Contributor Spotlight: Francesco Milanese

Scene created in Adobe Dimension CC by Anna Natter / Cinniature.

Meet Francesco Milanese, one of our amazing Adobe Stock 3D contributors. Francesco creates beautiful photorealistic 3D models that are optimized to work perfectly within the Adobe Dimension CC app. We had an opportunity to talk to Francesco this week about his personal history and what drew him into the exciting world of 3D.

What inspired you to become a 3D artist?

It was 1998 and I was watching a documentary about the making of the movie “Titanic.” They were showing how they filmed the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio yells out his famous line, “I’m the king of the world!” with the camera panning around him in an empty green room. That was the point that I realized the true potential of CGI (computer-generated imagery) and thought to myself, “I want to learn how to do that.” Unfortunately, I was 13 years old at the time and didn’t have access to broadband, books, or other resources on CGI, so I had to wait a few years until I could try it out myself.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Guitar and amplifier created by Francesco Milanese.

How did your experience in computer science lead you toward a career in 3D?

My master’s degree in computer science has been the foundation for my work in 3D. It taught me how to understand what is going on “under the hood” of 3D graphics. This experience has helped me choose the right tools and set defined parameters without having to do any guesswork. More importantly, I am able to create my own scripts (from batch scripting into 3D software with custom-made add-ons) to quicken my workflow and automate some of the steps. I often think of my job as wearing many hats — it’s like being a car driver, an engineer, and a mechanic all at the same time.

What has been the biggest impact of 3D on your career and personal life?

For me, 3D is more of a passion than just a career choice, and due to this, it has definitely had a huge impact on the level of satisfaction I experience in my daily life. Confucius was right when he said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

What led you to focus on 3D modeling versus doing 3D generalist work or 3D animation?

I have never really given this much thought, but I suppose I have always had a general lack of interest in animation and moving scenes. I have always preferred the idea of working in static environments and with single objects while focusing on different concepts or themes within each one.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Abacus and xylophone created by Francesco Milanese.

What are some of the biggest takeaways you’ve had from working in 3D modeling?

It is not just a matter of selling models. The quality of your work also reflects your commitment and your reliability, so it is important that you do your job well. At the end of the day, quality is much more important than quantity.

In your opinion, what makes a great 3D model for licensing?

You have to meet customers’ expectations, so once again, quality is key. In order to understand this better, think of what you do when you have to buy something you need — you are going to look for something good, aren’t you?

Which 3D asset are you the proudest of on Adobe Stock, and why?

The complete human skeleton is one of my favorites, mainly because of its complexity. I had to do a lot of research to find good visual references in order to model every single vertebra to fit accurately and to maintain anatomical proportions.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Human skeleton created by Francesco Milanese.

Do you have any advice for artists and designers who are interested in starting a career in 3D?

Learn as much as you can and practice as much as you can. One of the people I admire most, John Carmack (who has served as lead programmer on some of the biggest video game franchises and is currently the CTO at Oculus), once said, “Focused, hard work is the real key to success. Keep your eyes on the goal, and just keep taking the next step toward completing it.”

To learn more about Francesco Milanese and his work, visit his website.