Art Spotlight: Hope - Crystal Moon

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Who am I?

Hi everyone, I’m Julio Sillet, a 3D modeler and Freelancer from Mérida, Venezuela. I’m a music fan, videogames lover, and technology addicted. I work with three friends at Uplop, a small animation studio. I specialize in modeling and texturing, I also work with lighting and render in Blender. I am currently studying to be able to fulfill my dream of work in the game industry.

The Teaser & Inspiration

The idea of our little friend came from our studio logo and a CGCookie tutorial, it was about a stuffed elephant, we wanted to do our first independent short film and he was the perfect character for the job. Later the history was written and designed by Cesar Silllet and Aurora Zamanillo, inspired in the classics movies of our childhood from Pixar and Disney,

“Hope” is located on a small moon near our planet where children’s imaginary friends are born. Here a little octopus will have to take a journey, overcoming obstacles and surpassing difficulties to reach his destined friend, always proving that hope is in the last thing that we lost.

The teaser was created 100% with Blender production wise, from the modeling to the compositing (the final color correction and edition was made by Ender Martinez), all this to demonstrate the minimum of quality that we want to archive in our short film.

Making Hope – Crystal Moon

One day I was really bored and I started to explore Sketchfab just for fun, I was surprised by the incredible amount of quality work that I found and one thought came to my mind, I want to do something like that!

I started using the Hope scene from the teaser (The current octopus model was made by Jeison Villalobos), I thought it would be easy and fast, since everything was practically done. It wasn’t, or at least not in the way I was envisioning: the teaser scene was too dense, all the materials were cycles procedural and nothing had UV (bad Julio ._.). I was looking for something more PBR, lowpoly and game friendly.

image01The little guy remained the same,  we just had to make UVs and textures for the soil. It was relatively simple; since it’s just a plane, we subdivided/smoothed a few times with a noise displacement with 3 or 4 simple rock variations with instances and automatics UVs. We repeated this process with the crystals.


I know! I know! Terrible UVs, but in my defense, this isn’t shown!

I assigned vertex colors to each separated pieces of the models for more control on Substance Painter and exported to FBX, that way I create a ID texture, something I just learned on this scene.

image02The “Bake Additional Textures” feature from Substance save me a lot of time. I used the default fabric rough material on fill layers with color variations and for the smart masks Dust Occlusion and Ground Dirt. The ground and crystals were similar, same smart masks, different materials, and added a few scratches to the shiny crystal. Finally, I exported all this with the Sketchfab configurator.

image03Back in Blender, I create a lot of Icospheres and spreads them all over, no materials, no UV. I pose the little guy and export the final mesh on FBX, using this post to help me out at this stage.


The process of upload was quick and easy! On the 3D settings, I used almost the same setup as the teaser, a point light inside the crystal, a spot light facing down, black background, and a lot of post processing filters. For the fireflies I just assigned a emitter material.

image04I opened an account on Sketchfab about a year ago, and I’ve never used until now– big mistake! Sketchfab is an incredible and easy to use tool for all kind of 3D artists. It makes it easy to show 3D models on the web, and it’s accessible for everyone. The compositing process was really quick and intuitive and showed excellent results and is continually improving.

This is just the beginning of our long path to make “Hope” a reality. Our next step is to seek the resources to make our short film a reality. While we were thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign, we are still in the process of working hard to bring you this fantastic adventure, and will keep you posted on the status of the project!

For any questions or if you are interested on contracting me for a job, you can find me on Twitter, Artstation or Sketchfab.  

And I want to thank the Sketchfab staff for all the support and anyone who has take the time to read or see my work.

Thanks, Julio! How beautiful does this look? Leave comments and questions below!

About the author

Seori Sachs

Community Person!

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