In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
My name is Tim Moreels and I’m a 3D character artist and student at Digital Arts & Entertainment (Howest), Belgium. Today, I’ll be going over the process of recreating Gallywix based on the amazing painting of Wei Wang (Blizzard Entertainment). I was fortunate enough to be selected for Leslie Van Den Broeck’s mentorship program and decided a Blizzard fan art piece would be the perfect fit.
After gathering enough ref, I made a blockout of the character. Something very basic is good enough, but for my blockout, I made sure all elements were there, without detail. The first version wasn’t fat enough and the cloak was bent. After getting feedback from Leslie, I gave him some more fat and straightened up the cloak, since I’m going to add cloth simulation later. Leslie also pointed out the importance of pushing shapes and silhouettes, so I exaggerated those more as well.
Up next, was refining the sculpt. The face was in desperate need of some more fat masses and even though this is a goblin, using real life reference is the way to go. He had lots of floating fat, but guess what, gravity is a thing! The fat needed to overlap a bit more to get a feeling of weight.
The final step was adding detail and along with that, the face also changed quite a bit. Leslie had a version in mind which was a lot more evil looking and I ended up liking that vision more than the one I had at the time. It’s always important to be able to “kill your darlings”. I was happy with the face I had at the time, but you have to be able to objectively decide what is best for your work, so I did the changes that were necessary. Here’s the final version of the sculpt.
I used 3ds Max to retopologize everything and baked everything in Knald. I rendered out a lot of different maps, namely concavity, convexity, curvature, AO, os normal & ts normal. I then combined these and tweaked them in Photoshop until I had a good base texture to start with.
After putting flat colors under the base, I imported everything into Substance Painter to get some good metal and roughness maps. I added some procedural dirt and color variation to the different materials to get me started with handpainting.
To add the finishing touches, I imported the character into 3D-Coat and did some handpainting. I changed the fur a lot, but thanks to Leslie’s trained eye, it turned out well.
The character is not yet finished though. I’m currently in the progress of rigging the character and adding some technical elements to it. So stay tuned! There will be cloth physics, fat jiggling and prop collision for the gold pouches. I’ll most likely put him in a small scene and give him an idle animation to show off those elements.
I certainly hope this article helped or inspired you, whatever it is you’re working on. But the biggest creative advice I can give you is to work on something you are truly passionate about. For me that is stylized characters and creatures. But It doesn’t matter what it is for you. As long as you’re passionate about it, keep going at it and you will definitely get there. I still have a long and exciting way to go, but I will keep doing what I love and hope you enjoy the results. You can check out some of my older work on my Artstation page.
I want to thank Leslie Van Den Broeck for the mentorship and all of the feedback and insight he gave me. I definitely recommend taking a look at his kickass work if you haven’t already! Lastly, I want to thank Sketchfab for letting me share my 3D models easily, through multiple different platforms.