Women on Sketchfab: Amber Fonteyne

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To everyone reading, I hope I can inspire you to follow your dreams and, most importantly, to create.

My journey

I have always been someone to visualize my ideas and thoughts in a creative way, as I wasn’t the best with words. As soon as I discovered 3D art, I knew this was my way of expressing my ideas and stories in a more interactive way.

I studied Game Graphics Production at DAE Howest Kortrijk, with a minor in Stylized Design and Creation. Here I learned to navigate my way through the game design pipelines. From concept to end product. I quickly learned that Sylized design was more my cup of tea than realism, as I can’t help but create dreamy and cute props and scenes that come right out of my own imagination.

For my internship, I worked as a 3D artist and all-rounder for Glowfish Interactive. They are launching their first own IP-title called Trifox. It’s a really fun adventure game which threw me back to my childhood, playing Crash Bandicoot games with my brother.

Currently I am pursuing a second bachelor in Digital Design. In this degree, I hope to focus more on VR and UI design. With these two bachelors combined, I aspire to make a lot of creative ideas come to life.

My creative process

3D is one of my main tools to tell stories. Naturally, I often choose to start from scratch and create my own concepts and stories. This process usually begins with blockouts and from there on out, I can visualise it all coming together and forming a narrative. I love adding a lot of smaller details to my pieces. Sometimes these details might go unnoticed, but once you see them, the story unfolds even more. Getting to know the fortune teller that lives on this pirate island is a good example of how I tackled this. I created this for a game art course but used it as a place to practice some visual storytelling as well. This was a handpainted project and I really enjoyed putting down every detail, including the ones in the texture.

I really like making other people’s 2D concepts into 3D as well. I admire people who are good at illustrating. For my version of Robocat by Aleksandr Pushai I combined stylized art with the PBR metal-rough workflow. I enjoyed experimenting with this a lot and want to make more projects like this one.

For my most recent work, I combined both of the above workflows. I started off with the concept of Pierre Blanchon. I added the plants and fireflies as my own way of storytelling. The texturing was done in Substance Painter, but I focused on creating the hand painted look without painting anything. I ended up making an unlit material for this and I must say this is really the type of workflow and texturing I have enjoyed the most thus far. I am looking forward to making more pieces like this in the future, shifting my focus more towards environments and props.

Some obstacles

My creative process usually starts with a sudden burst of energy and motivation. I have to drop everything I am doing and just focus on executing what I was thinking of. Often times, if I don’t do this right away, a lot of ideas just pile up in my head and I never know which one to start first. I get overwhelmed with my own thoughts. Even though I am still struggling with this, I am slowly learning to take it slow and navigate my way through the projects I started in my head and set priorities from there.

Something I think a lot of people struggle with is comparing themselves to others in the field. I used to get disheartened when I couldn’t be on the same level as others, no matter how hard I tried. I have come to really embrace this and have found my own style and tone of voice in my art. This relieved me from the need to compare, as I created my own style and I started approaching art in a healthier way. So now, instead of getting disheartened, I celebrate the skills of other people and use their work as motivation to push myself to a higher level.

Sketchfab and how I use it

I love using Sketchfab during my design process. It allows me to quickly view my model in the early stages and already start thinking about lighting and camera angles. It is very easy to re-upload things and also to give quick colour blockouts with lighting setups, since your lighting affects the way your colours feel. I used this feature a lot while making my Dual Blades to experiment with the purple for each of the different parts of the blades. It was challenging to make it work but giving it a quick lighting pass in Sketchfab really helped me when vertex painting this piece.

Besides using it for my own design process I like scrolling through Sketchfab and getting inspired by the broad array of work that you can find on just a single platform. Following other people—their design processes and WIP uploads—teaches me a lot that I can take with me in my own work. And the collections people make have helped me out in the past when searching for some specific styles and subjects. Not to forget the amazing community they have built across different social media platforms, allowing artists with limited followings to get exposure and have a place for them to show the world their projects. They really get engaged with their users and are always ready to help out their creators.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and getting to know a bit more about me. If you want to follow my projects and some of the games I am working on you can go over to my ArtStation.

About the author

Amber Fonteyne

I am an art student from Belgium who loves creating cute and stylized 3D art. I am hoping to inspire others, let's create amazing pieces together.

1 Comment

  • Bears___ says:

    Thanks for sharing! This is really inspiring 😀 Gl for the future 😛

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