Art Spotlight: Old Tavern

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

Hello everyone !

My name is Gregory Langeix, I am a graphic designer / Webdesigner for a French IT e-commerce site. In my professional work, I try to breathe life into my creations, create worlds and rich environments. But Webdesign is Webdesign, and I can’t express myself like I want. Especially with flat design :-).

After several years, I decided to breathe and (re) start the drawing. I’m not an illustrator and 3D is a way to express myself more easily. To be quite frank, I started using Blender only two months ago (I already had some experience in 3D graphics), and I became totally fascinated by being able to paint directly on my 3D object, thanks Blender. So I fed myself with tutorials and I trained first by creating small objects, and then by larger objects, to finish with this idea of a tavern. This project was done in 2 weeks.

The tavern

My only goal for this project was to make a 100% hand painted model – no bake, no bump, no normal maps etc. No, just a 2D drawing on a 3D shape to improve my drawing skills. I didn’t want a low poly style scene, because of the small textures resolution. I wanted something more detailed.

This tavern was an idea I had in mind for some time. So I started, and to encourage myself, I decided to stream all this work on Twitch. I was helped by many viewers, thank you! 90% of the work done on this tavern is available and you can see changes in timelapse here:

I wanted to create something with a community so that it can participate, and also so that I can show them the different stages of my project in real time. Very exciting !

Initially, I wanted to create only a tavern, with no ground, like artworks that can be seen when graphic designer of a new game want to show a building, a weapon, a character. I was also inspired by an artwork of Diablo 3 for the design of this tavern.

I first started by creating the main form, and then the front of the inn. I then had to create openings. On the side, and on the roof.

As a beginner, I made some modeling errors, thanks to my non experience… I focused mainly on the forms at this stage, and then I corrected my mistakes.

I finished the forms, reworked the roof by adding wood tiles and I unwrapped my UV to arrives as quickly as possible to my favorite part: painting ! I chose a 4096 * 4096 texture because I wanted something detailed for my UV. Something with a low poly style but with a high-res texture (I do not intend to integrate this work into a game so, that’s ok).

At this point, I still had no plans to make a scene or an environment around the tavern, except this plant, which I ended up removing afterwards.

The small shelter in front of the tavern is not linked to the main mesh. I wanted a dedicated UV map in the center of my scene: the tavern.


The first version of the texture was a mistake. The wooden planks were too large, they were vertical instead of horizontal, and unsuited to the atmosphere I wanted to have. I bounced back and learned from my mistakes. The second attempt was the right one.

All painting was done in Blender. Only a copy / paste of this face on the other sides was realized in Photoshop – I like the manual and crafted work, but I was not prepared to spend hours drawing wood planks on all 4 sides of the tavern …

It was necessary to continue with the roof (more than 5 hours of work for just one side) and the remaining elements. After completing this work, I needed to rework the lights – the scene was so dark, I needed to paint light effects manually. Once again, I didn’t bake anything even if I had lights on my scene.

Et voilà, the tavern was finished!

I then had to work on the shelter and make a ground for this poor little house. I had not planned that in advance. It was therefore necessary to make decorative elements: rocks, barrels, trees, green (made with the addon “Gen Ivy / Sapling”), a new mesh to the ground with a texture 4096 * 4096 associated too.

I had the opportunity to use the particles editor for the first time to create my grass. Then, a final step to revive a bit dull and dark textures of the tavern: a small wall around it.

After 2 weeks, It was done, the tavern was over !

I made this project with Sketchfab in mind. I didn’t bother rendering it with Blender because it was not my goal.

What separates a 2D drawing from a 3D rendering displayed in 2 dimensions in your screen ? In my case, nothing. You spend a lot more time to perform a 3D project than a simple drawing.

But Sketchfab allows me to combine the best of two worlds: I now have a 3D interactive drawing dimension, a rich universe that you can visit as you wish. This is a major advance for my work, and an exceptional idea !

My next step is to go further and achieve animation, in the same style, I hope. Nope, I don’t have a powerful portfolio since i’ve decided to erase all my past work to start with something new. But I’ll add more and more with time on ArtStation. You can watch me live, working on all of these projects here.

Thanks Bart, thanks Sketchfab !

Thanks Greg!

You can see more of Greg’s work here on Sketchfab and, as he mentioned, on his and Twitch channel.

About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.

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