My name is Greta Miller, I studied Game Art and Animation at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment from 2020 where I recently completed the course last year. Since starting my course, I have not only explored a range of styles but have greatly improved my skills, which I believe is reflected in my Sketchfab portfolio. Creating 3D artworks, to push myself to continue to create and experiment with styles and techniques, has always been a challenge, but with patience and practice my work has been recognised and appreciated more and more.
With that, I have been recruited for an internship at a triple A studio in Melbourne, which of course is a very exciting opportunity for me as I continue to expand my skills.
As I mentioned earlier, I have explored many different styles in my 3D art, however, in each piece my approach has been consistent, for the most part.
My workflow goes: Strong concept or reference → Blockout → Model (Retop) → Texture → Lighting.
With each step, I keep in mind my desired look for the final artwork, which, regardless of the concept, often uses PBR textures, even when incorporating stylised techniques.
Starting with a strong concept or reference helps me actually finish artworks.
The Theatre Teacher you Hate
This character was really fun to do, and very frustrating.
She, surprisingly, has a very difficult expression to capture. Nailing the self-importance, the snobby yet disinterested attitude in the micro-expressions was a challenge (with many re-iterations) but very rewarding in the end.
Texturing the model was very enjoyable. I tend to push my texturing to make it as realistic as possible, however with “The Theatre Teacher you Hate” I experimented by stripping back a lot of the colour and allowing the details in the model itself and the texture to carry the textures.
Finally, putting the model in Sketchfab with lighting and post-processing effects tied everything together.
I actually tweaked a few of the texture maps to allow the lighting and post-processing to refine the final piece. I used a strong rim light, a spotlight on her face and a soft blue light underneath to give her a little more depth. Additionally, I subtly used sharpness, grain, depth of field and bloom; I also used tone mapping to increase the contrast, brightness, exposure, and saturation. The side-by-side pre- and post-editing images contrast greatly, which is very satisfying.
Given that this character was my first ever completed stylised character, I am very happy with the end result and the overall response from my peers and the Sketchfab community.
The Living Room of a Lonely Old Man
I tried to make the models as true to the concept as possible, however I did find it a challenge to get the proportions exact to the concept.
Before I began texturing, I placed the models in Sketchfab to block out the lighting in the scene; this way I had a better idea of where to place the shadows and highlights in the hand-painted materials. This was the first time I tried hand-painted materials. In Substance Painter I used textured brushes (like watercolour) to paint in all the colours, shadows, and highlights. Afterwards, I added roughness and metallic values.
I created the light from the TV by modeling a simple cone out of the screen, then inverting the faces, making a blue gradient for the albedo and the emission and voila! In Sketchfab, I placed a spotlight inside the cone to further strengthen the light.
Although this is a stylised piece, I like to play with normals, roughness, emissions, etc., for a more dynamic scene.
Finally, I turned on sharpness, vignette and bloom in post-processing, which overall made it look more refined, in my opinion.
My small journey
For the past two years I have greatly improved my work and have proved to myself that all the opportunities I have received are deserved. Just like any other artist (or anyone for that matter) I have dealt with imposter syndrome, and still do. Being in a highly competitive environment with highly talented artists is very intimidating. I often compared my work and progress to my peers which would always deter me from improving, and with some peers being very vocal and confident I would slink away and, again, doubt myself.
However with support from my friends and teachers I pushed through the challenges and frustrations to get where I needed to be.
Game art is still a highly male-dominated sphere, and although that is changing slowly, it can be intimidating—as women we often feel as though we need to constantly prove ourselves more than our male counterparts. My advice is to just do the work, have the confidence in your ability and learn to take criticism and use that feedback to improve. Focus on yourself and your progress and you will succeed, hopefully.