Novedge: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Dominik Dammelhart: My name is Dominik Dammelhart and I’am a 31 year old freelance 3D Gernalist, based near Vienna, Austria. I would love to talk now about some of my hobbies, but my hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. I am hardly away from the computer to do other things than 3D.Novedge: What is a recent project you have worked on?
Dominik Dammelhart: In the the last few months I worked a lot on my DemoReel . Since I don’t have so much time to work on my own stuff I had to setup a few new scenes and come up with a couple of new ideas only for this Reel. It was kind of challenging but I was really glad when I had it finished.
I also did do a lot of industrial work for different companies in the past couple months. Like this work I have done for a watch company in Switzerland, and some shots for a Lenovo cell phone commercial.
Novedge: What is the work in the past year that makes you particularly proud and why?
Dominik Dammelhart: It’s always hard for me to judge my own work so it’s even harder to pick my best work or the project I’m most proud of. If I had to pick one I think it would be my Armadyne / Elysium project. It was really fun to work on it, tweaking the shaders, building the whole scene, getting the lighting done and so on. Even though it wasn't easy to render since Octane Render didn't have object motion blur implemented back then; I had to render it with a 36 times subframe motion blur, which was actually a pain because of the high geometry load on the gpu.
Novedge: How did you become a "3D generalist"?
Dominik Dammelhart: How did I become a 3D Generalist!? That’s really a good question. In my early 20’s I thought becoming a web designer might be a good idea. I wanted to get a chance to stand on my own feet building something creative everyday. I was into Adobe Flash a lot so I learned AS2 and AS3. In the end it didn't turn out to be what I expected. I had to write way more code than I anticipated in the beginning, and couldn't really focus on the design. In this process I started using Cinema 4D to get some nice 3D Text or nicer images. One day I came across the work of Silverwings-VFX, Raphael Rau's 2010 Demo Reel. I thought to myself: THIS is exactly what I want to do! From that day on I fully immersed myself in 3D and watched every tutorial I could get my hands on. Especially if they had to do with realistic renderings. Silverwing also gave me some great advice along the way and was the one that really pushed me to get better and better. He is still a great inspiration every day and a close friend.
Novedge: What software do you use?
Dominik Dammelhart: It really depends on the job. What really makes the difference are the render engines. My main 3D package is Cinema 4D. I just simply love its usefulness. For post production I use a lot of Photoshop and After Effects and sometimes Nuke . My main render engines are Maxwell, VRay, Octane and Corona. All four of them are great engines and I love all of them equally.Novedge: Your website, Curse Studio delivers a series of fantastic tutorials. Who is your target costumer?
Dominik Dammelhart: Well, I do sell tutorials but I am far away from making a living out of it. I create these tutorials because it's fun and I love to entertain people and help them learn something useful. I focus mainly on my free tutorials. People can combine them with my tutorials for sale, if they are interested in something more specific or are looking for more in depth workflows. The range of people that buy my tutorials is really wide: from big companies to single individuals that want to get into 3D, to freelancers.
Novedge: How do you get ideas for your tutorials?
Dominik Dammelhart: Most of the time I get my ideas by searching stuff on the internet. Sometimes I come across a picture that looks great (it can be anything from a set of keys to a bottle to a futuristic sci-fi scene) and I simply save it in folder for later on. Sometimes I create my own 3D work from those references and share it afterwards as a tutorial on Vimeo.
Novedge: Who do you admire in your industry?
Dominik Dammelhart: There are a lot of people I admire in my industry and it would probably take ages to list them all. I will just mention a few: Bertrand Benoit, Marek Denko, Alex Roman, Peter Sanitra and of course Raphael Rau. All of them delivering absolutely beautiful and outstanding work. These are the guys that keep me inspired everyday to become a a better artist.
Novedge: What's the best advice you have ever received?