Salut Sketchfab community!
Susie here, I am really stunned to be writing this article being noticed amongst such a huge community of fantastic artists like all of you!
I started “self learning” 3D modeling, around 2-3 years ago with my special person (who is now my boyfriend). Using open source softwares like Blender, we opened our eyes to 3D. As creative people, we love to draw and to create things.
Photography is also a big interest of mine, I was always taking pictures as a kid, and before knowing of Photoshop’s existence, I played around with free photo editing software making graphic designs for my toys. As a teen my parents got me a DSLR, and I learned photography in a more serious way. Apart from landscapes and interesting sights hunting through my lens I love making scenes with dolls/figures for my pictures, telling stories through them. When I got into 3D I noticed it is a huge lot like setting those scenes for pictures, except everything gets to be made by oneself and there are no boundaries to what one can make! Also during this discovery, I realized how photography complements 3D!
I am a fan of the new Mickey shorts Youtube series and anything Disney in general.
I love Mickey’s new art style, it is fresh while staying true to the traditional style.
Each episode is so cute and original!
There is this one where Mickey is riding a scooter through the streets of Paris delivering baguette titled “Croissant de Triomphe” This is where I thought it would look fun as a 3D animation, so I got to work!
A few things I wanted to achieve in the scene:
- Hand-painted-ish textures
- Infinite looping animation
- Audio component (who wants a Mickey without Steamboat Willie Whistle?)
First I modeled, textured, rigged Mickey, then I modeled the scooter and posed Mickey on it.
From there I started thinking of how a looping animation could be achieved. There are some linear looping here on sketchfab, like the Tron Lightcycle, which requires the background mesh/texture be “tileable” between the start and the end of the Animation. It poses a limitation that the scene must be repetitive and the bike must move in a straight line.
However, we want Mickey to be turning in a bank with his bike slightly tilted. The solution is a circular loop. The following gifs give you the idea. The ground is composed of 2 meshes, one circle that would spin and a stationary plane that hugs it. The circular ground is in fact a separate object, only joined so you see they are 2 meshes.
For the trees, fences and mountain along with circular ground are parented to an empty one. This way, you only add keyframes to the empty, the rest would follow. Just make sure the z-rotation in the end is 360° ahead than that in the start. Your mesh need not to be repetitive plus your dope sheet is clean. You can put a sky dome over the ground to create the horizon.
For the sound, my boyfriend updated his Pixar scene to include sound, so we instantly thought Mickey needed sound in his scene too! We have been waiting for the sound feature for some time! I searched for royalty free scooter sounds and I recorded my “skillful” :p whistling of the steamboat tune. No fancy setup! Only my standard earphone set as mic.
Sketchfab sound feature supports .mp3 under 5MB, more info here. For free accounts, you got only one track, but since I got the pro account, I can put up to 5 tracks. You may see a step by step guide of the process below.
To trim the audio tracks I used Audacity, a open source audio editing package. It’s popular and get the job done without costing a penny. The software doesn’t export in .mp3 so I had to convert the .wav I simply did a quick google search and used this free online converter.
- Get to “Sound” tab in “3D settings”,
- Click “Add Sound” to Upload your MP3
There are 2 types of sound settings; infinite loop or have the track start at a specific moment.
Infinite loop can be used to provide ambiance immersion, like the engine sound.
While specifying the moment for sounds, you can sync SFX with actions, here I set the whistle to start at 0:50
I have big plans for this Mickey character, stay tuned for more scenes inspired by the Mickey shorts! Maybe I’ll add more characters from the Mickey-verse next time!
Hope this short write up get you jazzed up about adding sound to your 3D scene!
I was very happy the other day upon getting a comment praising my way of handling the circular loop, one sketchfab user commented it was helpful for his/her VR game project. Can’t wait to see more of you guys take the circular loop technique to create you awesome scenes!
I am so happy to be part of this community, Sketchfab has been really motivating for making 3D scenes. Now that Sketchfab supports audio, it is really the only platform that can showcase it! Both the animation and sound are so neat and seamless it is so touching to see how well my Mickey scene fits here!
Feel free to reach me at: (all @marikosusie)