Women on Sketchfab: Beccy Collins

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Hi there, my name is Beccy. I’m from the UK and I’m just about to graduate from Staffordshire University, studying (BSc) Computer Games Design with a focus on 3D Character Art (I have a love for stylized things!) 

I recently started freelancing and am currently working on a job for an Indie game.

Background

Since I was young I’ve loved to play games. As I grew up, my interest was piqued to actually want to be a part of a team that makes them. One of my biggest inspirations for wanting to make game art is World of Warcraft! I grew up playing it and always loved the style and look.

When I saw that universities had courses about making games, I jumped at the chance and was lucky enough to be able to go to Staffs Uni. One of the hardest challenges for me was my first year of Uni as it was a steep learning curve with no prior knowledge in 3D. Learning all the software and also how to 3D model in a short period of time was intense but I really enjoyed the course, which made it much easier to learn.

Whilst studying at Uni I started using discord and found some great art communities that have helped me improve my work massively and gave me more confidence. Communities such as Experience Points and Stylized Station have been an awesome help by providing me with lots of feedback on my work, and recently I joined the new Sketchfab Discord which is full of lots of great artists!

It was around a year ago when I made my first character; I was in my second year at uni and had an assignment to make one in the World of Warcraft style, which I was, of course, very excited about. I fell in love with the process and knew at that point that I wanted to focus on making stylized characters. My partner is also a Character Artist and we are always learning and bouncing ideas off each other which is super helpful.

My Art

The software I use for my 3D work consists of ZBrush, 3ds Max, Photoshop, 3D-Coat, and Substance. 

I start in ZBrush to create the base shapes, usually with ZSpheres, then move onto sculpting the high poly. Next, in 3ds Max, I retopo using step build and then unwrap my model. When it comes to baking I use Substance Designer (with bake by mesh name) as I find it gives me nice results. For texturing, I usually start in Photoshop to create a base for the color map (Albedo or Diffuse), then I either move into 3D-Coat for handpainted or Substance Painter for stylized PBR.

I also like to dabble in animation as I find it fun and it helps bring my characters to life a bit! I rig and animate my characters in 3ds Max with a CAT rig.

For my final year project at University, I recreated Ysera from WoW. For this project, I wanted to take the presentation further and so I completed the character workflow, animated, and also created VFX for her in UE4. Creating fan art for Blizzard games is so fun for me because they have been such a big part of my life; their art styles have definitely been very influential on me. 

My latest piece of work was Punk Cat. I made this for my last assignment at University, our collaborative group project. In a team of 19, we had to make a prototype of a game over 6 weeks and this is a character I made for our game “Rabid Racers”. The project was great fun and challenging, considering we had to make it all remotely due to lockdown! We had 2 meetings a week via Microsoft Teams so we could check up on each other’s progress and plan out what we were to be doing.

Here’s the trailer of the game we made:

Something that has pushed me to improve my art and be more confident is entering competitions. This year I entered the Grads In Games Search For A Star contest and made Jetpack Cat for it. It actually ended up doing really well and came in 2nd place! This helped me get more eyes on my work, especially industry members who also gave me great feedback! I have also entered the Rookies awards 2020 contest and am waiting to see how I do in that.

Sketchfab

I am really glad I found Sketchfab, it enabled me to understand and learn how models are constructed via the model inspector feature when I was just starting out in 3D. Sketchfab has also given me another platform to show off my own work! I really like how simple it is to upload to and all of the cool options you can go through in the 3D settings. I like to embed Sketchfab viewers in my ArtStation portfolio as it’s a great way to show off topology, UVs, and any animations I make.

I’d like to say thank you to Jasmin, Abby, and Mieke for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Women on Sketchfab series.

Feel free to follow me on ArtStation or Twitter, and thanks for reading my story!

 

About the author

Beccy Collins

3D Character Artist with a focus on Stylized work



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