The incredible 3D designs of Spanish duo NastPlas

February 4, 2019

NastPlas is an international creative duo based in Madrid, Spain and formed in 2006 by illustrator Fran R. Learte and creative director Natalia Molinos. Their work combines an impressive range of digital elements and abstract patterns which they create in order to elaborate pieces of art with a deeply aesthetic feeling.

NastPlas started 13 years ago in Madrid due to our passion for art and design and for showing our work more widely. Our origins are the same. Natalia and I have lived in a creative environment since childhood and we have conducted our artistic studies between Salamanca and Valladolid, Spain.

Later, Natalia opted for Interior Design and Decoration; and I opted for computing and Technology. From here, we began to work together as NastPlas. We started working with Wacom with our first Intuos 3 in 2004 which gave us, great flexibility and user experience for the use of the new tools that were to come. Now we use several Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro tablets, Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 several iMacs and Dell devices and two Canon SLR cameras.

Regarding 3d illustration, we are totally self-taught and we usually take advantage of our knowledge in design and computers to create our own artistic style.
We have worked with clients such as Pernod Ricard, Tried & True, Apple, Nexus Studios, Dynaudio, Orbit Red, Utrecht University, David Solano, Universal Music, Sports Illustrated, HarperCollins Publishers, McCann Worldgroup Melbourne, The University Of Melbourne, Macmillan Publishers, Red Bull, Nike, KUUP, Independentistanbul, New Scientist, Karl Wolf, Burda Creative Group, Allianz, Coca-Cola, McCann Worldgroup Spain, Airtran Airways, Story Worldwide, Lexus, Lindsay Adler, Trazos (School of Arts), etc …
Each project in which we work is divided into several phases:
wacom Cintiq 24

Natalia Molinos working on the Cintiq Pro 24

  1. The first step is to study each project and collect as much information as possible, through related images, texts, references.
  2. Once we have a clear idea, we start with the creation of 3d models and textures. For us, photography is very important in our work as it helps us in the creation of our models made completely in 3D. We use a lot of photography for the creation of textures or as inspiration to recreate organic forms. This is where creativity and production process really begins.
  3. If there is a preliminary study it is much easier to adapt to present the client in the final stage.
  4. Before finishing, we add adequate lighting and, finally, we chose an appropriate name that fits the piece.

We are inspired by cinema, architecture, music and especially by science; which we have a strong connection with.
My sister, Dr. Rodriguez Learte has worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the CBMSO-UAM-CSIC (Madrid) describing the molecular and cellular bases of tumor growth in Drosophila, and some of our best friends such as Dr. Cesar Santiago and Dr. Ruth Sanz work at the National Center for Biotechnology-CSIC in Madrid as Head of the crystallography facility and in Plant Molecular Genetics Department.
Going for a walk and a few drinks with them leads to conversations about the progress of their work, which are often seeds of creativity in our work. We always find a common link between science and art. Some of the works that have inspired by them have been SHRUB, a project that studies the connection between architecture and vegetation life-giving to different architectural forms. Spider lily, Iris ensata, and Hibiscus flower are the flowers we have modeled together with vines and wild grass growing in structures formed by construction materials.
15 hibiscus
Hybrot is one of our works that explores the combination between nature and mechanics by creating living organisms with artificial intelligence. Hybrots are creatures formed by organic and technological elements. These bioinspired systems could lead to future systems that contain both biological tissues and electronic systems.
SEM, A free interpretation of images captured with a Scanning Electron Microscope. A type of electron microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning the surface with a focused beam of electrons. The electrons interact with atoms in the sample, producing various signals that contain information about the surface topography and composition of the sample, making it possible to generate an absolutely accurate 3D image of any microscopic particle that we use as the basis of work.

Music is also important in our creations. We usually listen to different types of music according to the work we are working on at that moment to find inspiration. We love the music of Börk, The Cure, Portishead, A Perfect Circle, Korn, Woodkid, Placebo … The list is endless.
One of our last works influenced by music has been – Slétta
The Danish Agency – OrbitRed commissioned us to present the new DYNAUDIO speaker Model – Music 1 along with other artists from around the world to visualize our favorite music songs.
Our work was inspired by the music of Icelandic artist “Björk”. We feel strongly identified by her music, her technological exploration in constant evolution, her connection with the nature and her involvement with the environment.
In “Slétta” we represent an ecosystem with generative organisms that are being born from the interior of the speaker, in which they coexist with human life in perfect harmony and stillness. The connection between music and nature is represented at the top, where we can see how an organism interprets an eternal song by propagating some of its notes as spores to the outside world.
Other works that have been important for us have been our participation in the Nike campaign “The Art Of Attack” by Kobe Bryant X shoes and other different concepts that we have made for Nike as our work SLAB– an exploration of elementary geometric shapes combined with different materials to create a contemporary aesthetic.

Each shoe has been modeled in 3D layer by layer without the aid of any scanner and has been integrated into a geometric space combining textures, lighting, and materials with different perspectives.
Another of our latest projects, “Notorious” in which we pay tribute to the iconic model “Air I” with which Michael had some of his best moments, has had a great reception in networks such as Behance or Instagram.

In our free time we enjoy devouring movies and TV series, we have a couple of works like “DOLLY SHOT” or “REALLY STRANGER THINGS” in which we have worshiped some of our favorite filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino or Tim Burton and cult series like Stranger Things by the Duffer brothers.

We travel as much as we can. We do not have much free time and therefore we usually choose nearby destinations such as Italy, Holland, Germany, Portugal … but the USA, Australia or Islandia are other of our favorite destinations. We travel always carrying our cameras with us, we walk through the streets of the cities capturing moments, details, people and buildings. Architecture traps us and motivates us to create. We have some pieces in which we have enjoyed a lot working as they are CACTA, LOCUS, lIGNUM, TEMPO or BOTANIQUE.
We love to travel.
Some of the places that we liked the most are Rome, Florence, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, New York, Oporto, and of course Madrid.
Leisure in Spain cannot be separated from enjoying eating, going out to “tapas”, alone or with friends, it is essential here. The Basque pintxos or the tapas of Madrid are an infinite world to enjoy, small portions of Mediterranean food watered with a good red wine that can take you to Nirvana. Also, we love spicy food, Mexican tacos, Indian food, Japanese…


The NastPlas team working together on their Cintiq Pro 24 and Intuos Pro

What recommendations do you have for new entry users?

We think the best advice we can give is that they are perseverant in their work and to strive to improve every day a little more.

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