Art Spotlight: Takoyaki Stall

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Hi, I’m Elora! I’m passionate about art and travelling, and I discovered my passion for art in games through playing games. I’m now about to graduate from a Game Art Bachelor’s program, and looking to become an Environment/Props Artist once my training is complete. My main inspiration can be found in Ghibli movies, my travels, the place I grew up (French Alps) and history. I’m mainly working on realistic stuff at Uni and in my free time I love experimenting with handpainted textures, cartoonish styles, watercolor, etc. Sometimes I mix all these things and try to recreate illustrations from my favourite artists in 3D.

I first found this @Dliok illustration (go check her work it’s absolutely amazing) on Instagram and thought it would be the perfect fit for my project to recreate a watercolor look in a 3D model.

Then I started to do a block out of the stall using Maya. The model itself is very low poly. Because I wanted to make it look like something you could make out of paper, I didn’t need to push the geometry too far. Next I sculpted the shibas in Zbrush and did the retopology in Maya. To achieve the black outline around my assets I simply duplicated the models and reversed their normals, then applied a black base color on them. Next I started to paint my textures. I used a 2K maps for the stall and two 1K maps for the shibas as I wanted to make sure you could see the unique watercolor look.

I textured my models using Photoshop. It was actually my first time creating watercolor-like textures and I needed to find the perfect brushes to do so. I think it took me about a day to find the right ones as I ended up creating my own brush set by using the paintbrush and paint I had at home. For the shadows I simply painted them on a plane and used the transparency mode in Sketchfab.

Recreating the look was a bit trickier than what I thought it would be… just because it looks nice in 2D doesn’t mean it’s gonna work in 3D (and I also wanted to stick to the original art). It’s all about finding the right brushes, that would look like ink on paper, that would really give the watercolor look and texture. The whole watercolor painting technique is obviously different in Photoshop than in real life; you can’t add water to make it fade or things like this. It can be a really long process if you don’t have the right tools especially if it’s your first time doing this, like it was for me. But it was definitely a good exercise and I learned a lot. Even though it’s not perfect yet I keep trying and every day I find a new way to improve the watercolor textures. Hopefully, I will improve this one in the near future, too.

I usually use Marmoset for my renders, but I found the shadeless mode on Sketchfab really great, and the real time render fit perfectly for my 3D, rendering the cartoonish style that I wanted to achieve, all while being easy to share online.

The Takoyaki Stall was a really fun and relaxing project to work on and despite its simplicity I’m glad people liked it (and more important that the original artist @Dliok liked it). It was my first time sharing anything online and I have had a lot of kind feedback so far.

I hope this quick overview of my work was interesting and will inspire other watercolor and 3D lovers! Thank you to everyone who liked and shared my work, not just this one but all the others I posted recently!!

I’m on Twitter, Artstation and LinkedIn, feel free to reach out to me! 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Daniela Lopez’s work : @Dliok, on Behance, and in her shop.

About the author

Elora Pautrat

3D Environment, Props Artist


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  • Samuel Perry says:

    I’m so impressed I’m actually leaving a comment! not something i would normally do!

    That really is a beautiful and novel way to bring flat illustration into the 3D realm. I’m trying it out myself right now.

    If it’s not too much trouble, would you expand on how you achieved the outlines please?

    Excellent work, really beautifully done.

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