Hi! My name is Jonathan, I’m a Freelancer 3D artist based in Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain. My whole life has revolved around video games since I was a kid. I was always very passionate and curious about them and their amazing environments and art. I grew at the same time as the technology became stronger and seeing year after year how the graphics improved was such an amazing journey. After finishing high school it was time to decide what to study, so I decided to get a Certificate of Higher Education in 3D Animation.
Studying game art
I studied in ENTI (Barcelona), where they teach the whole process of developing a video game.
After a few months we got introduced to 3D using 3ds Max and at the end of the day I was already captivated by it so I started to spend most of my free time learning and practicing at home. It became my new passion.
After two years I finished my studies knowing how to use the software, but my skills were far away from where they are now. So I started working on personal projects, improving my art, looking at other artists and learning new workflows. I consider myself a self-taught artist when it comes to stylized art and hand-painted textures. You can learn so much by looking on the internet when you face a problem. There is a really good community out there that is always happy to help and give you feedback about your work. But the principal key is motivation, especially when you are starting, because most of the time the projects don’t go as planned and things can get really frustrating.
Creating this model
Most of the time the spark that ignites the flame is simply roaming around the internet and seeing a cool piece of artwork and wanting to do it in 3D instantly. That happens so often that I can’t work on everything that I want to.
Modeling and retopology
So this model started like all the others—I found the amazing concept by Arturo Villagomez on ArtStation. Then I went to ZBrush and started sculpting the high-poly out of the concept. After I was happy with the result, I threw it into TopoGun where I usually do the retopology of all my models.
The next step is importing the low-poly into 3ds Max, where I usually do a final cleanup on the low-poly. Then I proceed to create the planes for the flowers and leaves.
UVs and baking
Finally, unwrapping the model is the last part. I always try to mirror everything that I can on symmetrical parts so that less UV space is needed.
It’s time for baking in Substance Painter, usually in this part to achieve the best results it is good to bake matching by name the different parts of the mesh. This time I did a quick bake and it worked pretty well for what I needed.
You can put the Ambient Occlusion on top of the base colors set in multiply so it blends with the textures below and you have a clear guide of where the details are. At that point, it’s time to do the magic and start painting, giving gradients to the flat colors and details, always keeping in mind where the light is coming from. Here is a little gif of the process:
It depends on the project I’m working on but this project was set with unlit shading and I tweaked the post-processing settings a little bit to give the final touch.
Overall the workflow is very simple, with the texturing part being the most time-consuming for me.
I’m really happy with my progress in the last year yet I’m still far away from where I want to be. Hard work and dedication is always the key to improvement, so to all the fellow artists, keep working hard and I hope this was useful.
Thanks for reading!