In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
Hi! My name is Jasmin Guimont Fortin, I’m a digital artist from Montreal and recently became a member of Artifice Studio as a 2d/3d artist. I’m gonna talk a bit about myself, about the making of Nergui and about some other stuff…
I’ve been drawing since I can hold a pen and I’ve explored creation a lot since. I studied graphic design after high-school. This was my first glimpse of digital art, and of course a great travel through basic design, image composition and typography. For those who ask the question I’d say all these things, and many more, are very much usefull for everything else concerning illustration, 3D, animation and everything that could make you a better artist. So I did oil painting, a lot of sketchbooks and nude figure drawing too after that… And I finally got to university and graduated from NAD ( nad.ca ), a video game and cinema FX school. I did the video game program. My previous ways of creation through traditional medium, constant introspection, solitude and constraints that can only come from your own will (I guess you can call it freedom, which is sometimes a trap into doing nothing by having the choice of doing anything…) are very different from the experience provided by creating for video games.They both are intense and have their share of challenges, but I guess the part that stands out is the social aspect of video game production.
Nergui (the game was named after the character’s name) was a school project of some friends from NAD. I helped them with my ideas and by creating the main character, some assets, UI and graphic design.The original idea was from Davuth Huy, game designer of the project. Gabrielle Marin, a freelance artist, helped with concept art for characters and creatures. I actually joined the team after graduating, while I was working on my portfolio…
Let’s start by taking a look at the references and early concepts:
I did a sketch of my own at the same time:
After discussions with the group I did a final concept adapted to the 3d modeling with this character sheet:
It was a way to merge the concept arts esthetic with my own and adapting the the whole design to the 3d workflow for video games and the specific constraints to the project, as well as my own technical limitations (yes! I’m still learning every day!).
Now let’s see the mesh from a raw state to the final in 3DS Max:
And the sculpt evolution in Zbrush:
I showed it by software instead of exact steps because I do a lot of manipulations in-between applications to adjust the mesh and do parts like the short hairs (I wanted this exact angular look I could manage to do in Zbrush). Nowadays I’m much more independent in Zbrush…
And then I baked using Xnormal for ambient occlusion maps, curvature maps and normal. The diffuse texture was made using manipulations of the baked maps and by hand painting.
Manipulated baked maps and evolution of the diffuse in 4 steps:
I also wanted to say a word about topology, because it’s very important in video games. It’s not just about the optimisation and the number of triangles, but also about the way you do it and what’s the purpose of it… You’re gonna have to unwrap your model, and its a lesser pain when you have a great topology. Your model is probably gonna end up in the hands of an animator if you don’t do rigging and skinning yourself, and it’s gonna make a good friend if you do a good and clean topology adapted to the needs of animations!
Talking about it, I wanted to point out the awesome feeling of seeing your character come to life by animation. Dominick Lachance gave Nergui the final touch by rigging, skinning and animating her.
I also wanna thanks all the other artist on the project Nergui, and maybe we will see some of Nergui’s foes and friend and environment on Sketchfab someday!
I also wanted to give a hug to Sketchfab, who’s doing a great job with this incredibly efficient and friendly tool as well as doing a great work with the community. I still use Sketchfab at my work to share models to my coworkers and everybody appreciate the quality and the ease of use of it ( maybe I’ll share those with you guys and girls in a couple of month!)
I hope you enjoyed this brief look on my creative process and I wish you can enjoy someday, if its not already done, the experience of team effort for creation!
Jasmin Guimont Fortin