My name is Stefan Engdahl and I’m a Hard Surface/Weapons Artist from Sweden. I’ve been dabbling in 3D for about eight years now. I’ve always been interested in game development and started to study game art and design in 2010. During the three years of my studies I fell in love with hard surface modeling, more specifically weapons modeling with a realistic style. I love the whole process of creating a game-ready asset from start to finish (I find UV-mapping relaxing and pretty fun – please don’t lock me up). I always strive to deliver the best quality I can and to learn and improve along the way.
When I felt that my quality was good enough to show to the world, I started publishing assets to my portfolio. People seemed to like them and that encouraged me to do more and better. About one and a half years ago I decided that my portfolio pieces could be more than just pictures, that I could sell them to people to use in the games. And ever since then I’ve combined my regular portfolio with publishing models for sale.
The softwares I use when I create are Maya and ZBrush for modeling/sculpting, Marmoset Toolbag 3 for baking and Substance Painter for creating textures. It’s always inspiring to see what other artists do so I browse a lot of digital art forums and sites to keep an eye out for amazing work by other people. If I see something I just love I always feel like “I want to achieve that level of quality one day, etc.” and it really keeps me going and trying to become better.
Selling models has been a blast; seeing my creations come “alive” in a real game never gets old. It’s a wonderful feeling. Some of my work has been used in games like Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and Hell Let Loose. Both are projects that I’ve grown close to and have made a lot of assets for after they found my models.
Pricing is pretty hard to set in my opinion. I try to be fair in the pricing and set prices according to what the model includes, for example the number of customizable parts or overall complexity. The M1 Garand I have is about as complex as the Kar98k, but since the M1 Garand has more extra pieces to it I bumped up the price a bit. I try to stay in a range of $20-$60 per item, since that seems to be a “sweet spot” for my things.
Since I don’t sell my models in asset stores as my main source of income, I don’t really promote myself a lot. I post my stuff on Sketchfab and other 3D focused sites/pages and then just let them do their thing. I don’t go out of my way to really promote myself hard, so to say, since self-promotion feels a bit weird to me. The only thing I do is add the relevant tags and make sure to have a pretty detailed description to make sure that my products show up if someone searches for a product like mine.
Sketchfab Set Up
I try to set up my scenes to be as “clean” as possible, meaning no unnecessary clutter or filters. I have experimented with more “cinematic” stuff before but I always end up making it clean. I use my own neutral dark background, Sketchfab’s “Studio” Environment, and two directional lights and one hemi light with little to no color in them. As for added post processing filters I just use SSAO, some sharpness (default or lower) and a tiny amount of bloom. That’s about it – really super simple but it gives the result I’m looking for.
Sketchfab is a great way to display your art pieces and let people see what they’ll get. You can set up some gorgeous looking renders in just a few minutes of playing around with the broad array of settings available in the 3D editor. The marketplace is growing and I love being a part of it.
Being able to include an additional zip file with extra file formats and texture types helps me a lot. I make textures available that are optimized for Unreal Engine, Unity and Standard Metal/Rough to make it super easy for any customer to just “throw” the models into the game engine of their liking.