In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
Hello guys! My name is Tallon Watt and I am a 3D artist living in Australia. I have been working in the Sydney area for the last three years doing all sorts of generalist work but by far my favourite thing to do is characters!
My Obie character is a personal project of mine. The inspiration came to me playing with my neighbors dog one day. I thought it would be really fun to turn him into a 3D character. With any project I start, I try to set a goal for myself, with this project I wanted to practice pushing proportions and achieving a “Disney” look. So I’m going to share with you guys my process in making him!
I start with my reference in Photoshop and draw some quick concepts. I settled pretty early on a sketch I liked and added some colour. Once I had my rough concept to follow I open Maya and set up my scene for modelling. I make a plane on a reference layer with my concept image so I can always look at what I’m modelling. I used a box modelling technique for this project, which is where you start with primitive 3D shapes and block out your character. From there you keep adding edge loops and joining vertices until you get a character forming.
Once I feel happy with the model I move onto UVs. This is my UV layout for this character. I like to mirror where possible to save on texture space. I kept any shells for the face unique as I didn’t want it to be obviously symmetrical.
I then move onto texturing once my UV layout is done. I export the model as an .obj and open the model into Photoshop.
My texturing process is to start with base colours and then slowly build up the detail. About halfway through I went back into Maya to start adding fur planes. I didn’t add these before as it’s much easier to work with alpha planes with a texture so I can see what I’m doing.
I also didn’t stick to my concept one hundred percent. I changed the eye colour to a more natural look and later I added a collar- which I didn’t plan on doing so I had to make a separate texture for it, but here was the final texture result for Obie.
By now I feel relatively finished so I decide how I want to present him online. Sketchfab has provided a really accessible way of showing off 3D models so I don’t have to worry about rendering him in that perfect shot. People can just tumble around and inspect models to their heart’s content which is also great for other artists wanting to learn.
Thanks for reading!