Women on Sketchfab: Meltem Ozcelik

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My background

After finishing high school in my home country, Turkey, I knew I wanted to choose a profession that had to bring together art and games. Throughout my teenage years, they have been my leading interests and stuck with me the most. I hadn’t tried my hand at 3D yet but fell in love with it at University. In 2018, I got into Howest DAE in Belgium to major in Game Graphics Production and learned to 3D model for the first time. Though I learned about the whole pipeline from concepting to animating, 3D modeling is definitely the part I love the most in the curriculum. After the first 2 years of practicing the basics, I decided to focus on personal projects outside of school. I started recreating 2D concepts that inspired me in 3D. It has been around 5 months now. I got used to the cycle of replicating a character/prop in 3D but it is still very exciting to learn something new and practice with every new project. I do not have much to say about my career since I haven’t graduated yet but I am looking forward to joining the industry and working on projects with a team this time!

My art

I focus on PBR in Uni, so when I finally get the chance, I love working on hand-painted pieces. I believe it is a great way of bringing 3D and 2D together. Since I focused heavily on 2D before I started 3D modeling, they are a good way to showcase both skills.

From a technical standpoint, my focus is mostly on translating the concept from 2D to 3D as closely as possible.  But it is most important that I am enjoying the process, learning something new, and in the end, creating pieces that I love and I am proud of. That is what keeps me going and keeps me excited for the future of my career.

Based on a Concept by Requinoesis

For concepts such as “The Kelp Collector” by Requinoesis, hand-painting the textures helps a lot with capturing what the artist originally envisioned. The concept had the playful feeling that I wanted to capture and translate into 3D. I also wanted to try Sketchfab’s line art feature that I have been seeing a lot. I believe it nicely matches the line art from the 2D concept.

The color palette was also one of the reasons I chose this concept. Usually, my interests and mood at the time have a big influence on the way I choose and create my artwork. Since spring is here, I thought celebrating it through my work with vibrant and energetic colors would be a good idea. I wanted to evoke the feeling of “spring” when viewers saw this project.

Based on a concept by Julia Kovalyova

The process I follow for the hand-painted projects is usually the same. Sculpting in Zbrush, retopology in 3ds Max and then painting in Substance Painter. The painting part changes, however, as the style of the original artist also changes. I try to replicate their brushstrokes as well as their style. I try to use similar brushes and lay the colors where they put them. For the side of the model I can’t see, I use what I learned from the front side of the model.

Based on a Concept by Yuka Soemy

I’ve started working on projects with Stylized PBR lately since it brings together some level of realism with the hand-painted style I am used to. I also thought my portfolio would benefit from some diversity. I want to experiment more and learn new techniques so I believe Stylized PBR is the next step in my journey.

Challenges

For me, the most exciting parts of a project are the beginning stages, where I find a concept and start working on it, and the end, when I share it with the community. Even though the process in between is the most important, it sometimes gets hazy when I look at the project too much. If I do not enjoy the process anymore it gets harder and harder to work on it. I try to overcome this by either dividing the project into pieces and spreading them out with a few days in between or working on multiple projects at the same time. It refreshes the scene and helps me enjoy the process even more.

Balancing school and personal projects was also a problem for me in the beginning. School assignments were so hectic I couldn’t think about starting another project. I had a folder full of concepts that really inspired me and this year I could finally go through it. Though I enjoyed working on them more than schoolwork, I wouldn’t be at the point I am now with my skills and knowledge if I didn’t go through these last 2 years, which were filled with new information.

Based on a Concept by Camille Peyrebere

Sketchfab

Sketchfab has been a great way to connect with other creators in the field. They have been super supportive and have provided me with valuable critique when I needed it. I have met lots of 3D artists on Sketchfab who share my passion and also appreciate the platform as a great place to share our artwork. I personally really enjoy the “Sketchfab stage” of the projects when everything is finished and I get to work on the presentation in Sketchfab.

I love the challenges that come out every month and even though I haven’t had the chance to take part in one of them yet, it is very inspiring to see what other artists can create with the given topic.

I am super grateful to Abby, Jasmin, and Mieke for giving me a chance to put myself out here. It was my first time trying my hand at something like this. I am very proud of this community for supporting women in the field and giving them a chance to make themselves known. If you would like to see more of my work you can do so on Sketchfab and ArtStation.

About the author

Meltem Ozcelik

2D/3D Art student from Belgium. I love new experiences, bright-happy colors and stylized art in general.



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