Artist Focus: Einar Martinsen - Concept Artist

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January 27th, 2020

The soft hum of Viking song or a cold wind blowing, is always present in every image he creates. His are perfect compositions, that make you want to travel north and meet up with mythological creatures. Einar Martinsen is here to tell us more about his methods and workflow on his concept art #MadeWithClarisse !

Hi Einar! Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself and your VFX background? Where are you now?

I started working in the film industry in 2010. At the time I was working in a film studio in Norway. I was creating concept art, VFX and matte paintings in close collaboration with directors and producers due to the small size of the studio.

Currently, I’m working as a matte painter for Weta Digital where I’ve been since 2015.

How did you first hear about Clarisse?

Back in 2016 I heard of numerous quality studios using it and wanted to give it a try.

How would you describe Clarisse to someone who doesn’t know about it?

Clarisse is an incredibly powerful instancing software. I’ve seen it being able to instance insane amounts of objects, which is what I enjoy about the software. Your creativity is limitless. 

What did you find the most surprising when you started using Clarisse? 

The lookdev response with real-time calculation and the massive amounts of geometry it could handle.

How smooth was it to integrate Clarisse into your workflow? What was the learning curve like?

The learning curve was a bit tricky in the beginning, but now it’s become quite easy for me to use. The software enabled me to do larger scenes than ever before.

What resources did you use to learn Clarisse? Were there any online video tutorials you’d recommend?

The videos on the Isotropix Youtube channel offer a sufficient learning resource already and I didn’t need any other to get started.

In your work there’s a mix of fantasy and Norse mythology, with really folkloric details like troll faces in a mountain.  What are your main sources of inspiration? I imagine there’s a story behind every picture?

My inspiration comes from my childhood. In particular, my grandmother who introduced me to the Norse folklore and stories. Also growing up, I was going out into the wild often with my father to photograph Norway's beautiful nature and animals.

The personal project you are working on now is called "Futuristicity". It’s a pretty stark vision of a future city, did you mean it to have that dystopian feel to it or did that happen during the creative process?

The current state of the environment is what inspired these images. A kind of a stark visual testimony to what could happen if we don’t consider the effects we have on our planet's climate. In the image below, I intentionally laid out the roads to create a grave crucifix. I am hopeful for the future but I think we need to take action to lower our dangerous Co2 emissions.

Futuristicity, aerial view - Einar Martinsen

Futuristicity, aerial view - Einar Martinsen

Futuristicity, 3D View in Clarisse iFX - Einar Martinsen

If you had to choose, would you prefer to live in the city or closer to nature? 

Nature. I grew up in nature and this world has so much beauty to offer. I recently relocated outside of the city I live in now, to be close to nature again.

Futuristicity - Einar Martinsen

What is the main challenge when creating such images? What would you say is the most helpful feature of Clarisse in creating your art?

The fast lookdev response. Also the scattering system and being able to handle heavy geometry with ease. 

What other software do you use, how easy is it to use it alongside Clarisse?

I enjoy using Maya, Blender, ZBrush, World Creator and Nuke. They all go really well together with Clarisse. 

What type of hardware do you use?

At home I use a stationary Windows machine, which is pretty powerful. Clarisse’s demands on memory are very low, so I have never been even near maxing out my RAM so far.

Mountain Troll - Einar Martinsen

What would you consider to be your dream project?

Any movie that dives into awesome and new creative environments. In the past, Avatar was a huge inspiration and would have been a dream project.

Any tips for concept artists picking up Clarisse Today?

Learn how to take advantage of the point cloud system. They can be so easy to use and can give you unmatched results!

Thank you Einar!

Get to know Einar:
Personal Website