Japanese 3D artist shares his perspectives and process using technology to turn ideas into designs

Ryogo Toyoda is now a successful 3D illustrator based in Tokyo, but he began with more traditional influences. Drawing comics and picture books since he was in kindergarten, he gradually added the manga style to his creations in elementary school. Growing up in Japan, video games and anime would also figure prominently in his artistic development.

He went on to graphic design school, where he learned layout, color, typography and how to make concepts for advertisements. After graduation, he worked at a production company as a graphic designer and on the front lines of advertising and web design.

That would lead to starting his own business, when his self-taught hobby of illustrating in 3D turned into a career.

“I have wandered through many different industries, and I think that such a complex career has given me the style I have today,” says Toyoda.

His eclectic portfolio comes from a mindset that embraces constant evolution.

“I try to take on a new challenge each time,” he says. “In general, most artists continue to create in one style. But that makes it difficult to keep growing, so I try to keep updating my style.”

3D illustration of a human hand with mechanical partsArtwork by Ryogo Toyoda (Courtesy of artist)

Toyoda’s work often lands in advertising and corporate promotion, communicating the world view of a company’s brand to consumers or promoting their services. He creates still illustrations and animations, but gets a lot of satisfaction when his 3D works turn into real sculpture or products.

“Personally, I like campaigns that are not only on the web but also linked to the real world,” he says.

Before the pandemic, much of his campaign work was visible to the public in shopping malls, where his 3D work showed up as sculptures: Lumine (his favorite real sculpture of a 3D factory) and iSquare Hong Kong (a 3D character).

Illustration of a pickle in a jar wearing a diving maskArtwork by Ryogo Toyoda (Courtesy of artist)

Some of his 3D work became incorporated into products, such as the packaging design for Pino ice cream.

“My favorite part is when I’m working on the concept and planning,” he says. “When I come up with a good idea, I get excited.”

Besides his childhood influences, travel was also a source of artistic inspiration and recharging. During the pandemic, he’s taken his daughter around Japan in between projects. They’ve gone to Okinawa, zoos and farms.

“I often create my own characters based on animals, so I try to observe them closely,” he says.

Ryogo Toyoda standing in the middle of a busy city at nightRyogo Toyoda (Photo courtesy of ASUS)

A 3D artist uses a variety of processes from the start to the end of a project. For Toyoda, it starts with drawing rough sketches and concept art.

After he’s solidified the image, he does 3D modeling, adjusting lighting and camera settings. After that, he adds colors and textures, and then the image is rendered and output as an image or video. After color correction and compositing, the project is complete.


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