Carsten Mell – From 2D Pro to 3D Pro with Cinema 4D

For the past 15 years, Carsten Mell has worked as a professional illustrator for clients such as Warner Brothers, Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa, McDonald’s, Playboy and many more. We asked him about his journey into the third dimension of graphics.

MAXON: Hello Carsten. Please tell us how you came to work in 3D and with Cinema 4D.

Carsten Mell: I have always felt at home creating 2D graphics but was always fascinated by colleagues who created photorealistic images in 3D. This is something I also wanted to do. The only question was, ‘Which software is right for me!’
After doing quite a bit of research the decision fell on Cinema 4D because it was easy to learn and posed a lower financial risk. I bought the base version just to see if it was right for me. And it was.

MAXON: What was most convincing about Cinema 4D for you?

Carsten Mell: I was impressed by the wide spectrum of functions, which were intuitive to use and easy to learn. After all, I saw myself as more of an artist than a technician. I first worked through all the German-language books and then I joined the excellent Cinema 4D community, Ciniversity. This is when I noticed that English-language literature, which was written for different software entirely, could easily be applied to Cinema 4D.

MAXON: What was your first project and how long did it take you to complete it?

Carsten Mell: My very first 3D model was that of a Swiss wristwatch. It took me 2 days to complete.

MAXON: And what did you do next? How did you approach the next project?

Carsten Mell: I wanted to take a stab at creating my first 3D character and worked through a book that was actually written for Maya that I adapted to Cinema 4D. I created sketches of my avatar and used it as a reference for creating my first character in 3D. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Thanks to Cineversity and their excellent tutorials I was able to quickly finish the rigging.

MAXON: For which purpose was your first character used?

Carsten Mell: For use on my homepage the character had to be able to execute numerous different animations. For example, he had to conjure up several gadgets from the inner pocket of his coat. This was no problem, thanks to the Deformer and Constraint tags.

MAXON: How satisfied were you with the final result of your work?

Carsten Mell: My expectations were that the 3D work should not look like I had only worked with the software for a brief period of time – the work had to meet the same professional standards as my 2D work. After receiving positive feedback and my clients’ requests to have their 2D work converted to 3D I am happy to have met these expectations.

MAXON: Thank you fort his interview! We hope to see more of your 3D work soon!

Visit Carsten Mell's website.