Showcase: Motion Design, 3D, & NFT Artists
Issue: July-August-September 2022

Showcase: Motion Design, 3D, & NFT Artists

Motion graphics, 3D, and NFT artists share their tools of the trade.

Motion design, 3D, and NFT artists are constantly advancing their crafts and going beyond the limits of what was once considered to be possible. Maxon’s ongoing 3D and Motion Design Show features leading digital artists and gives them a platform to showcase their personal projects and demonstrate techniques for mastering skills and managing workflows. The shows are streamed live and viewers are encouraged to participate in the artist-led conversations. CGW connected with three of these inspiring featured artists to learn more about their career paths, recent projects, tools of the trade, and any advice they have for up-and-coming artists in their fields. 

Ross Morris (aka RAM3DDA)

CGW: Tell us a little about your professional background. What led to you becoming a multidisciplinary digital artist?

Ross Morris (RM): It wasn’t until I was around 20 years old that I actually began to focus on art as a career path, but the truth is that I've been creating for as long as I can remember. In school, in waiting rooms, or out to dinner with my parents as a child, I was constantly sketching in notebooks. But my relationship with art has been a complicated one. My sketches nor handwriting never seemed to improve with time as they should, which frustrated me. My parents investigated this after concerns were raised by some teachers of mine, and I was diagnosed with a developmental disorder called dysgraphia which affects my fine motor skills; I’ve always looked at it like dyslexia but for handwriting or drawing. Once I was given permission to type rather than write by hand in class, my essay scores instantly went from the bottom of the class to the top of it.

Gaming has always been a huge inspiration of mine, and oddly enough allowed me to express myself more than drawing could. Racing games from the Need for Speed titles allowed for a wide range of vehicle customization, and unhindered by my motor skills, modifying race cars was a very enjoyable artistic outlet of mine as a child. Needless to say, I spent far more time in the tuning garage than I did driving any of them!

In college, I floated around without a major for a year. After missing a few classes while engrossed in customizing my phone interface, I realized it was time to take this art thing seriously and signed up to attend Full Sail University’s Digital Art & Design degree program. There I was introduced to a wide range of disciplines from Photoshop and branding to videography and photography, and some 2D animation in After Effects. None of them really caught my interest until I was introduced to 3D and was receiving some basic training in Cinema4D (C4D). It was then that I knew I’d found what I was made for.

CGW: Tell us about your areas of specialization and the types of projects you have worked on recently.

RM: I identify most with the generalist moniker rather than specialist. My formal education in 3D only lasted a few months, but it wasn’t long before I discovered the wealth of freely available educational resources provided by creators like David Ariew and EJ Hassenfratz, which gave me a well-rounded primer to the many facets of 3D production. Unfortunately, this doesn’t lend itself well to the needs of most studios, in my experience, and I struggled to juggle the many aspects of full-time freelance for a few years. So when the NFT phenomenon reared its head in early 2021, I jumped on the opportunity to build something of my own and have been pursuing that ever since with my work on Cryptobiotica. 

CGW: Tell us about your “3D Skulleidoscopes and How to Create a Cryptobiotic” presentation that was featured in Maxon’s 3D and Motion Design Show (3DMS). 

RM: I was excited for the opportunity to share a technique when Maxon approached me for 3DMS, and got the impression they were looking for something more introductory in nature. I ended up choosing my Skulleidoscope project, as it’s a great way to showcase that C4D allows you to quickly create something visually interesting using only a few very basic MoGraph components.

I started the presentation by walking through several of the Skulleidoscopes I’d already put together, how I assembled the scene, and why I made the choices I did. Then I broke down how to create one yourself using any asset at your disposal (in this example I used a 3D model of Beeple’s head) which I would say covers the foundations of a MoGraph workflow. 

