Sketchtalk: John Mesplay's awesome sci-fi art

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Today I’m talking to John Mesplay, whose hard-sf models were impressing the team.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers: Who are you and where are you from?


I’m John Mesplay, a Southeast Kansas native, US Army veteran and 3D artist, gamer.

Can you tell us about what aspects of 3D you specialize in?

Modeling and Texturing.

How did you first get started? What was that ‘I want to do this’ moment?

It was a long process, starting with 2D photo manipulation (4 years ago) but I soon saw where films and games were going and how awesome the 3D art was getting, like Final Fantasy Spirits Within. I then one Christmas break slowly moved into learning 3D

Salarian STG by JohnMesplay on Sketchfab

Do you have any academic training or are you self-taught?

I have a tradition Bachelors in Fine Arts degree from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. But when it comes to 3D I’m largely self-taught with some help from the magic of googling.

Tell us a little bit more about your workflow/process?

It depends on the project but mostly consists of Zbrush, Maya, Photoshop and Quixel Suite. Using what those programs are best at to achieve my 3D goals.


What project(s) are you working on right now?

I’m working on a lot of smaller projects mainly environment or small vehicle assets to get better at texturing using the Quixel suite. After that I’ll move back to some older, larger models (like Exosoldat or M1151W) so I can texture then more confidently. A small personal texturing crusade!

Can you talk a little bit about your favorite model you currently have posted on Sketchfab?

Drone Dead Orbit TM_2 by JohnMesplay on Sketchfab

Right now that’s the second version texture of the Dead Orbit Drone. It’s my fav because honestly I had the most fun working on it. There is a lot of my personality “hidden” on the model if you zoom in close enough to see. I wanted to make some fan art of my favorite faction from the game I’m playing right now Destiny. And texture it in a way that makes it look like its been on one of the specific planets you can play on mars.

What would be your personal advice to someone getting started in 3D?

As a modeler, work hard, stick to one 3D package like, Max or Maya, and learn topology first. Then move on to more advanced things like texturing, Zbrush and so on.

Tyson Murphy Dagger by JohnMesplay on Sketchfab

What are your thoughts on 3D printing, Are/Do you plan to work with it?

I think it is great. I’ve done some freelance work for a small company that prints miniatures it seems to be the future.

How did you come across Sketchfab and how does it helped with your project(s)?

A fellow artist posted some of his work on facebook and I wanted to give it a try. It’s awesome to let people see your project interactively.

What inspires you?

Scifi games and movies. People pushing themselves and their perceived boundaries.

Thanks John!

– Bart


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Sketchfab Team

Sketchfab Team

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