Zhelong’s mastery of 3D art is world-class: the intricacy of his models, the delicacy of his textures and materials, his particular use of lighting, camera angle, colors and ambiance while staging his creations convey such expressivity that any single asset coming from him tells an entire story every time. Seeing him using the Substance line of tools, and in particular Substance Painter, was a wonderful surprise, and I am overjoyed that we are able to participate, at our level, in his work.
— Sébastien Deguy
Zhelong Xu is a true grandmaster of 3D art, and a champion of the Substance toolset. More than this, he is an artistic maestro in the purest sense – not merely a master of his craft, but an artist capable of expanding the limits of his medium, of inventing a new form and inspiring others. Zhelong’s style is immediately recognizable; this is the style of the true masters.
One of the great passions of the Substance team is to not only showcase and promote Substance artists, but 3D artists overall who profoundly affect their field. For this reason, we felt that we had to do something special to celebrate Zhelong’s work.
Our book Yechawood: The Art of Zhelong Xu is that celebration. It contains a comprehensive collection of his work to date – not merely his 3D work, but his artwork in a range of media including simple pen or pencil sketches, digital painting, and real-world sculpture. Zhelong details the processes and inspiration around his artwork, and provides a detailed breakdown of his workflow. All texts are in English, as well as in Zhelong’s native Chinese.
‘Yecha’ is actually a place name in Jingdezhen, my hometown. The origin of the name is a little archaic now, but I think this old name is particularly cool; this is the source of the title of this book.
The field of digital art is developing at a tremendous rate. VR sculptures and revolutionary software, such as Substance, continue to emerge. How will we face and embrace this change? The danger that such technological innovation presents is that artists might forget the reason for its inception – that is, we will travel so far along the road that we will forget why we began the journey in the first place. Works of art that are notable only because of technical excellence will eventually be discarded, as new technology replaces the old. Only those works that convey real emotion, that reflect real life and individuality, will endure. This has always been true. Given the extraordinary evolution of software tools that we are now experiencing, it is doubly true today.
— Zhelong Xu
This book is available on Amazon now, in the USA, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Also, look out for our book The PBR Guide: A Handbook for Physically Based Rendering, and keep your eyes open in the weeks to come for our third publication, Meet MAT: The Art Book of the 3D Painting Contest.