Art Spotlight: Riscopopoulos Boat

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Hey there! My name is Agathe Girard, I am a 3D generalist specialized in surfacing and lighting and I am working as a Texture and Sculpting artist in a video game company called Ryseup Studios based in Lyon, France. Besides my main job I teach 3D at school and work as a freelance artist.

I created the Riscopopoulos Boat when I was a student at the Aries School in Lyon, where I completed a bachelor’s degree in 3D conception, visual effects and animation.

The Idea

One year ago, I made the Riscopopoulos Boat in order to improve my texturing skills, which helped me a lot in doing my bachelor’s animated movie “The King and the Dyer”.

The idea was to apply a 2D traditional stylization on a 3D asset because I love this kind of mixing.

Put together, the strongest attributes of 2D and 3D are, in my opinion, an awesome way to create interesting universes (I am sure that I share this dream with a lot of other artists). That is the main reason I wanted to be a texture artist.

So, when I found this illustration on Pinterest, “The adventurers of Riscopopoulos” by Antoinette Wakker, I was like “Wow, this illustration is really beautiful, I need to make it in 3D.”
So I did it.

How ?


I didn’t model this boat in an orthographic view above an image plane with the reference, because I don’t really like to work that way. I prefer working in perspective view with the illustration in another screen, and modeling my own interpretation of the shape.

I think this is a good way to train your capacity of observation. So, to do it, I used Maya.

The challenge was to visually render a 3D asset to make it look like a painting.

Also, I chose to make the environment and visual effects with planes and use alpha maps to stay close to the reference.

I needed to have something close to a plane to be able to paint a 2D illustration on it, with as few seams as possible. So I mostly worked on symmetry to create these UVs. I chose to have some deformations, but fewer seams.


To create this type of stylised textures, I used Photoshop because for me, this is easier to have layers, brushes you want, a very good pen pressure, and layer blending (for Realistic textures, or cartoony textures, I mostly use Substance Painter or 3D Coat).

But having a lot of assets in a UV snapshot could be pretty boring because you spend a lot of time asking yourself: Which object is this UV? What’s its direction? On top of that you need to count polygons…etc. So before painting in Photoshop, I used Substance Painter to basically add colors onto my objects. For example:

Like that I can better understand UVs and assets when I am in Photoshop.

So let’s talk about brushes! I mostly used watercolor, chalk, oil, concrete and foliage brushes to obtain some patterns I wanted.

Also, I painted some shadow and light information directly onto my base color.

And with a lot of layers, blending modes, colors and brush strokes you can be close to the original illustration.


Rendering and Real-Time

To see and show my models textured in 3D I use real-time with Sketchfab and in order to have an image or an animation I use rendering engines, like Pixar’s Renderman because there are a lot of possibilities with this engine: a really powerful lighting system, awesome shading options, and a lot of other crazy parameters.

So, once I had done the shading and lighting, everything was ready to render the scene, do some compositing, and create a background. Furthermore, I made a short animated rendering, to have a cute moving boat.

For the real-time visualization, since the beginning of my portfolio, I have used Sketchfab to display my models. It’s powerful because it’s easy to use, you can import animation, lighting… work your real time post-process, (I added a vignetting, some sharpness and contrast for he Riscopopoulos Boat) and also there are a lot of visualisation options when you look at a model.

So I think this is a good way to show/ sell your work or hire someone, because with Sketchfab you can only be honest about what you are showing.


First, I would like to thank you for reading my article, and I hope that you appreciated it and found it interesting.

Also, I want to thank the team at Sketchfab, who gave me the opportunity to write about my Riscopopoulos Boat, and for their work on this awesome platform.

If you have any more questions, or if you are interested in more of my work you can find me on my website, Sketchfab, or Artstation.

Have a wonderful day =)

Agathe Girard

About the author

Agathe Girard

I am a 3D generalist specialized in surfacing, lighting and 3D sculpting based in Lyon, France.

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