Doriana Pompili is a 3D modeler-animator freelance and co-founder plus Graphic Designer of the blog Mellow Animazione. She graduated from the Brera Art School, and she has a Bachelor in Communication Design at the Milan Polytechnic. She is interested in animation in all its forms, from stop-motion to 3D animation.
She says: “I’m passionate about designing, drawing, and modelling creatures, environments and characters. I love to create characters from my fantasy and also try to transpose 2D concepts in 3D models”.
How long have been using Blender?
I started using Blender just over a year ago. I found it very easy to learn: I struggled a little at first because it’s a bit different from the 3D modeling software I used to work with, but I got used to it very quickly, and I really love its workflow. Many think that it’s a very complex software to learn, perhaps because it requires a lot of hotkeys. But as soon as you understand how it works, you realize that it allows you to do anything you want with excellent results.
How did you learn Blender? At the University or via tutorials?
I learned it at University at first, during a 3D animation course. It was an interesting experience that showed me the potential of this software. But the thing about Blender community is that everyone shares their knowledge: there are tutorials on any topic that allow anyone to learn. This helps the community to grow more and more and to become more and more passionate. So I also learned a lot from many great artists on the web.
What or are the strongest points of Blender for you?
First of all, Blender has some features that are very important for a 3d modeling software: it rarely crashes, and it only happens with large files; very simple to install, fast loading and saving, handle well big meshes, has upward and backward compatibility. They look like minor details, but for those who use these software every day they really make a difference.
The main strength of Blender is its workflow, very fast and simple, for the modelling area. Keyboard shortcuts oriented, customizable interface… Everything is easily accessible, if you are familiar with the program.
It’s a very capable software, with an incredible speed of development, and allows you to achieve excellent results.
You have already moved to Blender 2.80. What has been your first impact?
I love this new version! I think the new interface is actually more intuitive than the previous one. I like the way they’ve reorganized workspaces for every task, like sculpting, texture painting, shading and so on. It’s just more intuitive and clear. Blender is known for not being new-user friendly, because it’s different from almost any other program. The new 3D viewport makes it easier for beginners to start using Blender, which makes this software much more competitive.
Eevee is another great addition. Working with a real-time renderer is really useful: you can edit and paint the scene with full shading. Not to mention that it allows you to render animations in a short time and with a good quality.
Which one of the Official Blender Open Movies do you prefer?
Cosmos Laundromat – First Cycle is my favorite so far. The story is brilliant and engaging, it keeps you in suspense. Although a few years have passed, it’s still visually beautiful. I especially like Victor’s expressiveness, I think he was wonderfully animated.
Spring is also very nice, poetic and visually stunning. Magical atmosphere, great attention to detail, and original character designs. The magic creatures have impressed me particularly, they are really beautiful and evocative.
Some 3D artists are confident with more than one 3D software. We know that you can use Blender, 3ds Max and Maya. Why have you learnt all of them? And what is your level in each one of them?
During my university studies I decided to take courses on all these software. I wanted to learn all the main 3D software, so that I could keep all options open for my future. Being more oriented towards animation and video game industry, I chose to focus on Maya and Blender, which are the most requested by the market.
When do you prefer to use one respect the others?
It depends a lot on the client’s requests and the type of project I have to work with. They are all good software, that excel at some things and struggle at others, and they handle a lot of things in different ways. When it comes to my personal works, I prefer to practice with all software when possible, so that I always stay up to date.
What is you dream job?
I have always dreamed of working as a 3D modeler or animator for the animation or video game industry. I’d like to be part of productions that create characters and stories that people identify with. The same stories that made me love this products when I was a child and that made me choose this path.
Where would you like to work? In a studio or are you happy as freelance?
I like freelance life, I think it offers a lot of possibilities, but I prefer to work for a studio. It’s a great opportunity to prove yourself, work with other people and get different opinions. So I hope to gain experience in a studio again, and to be able to collaborate with other artists working on complex and stimulating projects.
At the end of your portfolio on Issuu you used a sentence of the movie Ratatouille “Anyone can cook”. Tell us why. What do you mean? Can anyone be a 3D artist?
“Anyone can cook” is one of my favourite cinematographic quotes. I think it expresses a wonderful concept valid in any field. As anyone who has seen the movie knows, Ratatouille is the story of a mouse with exceptional culinary skills willing to do anything to become a chef. The famous chef Gusteau, his hero, invented the motto “anyone can cook”, a slogan that food critics despise. During the movie, the true meaning of this sentence is explained: Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. In every area there is someone who pontificates about who can and who cannot achieve certain results, based on the school you attended or the experiences you have had; I think that’s not true at all. If there is passion, anyone can be a great 3D artist, literally anyone, even a complete self-taught. I’m not saying it’s an easy path. It can be a long and complicated journey. But the thing that really matters in our field is talent, and the desire to learn.
As you know, we fell in love with your character “Promise”.
Why Promise seams so sad? What is the promise?
I’m glad that you liked Promise! She has a fairly complex personality. Her main characteristic is the absence of the mouth, which makes her very special. Although she is a strong girl, smart and ironic, her peculiarity cuts her off from the world: not only is she unable to communicate with others, but people do not understand any of her emotions. It’s hard to tell when she’s happy, or if she’s laughing, or what she’s thinking. So Promise prefers to isolate herself, live alone and observe the world from afar, aware that she is not really part of it. This makes her sad every now and then, but fortunately she also has some good friends, even if they are quite weird!
As for the promise, it’s a secret that will be revealed throughout her story!
Do you have in mind to make an animation or even a short movie with her as you have already done with Marvi creating “Il Cuborante”?
Absolutely yes! I plan to create a web series about her adventures, and the unconventional way she and her friends face life. I can imagine many ways to tell her adventures, but a web series is the one that convinces me the most. The project is currently still in its early stage, I still have to develop some aspects of the plot and the world in which it will be set, but I hope there will be progress soon!
Could you talk a bit more about your magazine online “Mellow Animazione“? Why did you start? What do you want to achieve?
Mellow Animazione is an online magazine of which I am co-founder and art director. One of the main points of reference for Italian animation with news, reviews and interviews. We talk about animation in all its forms, from big productions to independent projects.
We started this project because we wanted to share our passion with the public; we know that many people love animation in all its aspects and want to stay updated on all developments, from japanese anime to american productions. We are very proud of the community we have created, full of passionate and enthusiastic people.
Last question, what is your next project?
Promise and her stories are certainly among my next projects. I also recently opened a Youtube channel (Dory Animation) dedicated to tutorials, speed modeling and useful tips on 3D modeling and animation. I learned a lot thanks to online tutorials, there are a lot of artists who have chosen to share their knowledge and I can’t wait to reciprocate! Blender is a great community and its strength lies precisely in this, sharing knowledge with other artists and beginners and letting as many people as possible discover this beautiful world.
Digital sculpt made with Blender.
Marvi is the protagonist of the short film “Il Cuborante”An animated short about a strange world designed like a Rubik’s Cube! Everyday, its faces turn, allowing its two inhabitants to meet…
Directors: Doriana Pompili, Allegra Colombo
A 3D advertising for major publishing houses. Link
Mellow Animazione (magazine online)