People of Kuato: Shaping the Heroes with Carlo
Carlo Bautista is Kuato’s 3D Character Artist, responsible for sculpting the iconic heroes in Marvel Hero Tales. Carlo is responsible for turning concept art into workable 3D objects for the animation team to bring to life. Carlo has come a long way from drawing Pokemon on his bedroom walls at as a youngster, and plays a big part in the visual brilliance of the award-winning Marvel Hero Tales app.
What do you do at Kuato Studios?
I mainly work on the Marvel Hero Tales app, which currently consists of 12 playable characters, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and Black Panther.
My job essentially consists of three main components – sculpting, texturing (adding colour) and retopology (compressing the file size). It’s important to ensure each hero is consistent with Marvel’s original representation.
When sculpting 2D concepts of characters in a 3D programme, each character requires a different approach. It’s always fun and a unique challenge, as one day I’m making battle armour for Loki, and the next I could be sculpting Hulk’s abs. The image below shows Dr. Strange as a 3D sculpture.
Once I have sculpted the shape, it’s time to add colour (texturing). Our games are renown for stunning graphics, so this stage requires huge attention to detail and this component often takes longer than the sculpting process.
In the Black Panther example below, you can see the minute details in his body armour grooves and mask patterns, and all the various shades of black, as well as the shadowing effects from the lighting. With all of that detail in mind, its important to retopologise each character so they cab work in-game without crazy download times, or taking up too much memory on your device.
What are your earliest memories of drawing/ design work?
I always loved drawing characters as a kid. Ever since I learned how to pick up a pencil I have been doodling everywhere I can. My childhood home is riddled with drawings on the ceilings and walls (sorry Mum!). I remember drawing a lot of stick men, and when Pokémon came out in 1998, it was all about Pokémon characters – especially Voltorb!
How did that transfer from a hobby to a professional trade?
What advice would you give to a recent graduate or someone starting a job in your field?
Which artists/ game design/ project inspires you?
Which pieces of your work are you most proud of and why?
Aside from creating characters for Kuato, I take it upon myself to challenge my craft and push the boundaries of what I can do. To teach myself something new with every project I do. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as well as you want it to, but I always come out the other end having learned something, and ultimately making me a better artist.