I was born in Barcelona in 1959 and after studying Telecommunications Engineering I was quickly absorbed by the world of computers and become a software developer.
The powerful programs for graphic animation captured my attention and since I never had a special talent to draw, they became the perfect tools to convert my imagination into a comic story. Together with my wife Izara, I am responsible for the script and the drawings of “The Zurvan Club”, Tough Days, The Funny Bots, and other projects..
I was born in Barcelona in 1978 and although I have a chemistry degree from the University of Girona, I was also attracted to the world of computers and the web development.
I’m the responsible for the location, creation and modification of the props and 3D models used to make the vignettes of comic strip “The Zurvan Club”, along with the elaboration and preparation of the models, textures, and content of many of our 3D projects.
Q: Please tell us a bit about your background and your work. When did you start working on animation?
I have been working as a software developer for more than 35 years, and I have combined this activity with 3D designs and CGI animations since the early versions of 3ds Max. I actually started with 3D Studio V4 that worked under MSDOS! It seems unbelievable today, how it was possible to create nice renders with computers equipped with 80486 processors and 16Mb (Not Gb.) of RAM. I suppose it helped me to have a spirit of continuous “optimization” of the available resources that still help me nowadays.
During that time I made some animations for TV advertisements and simulations for industrial videos, but the process was always complex and required a lot of time and equipment, so I never considered to start the production of animated videos. It was not until I started working with iClone, that I realized that I could optimize my production time and the resources involved, in order to create artistic animations without needing a big team of qualified personnel and expensive render farms.
In addition now, the new iClone 7 features include body and facial motion captures, PBR materials, IBL, and Global Illumination that bring us state-of-the-art quality in our productions, rendering full HD sequences in almost real-time using a single workstation. iClone is also very good rendering still images that can be used in advertisements or in my case, to create the artwork for my graphic novels.
Recently, we have also started creating PBR packs for the Reallusion Content store.
Q: Do you remember how you discovered iClone and why you chose it?
How could I forget it! We originally started a Graphic Novel project called “The Zurvan Club” and we needed a 3D application that allowed me to create the characters and the sets for our vignettes.
3ds Max was not an option, as it was too complex and too slow, so I searched the Internet and discovered iClone 4 and other Apps.
I was finally pondering between iClone and Daz3D but after testing both apps I quickly realized that iClone was my tool because it was much more intuitive, easy to learn and fast. iClone allowed me to create complex scenes, some with more than 14 characters at a time while Daz was struggling to cope with more than 4 characters in a single scene.
To have an idea of how iClone boosted my production, I developed and published my first two books of our Graphic novel with 450 pages each one, in less than one year and a half by using iClone 4. Then, iClone 5 was released with a lot of new features and I saw the opportunity to start doing decent animations for children. My first production was a pilot episode of more than 20 minutes called “The Funnybots“, that convinced me that iClone was going to be an outstanding tool for animators. Keep in mind that the episode was produced by just a three people team, in just a couple of months, including the character’s design as well as all the props and sets of the show.
Q: Besides iClone, what other software tools or pipelines do you use?
From Reallusion I use almost everything… from the powerful Character Creator tool, to iClone, 3DXchange, EarthSculptor, PopVideo Converter and occasionally CrazyTalk to create the faces of my characters.
For video editing I feel absolutely comfortable using Vegas Pro, a very intuitive and powerful tool. To add visual effects to my iClone animations I’m very happy using Hitfilm Pro, which is another intuitive and accessible application filled with professional effects and a lot of possibilities, that allow me to mix my iClone CGI with real footage.
To create the models for the content packs I keep using 3ds Max as I already know the tool. Recently I have started using 3DCoat just as PBR painting tool, although it has a lot of exciting possibilities for modeling and retopology that I still have not fully explored. Occasionally, I also use Substance Designer and Substance Player from Allegorithmic to create new textures.
To record and edit Audio files or add special audio effects I mostly use Audacity, and to create and refine the motions created with the Neuron mocap suite I use Axis Neuron and Ikinema WebAnimator. For our graphic novels I use Photoshop Elements to filter the iClone renders in order to get a Comic book look, and Corel Draw to add the bubbles with the texts and other artwork to the vignettes. And finally, to create 360 º landscape panoramic images for my animation sets, I use Magix Panorama Studio.
Q: What can the animation community expect from Antareus Ltd in the future?
We are currently involved in two ambitious projects to develop high-quality animation shows. It’s a big challenge and if we succeed, it will be a definitive example of using iClone as a professional studio tool.
We are also developing more content for the Reallusion Content Store and I want to remake the artwork of my Graphics novels using the amazing possibilities of iClone 7. I already had a glimpse of what we can achieve with iClone 6 and the new characters from Character Creator. I developed a video clip called “Tough Days” that is a kind of introduction for another line of Graphic Novel. The test vignettes that I got looked absolutely awesome! And now, with iClone 7, our possibilities are literally endless.
But I have to confess that my pending subject is Crazy Talk Animator(CTA)… an amazing 2D animator tool with an incredible potential. I have several projects stored in the drawer for CTA, but unfortunately although my dedication is complete, I can’t find enough time to accomplish all my wishes. Nevertheless, as they say… Rome was not build in a day.
In any case, we have an exciting future ahead!
To see more of Adolf & Izara’s work, visit >>
The Zurvan Club: http://www.thezurvanclub.com/