Interview with Viktor Fretyán
Welcome to CG Record, Viktor Fretyan is a very talented CG Artist that has won numerous Awards and has been praised for His artistic Architectural Visualization skills among professionals and some of His works has been published by Ballistic Publishing, a pioneer in publishing the Best Digital Art works in the Universe. He was kind enough to chat with us and answer some of our questions.
Hi Viktor, Please introduce yourself and give a brief background on how you got involved in the CG industry.
I am from Budapest, Hungary. I studied architecture but I can't really concider myself an architect. I always loved to draw and so when I came across a demo version of 3ds max at the age around 12 and I was so impressed! Back then it was something incredible to be able to create boxes and spheres and just to rotate the things in the viewport. I was blown away :) Then later at the University I started to use it for architectural renderings and realized I could actually do this for a living. What luck! I felt saved as I sucked at architecture pretty much hehehe.
What areas of Cg are you interested the most and which ones are you experienced at?
I'm only interested in architectural stuff. And mainly in still images. I'm not so good with animations...
Which software do you use on a daily basis & What are the reasons behind your choice?
I use 3ds max 2012 with Vray 2.0 (I think...). Why max? Just because that was the first 3d program I came across and I got stuck with it I guess. I'm too lazy to learn anything new...
Walk us through an ordinary working day of yours, can you suggest a check list of how to start working on a project?
I think the most important is to schedual your time correctly. And stick to it. When we book a project its always a whole week for an image. So it starts on Monday morning and finishes on Friday at 4:30pm. That is important to tell to the client as well. Beacuse most architects think if they have a deadline you will just go on and work until printing. So I go to the office at the start of the week and browse through all the info I got regarding the project and then call him/her to know what are their intentions with the images. It's not enough to make a good looking image. It has to be the RIGHT image that shows what needs to be shown. The first part of the week is to experiment with different versions and sketches and get an aproval of the main concept of the image. The next part of the week is to develope that image till the finish line.
How important do you see the tools in design process and visualization process?How do you suggest one to pick the right tool?
Do you mean for example if doing something in 3d or 2d? For me 2d is always the easy way out. It's like a first aid kit bandage. You can just patch things up with it. If you have the time I would advice to get as much as possible rendered cause then the lighting and all other stuff will be correct. But only do it if the result will be good enough. There is always a balance between 3d and 2d in an image (I am talking about visualization). Sometimes the image is flawless with almost the raw render. And sometimes the whole image is one big matte painting. If you want to be really good you have to master both sides. You can't get away with just one! But that is no big secret :)
Can you talk a little bit about your influences ? How do they Inspire you?
It usually happens when I am looking for some images for my current work for some clipart people per say. Many times I just come across an image that is inspireing. It can be the simplest thing. Like a portrait of someone or a nice landscape or a painting. Hard to say what it is that moves someone. Sometimes it's a mediocre photo where the colors work so perfectly just by pure luck. And then when I try to re create it in my work it never seems to happen. But these influences come from the least expected places. Rarely ever they come from CG work.
What is the sweetest thing that has happened to you in CG industry?
Haha, I really couldn't say. I feel this is like a ladder where I'm climbing up step by step. I can feel it indeed that I am moving forward, I can see myself getting better and better. But I think that "sweetest" moment is still ahead whatever that may be.
What is the most challenging thing about Your CG work?
To be creative. To reinvent stuff over and over again and not resorting to the same old tricks. Once I have the idea, the atmosphere, the mood, the "story" in my head then it's just straight forward till the finished image.
How do you stay updated & plan to learn new things and What is your advice for people to stay updated?
Awww that is one of my biggest flaws! I really don't stay updated. I used to be on these webpages like Evermotion or Cgtalk so much but I just got left behind and whenever I go and check these things out I feel so outdated that it just gets me upset and turn my back on the whole thing :) I think it's not good. It is wise to keep track of new things so I strongly advice to anyone to follow the news and always keep learning new things. Don't get lazy like me :)
You have recently joined Mir, moved abroad, now residing in Norway, Please tell us about your experience in your hometown, what did you learn from those difficulties. How did you manage to be a very accomplished CG Artist and what companies did you work with prior to Mir as a freelancer, I assume you are a self taught person in CG, what is your advice to those like yours?
Before coming here I was studying at the Uni so I only worked part time. And only for smaller architetural firms. After publishing some images online bigger companies showed interest in working with me but I was always afraid of it as I was still studying so I couldn't be 100percent devoted. So I sticked to the small jobs instead. After my diploma I came here to Bergen to work with MIR. This place is totally different than my home country. In Norway everything seems so slow and comfortable, there's never any rush. And they seem to have this craving for quality regardless of price and time. And these things are the same for MIR as well which is very easy to get used to.
And my advice to others like me? Well since you all are meant to be (or become) my competition just drop the whole thing and leave :)
But besides the jokes: As I see it most people who are trying to get into doing architectural visualization are mostly trying to solve things in 3d. Try focusing much more on the Photoshopping part as well and develope both at the same time. Also don't get stuck on one detail! Try to get the whole image evolve as one at the same time. I think that is really important especially when working on a tight deadline.
What was the last tip-trick you learnt?
Nothing I can recall. In fact when I came here I expected to learn so many tricks but I had to realize there is no secret magic. As a matter of fact I am using less and less tricks! If there is anything I can advice is try NOT to lean on tricks and just do everything manually.
What advice would you have to give someone who’s interested in Computer graphics studying architecture or artists interested in architectural visualization?
The same I said before: In arch viz both 3d and Photoshop are equally important I would say. Try to keep everything clean and neat. Effects and tweaks can ruin many images (like good old Van Der Rohe said: Less is more). And always try to be original! There are many artists and studios now with a clear distinct and recognized stye. Try to learn from these of course but never try to mimic them!
What are your ambitious future plans? how far can one go in this industry?
I really don't know...I don't think about this. I feel that there are still so much things to learn and so many ways to get better so I just try to do so.
Thank you so much for this Interview and we all look forward to hearing great news and seeing amazing works from you.
Thank you CG Record Team!
CG Portfolio - more about Viktor Fretyán
MIR - more about MIR