Live in the Magical 3D World of Vinicius Costa

by . October 15th, 2014

When the YTD team first came across these 3D works, we thought they were built by a million tiny creatures. Nope, these worlds were rendered digitally by a 33-year-old art director from New York, Vinicius Costa. He is an ADC Young Guns Award 2012 winner who, according to the press, was owner of “a fantastic and unique world with stunning craftsmanship and imagination.” Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Costa now resides in New York.

Kindly explain to us what it is that you do exactly

I am a director and art director. I am a co-founder of a production house (called) Roof Studios. We opened this studio around one year ago. My personal website has a combination of personal artworks that I do when I find free time (mixed) with styleframes for pitches we do at Roof and print commercial work. At Roof, we make films in animation and I do multiple tasks depending on the client’s needs (whether it’s) designing or directing a film. 

I try to break the wall of the topic “What is art?” within a commercial context. I treat both my personal and commercial work the same way. I have passion for details and I use my perfectionism on everything I have the opportunity to work with.


For Melissa Amazonista (Brazilian footwear brand)


Style frame for Friskies Plus

When did you start drawing?

I started drawing when I was a kid. But to be honest, my drawings skills aren’t the best although I am constantly trying to study and improve it. I don’t have lots of free time to do so. I graduated in graphic design and then I did a certificate program in Visual Effects. I ended liking (mixing) both therefore I created my style. I create images usually straight in 3d or it starts from super rough doodle on paper.

What was your first artwork/project?

My 1st project was a painting I did in Photoshop. I just did an abstract illustration with lots of color. The result of that helped me to realize I could do it. After the first one, I ended up investing more time in studying 3D and my work became much more CGI than painted. I was fortunate to work as a designer for MTV Brasil (at) one point and there I had the chance to discover my style. MTV worked as a great creative school for me where I tried different styles for design.



Style frame for Duncan Hines (baked goods)

What are you currently working on?

We are working on new projects at Roof. We are in the middle of a production film for HBO Asia, plus we are doing some print jobs for Toshiba. Great stuff! We’re producing the films where me and my partner, Guto, are the directors and I am doing the design of the first film.

How do you start your work? (3-5 simple steps)

I try to tell a little story with only one frame. I am also a director and I like the sense of storytelling. I don’t design images just to look pretty but I want to challenge the viewer to understand the message in each of them. Sometimes I am in bed and I have an idea; I doodle something real quick on any paper next to me and I save it. When I find myself with some free time I start straight in 3d, and from there I go all the way until the end. I am constantly looking for interesting art ideas. I find it in architecture, in color uses, patterns, everywhere. When I see something inspiring I save it.


“Home” – original work


What’s your medium or what software do you use?

I use Photoshop and Modo for 3D.

What do you call your art style?

Wow this is hard. I call it post-surrealism — surrealism with a touch of technology. I can change day to night in a click of a mouse in 3D. But of course I don’t even want to be compared with the masters of surrealism. They were the real deal. Haha.

Your inspiration and/or favorite subject?

I am the kind of guy (who) in the middle of a conversion can easily loose focus and pay attention to something that is happening behind the person that is talking to me. I am constantly looking around, noticing things. I feel I have a pretty strong awareness. I find inspiration everywhere; I believe it is not exactly about how you find inspiration but how you become aware of (it) when you find something useful to you, you notice it and save it to your brain.



For Amnesty International

All photos courtesy of Vinicius Costa. See high-res versions here.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out the Modern Illustrations of Kaloian Toshev. Which artists would you like to know more about? Let us know through the comments below and you might see them here soon.