Jesse Gayanilo is the winning contestant on our recently concluded Blender Beasts 2017 competition. His work was in its own league, and having executed a considerably complex scene the way he did, we wanted to get to know him better. Here are a few words from our correspondence with Jessie, our very first Blender Beast.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you work in the 3d industry, or do you plan to?

Great models! Were they pre-made assets? If not, how long did it take you to create them?

I chose Eternum Rek’Sai because I would only have to sculpt the torso and hands, everything else is box modeling, and in texturing, I would only have to retopologise and UV unwrap the torso, the hard surface parts would do fine with almost exclusively procedural texturing, which would take less time. The process took around three weeks. The humans were from blend swap.

What Inspired you to create a tribute piece to League of Legends?

What are your thoughts on the new features introduced in Blender 2.79, and how have they helped you bring your idea to life?

We love how you lit and framed this piece! Can you tell us about your workflow for staging, lighting and framing this shot?

With the rule of thirds, I also positioned the beast in a way her head (the focal point) is near the top right intersection. I positioned her arms and her snake-like body as guiding lines towards her head. I also positioned her body in a way where she shows domination over the scene, her arms and snake-like body spread over and grasping most of the image.

With the lighting, I wanted the light to shine behind her, to make her look powerful (I also observe this kind of lighting in some superhero images) I believe this lighting is effective because in nature, the light source, which is the sun, is above, and things that block the sun are usually big, like trees, and mountains, which leaves the sun to shine behind the big things. I took that idea and applied it to the scene. I then created a quick previs of the environment and a light source above, angled in a way that the light will make the background wall behind her head to be bright and fade towards the bottom, to also make the rest of her body contrast from the background, but not as much contrast her head and the background wall behind her head makes.

I then added more details to the environment, added some guiding lines like the handrails. Then added some scientists and soldiers to add some life, some emotions, something from our world, to make the viewer relate to the terrified people in the scene. The scientists and soldiers also show how big the beast is.

How was your experience rendering on our farm?

If it were rendered in my computer, I would experience a few crashes and an eternity to render. The people from the 24/7 customer service are friendly, respond quickly, and were helpful in showing me the way around the render farm. All in all, the render farm saved me a lot of time.

How does it feel to be our very first Blender Beast?

And there you have it, inspiring words from a 3d wunderkind from the beautiful tropics of the Philippines! To see someone so young achieve such great renders gives us hope for the new generation of Blender users, and how they might one day shape the CG industry with Blender. We plan to run contests more regularly for artists from all software backgrounds, and we welcome any input to make them more and more fun! What skills would you like to practice next? What prizes would you want to see in the pool? Let us know on Facebook or email!

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