My name is Nick Ladd, I’m an animation student living in Montreal with past experience working as an illustrator. I’ve always found that experimenting with new mediums and techniques is the most gratifying part of being an artist. That desire to try new mediums is what led me to working in 3D, and from there into VR.
This piece, like the others on my Sketchfab profile, was made entirely in VR using a painting software called Quill. The best thing about Quill is that it lets you create in the 3D space around you, it’s a good mixture of painting and 3D modelling that allows me to sketch out enormous worlds very quickly in a way that feels a little bit like building miniature sets.
The idea for this painting was inspired by Frank Darabont’s film “The Mist” (based on Stephen King’s novel). It’s a painting I’d been planning on making since I first got my hands on VR but I only finished finalizing the details as I was making it.
I start a painting like this by going online and gathering up relevant reference images. I use Photoshop to put all those references together and then import that canvas into Quill. From there I painted a character in a hazmat suit and using Quill’s duplicate and move tools I was able to clone multiple men in hazmat suits and alter the poses to save time and populate the scene.
Next I worked on the houses which were made using the straight line tool. All the colours in Quill are flat vertex colours so the lighting and fog had to be painted manually. Quill has a colour-replace tool with an opacity slider so I was able to paint a layer of white over the scene to push it all back in the fog. The monster was painted last and underwent design changes several times. Fortunately, Quill is great for experimenting with things like that and trying out new ideas is much quicker in Quill than it is in a traditional modelling software.
Sketchfab has been a tremendously helpful tool for sharing my VR content online. The process of getting models from Quill to Sketchfab is remarkably easy and it’s the best way for people to experience and explore the worlds that I’m making outside of VR. The post-processing filters offered by Sketchfab are also a dream and make my models look more cinematic with film grain and bloom.
People can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and check me out on ArtStation!
AND I have a new Patreon page dedicated to VR art for anybody who wants to support me and get access to exclusive FBX files, and even a couple of private models on Sketchfab!