Art War Winner - Dane Petersen

Art War Winner - Dane Petersen

The Art War is over and now it's time to celebrate the 3D 3rd place winner Dane Petersen!

We had the pleasure to chat with Dane to learn more about him and how he was able to claim a spot in the top 3 among such fierce competition.

Have a look at the full interview below and feast your eyes on some of his gorgeous art.

Miscellaneous facts about Dane:

  • Tools/Software of choice ➖ Among all the tools I've used zbrush is still my favorite
  • Inspirations ➖ Well there's a lot to choose from, but lately I've been into Ashley Wood and 3a which is probably pretty evident in my Artwar piece
  • Coffee or tea ➖ Coffee all day
  • Good habits ➖ I'm pretty punctual
  • Bad habits ➖ I let the internet distract me
  • Favorite movies ➖ I love Scorcese movies
  • Favorite games ➖ Played a lot of R6 Siege the last year or so
  • Favorite music while doing art ➖ I like atmospheric metal for working
  • Future goals ➖ I don't know that I actually think that far ahead
  • How do you bounce back from a bad day ➖ Always enjoy cooking to get away from the computer
  • What is a good day ➖ When we get a good food truck at the office :)

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi, I'm Dane, I work as a 3d character artist at Arenanet. I came here to the Seattle area from Kansas just a few years ago to start working after getting started in games with indie stuff. I've always loved modeling and am grateful to have been able to make a career of it.

What got you into 3D art, when did it all start?

Started a long time ago, I first learned about 3d modeling when I discovered modding for Morrowind ages back. Something about 3d hit me the right way from the start, the combination of the creative and technical aspects is still just as appealing to me now.

How did you get to the level you are at today? Did you study in any particular way you would recommend?

I don't have any formal education in art, so pretty much self-taught. But that was of course with using a lot of online resources, stuff like Eat3d and zbrushworkshops. It all happened over a pretty long period of time, really. I think I first tried using a 3d program when I was like 14 or something. In the years after that I played around with modeling and rendering in sketchup, blender3d and the like. Eventually, about 5 years ago, I discovered zbrush and was hooked. That set me on learning art fundamentals rather than just software itself. Since then its just been a lot of the practice and frustration that's inherently part of learning any skill.

Why did you enter the Art War?

Happened at good timing when I was already kind of gearing up for a new personal piece, and a few of my friends wanted to do it as well so it kind of became a fun thing for everyone.

To rank this well against hundreds of other contestants is an amazing feat, why do you think you did so well, and what are some things you would do differently?

This was interesting for me since it was the first time I've fully modeled and textured something of my own design. Scoping a project to your abilities is really important so you can keep it in check and not work yourself to death, especially for 3d when there are so many steps to the process. Part of it is just being able to finish something without being totally worn out by the end, especially in a competition where there's still a bunch of work to do in making the final presentation after the model's done. Next time I would get more critiques early on (when I usually don't want anyone to see it) to help prevent design issues that I notice after its too late to fix.

Other than your own hard work, are there any particular things you can think of or people you can point to that helped you get to the level you are at today? Basically, is there anything you're thankful for?

Having had the experience of starting as an intern at Arenanet, because it gave me the opportunity to meet and be friends with some truly great artists with great taste. Having been there a few years now I probably take being around that level of competence for granted, but I do really think it's been a great way for me to improve in ways I'd never thought about before.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists out there who might be looking to get to your level one day? What's your recipe for success?

Its all subjective since everyone is different, but in general I would say most of it comes down to doing lots of projects to get practice and build up experience. Studying and learning techniques are also important parts of growing, but there's never really a replacement for just doing work. Also, use reference all the time for everything. Observation is a really important part of our jobs too, so being able to look at something and learn about it helps a lot.

What do you think the Art War experience taught you, and would you participate again next year if you could?

I learned a lot about designing a character and developing a quick workflow for it since I was working on it in my spare time. It was also the first time I've done baking and texturing fully in substance, it was nice to finally get my head around that process, and also super fun. I think I might like to do it again next year, its a great extra bit of motivation to actually finish a new piece!

Any final thoughts? Anything you want to add?

Thanks to Cubebrush and all the sponsors for putting this on, it's been fun, and great to see all the fresh cool designs that came out of this comp!


Email: [email protected]