Hi Sketchfab! My name is Sophie Cook, I am a 2D/3D Games Artist who specialises in cute and toony art styles! With a background of traditional illustration and fine art, I started using 3D modelling in 2016 as part of my Games Art Degree. Since then, I have been working mostly as a 3D artist and have developed my own game, Kirigami.
When learning to model, I found that I would always gravitate towards fantastical and cartoony topics. Every time I was working on “ultra realistic high poly rock” (or whatever) I’d want to add my own magical elements to it. This quality, mixed with my fondness for bright colours (especially pastel pink) and flat-shading; is how I formed my own 3D art style.
As a 3D artist, I like to experiment with not only styles, but the parameters of one-sided shapes. With many of my most recent models, I try to get the look of a 2D illustration into 3D and play with perspectives and illusions.
I’ve been a fan of Meyoco’s artwork for a few years now; her use of colour pallets and style is gorgeous and distinctive. I’ve always thought her pieces would translate nicely into 3D. Since I’ve been experimenting with outlines and flat shading in Sketchfab, I thought I would try it!
I created this model using 3ds Max 2017 and only used a colour pallet instead of a texture map. I say this for complete transparency; when modelling, I have no rhyme or reason to my process. This model, for example, had a finished right arm while still having a box body. So with that out of the way, here are some tricks I use when modelling.
Because my tablet was broken, part of the challenge of this model was creating it without a texture. I used this 100x100px colour pallet instead.
The most difficult aspect to this method was creating all the plants with outlines. All of the plants have been created with the ‘line tool’, then because the planes have no geometry, I had to add in lines to be able to use the ‘inset’ modifier. The problem with this method is that it uses a lot of trial and error. Also it meant I couldn’t edit the outline shapes after they were made. Normally, I would just select the outer loop of the model and Extrude.
This method is only appropriate for presenting an art piece, rather than an in-game asset. For this model, I didn’t apply any poly limits or geometry/ topology rules. It’s more of a digital doodle! 😀
Creating the ‘outline effect’ in 4 steps:
As Sketchfab doesn’t have any toon shaders – you have to create the effect from scratch. This means using backwards geometry to create an outline effect.
- Clone your object (make sure to make ‘copy’ not instance or reference)
- Right click the clone > Object properties > Backface Cull. This will mean backwards faces will be invisible (this happens automatically in some game engines like Unity)
- Select all the faces on the Clone and click ‘Flip’ (to make the faces backwards)
- Now increase the size. If it’s a simple shape you can just enlarge it normally, or you can select all faces and ‘Extrude’ as a group
The rest of the model is fairly straightforward (once it’s secrets are revealed)! Here you can see the 5 layers of ‘outlines’ I used to create the cartoony transparent-background effect. I purposefully left the white parts in slightly random shapes to look like shiny plastic.
The last step is adding it into Sketchfab! The crucial stages are as follows:
- Set the General > Shading setting to ‘Shadeless’
- Then Materials > Faces Rendering > Single sided
- Make sure the background is a flat colour that suits the model. For example, I set it as the same as the jacket lining to make it appear transparent
This was a really fun piece to make, thank you so much to Allban and Abby at the Sketchfab Team for a staff pick and an invitation to write this mini article!
And thank you so much for every like or comment on my models – every single one means the world to me! <3
Please feel free to email or comment if you’d like to get in touch, and here is my portfolio for examples of the rest of my work!