Life and work
Hi, my name is Michel Paschalis, I am a 3D generalist artist currently living in Europe. I have been working in advertising for the past 10 years now.
I started my career as a graphic designer working for small advertising companies. From a very early age I was always fascinated by 3D models that I used to see in specialized magazines, but my first contact with 3D tools was in 2006 when I decided to learn some 3D software. With the help of the Blender community, I then started with Blender 3D.
After that I applied for a Computer Graphics graduation course that gave me a very basic understanding of modeling, rendering and animation. It wasn’t really much, and I then found out that in order to succeed, self-taught skills would be essential.
After getting enough experience in advertising companies modelling all sorts of products in a range of different 3D softwares, I wondered if I could make extra income by selling my 3D models. I tried some 3D selling platforms at that time but it didn’t really work for me. I knew how to make 3D models but I didn’t know anything about the market, and that is what I set as the next goal in my “to do list”.
My personal interests for 3D models were always related to assets for games, fantasy, sci-fi and especially the cartoon style. Oh boy how I respect it…I still love this genre and I continue to work on any new cool idea that comes to my mind, from game characters to concept art from other artists or even people present in my personal life.
Moon Girl, concept by the artist Simone Kesterton
The market of 3D models is extremely diverse, so how to decide which style best suits you? This question has a very personal approach, and unfortunately I believe my answer is suitable just to myself.
I do the models that I like and I try to find where they would be better inserted in the market. When I create some commercial 3D model, unless it is a commissioned project, I always seek to do something that can be useful for many people in many ways. But what does that mean? Well…for each 3D model the strategy is different but the main rule to follow is “AS GENERIC AS POSSIBLE”. That doesn’t mean that the design has to be simple or lacking in details; actually it is quite the opposite. The models must have the best quality possible for the design, mesh, texture maps, etc., but the idea behind the model should be suitable for various projects. Let’s say you create a 3D hat, but this hat has steampunk elements, various gadgets and it is in an old fashioned style. Now let’s say you create a hat that is easier for you to find someone wearing on the street, but it has some cool design characteristics. Most likely the second of the two hats would succeed better than the first as you are not limiting the range of projects in which this particular 3D model could be used.
As with this human heart model above, all the projects I create for sale on Sketchfab can be used for many purposes. This one, for example, can be used for medical presentations for its accuracy and even for games, as its mesh is very low poly and has a good edge flow.
Of course, pricing for a model like that is very different than if you are doing a commissioned project; you have to keep in mind that you can sell it to countless customers having done the work just once. Then pretty much everything else depends on the complexity of the model and how adaptable it would be to different types of projects; then it is important to get as many price references as possible for similar models. With all this information gathered, it is not difficult to stipulate a reasonable price.
Give it some exposure!
After getting your model ready to sell it is important to help people find out about it. Social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Artstation can be very useful! It is important to keep in mind that promoting it to the correct audience gives it a better chance of being seen by those who will purchase your work. There are countless groups and communities for all sorts of markets, all you need to do is figure out how to join them.
Buying a useful 3D model for animation or games is not an easy task. Before purchasing it the customer has to be sure that it comes with enough textures and know whether the mesh is a complete mess.
When I first heard about Sketchfab I started to think about the possibilities of showing my work in a real-time environment. This has now become a reality and I can’t imagine the internet without this amazing feature. A couple of years after I joined Sketchfab, I was totally amazed by the possibility of selling my models directly in Sketchfab through the store. It came up at a very good time!
Usually I set up my models with the all the features I can provide (different 3D formats, maps, etc.). It is very straightforward. Also Sketchfab offers a very good render to enhance the visual quality of the models, like lighting, post-processing, etc. My favorite feature is the HDR light and reflection – I really spend a long time choosing the correct one for my model.
New Horizon of Possibilities
The 3D market is in constant expansion, as we all know. 3D technology is entering markets that we may have thought would never be related to us.
I find that I spend a lot of my time making models that are more technical than artistic. I choose to make technical models because I like to bring an artistic element to technical subjects. A good example of that is models for the medical industry.
To finish with a message of positivity I would like to give good advice for those who are starting with 3D modeling:
It doesn’t really matter what pipeline or software you use to create your art – there are lots of softwares on the market, some of then very unique but, in general, with the majority of them you can get the same result. Everything depends on how you manage your time to study. It is crucial to sacrifice some other interests in order to achieve the quality you aim for. Thanks for sticking with me until now, and let’s carry on. Cheers!!