Folio Friday! Florian Jonas

For this edition of Folio Friday, we would like to introduce you to the artist behind FJ Tools, Florian Jonas. Currently working as a 3D character artist at Grimlore Games, Flo has created some fantastic characters and monsters for SpellForce 3! We had a chance to ask Flo some questions about game art:

How did you first get into game art and character art?

I have always been an avid gamer and when I learned that my art school at the time offered a flash game course, I instantly signed up for as many modules as I could. They also offered lessons in 3D modeling and after falling in love after the first few lessons, my fate was sealed.

I studied “Interactive Animation” and after graduating, I knew that I wanted to get into Character Art. My first job was with a local toy company, which mainly does board and mobile games. Nevertheless I got the chance to work on a few 3D characters as well.

After my contract ended, I found a new home at Grimlore Games, which has its focus on core pc games. I started working as UI artist, but kept working on characters after hours.

Half a year later I managed to switch to the 3D Department, where I finally am able to work on creatures and characters full time.

Do you prefer to make stylized characters like your zombie bust, or realistic like your elder demon?

A few years ago my answer would have definitely been "stylized!!". I was very inspired by the Darksiders and Creaturebox artstyle and wanted to grow in that direction.  

Once I landed my job at Grimlore Games though, I had to adapt to the more mature style of their games. After struggling at first, I then adapted to this new style, which now also has an impact on my personal work. So I would say “something in between”. I still love exaggerated shapes, but I learned to love the small details as well.

What’s your personal favorite software and/or pipeline?

That is a tough one... but I would have to settle for ZBrush, with Substance Painter as a close second. I always disliked oldschool texturing flattened UV shells. To me this felt unintuitive and I did not enjoy it that much. Therefore I love the latest development in texturing tools.

Working in Substance Painter just feels like painting Warhammer figures, which I used to do a lot back when I was a kid (Blood for the Blood God!). ZBrush on the other hand allows me to create characters out of nothing. Yet I can design them freely and with fewer restrictions than in “traditional” 3D applications.  

The only obstacle might be finding all the important buttons in the ZBrush UI jungle.

Once learned, working in ZBrush is a blast though! I am still excited every time I start this stubborn piece of software ;D!

 

Follow Flo on Artstation, and be sure to check out his FJ Tools on gumroad or cubebrush! And don't be shy - leave some feedback on polycount!


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