am definitely trying to incorporate it into my workflow more. I’ve used it mostly for non-organic texturing of stuff like leather and metal. I admit I haven’t really gotten used to texturing faces with it yet. I am working on it though 🙂 

What do you do when you don’t texture ?

I sculpt 🙂 mostly digitally but also in clay. And I read a lot – fiction and non-fiction.

Which question did we forget to ask you ? (and what the answer ? :-))

favourite chocolate 😀 Lindt Gold Bar with hazelnuts and raisins – in case anybody wanted to send me a pile.

What is the next Substance Artist you would love us to interview?

I would love to hear more from Adam Skutt 🙂

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