Artist Feature: Team Wartoad | Marmoset

Artist Feature: Team Wartoad

By Joe “EarthQuake” Wilson

Ludwig Dresch and Vincent Gro

The votes are in! The Polycount community at large along with a panel of judges have chosen Team Wartoad as the winning entry for the Petrol/Blood contest.

Team Wartoad is comprised of two talented young french artists: Ludwig Dresch and Vincent Gros. Both Ludwig and Vincent attended the same school, Supinfogame, in Valenciennes, France. Ludwig and Vincent are currently working as environment artists at Krysalide in Lyon, France.

Est maintenant temps pour les entretiens, oui oui?

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Have you worked together previously?

Ludwig: Yes, we’ve studied together, and worked as interns at Cyanide Studio on the upcoming game Styx: Master Of Shadows. But this is the first project we’ve started and finished together.

What was it like working in a team for this competition?

Vincent: It was very cool, we have pretty much the same background, so we decided to split the work in two. It all went very smoothly, and was also very motivating to see what we could do and how we could help each other with the Wartoad every day.

How did you divvy up responsibilities?

L: It was a team project so we both had our hands on it throughout the process. We had to work together to agree on what to change by pointing out issues to each other. Luckily for us, there wasn’t a lot of problems, we were generally on the same page. To manage our team, we made an excel sheet on Google Drive so we could keep track of our current and future tasks in real time.

V: More specifically, once the final concept was done, we decided to share the 3D workload and work on it in parallel, by splitting the parts: the body of the toad and its armour on one hand, and the pilot, the turret and the arms on the other hand. This way we both experienced the full process from start to final texturing, blending our pieces together along the way in 3d Studio Max and Marmoset Toolbag.

“We really wanted to make something different to stand out from the crowd.”

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What was your source of inspiration for Wartoad?

L: The work of CreatureBox was definitely our main inspiration. We wanted to make something colorful and fun, and this is the perfect reference for that.

Your entry was one of the most stylized, was that a deliberate choice to stand out?

L: We’ve previously worked on a lot of realistic things and we both have some personal project which involve a more artistic, stylized approach. So we thought this contest would be a good opportunity to work on something we were looking to achieve one day or another anyway.

V: As beginners (we have only been doing 3D art for 3 years) we really wanted to make something different to stand out from the crowd. Something we would like to see in a game or in this case a contest. That reinforced the choice to create a stylized/cartoonish character.

Is this the first project that you used the physically based rendering workflow for?

V: On Styx we used the PBR workflow, and when Marmoset Tooblag 2 came out we tried the new options and figured out how all the textures worked together for a more realistic result.

“Marmoset Toolbag is really the perfect place to put our work together, and above all iterate the look all the way from start to finish.”

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Was it a challenge to create a stylized entry within the restraints of the contest?

L: Not so much. At first we had our doubts because dDo was a requirement for the contest and we thought that dDo was more efficient for realistic asset creation and would play against the direction we took.

V: Actually, it turned out well when we learnt how to use dDo, allowing us to get close to the detail of textures and materials we were looking for.

How does Toolbag fit into the way you work?

L: Marmoset Toolbag is really the perfect place to put our work together, and above all iterate the look all the way from start to finish. For all of our projects, once you have the low poly model it’s the place where I want to view it in parallel to my baking and texturing pipeline, to get great results with all the lighting and options, even in early stages of the work.

V: Also, when you don’t plan to put your video game asset into a game engine, but want to showcase it with all the advantages of real time rendering, Marmoset Toolbag is your best friend and provides everything you need in an easy to use package!

Do you have any words of inspiration for our readers?

V: It might sound a little cliché, but the fact is it’s happening every day, whatever your situation is: if you care about what you are doing, and you love doing it for the sake of it, you have the best chance to become successful and gain recognition along the way. And it feels very nice!

L: Also, working together with the right people really makes the task easier haha.

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Thanks for joining us! Be sure to check out Ludwig and Vincent’s portfolios at ludwigdresch.com and vincent-gros.com.

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