This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Cem Tezcam, an amazing Technical Artist from Turkey. He was kind enough to give us an insight into his career, workflow and hobbies!
Who or what inspired you to get into 3D art?
I was playing Elders Scrolls 3 Morrowind around 2003. I realized that some modding is being made by accessing the model files from the game package. I tried to modify the 3d models and put them into game. So after a while, I got into community through CGtalk and tried to do better by having critics and advices through time.
What are you working on at the moment?
For the hobby purposes I mostly love to create environments from past. Since this is a frustrating progress, and lately I completed a scene from 70s, I am cooling down by making imaginary products which is the second enjoyable thing I do by CAD modeling software. For the commercial jobs I have short contracts with my customers on plastic injection molding designs or game content creation. I know they are very different disciplines but I can’t get rid of my CAD background. Besides of that I create content for my Unreal Engine Marketplace and I record some tutorials about height map modeling for my Artstation Store and Youtube Channel.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Best part is the feeling of success after looking for solutions through different bottlenecks of a creation. It even amazes me to be extremely creative on finding easy (or cheap) solutions on creating different models, effects or textures. That makes me motivated.
Worst part is the creative block that happen occasionally after a huge imaginative creation is completed. I think I’m not very successful on managing this kind of process.
How your typical workflow looks like and which tools and software do you prefer to use?
I mostly work on hard surface models. Organics or characters are occasionally needed on my projects. I love creating geometry with CAD software which are Solidworks and Rhinoceros. I’m still using both of them depending to the target model that I needed to make. But also I love creating 3d geometry by height maps which I generate with Substance Designer. I love making detailed 3d models by just 2d maps. For my environment projects I use Unreal Engine or Modo depending to whether realtime or raytracing materials needed on the scene. And for the scenes that need extreme raytracing or more photorealism I work with Octane render in Modo. I make my texture paintings on Substance Painter. I create my procedural textures with Substance Designer. And also Marmoset Toolbag is my another favorite software to create product renders and animations as well.
What key piece of advice would you offer to a 3D artist aspiring to work in the games industry?
It’s not possible for me explain how to do this but the best thing for an artist is to have to ability of debugging any technical or artistic deadlocks on a project. This requires to have a skill of self-taught education on getting into the information needed. I suggest to aim to get this skill as soon as possible. You may not have a direct answer, youtube video, or tutorial for every needs you’re going to have through a project. Because in the industry, problems are completely scenario based and individual. Best way to quickly eliminate the problems on a project is to advance your searching skills to make yourself better on looking to the right place for the needed information. And it’s very bad for an artist (or technical artist) to look for a wrong subject in a wrong place which is time consuming and a road of no return.
What’s your favourite game and why?
It’s very hard (and also sad) for me to pick just one game, but I can say that Binding of Isaac – Rebirth is my favorite so far. I love pixel art graphics, rogue-like elements, progressing through independent play-through trials and randomization in a game. This makes the game playable for a long time with different experience every time.
Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?
I mostly like to have family time with my wife and little daughter. That makes it easier for me to shutdown the constant computer in my head. You know that machine, which is mostly ON, and calls for you to try some ideas, forms, or compositions even when you’re sleep. Other than family time, I do hobby electronics or 3d printed electronic product cases for my Commodore 64. I love 8 bit computers, especially the Commodore 64 which is my first computer. And I still play games on it. Still works 🙂
A huge thank you, Cem Tezcan, for this great interview!
Want to know more about Cem’s work as well some great tutorials on Substance Designer, just head to: