Interview with Tolgahan Gungor

Prior to posting the ‘making-of’ article by HOVER 1st Runner Up – Tolgahan Gungor, I present to you an interview with him so you may learn a bit more about him and his way of work.


Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you initially became interested in Architectural Visualization? Do you have any formal training in this field?

I’m 30 years old from a city called Izmir in Turkey. I’ve studied graphic design at Dokuz Eylul University. After studying in that field I started to have interests in architectural visualization too.

I was already well into environmental designs using Maya while I was studying and I have always been deeply interested in buildings and environment. I used to draw over Japanese illustration books at my dad’s office when I was a kid at the age of 12. And now I’m doing this professionally via AVIS Graphics, my firm.

Do you have any background or interest in traditional art and if so does it help you to make your digital 3d art better?

When we started graphic design we studied basic design lesson mostly. besides we’ve had many pattern and photography lessons. And for four years we used what we’ve learned in school at works we did. I’ve first seen Maya in the 2nd year of study at the university and stepped into the 3D World.


What is your favorite project / render that you have done?

The Grand Space Opera image I made. It was selected as 5th runner-up in the 2D category. You can see it here below…


What’s the ArchVIZ field like in your local area?

As usual like everywhere, There are a lot of people doing what I do here too, but you can guess what is the general quality…

Can you tell a little about who are your clients? Mostly architects or the developers ? Ad agencies?

Most of the firms I work with are construction companies and architects. Construction is a fast developing sector both Turkey and the Middle East countries. I have not worked with any agencies till now.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

Mostly mountain biking downhill and surfing.

What is your software of choice? Do you use more the one modeling / rendering application in your workflow?

I used Maya for a really long time, but Autodesk kind of made it clear not to use Maya in this field. That is why I’ve been learning 3ds max for a year now. These works I’ve done are seriously my first VRay trials. I also use ArchiCAD for modeling of architecture.


Can you tell us about other tools you can’t do without these days?

Definitely my Wacom tablet!!!

Photoreal or NPR – where do you stand in this debate?

Definitely NFR. but we cannot skip being real, now and then, if we want to prove ourselves technically. It depends on the work at hand, so both skills are needed. I’m going to start oil paintings visualizations soon, and for this I’m working on watercolor and oil paint. I think the real show is hidden in them. Someone who does NPR really shows his talent while doing the work but photorealism is directly proportional with the machines.

Are you a post work or pure render type of artist? (Granted, post work is always needed, but how much remains for you to do in post)

I’m definitely a post work artist. If I had time I would do paintings only on a grayscale base model.


What other artists inspire you?

These artists do… you should look up their work to see what I like about them.

Yanick Dusseault, Dylan Cole, Marek Denko, John Sell Cotman, Chris Stoski, Eric Hanson and especially Lebbeus Woods.


What do you find most challenging in your daily work?

Customers… I know they pay my fees, but they are really challenging day by day… but that keeps me alert and makes me think of new ways to get things done better & faster!

How do you keep up to date will all the frequent software updates and plugin additions? Do you even bother yourself with that?

I just use BRIX and VRay as plugins. They are very easy to use and I don’t use anything else for rendering.

What would you suggest to someone wanting to become part of this industry? What are the essential skills to focus on when one starts?

Perfection is hidden in details. The most important thing is to be able to see this. and then being able to do the work hard without getting bored.


What do you love about doing what you do? What is your motivation to keep going?

Actually, I cannot say that I love what I do… It’s not something more than making other people’s work look better. My wish is to create and design them just like in the competition. What I do is just something I must to make it through the month and getting me to a point when I can dedicate myself to what interests me the most.

When that time comes I believe that I will be someone important in environmental works. What keeps me going and what motivates me are the competitions organized by people like you and CG talk for example (The Grand Space Opera, EON and Steampunk challenges).

Do you have any interesting projects going on at the moment?

I’m working on a hotel project by the sea. The tests are going to be finished soon and I’m going to publish them. Also, 3 villa projects and 2 skyscrapers that I love.

I see on your website a lot of sci-fi 2d paintings? Matte paintings? Can you tell us more about that part of your work?

Most of the works you’ve seen are the works I’ve done at school for the thesis. Others are, as I mentioned before, works for the competitions organized by CGTalk.


Tolgahan’s HOVER Challenge thread

You are welcome to comment on this article and ask questions using the comment box below!

7 replies
  1. ludnid
    ludnid says:

    Of all the cgartists around, here’s my first, nah second best, nah first nah second, nah first…..oh well i’ll leave that to Alex Roman and Tolgahan to decide 😀

    I particularly love the works and concept formulation most especially on the sci fi images. Makes me pay more attention to detail in mine. The really tiny things do matter.

    Thanks Ronen for the interview and Mr. T, your websites also great but a lil bit of a hassle when trying to use the avis icon on the left (buttons dissappear too quickly when the mouse moves away). Congrats 😀

  2. Toktam
    Toktam says:

    Great life. It’s something I always wish to be (I mean someone who can reach his life goals and is satisfied with his life & work). I hope someday I’ll be the same !!!! 😀

    Thanks Ronen for the Interview

  3. Nachi
    Nachi says:

    I never heard of tolgahan before, but after reading this post, i went to cgtalk to check out your portfolio. and wow man, you got some real talent. Inspiring.
    Thx ronen for these posts.
    They are great.

  4. ludnid
    ludnid says:

    @ Nachi — oh, hes been around all right…(whispers : i’ve been shadowing this dude for years now, know his name, surname, nickname, i even know his house, cellphone number, hell, i know the color of his pc, even his desk … all in my head……..lmao)

    Yeah, a guru on cgtalk with loads of awards. So though, his was my best on hover, initially dissappointed, later i was sort of ok he didnt get it…comon, was he too good or what? 😀

    Thumbs again Tolgahan.

  5. Osman Assem
    Osman Assem says:

    that’s really very great interview. i like all your interviews with such great designers and companies. i really like this interview so much. he is real great artist know his tools and he deserve all the respect. keep moving forward.

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