David Aguero Realistic Frog Wire

Artist Spotlight: 3D Generalist and Concept Artist David Aguero

Davide Aguero

SOFTWARE LightWave
PORTFOLIO ArtStation – David Aguero
SPECIALTY 3D Generalist & Concept Artist
COUNTRY Argentina


I recommend GarageFarm.NET to all CG artist, freelancers, and studios. There is a great team of real humans behind it who are very supportive even with very unusual technical problems. Thanks and happy rendering!
DAVID AGUERO

David is a CG Generalist and concept designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Most of his works are rooted in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and present imagined worlds with a believability that engages and awes. David has been into art since a very young age and spent many years mastering his craft. Having a traditional art background has helped him with creating realistic yet artistically stunning imagery. We are fortunate to have had a moment with him to talk about his beginnings and life as an artist.

What’s your name and where do you live?

My name is David Aguero and I live in Argentina, Buenos Aires

What do you do professionally and where do you work currently? Can you tell us a few words about your career experience so far?

I’m a 3d generalist and concept designer, doing (mostly) freelance job, and occasionally working on projects for publicity studios from Argentina. I’ve been working in CG for 12 years.

Besides work, what do you do in your free time?

I make sci-fi and fantasy CG art, I’m also a musician, I do traditional 2d drawing.

Here’s an oldie made with a Bic Biro pen:

David Aguero drawing using Bic Biro Pen

How did you get involved in CG initially and when was it?

I always was into art from very young age, I admire people like Ray Harryhausen and Phil Tippett, I wanted to do that, but very soon I saw Jurassic Park and was blown away. I tried to learn how it was made (I was 11 then, now 34 years old) it was very hard, no internet, no CG school. It took me some years till I got some info, first soft I tried was 3d studio r3 for D.O.S. that came in a tutorial magazine.

What was the most rewarding project you ever worked on? Tell us about it.

First direct client freelance job I made, pure sci fi, complete creative control, it was a blast. I did everything – 3d modelling, textures, light and shaders, animation, post, sound FX and music, 2 month work. All made in Lightwave 3d 11.6.3, textures made in Substance Painter. The client and I were both very happy. This is the video:

How did you get involved in CG initially and when was it?

I always was into art from very young age, I admire people like Ray Harryhausen and Phil Tippett, I wanted to do that, but very soon I saw Jurassic Park and was blown away. I tried to learn how it was made (I was 11 then, now 34 years old) it was very hard, no internet, no CG school. It took me some years till I got some info, first soft I tried was 3d studio r3 for D.O.S. that came in a tutorial magazine.

What was the most rewarding project you ever worked on? Tell us about it.

First direct client freelance job I made, pure sci fi, complete creative control, it was a blast. I did everything – 3d modelling, textures, light and shaders, animation, post, sound FX and music, 2 month work. All made in Lightwave 3d 11.6.3, textures made in Substance Painter. The client and I were both very happy. This is the video:

A TV commercial for OMBU (safety shoes for workers)

You’re mainly freelancing, what do you find is the most challenging aspect of being a freelance artist?

To find a good client, not only on the money side, I mean people who respect your work and your person. It is a tough world to be alone. I prefer a small budget but having fun along the project than a big budget from hell.

What are some of the things you always keep in mind about rendering when working on a project?

Radiosity flickering, depth of field (post or not) and how the character will interact with the background. I plan for those ahead of time before production.

What aspects influence your decision whether to go for post or not?

Deadline time. I can spend more time thinking on how to break down a 3d scene for motion blur, Zdepth, volumetric light and all kind of effects than setting it all in 3d and let the render network handle the heavy task.

David Aguero - 'Alien Valley'
‘Alien Valley’ by David Aguero

Is there anything an artist should keep in mind when working on a scene that will be rendered on a network or an external render farm?

Yes, avoid non native plugins, consolidate your project files and be organized. Make several local render test and then make some tests on the Render Farm to fine tune your renders times.

How do you deal with ever increasing demands for quality 3D and photo-realism? How does it influence your workflow?

Well, that is a hard to answer, I think most of softwares can produce photoreal CG for some time now, the problem is to know how! For that, one must understand how the real world works: reflection, light, shadow, scatter, color. I keep learning on this matter all the time. Also, having a decent hardware helps when the learning process collides with the render times 🙂

David Aguero - 'Crash Landing'
‘Crash landing’ by David Aguero

How do you learn the real world and how it works? What’s your usual practice?

Having a traditional artist background helps a lot. It is very common to focus your attention on the details, but if you need to build knowledge around the matter, watching tutorials of traditional painting is very informative, as usually painters explain how the light works, watching tutorials on PBR (physical base render) is a good source of info to learn how realistic shader works.

Do you normally use cloud render farms to do your renderings or render on your PC?

I usually render on 2 PC’s I have at home, but when the project needs techniques that require heavy computing, I choose a render farm. Cloud render farms are a great service and help for freelancers like myself.

What’s the project you recently rendered on our farm?

I needed to make a fotoreal frog for a futuristic pet habitat, the premise was to show the frog in the “real jungle” but then reveal that it was on the habitat, this is a frame from the clip:

David Aguero realistic frog

Can you tell us some more about the tech details and tools used?

I rendered like 600 frames, time were from 1.30 hours to 6 hours per frame, render was so long because I didn’t have too much time for the post work, so I used depth of field , volumetric lights, motion blur and some skin scattering directly in the Lightwave 3d engine, I also used substance painter and Zbrush for the frog.

What was the reason behind using a render farm for this project?

I needed the render done in a week at most. On my PC It would have taken like 100 days to render.

How did you find GarageFarm.NET initially?

The Lightwave community – Newtek forums, and lightwave facebook groups (facebook.com/groups/lightwiki/)


My experience was great. The plugin installs easily and the Web Manager is very easy to use. On top of that, the communication with the support is fantastic.

Any advice to a person new to CG who would like to become a concept artist?

Find an artist that you like to be your base of influence, try to learn all about his/her creative process. Don’t stick with only one, there are a lot of legends of concept design (Ralph McQuarrie, Syd Mead, Chris Foss, Doug Chiang, Joe Johnston, etc). Work hard to learn, and practice, make an online portfolio, post in related forums, accept criticism from others, and have fun!

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