Shir Pakman sculpts 3D characters inspired by classic art brushstrokes

Coming across Shir Pakman’s work is like following a rainbow and finding a pot of gold at the end. Through her masterfully created 3D illustrations and animations, she has established a distinct and cohesive style – one that is hyper-realistic and infused with unusual character development.

Based in Tel Aviv, Shir has gained extensive experience in the field, ranging from majoring in screen arts at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem to premiering her graduation film in several international festivals. She continued to work in the world of advertising as a 3D designer, mostly for high-tech companies, before going freelance – spurred on by the opportunity to work on an animated short named black side by Uri Lotan. To date, his client list includes Google, Microsoft, Wix, the new yorker and Meta, while she currently holds a position at Gunner Animation as an illustrator and 3D animator.

Shir’s main source of inspiration is, somewhat surprisingly, mainly from classical art. With an undeniably modern aesthetic, there are times when you get a more traditional feel – the body postures, portrait framing and flower garden environments, among others. This interest in classicism comes from the fact that she studied the history of art and painting in the past. Oh, and she also worked as a private painting tutor. “From Dutch art to German and Scandinavian art,” she tells It’s Nice That, “it’s all in my reference pool.” His most inspiring work, however, is the work of Lucian Freud who made him “fall in love” with art and portraiture. Then, once the ideas are launched, Shir will embark on the process of sketching before finding a composition. Autodesk Maya is his 3D program of choice, which helps him model his works as close to the sketch as possible. Next, she adds texture and lighting in C4D Octane, then renders the final image and retouches it in Photoshop “to give it a bit more character,” she adds. All this can take between a few days and two weeks.

Christopher S. Washington