Illustrator now sculpts 3d assets for film production

3D designer + illustrator with a background in industrial design, Tanja hadn't used zbrush before taking the program.
Before studying with art heroes, tanja learnt to use blender by watching youtube tutorials which were a bit hit and miss. She started her journey with us on the zbrush fundamentals program and soon after aced a complete stylized character.
Meet Tanja Langgner
Tell us about yourself
My name is Tanja – originally, I am from Austria but I have been living and working freelance in the UK for a long time.

My background is Industrial Design – back when I studied we did learn a 3D program, but did all model making by hand.

It is hard to keep up with technology when you are working for yourself, so in my pursuit to learn new software and skills I came across Zbrush modelling and found it fascinating.

Learning everything with Youtube tutorials is a bit hit-and-miss, so when I came across Art Heroes bootcamps and challenges, I realised that it would be beneficial to sign up for a course that offers feedback, group sessions and a community.
How it started
What's the name of your Project? Where did the concept come from? Why did you choose it?
I chose a concept by Gretel Lusky – her sister and I became friends during an ArtStation challenge, which was when I first stumbled across Zbrush. Gretel’s drawings are amazing and I always loved Sabrina the teenage witch. I knew I needed to choose a concept that I could work on for a while and it looked straightforward in terms of hair and clothes … little did I realise that posing her on that broomstick was going to be such a fiddle!
Character Development
What were the main milestones for you?
Working off a 2D sketch is what I usually do for my product design work, but with proper elevations drawn up, detailed and worked out. Having a finished piece of art was a challenge, as there are many ways to interpret it. Luckily, I had brilliant feedback by Alfredo Baro who helped me to look at it my concept using a different approach.

What were your biggest challenges while working on this project?
As this was my first Zbrush project I found it hard to replicate the texturing workflow via blender, and finding my own way of putting everything together took a bit of experimenting.

Watching the videos, retopology seemed like a big hurdle but it turned out to be very straightforward. On the other hand, I didn’t expect posing to be such a faff.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I was trying to make sure that the sculpt is as close as possible to the concept. Posing took a lot of time, but it was important to me to get the details, fingers etc right and find a position that works from the main view, and the others too.

I topped up the Art Heroes lessons by googling and watching Youtube videos, exporting, importing, low poly vs high poly, asking myself whether I really need Udims, will my sculpt still recognise my textures after posing, etc.

"Be humble. Don’t be frustrated when you get feedback and have to change your character, take a step back and use your observational skills to judge if the change is for the better."
Tanja Langgner
Art Heroes Student
What’s your biggest takeaway from the program?
The Art Heroes community is lovely – meeting so many people who are passionate about the same things and struggling with the same issues is comforting.

Alfredo Baro’s feedback was amazing and so helpful, my character wouldn’t look the same without him.
What's Next?
What are your plans for the future?
I will keep sculpting, practising and modelling – now that I can find my way around the Zbrush UI - I’ve signed up to the Toony Character Program as I wanted to have another structured approach to a project.

In the meantime, I keep freelancing as a 3D Designer and I’ve even got some work as a 3D artist – I am preparing 3D assets for a film production company. I love doing photo realistic food renders, so I’m hoping to combine all my new skills to work on that.
Final Project
Artwork: Tanja Langgner

Concept: Gretel Lusky

Useful Links

Connect with Tanja on Artstation: tanjalanggner

Follow Tanja on Instagram: tanjalanggner
check out Gretel's concepts on instagram: gretlusky
Learn With Us
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Make an appealing and production-fit character in 6 weeks
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Editor: Hannah Barmes Healy
Artwork by: Tanja Langgner
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