Art Spotlight: Varnos

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

About me

Hello everyone, my name is Pedro Lovisoto, I am a 23 years old student of Game Design in São Paulo, Brazil. I always liked comic books, old movies, B movies, books and so on, so most of the things I make are slightly influenced by it, not in a direct way, but I try to use elements that amuse me.

From my point of view, there is no such thing as an “idea too stupid to be made”, so if a dinosaur drinking tea seems nice to be made…why not? Well, I’ve always been the “2D guy”, I recently started on 3D, and it’s amazing the possibilities you have to show things in different perspectives in 3D.

The Beginning

It all started while I was working on a separate project, a print for a shirt and while doing the illustration, I ran out of ideas, on how to proceed. When I see myself in these situations, I have the habit of doing some quick sketches, 3 to 5 minutes max, to try to escape from the original work and come back with new ideas, almost always works, so while doing these sketches this little guy here was born.

Backstory

To me, it’s hard to work on something and not start to wonder about the story behind it, so, when I was making sketches about his visual, I had already thought about how his universe would be, and how he was going to act, the pendant on his neck and the mark on his arm gives little hints from where he came. In my mind, he wasn’t fully trained yet, so his sword, due to trials and errors, has a broken tip, maybe the result of a wrong move that hit something stiff, or a hard shell of a big creature. Anyway, two paragraphs are enough to put me in the right track, to make coherent visual choices.

Modeling

I really like to draw skulls, but never had sculpted one, so I saw in this sketch a great opportunity to do something different and learn with it! Well, I try to make a lot of sketches before going to 3D, so I already have everything planned out before I start.

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I started to work on the head using 3D Coat, using the Voxel Sculpt, taking a sphere as starting ground, it was easy to make the space for the eyes and everything else, I mostly used the move tool.

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After I made the head retopology, I started to make the body on Maya, it’s easier for me to make the mesh already thinking where every edge loop would be, facilitating the animation process.

Equips and Mark

The mark on his arm was one the most challenging things to decide, I made a lot of sketches, but none worked for me, until I noticed it was done since the beginning, I had already made a pretty nice pattern for the shirt print, so I used the illustration I was working as the mark, and the crow’s skull for the pendant, both with some luminance map.

I always end up annoying my friends with questions like “Hey, what color do you think that would suit best on such thing”, I wanted their take on the color of the marks and the glow on the arm, the blue color won the voting, against the red and the yellow one (thankfully, as it was my choice as well), it’s always interesting to receive an opinion from someone 100% out of the project

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The equips were all done on Maya, the shoulder armor (that was never used in the final model) was one of my favorite things, but it wasn’t fitting well, so I had to cut it, as the sword sheath.

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Painting

After I opened one UV for the character and another one with all the equipment, I went back to 3D Coat, this time for painting, I always start to paint in the unlit mode with ambient occlusion with multiply above the painting layers. I wasn’t aiming for the most photo realistic style, I was thinking in a mix of PBR and hand painted, for this effect I tried to avoid painting every shadow on the color map, and let the normal and roughness map give the texture, after finishing the color map on 3D Coat I exported everything to Substance Painter, where I made the normal and roughness map.

Luminance

From the very beginning, one of the things that I was sure is that I wanted the final result to have certain areas that would have light of its own, some sort of magic aspect, so when the character was in combat, the mark on his arm would shine, and that the magic accessories he had, would receive part of this glow too. The broken sword, helped to reinforce this idea, that way I could add to the missing part, the magic flowing inside of it.

Scene

When I was thinking in the composition of the scene, I wanted something really dynamic, like a comic book action sequence. That’s when I noticed that he needed to be fighting against something!

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That was how this little weird creatures surrounding him were born. In the original drawing they were more like Slimes, but when I started to sculpt them, I thought that would be more interesting make them like some sort of soft “brain”, with turtle mouth and this disgusting shine. I sculpt and painted all the maps on 3D Coat, leaving Maya only for the UV and rig, I add some scars to let them tell a story. After I finished it, I exported and cut the mesh in half, I used the bridge tool to close the hole, this way I could utilize the original painting again and spend more time on the inside of the creature. I have to say, making this little guys was the most fun part of the process.

I had installed Maya 2016 recently and was curious about the HumanIK, and… it worked really well! It was extremely fast to make the whole rig, I had to make some adjusts, but it took 15 minutes at max to be completed. I made a simple rig for the creature, just to pose them on the scene, changing the mouth and leg positions.

After I was happy with the position of everyone, I started to feel that the scene wasn’t demonstrating that the combat was actually happening on a higher plane, so I added one simple floor, just to give some notion of where the fight was happening.

When everything was ready I took it to Marmoset Toolbag 2, where I made the high quality render.

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Sketchfab

I really can’t imagine show one 3D model just with 2D images, to me, to joy of 3D always was the feeling of being part of the scene, seeing from different angles and so on. I have to admit that the first thing I have done after bringing the model to Sketchfab was get my Google Cardboard and see the scene surrounding me.

If you want to see a dinosaur drinking tea, or some other cool things you can check my portfolio!

Thanks, Pedro! Has this inspired you to create your own action scene? Any questions for Pedro before you do? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Seori Sachs

Community Person!


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