Who am I ?
I am Yannick Deharo and I live in Lyon, France. My professional experience as a lead modeler allowed me to do various things. Among them, I had to model assets for realtime applications. They were real products and the fidelity was as important as the optimization. I also had the chance to train interns on 3DS Max, whereas before they were trained on Maya. And finally, I was also responsible for the assets’ release: I had to check that everything was okay. This last part of my job is related to my current professional project: finding a position as asset validator. Indeed, as time goes by, I realize that I am more and more interested in the technical aspects of 3D. I love learning and creating challenging things that require me to think. But I get bored applying the same recipe: model, sculpt, retopo, unwrap, bake, texture… I love finding original solutions and creating order from chaos! :). Therefore I think this technical job is what I need.
How was this diorama project born ?
At the very beginning, I had the idea to model a dragon that could come out of the Jurassic Park laboratories. It was just a fun exercise allowing me to work on a credible anatomy by mixing it with fantasy. While I was working on it, I thought it would be interesting to make really different elements to support my job applications; a vehicle, a few characters, and why not a little piece of natural scenery? Creating this common thread kept me motivated and inspired. All the objects had to fit, enrich each other and tell a story.
I have always appreciated the search for realism in my creative process. So when it came to creating a dragon, it had to be inspired by reality. This is why I based my work on the observation of the living (and of what doesn’t live anymore…).
Then, for the conception of the cliff, I looked for something different from the jungle in order to have an unusual and less leafy look. I knew from the beginning that I would have a lot of triangles, so, no need to add more if I can avoid it! I found my inspiration from the “calanques” of my native Mediterranean.
For the bus, I was authorised by the driver to takes photos of an empty city bus from Lyon. I also downloaded the official documentation about this bus model from the manufacturer’s website. Finally, I was able to photograph a bus held vertically, in order to visualize the look of the undercarriage. I also learned not to hesitate to ask permission to obtain this kind of documentation.
I use this researching process in my work whenever possible, as I did for the footbridge, and the other creatures and characters. Otherwise ideas, such as the “fairy honey” or the “Spielberg Williams” tires, are just born while working.
My workflow is to model a basemesh using 3DS Max. Then, I add details with Zbrush, bake with xNormal, and edit the textures with Photoshop, Illustrator and Quixel Suite.
As an example, I can show you how I worked on the draptor myology:
You can notice that teeth have changed during the production in order to be less cartoony!
I created this animated version in order to practice and to show that I can handle animation, even if that’s not my cup of tea. Also, that permits me to present my “Skinning” skills and my use of the “Character animation toolkit”:
I wanted to share with you a small trick I invented while I was designing the eyes’ map. It’s fun and easy to play with the Photoshop polar coordinates! With this tool, you can work on an unrolled version of your eye, which makes everything easier. Especially if, like me, you want to do uncommon things. I wanted to have a bit of fire in its irises!
From the beginning, my project was meant to be posted on Sketchfab. I think that it’s logical to show your work in realtime if you want to apply for a video game job. Moreover, I always have a strange feel concerning 2D renders. Personally, I feel like the scene is dead and that it looks like memorial photos. That’s why I really like the Sketchfab platform! It brings 3D art to life! Thanks to the Sketchfab team, we can simulate SSS, reflection, ambient occlusion, and so on… all of that on a simple web browser! Each new feature added pulls away the boundaries of what is possible and inspires me to attempt brand new projects!
However, despite preferring realtime rendering, it was still a lot of fun to compose the matte painting which is used as a header image!
To finish, I want to thank all Sketchfab team for providing this platform and allowing me to write this art spotlight about my project.