My name is Henrik Veres, a 6th generation circus performer, I have been performing with my juggling number since age 14. I love art in every form and I'm passionate by learning new things, since my early teenage years in my free time I learned drawing, music (playing guitar, piano and composing), digital art and animation.
Since 2020 I jumped into the world of 3D animation and tried to master it as much as I could in the past few years. After a year of learning 3D, I started publishing more and more of my work online and slowly I started getting a few commissions from smaller-bigger clients, which was encouraging me a lot to keep developing my skills!
I'm from Hungary originally, in 2021 I moved in with my girlfriend to Montreal, Canada. In 2022 I applied and got inCollege ESMA enrolling on their course of 3D animation and Vfx, but after one semester I had to cut my studies short, because I joined Cirque du Soleil on their European and Australian tour.
But this didn't discourage me to keep learning and evolving my skills in 3D animation, in my free time I managed to finish my first animated few minutes short film :"Isn't Life Beautiful". For me it was a big stepping stone, realizing that one day I might be able to create a full length animated film!
In 2023 Storiaverse has discovered one of my artworks through my Artstation portfolio, I got very excited when they offered me to animate one of their stories, the "VibrantFuneral", the genre, style and mood of the story was so close to my heart, I'm very happy that they found me and reached out in this vast ocean of online world, I hope that with these stories we can inspire a lot of young people and make them fall in love with reading and watching awesome stories!
I always loved to draw since I was a kid, my passion for art definitely started with little simple doodles. Later I started making digital drawings and I got more and more curious of how to make my creations "come alive", that's how I first discovered the world of animation. First, I learned how to manipulate separate layers of my 2D artworks, making simple movements in them and animate frame by frame or even spread the layers across a 3D space and create some depths within the 2D artworks. In 2020 I got really inspired to learn and master every aspects of the 3D animation pipeline, my greatest motive was to be able to create imaginative 3D worlds and to make animated short films with an exciting story.
Right now most of my animations are in the genre of Sci-Fi, sometimes blended with some dreamy-fantasy elements, I try to achieve a semi-realistic style, something which could be a cinematic cutscene of a story-driven videogame.
I would say one of my greatest inspirations were in 2019, when I first discovered the animated short episodes of Love Death and Robots, still up to day the first 3 episodes of the first season were my all time favorite, they definitely influenced the style I want to achieve in my art.
Science-Fiction, with a little hint of fantasy in it, I always try to imagine what kind of worlds could there be in the vast unverse, and trying to visualize them in the most possible way.
My two go-to softwares which contribute to about 90% of my work is the combo of Blender and Unreal Engine. In blender I work on all the seperate 3D elements, textures and most of the character animations, then I take everything to Unreal Engine and put all the scenes together, placing the lights, adding the cameras, particles, post processing, and then render the final results.
I used to spend a lot of time on storyboarding after getting an interesting idea or inspiration, but since I got more and more comfortable of using Unreal Engine, a lot of times I start to block out scenes right away with simple shapes or free assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace (every month they even have some free giveaways of awesome assets, it's really a blessing for a lot of artists!), like this I usually have a rough idea how big the space will be in the scene, where will I place the cameras and lights, and then slowly I will build out the whole scene.
I think my most favorite moment in the animation pipeline is when I first place the characters in the finished environment, and experiment with the lights, finding the perfect placement for them, and to try out the first camera angles and see if each shot will fit the narrative of the story.
One of my biggest advice: don't get overwhelmed by watching too many tutorials, and don't fall into the dark pit of starting too many projects, downloading many resources but never finishing anything. Start small, have a simple goal in front of you, and build your way from there. If you want to make a short animated film, don't always think about the big picture and the end result, because the path to it might be long and discouraging. Focus on each piece individually, step by step, one day at a time. If you get stuck on one thing, keep trying but don't "bash your head against the wall". Sometimes if it doesn't work, try to find a workaround, you might be surprised to discover that there is always a more complicated and also a simplier way to achieve almost anything!
Over the years I learned that there is no "magical way" or perfect strategy of overcoming your creative block. In the eternal ocean of art there are many waves, sometimes we are lucky to ride a wave of creative flow, and sometimes we hit a wave of creative block. I would say the only thing what ever works for me is : deadlines. I always put a deadline in front of me when I work on something, either if it's a work for a client or for myself, I'll try my best to finish the project before the deadline. Like this even if there's a day when I hit a creative block, I still end up working on the project and there is always some advancement in it, by the end of the day surprisingly I might get much more work done than I expect it:)
I'm just finishing the work on The Vessel, a sci-fi horror story from Storiaverse, one of my favorite part in the project was to create this big contrast of environment between the two vessels: the spaceship owned by the main characters of the story, and the mysterious creepy alien vessel. One of the biggest challenges throughout the project was to deliver the character animations the best way possible, since in this story there are tons of different body movements, emotions, multiple characters, and even I had to pay attention to the different gravity on certain scenes. I feel like character animation is a never-ending curve, I can always learn better and better ways to achieve better quality motions, right now I used lots of video references of myself to make the animations, I think for the upcoming projects in the future I might buy a motion capture suit, it would definitely help to improve on the realism of my animations!
It might sound cheesy, but I think it was "written in the stars", or more likely in mushrooms:)
They found one of my digital artworks "The Magic Mushroom Forest" on Artstation, and they offered me the opportunity to animate one of their stories, the "Vibrant Funeral" which is about a time-traveler entering an abandoned city covered by thousands of colorful giant fungi.
When I've read the first version of the script, in my mind I saw all the scenes appearing in front of me, I could really envision the whole thing right away and I got very excited to jump into the project and making the story come alive. The communication with Agnes Kozera and the rest of the Storiaverse team is flawless, they are always so clear of what they would like to see, it makes the work flow very efficiently.
With animation I feel like there are no boundaries, the inspiration is endless, we can be anything or anyone in a story, this is why I love the world of science fiction and fantasy. The meaning of gender, race or culture can be totally different in these worlds compared to our everyday life, through animation we can show people how colorful life truly is, I feel like for many people this can be very encouraging and inspiring and I believe that stories have always connected people in a very positive way throughout our history, right now animation is just a new form of telling these stories and connecting people through them.
Oops, I think with my last answer I covered most of this one too:) But to add to it: I experienced most of my biggest inspirations through movies, videogames and books I've read in my late teens, those are the first few very important years when a whole new world opens in front of our eyes, where we experience the biggest scales of emotions and rollercoasters of thoughts, and I think at this time to feed the brain with interesting, beautiful, haunting, thought-provocative stories is very important, they can build our character and we can experience so much of life through reading and watching interesting stories. This is why I'm drawn more and more to make adult-youth animations, because I know how important they were for me as well.
Forwards, always forwards!:) Surely, there have always been some bumps and challenges in the past too, as there will be in the future as well. We always tend to find new ways of implementing different animation technology to visualize stories. Right now, one of the new revolutionally inventions are the generative images, texts, sounds and videos, they are still in a quite early phase and lot of times the quality of them are low or just simply "weird". Although the industry is evolving with a fast pace, which probably a lot of people are struggling to keep up with sometimes, and even getting discouraged by it, but I believe we should always focus on the main goal of animation: to create things what will make people feel, think, dream, and giving a little escape from the repetitiveness of our everydays. Overall, I'm very glad that today the animation industry got to a point, where high level animation is not monopolized anymore by huge studios, today just with a single laptop I'm able to create animations which 10 years ago would have been impossible to do so. I think the only thing what all artists should be careful of: to keep up with technology, but don't fall into the habit of being a slave to it, don't get too lazy with creativity, because without creativity art just becomes soulless and empty.