Making 3D Art That Tells A Story

Shining the spotlight on this talented 3D Motion Designer who can unleash the power of visual storytelling by crafting motion graphics rich in detail.

by Greyscalegorilla


Meet Max Calarco

Max Calarco is a talented Freelance 3D Motion Designer who uses his artistic talents to craft captivating stories in motion. Max has always been drawn to creating art. What began with traditional drawing and digital painting eventually evolved into a passion for animation. In his pursuit of storytelling through movement, Max discovered the world of 3D design. Cinema 4D became his canvas, allowing him to push boundaries and bring his creative visions to life.


Max Calarco

Chatting with Max Calarco

Greyscalegorilla: How did you get started in 3D design?

Max Calarco: Since I was a kid, I always loved making art, mostly by drawing or digital painting. When I got to the age where I had to start thinking about a career, I became interested in animation. I found it fascinating to make creative decisions that tell a visual story through movement. In 2019 I attended Full Sail University to study digital arts and design. I learned a wide scope of motion design, but once I got to the first 3D class in the program and learned Cinema 4D, I absolutely loved it. I felt that with drawing, my skill level could only go so far. With 3D I was able to advance much quicker, and it was a great fit for the way I like to create. When I graduated in 2021, I worked at a studio doing explainers for a few years, and in the past year I made the jump to freelance full-time!


Max Calarco Reel Intro/Outro (Greyscalegorilla Tools Used: Signal, MSMC, HDRIs, and HDRI Link)



GSG: What would you like our audience to know about you?

MC: I love making art that tells a story. There’s something about adding small details to create a larger narrative that is so fascinating to me. I feel like I always have ideas for bigger stories to tell, and I hope to make them a reality one day. A little under a year ago I made the jump into freelance full-time. It’s been a massive learning experience, but I’ve loved every second of it. Freelance has given me the tools and time to explore a variety of work, both personal and professional. I am excited to see what I can make in the future as my skill set advances further. I know it’s just the beginning, but I hope to keep making bigger and better projects that explore my creativity. Keep an eye out to see what I make next!


Max’s entry from the “Endless Engines Challenge” that made it into the top 100 entries! (GSG Tools Used: Signal, MSMC, HDRIs, and HDRI Link)



GSG: How has Greyscalegorilla Plus helped you?

MC: I use the Greyscalegorilla tools on most of the projects I do. The variety, quality, and ease of use in both materials and textures streamlines my process and allows me to focus on the broad strokes of the piece. It’s comforting to know that the library of tools and materials are always there. Whenever I’m stuck creatively, cycling through all the amazing materials allows me to iterate quickly and discover new creative pathways I wouldn’t have found on my own. I’ve been using the Greyscalegorilla tools for the majority of my 3D career, so it’s hard to think of what I used to do before I had Plus!


Desk Setup for a modeling/lighting exercise (GSG Tools Used: Materials and HDRIs, Gobos, and HDRI Link)



GSG: What is your favorite Greyscalegorilla Plus tool?

MC: I’d say Signal is my favorite. It’s so useful in adding subtle natural movement with the noise, which is normally tedious to hand animate every time. I find myself using Signal a lot when it comes to adding the imperfect touch that makes things feel real.


Trashy (GSG Tools Used – Watercolor materials, Surface Imperfections, and the Greyscalegorilla watercolor tutorial as a reference)


To see more of Max’s incredible work, follow @max_calarco on Instagram.

Greyscalegorilla Products Used


Signal 3.0

Modern Surface Material Collection

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