Artist highlight

Marcus Leal

Marcus Leal

Marcus Leal is a professional 3D Artist with 8 years of experience in the 3D Industry. Marcus has worked for game studios, advertising agencies and architectural companies. His interests include traditional sculpting, furniture design, video games, roller blading and cooking for his friends. Marcus currently resides in Toronto, Canada. 

CGMA Classes

What is your background as an artist? What educational experience/background did you have coming into CGMA?

After 8 years working as a Graphic Designer, I was influenced by a big friend of mine, who is also a 3D Artist, to buy a couple of books and to study by myself. That happened in 2007. After a while saving money, I quit my job as a Graphic Designer just to study for 6 months. I took classes at Cadritech, in São Paulo, Brazil to help with the process. It wasn't enough. After this period I found a job as a 3D Generalist, which I believe was the best thing that could happen to me at that time. I kept myself focused and studied by myself. Then, it came the time when I had to quit my university for lack of funds to save money to go to Los Angeles to take a 3 months workshop at Gnomon School. This was the change point that made me decide to be a Character Developer. I got involved with traditional sculpting, drawing and most of all the study of the human anatomy. I tried to have dissection classes at the university, but it wasn't allowed.


Girl render

Why did you decide to enroll in the CGMA Character Arts Program?

Because CGMA offered a program that I was having a hard time to find. That is, understanding the big picture of a Character Development workflow. Having a solid workflow is the key to give you the freedom to be a better artist because it eliminates the uncertainty of whether your character will be useful in a production pipeline.




So far what has been your favorite class or subject in the Character Arts Program?

Character Casting with Pete Zoppi and Production Modeling with Marty Havran.

Pete Zoppi

How did taking classes help you refine your craft and help you along your artistic journey?

I believe I had a chance to improve my portfolio due to the mentorship during the course from professionals who work in the 3D Industry.



What was your first big gig and how did you get it?

I believe it was when I got the freelance job to sculpt digital characters to be 3d Printed for a company located in Portugal. They found my portfolio online and they got in touch via email.

anatomy render

Why would you recommend CGMA to another artist?

I would say that there is no school to teach you what you want to see. But if there is a place to show you the right direction, this place is CGMA.



Why is having professional feedback important to you?

Why not? Getting an opinion from who works in the area is all you need. Even if it is not coming from a constructive criticism point of view, you should take it and learn with it.


What was your inspiration to creating a specific character?

Not knowing if I can make it. How are you going to learn what you already kno

face render

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes, Can I start the whole program again for free? Just kidding.


We would like to thank Marcus Leal for sitting down with us and sharing his CGMA experience. To see more of Marcus's work please visit his website at