Starting with a Voronoi Fracture and a Matrix Object, the asset is first prepared by slicing it, a step highly modifiable to suit your needs. After some cleanup the asset will be divided into however many sliced elements you settled on, all of which should then be placed into a group with a plain effector. Make sure the plain is set to Object mode in the effector’s Deformer tab. Once that’s done, navigate to the effector’s Falloff tab, where you will be able to tie its influence to a Field. In my example I used a Linear Field to keep things straightforward. Once that’s been done, the field can be keyframed to distribute the effector’s influence however you see fit. Finally, throw the group into a Cloner set to Radial mode and you’re done! 

I love simple techniques like this because of how they can act as a blank canvas, allowing any artist following along to insert their own flair into the mix at any point in the process. I certainly appreciate when more advanced approaches are shared as well, but feel they can be too prescriptive in some cases. I sometimes have a hard time following many tutorials to the end because they’ll show me something new at some point in the process which leads me off on a tangent to push the boundaries of that one little piece.

CGW: How do you utilize Maxon’s suite of creative tools for your projects and workflow management? 

RM: Cinema4D is a piece of software that forms the basis of my entire workflow, and I use it even in situations where it may not be conventionally appropriate, such as the creation of 2D graphics. I am a 3D maximalist, and am most comfortable using it above all else. Comfort in the software I’m using is such an important part of my creative process, as I produce my best work while in the flow of creation. This is an ethereal state where the physical world, time, and the self are completely subsumed by the force of creation. It is an extremely powerful state where one must continue moving to persist, driven purely by instinct. If you need to stop to look something up, it dies. If you hesitate, it dies. If you stop, you die. 

To achieve this state requires absolute familiarity with the tools you’re using and this is something I’ve managed to reach in some of the C4D workflows I use daily. This is aided in no small part by GPU renderers such as Octane or Redshift, whose instant feedback allow an uninterrupted flow of creation, modification, and manifestation of vision.

CGW: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming digital artists?

RM: Strive for familiarity with your tools. Use them when you need to, and when you don’t. Make whatever crap floats into your head that day. Do dailies. Whatever it takes to get time in the software. Start with following tutorials step by step, but branch out when you’re ready to. This is the only means I’ve found to build familiarity and comfort in the tools I use.

Embrace the community before you. During my time in the MoGraph community I’ve met some of the kindest and most helpful people on Earth, who I’ve seen bend over backward to help complete strangers on their own artistic journeys — myself included. Some individuals I would recommend looking up would be: David Ariew (, EJ Hassenfratz (, Dave Koss (, Chris Shmidt (, and Nick Campbell (

This is certainly not all, but a great starting point for any new artists.

Will Harvey (aka REVILO)

CGW: Tell us a little about your professional background. What led to you becoming a digital artist and motion designer?

Will Harvey (WH): Originally, I wanted to direct movies and create films, but when I realized that the route to doing that was not something that I really wanted to pursue, I decided to try VFX. When I found out that that route was not any better, I was lost until I found some artists that told me about motion design. I was intrigued and decided to learn 3D and motion design techniques as well as start my Everyday Project.

CGW: Tell us about your areas of specialization and the types of projects you have worked on recently.

WH: I mostly create concert visuals and graphics for musicians and artists. I’ve created content for Lil Nas X, City Girls, Lil Uzi Vert, SHAQ, Migos, and many more. Each project mostly entails me setting up a scene with specific details that the artist is either known for or what they really want in the visuals. Then I animate the scene to loop so that it can seamlessly play without any cuts in the video.

CGW: Tell us about your “The Creation of VJ Loops" presentation that was featured in Maxon’s 3D and Motion Design Show. 

WH: I wanted to create a presentation that would help beginners and moderate users of Cinema 4D in creating a simple VJ tunnel loop. I decided to make the scene only using the basic shapes and tools available in the program like spheres and cubes. I also decided to use the “Sketch and Toon” shaders not just because it would be easier to render for many computers but mostly because it seemed cool and is not mentioned enough anymore, haha! 

