Art Spotlight: Retro Vibes

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About Me

Hello, Sketchfab community. My name is Cristina, I’m a 3D artist from Barcelona, Spain. In 2013 I studied Graphic design, allowing me to put into practice and improve my skills in the creation of graphic interfaces, logos, and brands. In 2017 I studied a double High Certification Education of 3D Animation, video games, interactive spaces, virtual reality and augmented reality, in which I learned solid foundations in the development of video games from start to finish. When I ended my studies I decided to spend some time creating new projects for my portfolio and learning new softwares from the game industry. The same year I finished my studies I started working as a game artist in a company making amazing mobile games.

My Inspiration

I always love making my own concepts for all my 3D scenes. I had an idea in mind and I started sketching and researching all kinds of references from the ’80s with the help of my partner.

We did an intense search for everything I wanted to highlight in my scene:

I was participating in the Retro Electronics contest with this piece, so I wanted to show something different. I wanted to recreate the nostalgia of the ’80s, focused on the most iconic device of the times from a child’s perspective.


I made a list of all the elements that should be in the scene and started working on the gamer girl in 3ds Max.

When I have to work with handpainted textures I usually unwrap UVs before doing the symmetry to save a lot of work when it comes to texturing. I usually create the whole scene in my 3D software and unwrap UVs of all the elements, and when everything is ready I start with the textures.


For texturing I used 3D-Coat. My workflow is to paint the base color of all the elements and make clip masks; first I make the shadows, then the lights, and lastly I make more dark shadows and highlights over the existing ones. I work with layers to be able to go back and make all kinds of changes whenever I need to. I usually bake AO and Curvature to work better with my textures.

It was very clear that I wanted to show small details in the gamer girl, make her look like a true fan of video games! Adding the small references was the most fun part of the process.

In total, I worked with 5 sets of different UVs:

  • Diffuse + AO and Emissive for the Arcade and the Space Invaders
  • Diffuse + AO for the hamster, the ground and the girl.


I love working with the Sketchfab 3D settings editor—it’s very easy to use and allows you to modify many things. In this scene I used the following settings:

I wanted to exaggerate the size of the arcade compared to the girl, so I worked with a 55º field of view.

sketchfab post-processing filters

What I had in mind is to generate that characteristic atmosphere of arcade halls, darkness, and vibrant lights. To exaggerate the lights I used bloom and more brightness and exposure in the tone mapping. I love how the vignette helps you focus the scene so much better.

Small and subtle animations keep the scene alive.


Thank you for reading! Thanks to all the Sketchfab team for this opportunity to talk about my Retro Vibes scene. I’m very happy to be part of this amazing community!

If you like it, don’t hesitate to visit my ArtStation, Twitter or Instagram for more artworks!

ArtStation / Twitter / Instagram / Cristina’s Website

About the author

Cristina Martín

3D Artist

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