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DAE Spring 2021 Student Showcase: Stylized Creation

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About Digital Arts & Entertainment

Hello everyone,

I’m Oskar Kuijken, one of the lecturers at Howest DAE (Digital Arts & Entertainment, in Belgium). This is a 3-year study program, divided into 6 different majors (VFX, Animation, Game Graphics, Game Development, Sound Design, Independent Game Production). In the first year, there are a lot of shared courses, but, per semester, we focus further within the respective major. What makes DAE so unique is that even if you go with the more “program-focused” Game Development major, you’ll still see the principles of 2D and 3D. And vice versa. The art-heavy courses are accompanied by technical components to create full-fledged profiles.

We use Sketchfab very often at DAE. It is a super handy tool for presentation, but also for inspecting models, checking wireframes, texture layouts, etc.

You might have seen some other beautiful works pass by from our students, like airplanes, towns, guns, etc. But, today, we’re going to focus on cute and cuddly creatures.

Stylized Creation course

In the Stylized Creation course, we slowly build up to making complex stylized 3D characters. My colleague Thijs De Rijcke and I run this course together. He has a background in 2D while I have one in 3D; we are able to nicely complement each others’ skillsets and, while teaching, we can also learn a lot from each other.

In Stylized Creation, we first learn about replicating shapes by making a bunch of gesture-sculpting like blockouts. After that, we tackle the retopo and baking process. All students get the same high poly and have to retopologize based on topology references.
The next step is practicing to get a clean bake with Substance Painter.

After that, we dive into simple creatures. For their final, they all tackle a character of their choice and bring that to a nice PBR result.

In this article, you can find the results of our “ Creature Workshop”. But if you want an in-depth view of this process, check out this article on our school’s website.

The Cute Creature Workshop

The Cute Creature Workshop is a trial run for making complex characters. This is the first time the students are connecting all the dots. We try to help them as much as possible in this process with our lessons, but also with a variety of breakdown videos and files they can look into. All characters look pretty simple, but there is a difficulty to keeping things smooth and clean. Similar to drawing a perfect circle.

Take a look at some of these examples to get an idea of what they’ve been up to.

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek.

If you want to see more, we have an entire collection here:

DAE_SDC2_20-21_Creature Workshop by Oskar Kuijken on Sketchfab

Or, you can search for the tag daesdc2021 to see all WIPs and works of this year’s Stylized group.

Our students are working hard on their full character finals now. We are looking forward to showcasing these in the future!

If you would want to learn more about Digital Arts & Entertainment, feel free to visit our website.

If you want to know more about me, feel free to check out my ArtStation or hit me up on Instagram or Twitter.


About the author

Oskar Kuijken

Freelance Character Artist & Lecturer @HowestDAE

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