In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
Hi, I’m Mynja Lyngheim. I’ve studied 3D graphics and game design at NITH (now Westerdals) in Norway, and have gained quite a few pieces of white hair in the process.
I only recently discovered Sketchfab, so I’ve only been testing it so far, but I love it and will be using it a lot in the future!
Usually when I have time, I make models and scenes based on the TV series Gravity Falls. That series has been a huge inspiration for me with its amazing story, characters, art style, lighting… everything, really. And I have made huge progress thanks to that.
“Movie Day” was inspired by one of the episodes from Gravity Falls. I just wanted to do something with a funny expression which I could also put up on Sketchfab, and that scene looked like a quick and simple one.
(Screenshots from the TV series Gravity Falls.)
I usually work with cm and try to stay close to real sizes. It seems to work best in both 3ds Max and Unity, and it’s the easiest one to use.
I always start with the characters. In this case, I’d already done a few scenes with these characters, so they were ready for posing. I always make characters either by plane-modelling or from simple geometry depending on their style. These characters were just modelled from boxes, and I threw a ton of smoothing on them. I also keep each part (face, eyes, eyebrows, etc.) separate in the beginning so they’re very easy to work with.
Since they’re only being used in still scenes, I put the rig modifier before the smoothing. That way I can work with minimum polygons, and fix anything that doesn’t look good after I’m done posing – it’s a quick and dirty method, but it works fine for still scenes.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with rigs lately, and this time I used boxes and helpers instead of the bone system in 3ds Max. That method gave me quite a lot of freedom, and it’s quick and simple to copy and paste on other characters no matter how different built they are.
After the characters are modelled, I make all the stuff around them, starting with whatever is the best thing to use to get the sizes right – in this case, the bed. When I’m working alone, I just make everything in a single scene right away.
For all lifeless things like these, I start with simple geometry. The popcorn actually took more time than everything else in this scene. Huge thanks to Felipe Gonzalez for making this awesome popcorn tutorial!
I used the particle system to get the popcorn in the bowl (only the top part, otherwise my laptop would blow up in my face). I also used the particle system to make some popcorn bounce off of Dipper’s face as he throws a handful of them in his mouth.
I pose the characters as soon as the objects they’re touching are recognizable. After that’s done, I remove the rigs so I can fix anything that didn’t look good with the rig.
Normally when making these kinds of scenes, I put most of the details in the models – I don’t take the time to unwrap and texture them. But after I was done with the modelling, I figured I could try making a scene with no lights.
I use RoadKill for unwrapping (I’m really not sure where you can get it these days. I got a standalone version, but there’s also plugins for 3ds Max and Maya), and then I fix the UV layout in 3ds Max.
I’ve mostly worked on games, AR, and VR scenes for phones, so I don’t spend much time unwrapping and texturing when I don’t have to.
I put single coloured materials on the models, and baked them to textures. I then sent the models to Mudbox and painted lights and shadows (as mentioned, I wouldn’t use any lights in this scene), and some details to the textures. The rest of the textures were drawn with Gimp.
It would probably turn out a lot better with ambient occlusion. I’m not skipping that next time.
(Unwrapping and texturing is not my strong side.)
After this was all done, I formed the duvet to fit under Dipper, Wendy, the bowl and the pillow. Then I added new shadows on it in Mudbox.
I keep getting complaints about Wendy’s bra missing from her bed. I was at first lazy about it, and then I forgot it. Sorry! It would have been a funny detail!
And now I realized I completely forgot Wendy’s freckles! Now I have to fix the scene!
And that was it! Thank you for reading! It was a very quick project, but I’ll start working on 3d printable stuff soon which I’ll spend more time on.