Marrying Technology and Art with Adobe Dimension
Vladimir Petkovic on his passion for photorealistic 3D design.
Vladimir Petkovic has more than 15 years of experience in 3D graphics. His unique background extends across both technology and graphic design which, as he explains, overwhelmingly informs his work with the Adobe Dimension team and beyond. We spoke with Vladimir about his experience with Dimension, and how this solution has impacted his process, workflows, and finished artworks, as well as where he sees 3D graphics heading in the not-too-distant future.
Tell us a about your role on the Dimension team.
I am a senior 3D artist with the Adobe Dimension team, and am responsible for the app content creation, content quality evaluation, and demo testing. I also produce promotional artwork used to showcase Dimension and highlight new features. I’m organizing Dimension labs at Adobe MAX this year and at the Design Institute in Hong Kong.
Did you always know you wanted to work as an artist?
It was a long and hard journey, to be honest. I was going to a computer science college, then, halfway through, realized my true role is to be an artist. So I switched my career and took a different path. I’ve always loved computers and technology, but I also have tendencies toward the artistic — I try to tie those two together in lots of ways. I think, in my case, Dimension is the perfect marriage of my natural tendencies toward technology and art.
Where do you get inspiration for your pieces?
My creations are usually set in alternative, fictional universes inspired by the cyberpunk, steampunk, and dystopian genres. “Neuromancer,” “1984,” and “Brave New World” “chiseled” my artistic taste. I’m also drawn to Japanese anime, especially ingenious works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. But I’d say everything started with the evergreen Tolkien classics like “The Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit.” Another major influence was “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende.
What does your design process look like? How does Dimension fit into your workflow?
Every artwork or design concept starts with an idea. From there, the idea is materialized using different tools. For some, it may be pen and paper or a sketch done in Photoshop. For me, it’s usually some sort of 3D application where I’m trying to solve the overall object composition, camera frame, and other important elements, which, ultimately, form the backbone of the artwork I’m creating.
This is actually the first major way I’m using Dimension — to quickly iterate my concepts. Even though I’m a professional 3D artist who often juggles multiple 3D apps, there is something soothing about using Dimension. It’s just so clean and so easy to use. It really does take the complexity away — and maximizes my efficiency.
With all of your experience in 3D design, how does Dimension contribute to your ability to create?
Dimension is more elegant than other 3D software. It’s light, polished, and gives professional-looking results within a very short amount time. Again, you’re able to establish a scene within minutes and not worry about technicalities — it’s all taken care of for you. And even though Dimension is easier to use, it provides very high-end results. So, for instance, the robot below. Seamlessly composing the photographic environment with 3D elements is usually challenging, and requires a lot of complex tweaking. In Dimension, though, this task is done in a single step.
How do you think Dimension will impact other creatives?
I see Dimension as a bridge. It’s actually going to be able to connect people from traditional artistic areas, like painters for instance. Now they have Dimension, which they can use without worrying about technical aspects. They can just be themselves, but use a whole new spectrum of possibilities. Dimension is a perfect tool for graphic designers and artists who do not typically work in 3D, and it’s built with this clientele in mind.
The main challenge of 3D design is that it is so hard to master. Now, traditional graphic designers and artists have this new, tiny, easy tool, and it’s very close to something they are already used to, like Photoshop and Illustrator. It literally gives them an extra dimension. And they can use it in so many ways. They can use it to visualize their abstract ideas or, even as a new generation graphics design tool. Let’s say they’re doing the branding for a company. They can visualize products or create stock images which don’t even exist in reality, and provide hyper-realistic results. It’s very powerful.
Where do you see Dimension taking 3D modeling and design in the next few years? What could this mean for designers and brands?
3D technology is often intimidating, mainly because of the complexity of the tools and the steep learning curve. Dimension is taking small but elegant steps toward bringing this technology to a broader audience. I see artists from many different areas taking advantage of 3D in unexpected and refreshing ways.
From the production perspective, 3D is the single most powerful technology for creative expression and a huge time-saver. It allows re-creation of a reality — or even making a whole new reality of the user’s choosing.
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ABOUT Vladimir Petkovic
I am a computer artist from Serbia. I live and work in San Francisco Bay Area.
I specialized in various areas of 3D graphics including modeling, texturing, rendering and lighting. During my career, I’ve also gained advanced experience in art direction, streamlining workflows, UI/UX design and concept art.
During my design career I’ve worked on variety of projects ranging from software development and motion pictures, to video games, product visualization, and more, for premier companies including Adobe, Google, Facebook, Autodesk, and Maxon, among others.
In my free time I make art and travel around the world.