Exploring virtual reality sculpting with SAE Liverpool Animation student Samantha Louloudis

21 Aug 2019

We spoke to SAE Liverpool Animation student Samantha Louloudis about her Major Project and found out what advice she would give to incoming September freshers.

She has been exploring the use of virtual reality sculpting in world building and concept art, and seeing how to use it in a 3D to 2D workflow.

What inspired you to look at virtual reality environmental and character paintings?

I’m always looking at job postings, and even for concept artists nowadays people seem to be looking for people with 3D experience (such as Maya and ZBrush). Virtual reality is even newer technology, so I wanted to see what I could do with a programme like Medium.

What skills and techniques that you have developed on the course have you been using for your Major Project?

I think over the course of the Major Project I’ve improved at nearly everything involved in the project; from just digital painting skills, to going from very little Oculus Medium knowledge to feeling like it’s one of my favourite programmes to work in, also even things like rendering skills.

What challenges have you encountered during the project, and how have you overcome these?

Although we learn sculpting packages on the course (ZBrush), Medium was an entirely different sort of beast. A little longer than I would have prefered was spent with me trying to get used to working in it, and the smaller little tricks and shortcuts that are present in all 3D software. To get around that I watched videos of other people working in it, scoured the internet, and put in a decent amount of raw hours.

What have you enjoyed about the course at SAE?

I really felt like the staff ‘got’ it. I was a student representative and I always felt that everyone just wanted to listen to us and improve areas that they could. I loved the learning atmosphere and how close-knit everyone was.

What area of the Animation industry are you hoping to go into after graduating?

Concept Art! I’d love to be able to design things for VFX and Games, and going into this area allows me to combine my love for painting and 3D work. I had a really good time on the project because it was fun imagining what people in my world were wearing, or what the buildings looked like.

Do you have any advice for the freshers who will be starting the Animation course in September?

Work hard! Start messing around in Maya and Max before you start them offically in the second trimester. Although we all love videogames, try not to spend too much time doing ‘Research’.

Be open to other areas of the course you might not be initally interested in - I was dead-set on being an Animator before we started, only to discover I didn’t like it very much. But, most importantly, have a good time!