Art Spotlight: Go on Vacation!

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


My name is Gregory and I am a PhD from Russia. I teach biology at the university, so computer graphics is my hobby. My first computer was a Vector-06C, which worked on the magnetic tape. When I was a child, I used to draw on this computer, mostly pictures of small dinosaurs.

In school I became interested in 3D. I was attracted by the opportunity to look beyond the picture to see the back side of it, just pick up and rotate the model. Also, always attracted by photorealism in 3d (this project is obviously not the case :)).

When I discovered Sketchfab, it was something new for me. I wanted to make some kind of model or miniature and upload it there. I want to watch, rotate the model right in the browser. I especially like how it looks on your smartphone, all these little parts begin to move, rotate right under my fingers :). Some natural curiosity makes you to do things like that.

“Go on vacation!” is a small personal project, the sketch. This is my first work in this gallery and I am delighted and pleasantly surprised that many people liked it so much.

Bart, thank you for the invitation to write about my experience here.


The idea of the scene was born when I was browsing Pinterest. You can find a huge number of photos and illustrations on a variety of topics there. For example, such as wonderful miniatures (see below), or urban landscapes, or cars, or … you name it!

There are images that I just love, and there are those that I like and I’d really like to make them three-dimensional model. So I have accumulated more than a hundred photographs and drawings of houses, which I would like to do. Among them, the concept of Alejandro Ddiaz Cardoso.

What I liked about it? Everything is fine in this picture: the color and light, and the story that comes to life before our eyes. In my interpretations girl came on vacation to the seashore. She barely came in and stopped to rest. She put the suitcase on the ground to look around and take a breath, the wind waves her dress and almost rips off her hat from the head.

The house has its own history: does a distant relative live here? Or maybe she wants to stay in the house and just saw it for the first time?

In any case, it looks impressive.

Now in my hometown it is still winter, with snow on the street, and the weather can be quite frosty. I love winter and winter activities, but in the middle of winter start to miss the summer sun and green grass. Vacation was a long time ago, but until next summer is still far away … So, “the scale of inspiration” continues to fill up 🙂

My design process

The whole scene was created and texture painted in Blender. I have a graphics tablet, but for this work I used only the mouse. Obviously, I am not a 3d expert and I even think that from a technical point of view, I did the scene wrong all that is possible, from the beginning to the end, but I have a ready-made image in the screen and in my head.

When I started I had a few starting points that I formulated for myself. I need to:

  • Express the feelings and emotions that arise in me when watching the sketch, the whole scene was supposed to tell his story for itself.
  • Do an extremely simple model, but with an optimal (rather large) number of elements.
  • Do the whole scene in a single model with a single texture (just because).
  • Finish this project! I have nobody forces, I do not have a deadline, so a lot of projects remain unfinished. This is a very bad habit.

Now I will speak mostly about the inspiration and my attempt to express my emotions through this scene.

For me in this picture are three main elements, the three “characters” that interact with each other:

  1. House. The house is habitable, he seemed “alive”. The task is to image as much details as possible – all these traces of time and interaction with the inhabitants of the house. Trying to make the model as simple as possible, but you can not be ignored details.
  2. Summer. It is the light, green grass, blue sky, the wind and the sea. The original picture just glows, it is impregnated by the sun. Of course, I would like to express the contrast sunlight translucent greens, heating wood and the refreshing coolness of the shade. Sunny and shady side of the house help to create that feeling. White, painted wood glows against the blue sky, green grass lit with gold, and a porch on the contrary, in the shade: cool tones and greens in pots create a feeling of fresh here. Wind is represented by the shapes of objects dynamic: vane, windsock, dreamcatcher, and, of course, the silhouette of a girl.
  3. Girl. I like the way she confidently standing on his feet: the young, the strong, though tired from the long trip. Returning to the theme of inspiration: I was thinking about a girl named Vika, who lives near by the sea (hello, if you reading it :)) and surprisingly in this 366 polygons I still have some of my thoughts and feelings associated with her. Never did the characters before, but here I knew exactly what I needed: silhouette, dress, hair, hat. I did not make the face, firstly it is not visible from the main perspective, and secondly it was difficult to do what I need for me and I decide to left this practice for other projects. I hope that I will come back to the character modeling, I liked this process.

Ta-dum! The triangle is closed, all the elements form a single composition. They interact with each other and tell us the story, a small episode of someone’s life.

Modeling and texturing

I guess I can not teach you something new and better advise the lesson, for example .. here’s this guy:

His channel has a good video about modeling low poly and texture of hand-drawn for Blender.

But here’s how I worked:

I put the original sketch in the background and copied the basic elements of the drawing in 3d. Some difficulties have been associated with the transfer perspectives from image in 3d.

A very useful thing, which I enjoyed (as I decided to do all scene in one object with no reasons) is Vertex Groups. So, for example, I have grouped the grass to not allocate every blade of grass, when I want to rotate or copy multiple, or grouping all vertices, belonging to the girl, so I can quick select them.

Textures were drawn directly into the Blender. For a quick and easy UV I used function Project from view: selects the desired polygons, set up the perspective and made UV (“U”-> “project from view”). Often, when I thought it was possible, I made the UVs overlap.

Features of this approach can be seen in the mailbox. I set up orthographic projection about how it will look in the final work and made UV. Advantages – UV was done in “two clicks” . Lack of – on the back of the crate texture stretched.

Also with this approach you can not bake a texture, such as Ambient occlusion. Same texture coordinates correspond to different parts of the model – here’s such glitches. For example the shadow of the bedroom window on the other side of the roof, etc.

So I made one texture – diffuse. In it, I tried to pass the light, color and shade in accordance with the planned result. For the sea and the sky had to create a separate texture:

The background occupies a large area of the screen, and details such as clouds and the ripples on the water in the low-resolution textures would look awful.

Well, perhaps that’s all. Bye!

Thanks Gregory!

Follow Gregory on Sketchfab to receive updates of his new work. You can also visit his Pinterest page and see his models on TurboSquid.


About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.

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