In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs. Today, I asked Olivier Couston about his inspiration and the creation of The Administrator.
First of all, thank you for appreciating my model and thinking it’s worth being featured in the blog.
So, the administrator is based on a concept I stumbled on Pinterest:
Image by makani.
I liked it a lot, it reminded me of Cruela from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. I added it to my inspiration folder, where I browse through when I look for ideas.
I decided to sculpt it in Mudbox as an exercise, during lunch breaks at work, about a year ago. I worked as a character artist on an animated feature back then.
While there is the fun part of designing and sculpting characters, 90% of the job is about creating topology and doing technical retakes to accommodate the rigging department. So I like to take some time to sculpt just for fun, without worrying about the technical part.
It was all done in Mudbox, except for UVs for which I had to go in Maya. I tend to prefer Mudbox over ZBrush, even if ZBrush is much more powerful. I like its simplicity and its layer based workflow, but it really lacks features like dynamesh.
It took me about a week to complete, only spending 30 minutes to one hour at a time. At first, I only made a clay render :
Then, about two months ago I decided to texture some of my existing models to improve the overall look of my portfolio, so I just did a quick texture pass, nothing fancy, just a diffuse texture on a nice skin shader, and voilà. The cigarette smoke was taken from a photo :
It’s not perfect, it could have used a custom specular map, but it does the job.
In the meantime I had uploaded my batman model to sketchfab, mostly to test this new toy, since it’s supported on Artstation.
It got some good feedback and even got featured on itsartmag. So I decided to upload more models, including The Administrator. I had to decimate the model, because it was several millions of polygons. I did not use Mudbox decimation, it’s fast but it destroys the UVs, so it’s only good if you don’t have textures. Maya’s new decimation tool does preserve UVs but it’s verrrry slow. So I used ZBrush decimation master, which can keep UVs, and does it much faster than Maya.
I’m really impressed with Sketchfab’s editor so far. The only thing missing in my opinion is the ability to create new materials on the fly, since its already possible upload textures separately. I find it a bit annoying to have to re-export a model and re-upload the whole zip file just because forgot to create a separate material for one object. But I’m just nitpicking. On the rendering side, I hope we’ll get some shadows soon.
Thanks Olivier! We’re working on that 😉