Art Spotlight: The Rat

Back to overview

I’m a 3D  generalist working on games for mobile platforms, specialising in characters and environments. I love to work with provided concepts and bring them to life in 3D. But if the need arises – I can provide sketches and designs myself. I’ve worked on titles that are available now on Apple and Android, such as Cloud Raiders, Survival Arena and Moana: Island Life.

This idea came from the depths of my darkest imagination. I was influenced by Bobby Chiu and his wonderful character work. I admire his skill as an artist and a storyteller. When creating the character I was thinking about greed and gluttony as his primary sins. I wanted to manifest them in the design, but also giving him some humanity so the character isn’t all bad. So I decided to give him a sense of humor and a nice smile, to contrast his darker nature. Such contrasts give great depth to the characters and are usually missing in most work I see online. One dimensionality can be revealed when you ask a questions about their personality like, “What does your space marine or a sexy warrior babe do when he/she’s not on duty? Do they take of their armour and go clubbing? Do they ever relax? Do they go grocery shopping?” That’s why it’s important to give history to your characters through available visuals.

My rat is dressed in a “nice” leather jacket, but he has no pants. He sports a hat that is reminiscent of The Village People. He has bright white hair signifying his age. Where did he get all of those garments? What got him to the point where he is now? Why is he holding his arm out in a begging yet mocking fashion? These are the questions I leave to the spectator to ask.

Here are some technical aspects of the project. Sculpting was done in ZBrush. Retopology in TopoGun. Texture baking in xNormal. Texturing and Normal map adjustments were done in 3DCoat. Additional modeling, cleanup Maya/Blender. Material setup and lighting — Sketchfab!

Initial sketch of the vision

First sketch of the head in ZBrush

Figuring out the body and the proportions in ZBrush

All dressed up in Maya

Detailing pass in ZBrush

Finished retopology from Topogun

Detailing pass in 3DCoat for the head


Painting glossy maps in 3Dcoat

Adding mood in Sketchfab through post-processing filters

Posing and adding last touches to the materials and lighting in Sketchfab

I can’t emphasize enough how important Sketchfab was in creating the final look and feel of the character. The post processing tools of Sketchfab are so well thought through and easy to use. It almost feels like as if I’m working in a high-end rendering/compositing software. The thing that strikes me is that it’s all done through a web-browser. And for free! People at Sketchfab are truly amazing at what they do. I always recommend it to my colleagues as the easiest solution for showing off their models.

Find me on:

Sketchfab, Instagram, Artstation, and Behance!

About the author


Seori Sachs

Community Person!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • this is so fantastic!!
    I love the mood you’ve achieved with the lighting. The mastery in the white wispy hair is stunning!

    • Avatar Gunaars Miezis says:

      Hey thanks!
      Much appreciated! Yes the hair took some work to get right. Mainly the trick was to keep them transparent at the base of the scull, so the alpha plains aren’t that obvious and there’s no visible “edge” where it meets the head.

Related articles