Interview with Paulo Barrelas
TheAllusionist: Paulo why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself in a brief bio.
Paulo: I was born in Angola in 1974, when it was a Portuguese colony. In 1975 my parents moved to Portugal because of the war. Now I live with my beloved wife in a town called Condeixa close to Coimbra, in the center of Portugal.
I discovered that I want to be an architect when I was around 7 years old, playing with Legos and making houses from it. I like CG since I saw Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Soaron was all made from CG and never missed an episode just to see it. I only started in CG in my 2nd year of my architecture course, when I learned to model in Autocad. Then I started to use 3D Studio Max to render the scenes made in Autocad. It was only after 2 years that after I saw the first movie of the Lord of the Rings, that I discovered Maya. I immediately liked its workflow and completely left 3DMax behind.
In 2001 I started to work in an architecture office, I learned a few things there but the overall experience was pretty bad, the architect in charge is only interested in money, he is what I call a commercial architect, in my opinion this is not a real architect. Since he never spent much time in the office, I was fortunate because this gave plenty or room to talk with clients, project and had to learn many things by myself, this gave me plenty of experience. This year I quit that job because of his bad running of the office, I was very tired of watching him doing bad architecture, not to mention he was owing me a great amount of money.
So I started to work as a freelancer in architecture and architecture visualization. Here is where I stand now.
TheAllusionist: Now that you're working alone, what are your plans?
Paulo: I’m planning to work as a freelancer in both architecture and 3D visualization, like I’m doing at this moment. Lets see what surprises will the future bring to me.
TheAllusionist: I have to ask about your avatar, is there a story behind that picture?
Paulo: It’s a very simple one. I bought my camera a few days before my weeding and honeymoon, so I was testing it in different ways. I have a friend in Philadelphia named Eric, which I knew from a Pixel Corps course and we trade pictures in order to know how we look like. I guess I was trying to catch the best in me!!
TheAllusionist: I think you are very talented in architectural design, who would you say has influenced you architecturally?
Paulo: Thanks Russell. I have too many influences to name them all here, so I’ll name those ones that influence me more directly. Steven Holl, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Tadao Ando.
TheAllusionist: Who do you look up to and who has influenced you in regards to Architectural Visualization?
Paulo: To be honest I like the work of many artists, I don’t have a favorite one since I like realistic and non realistic visualization. I’m still working on my visualization style but my influences here come from movies in particular the Tim Burton’s movies and Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events. As I said, I’m still working on that because the majority of architecture visualization I do is for constructors and unfortunately they don’t have an art sensitivity that would allow me to do what I really want. I guess I’ll have to adopt two styles in the future, the one I want and a commercial one.
TheAllusionist: Are you currently working and if so what do you do?
TheAllusionist: Can you describe your average day?
Paulo: In the morning I go to the gym pumping some iron. I usually work only after the lunch and at night. The working time can involve architecture projects, architectural visualization, meeting clients and increasing my skills, all that listening to music.
TheAllusionist: What software package do you use and do you use it exclusively or do you use it in conjunction with other programs?
Paulo: I use a lot of software for several types of work. For my architecture projects I use exclusively autocad. For my 3D scenes I use Maya, to model, texture, lighting and rendering, for post production I use Photoshop and After Effects, for illustration I use Illustrator and Photoshop. I’m learning ZBrush to help achieve certain effects on organic modeling. Finally last but not least, I use Unreal Tournament for my “head shot” time.
TheAllusionist: This is one of my favorite questions to ask, what is your process for creating such great work?
Paulo: Regardless the nature of the project, after I find a theme, or the theme is gave to me, I always start for looking reference material related to what I want to do. Then I sketch a lot until my ideas are settled on paper. Now is the time to move to the modeling and lot’s of texture, lighting and rendering tests to achieve what I’m looking for. The post production is crucial and it’s here where I put everything together since I use multi pass rendering to speed my workflow.
TheAllusionist: Most of what I have seen of your work is architectural, but I did see you working on a complex tank, is most your work architectural or do you branch out into other fields?
Paulo: I love 3D, not only architectural but all the kinds. Unfortunately I never had the time necessary to do all the 3D work I like, let’s see in a couple of weeks how I’ll use my time. I started to work since my course’s 2nd year and my course is very intense, the majority of my 3D works had to be directly related to architecture. I’m planning to make what ever kind of 3D scene my imagination brings on in the future.
TheAllusionist: What do you see as your strengths and what are you currently working on to improve?
Paulo: Well, my strengths are relative, but I’m always looking to improve my 3D skills in every field, including passing to bits what I have inside my head. In architecture every project is a challenge which I’m always looking to improve in relation to the last one.
TheAllusionist: Is there a question you wished you were asked or anything you want to say to the community?
Paulo: Yeah, I want to say to the community Thanks for supporting us and to have patience because we are making all the efforts to improve even more this great site that is 3DAllusions.com.
TheAllusionist: I am sure you will have a great career, where do you hope to be in five years?
Paulo: In five years I’m expecting to have a bag full of paying costumers…heh heh!! And to make some true animation that had been closed to me because of the short time. And or course still taking part of the 3DAllusions team.
TheAllusionist: Now that you are part of our team, how would you like to see the site evolve?
Paulo: First of all I want see our site to maintain the present friendship among the community. I also would like to see our site to become one of the best ones in the net not just in architectural visualization but also in all the other fields of CG.