We’re glad to introduce the interview with Rostislav Nicolaev, a SOA student from the Masterclass#7.
Could you present yourself to our readers and tell them the position you currently hold?
Hello, my name is Rostislav Nikolaev. I am art director in my visualization Studio in Moscow, Russia.
Our studio is rather small, just five people. Like other visualization studios, we produce static images and videos. Unlike other studios, we can make virtual reality and interactive VR presentations in Unreal Engine. Most of all, I like making static images and working with Unreal Engine. We deal with a lot of projects, both for Russian clients and for clients around the world. Thanks to the internet, this has become easier. Unfortunately, not only do I have to handle beautiful images, but also to manage projects and people, which sometimes is not so exciting. 🙂
Why have you chosen to become an Arch-Viz Artist?
At school I was fond of computer science and took part in different school Olympics. Then I looked at future programmers, and decided not to become one.
I entered and graduated from an architectural university. However, after taking a closer look at architects’ future, I didn’t like it either. Architectural visualization lies at the turn of these two spheres of my interest. Computer graphics combines in itself both the architectural beauty and programming. Being a visualizer, to find a job was easier, as there were many freelance requests for 3D modelling. I like it a lot, so far, though I’d like to work on a different level.
What were the biggest difficulties you faced at the beginning of your career? How did you handle and overcome them?
The most critical problem was that in Russia there’s no education on 3D modelling. It is only now that some private schools have emerged. But when I started to explore the field, there were neither courses nor videos. I had a thick book “3ds Max essentials”, so I studied it. There were no more places to study at. At one of the Academy conferences, a guy said that he had studied at a university for the specialty of visualization and that they had internships at the second year at the best world visualization studios – this was the subject of my envy.
In Russia nobody even dreams of it. Officially, we don’t even have architectural visualization as a field of work or study. When registering a company, you have to choose the company’s business field out of the rigid list. In the “About the company” section we have an official work area stated as “other services, connected with computers”.
Is there a work/ an image/ a project that you created which is most valuable to you? Why?
Currently, for me the most valuable of my works is the latest competition project – the Bank of England visualization.
I have been working on it for 3 months. In each contest I’m trying to make something new. I visited a master class from a cool Moscow photographer, where he gave explanations about the making of his works. At once, I wanted to apply this knowledge in visualization. I tried to render several panoramas and join them into one big image with an expanded viewing angle. But it didn’t work out as I wanted because the picture became too stretched.
In each competition, I’m trying to delve deep into the subject of the project, study the details and references. Even if I don’t apply this knowledge later to make the full picture, it helps in making the project. I’m proud that I decided to make this video and made it up to the end. As it was an ordinary 3D Max video, everyone knows, how long and tiresome it is. In any case, competition and creative works are always the most precious. You are able to put everything you know, want to and can do into them. In addition, you can project a little bit (as, for example, in the Winery project) and take the most pleasurable part from the architectural work – visual and functional concepts.
The Winery project is my second favorite project. When working on it I mastered a new program from the very beginning and was able to single out the project. Certainly, it’s very cool! I sometimes still regret I couldn’t go to SOA conference, where the winners were announced.
What do you do in your free time after work? Can you balance your working life and your private one?
Often, I don’t have free time from work. I do have it, but not every day.
I practice running. I choose a competition to participate and train for it for several months. This March (2017) together with my friends I am running a marathon at the Baikal. In August 2016 I participated in Ironman triathlon (IronMan 70.3).
In my free time I also practice swimming and cycling. Anyway, there are more working hours than free hours in a year. And I try to travel more – I tested it: good rest helps to do a good job – it really does work.