CGW: How do you utilize Maxon’s suite of creative tools for your projects and workflow management?

WH: I mostly use just Cinema 4D with other third-party renders to help complete projects. There are so many tools that can be utilized within the program that I rarely leave it. I use some compositing applications to add details to the scene and shots that were rendered. For anything 3D-related, I mostly use Cinema 4D.

CGW: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming digital artists?

WH: Never stop creating. Whether it be that short film that you always wanted to create or the visual graphics that you’ve wanted to build…never stop creating art. There is always a way!

Mehdi Hadi

CGW: Tell us a little about your professional background. What led to you becoming a VFX motion graphics designer and concept designer?

Mehdi Hadi (MH): It's been eight years now that I have been working in this industry. I am self taught and basically learned 2D and 3D motion graphics on the internet. Back then it was mainly YouTube and Video Copilot for the 2D aspect of work, like After Effects and all of the Adobe Suite.

I specialized in FUI [fictional user interface] design and 2D motion graphics. 3D came later. When I first started on Cinema 4D I was very focused on animation and rhythm, but my focus and preferences shifted more and more towards rendering, lighting, cinematography, and photography, and just creating mood and ambience in an image.

CGW: Tell us about your areas of specialization and the types of projects you have worked on recently.

MH: The most recent project that I can talk about is Nomankind. This project initially was in my head for several years, but when the Pause Fest event called me and proposed for me to make a short for their event, that was the perfect opportunity to finally get this done.

Nomankind is a pretty dark short film about a futuristic world that is basically ruined by men's behavior and robots decide to take over. I was very surprised by how much this film touched people. It won a bunch of prizes and since then, the client called me to do basically the same thing so I'm very pleased with the outcome of this.

You can watch it on Vimeo:

CGW: Tell us about your “Realistic Portraits” presentation that was featured in Maxon’s 3D and Motion Design Show. 

MH: Character design is not really well represented in the Cinema 4D motion graphic community. I felt that I might help people with the rendering aspect of that. Making a tutorial about how to make a cool character very quickly could be helpful. It covered sculpting, texturing, and lighting. There are a lot of new motion graphics artists that are very talented and if I can help them, why not do it.

CGW: How do you utilize Maxon’s suite of creative tools for your projects and workflow management? 

MH: I utilize basically everything that Maxon has today in their catalog:  ZBrush, Red Giant Suite, Redshift, and Cinema 4D, of course. I also use OctaneRender, World Creator, EmberGen, and other tools that can help me do my job a little bit faster.

I have no attachment to tools or brands. I just want things to work and for now Maxon Cinema 4D is the best for my use. Of course there are always bugs and some stuff that could be better, but this is basically the same for every single piece of software that you can find out there. Nothing is perfect, you just have to manage how imperfect it is sometimes. For example, when I have lots of elements or a big scene to work on, I know that Octane might be pretty unstable, so in that case I prefer to use Redshift. That is one example of imperfection of software that you can bypass by using something else, but you have to be aware off those flaws to bounce back to a better solution.

For my process of work, Cinema 4D is basically the main hub for my workflow. Everything is created in C4D: camera layout, modeling, rigging, rendering. I also use ZBrush and Substance Painter to refine and add details to every main asset I’m going to use. Then I render in Octane or Redshift, depending on the type of project I’m working on, and I make it pretty with all the great tools that Red Giant has.

CGW: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming digital artists?

MH: My advice would be to try to find what drives you and what you want to be in this industry, and ask for feedback as much as you can. Receiving critiques is not the most comfortable thing to do but it is essential for improving and growth.

Always try to learn new things, even if you find it complicated and boring. You have to have a basic understanding of everything regarding the CG world. This industry is moving and changing constantly and you have to be up to date to be relevant.

Kendra Ruczak is the Managing Editor of CGW Magazine.

Images courtesy of Ross Morris, Will Harvey, Mehdi Hadi

Subscribe to the free digital edition of CGW Magazine: