The Gathering 
What you see on the left could be an illustration of a bear, a hairy human being or some ghost-like figures playing around. But one thing that all our readers would agree to, its one beautiful illustration.

Isn't it?

This illustration comes from a brilliant artist, Hani Troudi and is known as 'The Gathering'.

Hani is a Damascus based artist, who is currently working as a full-time 3D Generalist and Motion Graphics artist at NewBoy Animation Studio.  Currently, Hani is studying Interior Design at the Fine Arts Faculty of Damascus University.

As a kid Hani loved cartoons, video games and drawing. According to him, "I always wanted to draw and throw away papers, but lately I've been trying to make my drawings worth keeping."

He has been in the 3D Architectural Visualization Industry since 2004 but lately he's focusing more on being a character artist, something that he loves. Hani's illustrations and motion graphics are a visual treat and his work has also been featured in many 2D and 3D magazines. Read on to more about Hani in our exclusive interview with him.

1. Hi Hani, please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello Everyone, first off, thank you E-junkie for interviewing me, I'm really excited, I currently live in Damascus and I was born in 1988 and was raised in a small loving family of a dedicated father, a mother who's too good to be true and a great sister who is also my best friend.

I'm two subjects away from graduation at the fine arts college of Damascus university majoring in interior design, I had my first job as a 3D visualization artist back in 2005 before high school at an architectural design company and I've been freelancing 3d visualization ever since, and I'm now working as a full-time 3D generalist and motion graphic artist at NewBoy animation studio.

2. What inspired you to become an artist or were you always inclined towards art? What are the various artforms you dabble in?

I loved drawing ever since I was a kid, I loved cartoons and video games, they were my main source of inspiration, thanks to my father, he provided me with a computer at an early age, I remember drawing Street Fighter characters all day long, sketching poses of heroes surrounded by villains, I love all art forms, I believe that every artist must experiment with different art styles, what could be more fun anyway?

Michael Stipe

3. How do you decide upon the subject for each of your artwork? What techniques and softwares do you use?

This is often the most frustrating and time-consuming phase I have to go through, sometimes an idea just seamlessly pops in my head, I seek inspiration from other artists online, a single artwork may trigger a concept in my head and inspire me to instantly grab a pencil and start drawing, I also seek inspiration from the books that I read.

When it comes to traditional art methods, pencil is my all time favorite, I just love the possibilities it gives me when hatching, one of my preferred techniques is to scan a pencil drawing and color it in Photoshop, it just gives the painting an overall vintage feeling that normal digital paintings lack.

In my line of work I use Maya and 3DsMax for animation and modeling, VRay for rendering and After Effects for motion graphics.

Damascus City LawFirm - A Graduation Project

4. Your 'Incognito' project is just amazing, the sketches are so realistic. What prompted you to come up with this project?

I had a blast working on this project, it was so random, I finished one drawing (the Scout Dog) and then it occurred to me that there's a theme is unfolding here, I looked up for references online and pictured how the rest of the animals would look like, I paid extra attention to the outfits, detailing fabrics and folds, and ended up with a bunch of sophisticated characters who are suited to be in a movie or an illustrated book.



5. You’re working full-time as a 3D Generalist and Motion Graphics artist and are also studying Interior Design, how do you manage time for both and your personal work?

Deadlines are kind of a holy matter to me, I always deliver on time, I don't follow a schedule or anything, I instead just keep the deadline in mind as I always make sure I have free time for my personal work. College projects didn't take much time except for my graduation project of course.

6. Your 3D visualisations are really amazing, almost leading us to believe that they were photographs! From where do you draw inspiration for the scene to depict? Being so detailed how long does it take you on an average  to create each of these?

Well, it depends on each project, some of my freelance projects are designed already so I only do the 3D part and maybe add a few enhancing elements here and there.

My personal 3D projects tend to have more of a momentary and sentimental approach where I spend more time on lighting and texturing and really pushing the realism to the top priority.

I'm a big fan of high structures and wide-open spaces, I've tried conceiving both in my graduation project "Damascus City Law Firm".

Here's how the project looks:

7. Lets have a rapid fire round:
Are you a tea or coffee person? I'm definitely a Coffee person. 
Your favourite genre of music? I feast on rock music, U2, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and I enjoy indie rock bands like The Arcade Fire, DCFC and Bon Iver. 
The biggest compliment that you have received for your work? It's actually more a small achievement than a compliment, it was when my work got featured for the very first time on 3DTotal homepage back in 2005. 
Which of your creations is your absolute favourite?(This could be a hard one to answer) I have to say that "Immigrants" is still my absolute favorite.

8. What other artists do you look up to? If you could collaborate with one other artist, who would it be and why?

I'm a big fan of Jason Seiler's work, it's always inspiring and original, and I've just recently discovered  the great  Jean-Baptiste Monge, his paintings are both thought-provoking and awe-inspiring, it would be an honor to work with or even meet  Jason and Jean-Baptiste.

9. What leisure activities do you like to participate in when you are not working? What do you find most relaxing?

I play the electric guitar from time to time, jamming to my favorite songs and I sometimes make my own music, I also love reading which lately has been one of my favorite activities and even when I'm not working I find sketching the most relaxing experience.

10. What are your future plans? Are you working on any new project(s) right now?

I've been collecting thoughts and reading a lot about subjects that might help me in creating a children's book, an illustrated tale to be more precise, it's what I'll be focusing on as a next big project. I also started a Facebook page titled "ThreeDee Basket" where I post free 3D decorative models that I've made in 3Ds Max and VRay, feel free to check it out at:

11. One piece of advice that you would like to give to budding and aspiring artists?

Start your day with an apple and a cup of coffee, look for references online, there's nothing wrong with using photos as reference as long as you do it your way, after a while you'll have a big visual memory which will help you in finding your own style, and have I mentioned the coffee?

Thank you Hani for taking out the time and doing this interview with us. We'd like to wish you the very best for the future.

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