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.
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.
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.
Have a wonderful day =)