Art Spotlight: Tentacle Dude

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Hi everyone, my name is Francis-Xavier Martins. I’m a freelance character artist living in Brighton, England, UK. I work primarily in TV and media. I also write for 3D World magazine monthly. My usual tools of choice are Zbrush, Maya, Mari, Photoshop and more recently, Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag.

I was browsing Instagram one day and came across a picture by CreatureBox. If you don’t know who they are, Google them. They make the most amazing creatures and I’m a big fan of theirs. I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out the  PBR workflow everyone was talking about and learn some new software in the process!


I started with sculpting in Zbrush using Dynamesh. All the parts were started with either a sphere or a tube for the trunk. I built in the forms and then when happy, added the final details. I usually use the clay build up for the forms, Dam Standard for the crevices and a combination or alphas and brushes for fine details.

Since I only had one view of the concept, I had to rely on anatomy to get the rest done so I went online and looked at animal anatomy in order to cobble together something that wouldn’t look too weird when looked at from different angles.

Reference is important, anatomy is important!

Once this was done I had to retopologize the model. I decimated it and took it into Maya. I used Quad Draw to retopologize it and then created some UVs before reprojecting the details back on in Zbrush laying down basic colours.



Once the colours were laid down, I exported the high and low models into Substance painter where I baked the normal, and AO. I also finalised the colours and generated the gloss maps.


Sketchfab was very simple to use when I wanted to get it into the viewer. I simply installed the Sketchfab plug-in, loaded the model into Maya, hooked up the textures using the built-in StingRay shader and It was a one click process to get it online and I was able to tweak the textures and parameters after the fact before I published the model.

My first experience with Sketchfab was great and I’ll definitely be revisiting this platform in the future with my next models!

Thank you, Francis-Xavier! Any questions or comments on the process? Leave them below!

About the author

Seori Sachs

Community Person!

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