In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
Howdy, my name is Rory and I’m an unemployed artist who can usually be found face down on his living room floor. Mostly I do a lot of character based illustration, people, monsters, people-monsters…
I also do a lot of life drawing and fashion drawing and this has started to bleed into the rest of my work. Hence eyeball shorts and the name I have adopted online “mutantcodpiece”. The amount of teeth your codpiece has is directly equivalent to your social standing.
Most of this year has been dedicated to learning Blender and my own drawing projects. I started teaching myself 3D as a way to give meaning and purpose to my character design work. I’ve never been much for refining or redrawing anything (especially characters) and 3D gives me an outlet once I‘ve got the sketch on the page and helps to funnel me back into Games related projects (I studied games design at RMIT in Melbourne).
The idea for this character came about rather spontaneously and i went from the initial thumbnail to finished sketch in about 15 minutes. It mostly falls into line with the rest of my monster appendaged characters but a recent viewing of KilllaKill has informed most of my current design choices fairly strongly. I can’t tell you why or how this became a trend in my style although I can usually blame too much JoJo’s (Bizarre Adventure) for these things. I Consume a lot of media so it all gets mixed up and spat out at weird angles.
This is the finished concept. I added a side view to aid modeling but did most of the work in Blender with this as my reference. I usually don’t work on colour until I’m ready for texturing which usually causes that part of the process to be the longest and most drawn out.
The hardest part about modeling the character for me is usually maintaining the shape and line quality of the initial sketch. I try to make the initial sketch as viable as a reference sheet as possible in order to not risk losing any of its character in redrawing (clone of a clone of a clone of a clone…). Once I’ve started modeling I try to keep the polycount quite low, it helps with style and doesn’t over complicate things. It usually takes me about a day (sometimes) to complete the model which usually includes a lot of retopologizing and messing with proportions as I go. This happens a lot as not everything i draw translates well into 3D. The characters head became larger once id modeled it.
Flat colours come next, this will often involve picking from other artists (colour theft) whose palettes I like. The finished colours usually end up somewhere in between what was picked and what was envisioned. Once the textures are painted I usually re adjust colours and values (a lot) to make sure everything balances. Adding in some basic cast shadows (purple) to help add depth and make certain areas pop more is usually how things finish. Many layers and much sliding of the contrast and transparency slider in photoshop. I added all the eyes to fill the empty spaces that didn’t exist in my original drawings and build interest.
After that I spend about an hour spinning the model in Blender then I lay on the floor.
Sketchfab has been a great problem solving tool for me. Whenever I get stuck on a hand or piece of clothing I usually go find an example and turn on the wireframe view or download the model. Having it on hand like that is great and getting feedback after a week of texture painting (once it was nearly two) can make it much more rewarding to upload things.