Art Spotlight: Elephant Astronaut

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

My name is Aidin Salsabili. I live in Iran and work as a 3D and concept artist. My main activity is creating characters for using them in different areas such as sculpting, illustration, game and animation. Also, I always try to present my ideas as conceptual art.
I’ve found the Sketchfab as a fabulous site which let me to present my 3D models in different positions very easily. So, there is no need for heavy and hard to use software. Sketchfab is the most appropriate choice.

Elephant astronaut is a model for my conceptual art show named “mission”. It is about endangered species. The show displayed at the Iranian artist forum last month.


> A1360318 is the last survivor of his species and has a mission to take his genome to another planet and save his species but… In the Old Testament we read “we ordered Noah to build his Ark to survive the flood and so that good people and all other creatures of earth can take refuge in it”.
> Although it seems that Noah’ mission was a success, over time good people turned into evil and earth was no longer a safe haven for creatures.
> In that biblical story God got angry with man’s wrongdoings and every earthly creature got punished. Human’s intelligence and their undeniable influence on almost everything on earth makes them eternally responsible for all animals on this planet. Not only humans have neglected this responsibility, but they have actively ruined their environment.
> Humans, like lethal virus inside the body of their host (earth), are bringing it down and wish to leave for another planet as soon as earth is fully ruined. Humans’ way of living and actions has damaged natural environment of some species and lead them to their extinction.
> This exhibition is trying to narrate (the mission of saving the endangered species) the story of Noah of the future of humanity. A story in which humans have accomplished a lot scientifically and technologically, but have failed in their actual mission. Our influence on our environment is undeniable.

Firstly, I made a 3D elephant astronaut.

Elephant Astronaut
by aidinsalsabili
on Sketchfab

Then, I decided about its position.

After that I Measured and planned to start.


​I’m also a sculptor and I’m able to make subjects as the way I can make them in ZBrush. So, for this project I did everything by myself. After modeling in ZBrush and rendering some images in different views, I used the rendered images as references.


I made the head out of Expanded Polystyrene Styrofoam (EPS) and by carving. Then painted and added other details such eyes, hair, ivories… according to real elephant photos. The body also is made exactly the same way and the cloth is tailor-made.

To be honest, it wasn’t easy at all and if you eager to make any animal as your pet, pick the real one. 🙂

Finally, it was time to run the show.


Thanks Aidin!

Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Thanks so much for sharing this with us Aidin!

As always, you can see more of Aidin’s work on his Sketchfab portfolio and on his personal website.

– Bart


About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Community Lead at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead.

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