My name is Cynthia, I’m 24 and I currently reside in São Paulo, Brazil. I’m a bachelor in Game Design and it was during my graduation course that I discovered an interest that became my love for 3D modelling. After graduating, I worked for nearly two years as a player support analyst for an online game, but this year I made the decision to quit the job so I could dedicate myself to 3D, which is the field I love and really wish to work in.
The inspiration for this model came up while I was scrolling through my Instagram feed a couple months ago. I’ve always followed many 2D and 3D artists because art is something that inspires and motivates me, especially during the years I stayed away from this field. Seeing that I had never really modeled anything in this style before, I made the decision to start the model following a concept that I fell in love with at first sight, which was Akko from Little Witch Academia by the artist FableFire.
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I utilize Maya for the modelling and always set up an Image Plane to guide myself during the whole process. I usually start from the cube primitive, deforming and adding details as needed on the “Smooth Mesh” view (hotkey 3). When I reach a satisfactory shape, I’ll smooth the mesh, go back to the original view (hotkey 1) and then clean up the mesh to make it as light and low-poly as possible.
This way it’s possible to get close enough to the original reference when the mesh is seen in a front view, but it’s also easy to forget about the other angles. This can lead to the model becoming boring when seen from other views, which is undesired. To correct that, I momentarily abandon the reference and focus on getting the model to have a pleasant aspect when seen from all the angles, adding details and working on some of the areas that are not covered by the concept.
Here I have a comparison of the final model seen from a lateral view and a screenshot of when I finalized the modelling using the reference, before the finishing touches. Notice how I spread the stars across her side view, tilted the broom a bit to the side, gave her hair a nice angle and moved her legs a little. One of the cool things about 3D art and Sketchfab is the ability to view the model from all angles, so I always take some time to make sure everything is interesting from any angle!
UVs and Texturing
For the UV I also use Maya, but this model only has flat colors, so it wasn’t actually necessary to unwrap this one. I just created a file using the color palette from the original artwork and dragged the meshes to their respective colors inside Maya’s tool.
Some details needed to be added and modified so that the finalized model made more sense in three dimensions. I added Akko’s right ear and also the side of her hair, neither of which were present in the original concept. I also added some volume to the base of the hat, which originally is just a flat line, and tilted the top of the mushroom a bit to fit the dangling rope behind it.
After that I started finalizing the scene, adding the little white stars and finally the outline. I highly recommend Justin’s outline tutorial to anyone looking to learn how to achieve this effect.
Inside Sketchfab, I opted to leave the Field of View set to 1, so that the initial model visualization would be more similar to the concept art, and in the Faces Rendering option I selected Single Sided, so that the model lines would be visible to get the nice outline effect.
Post-processing-wise, something I really like to use on my models is the Bloom, but in Akko’s case I just used it on the little stars. I feel like it makes a huge difference when applied, and is something that can visually enhance the end result. I also used a bit of Chromatic Aberration, but only enough to get some of the lines colored. After all that, everything is set and this Akko’s final result!
Thanks for reading!