Thorsten Folkers and his brother are in the midst of creating their own indie sci-fi racing game, entitled DRAG, launching on Steam this year. While Folkers works on the art, his brother acts as engine developer and programmer, as well as the creator of the pair’s proprietary game engine, Orontes Engine. This particular level took Folkers a year to create.
“The structure is completely modular,” he explains, “the reason for this approach is a very high texture resolution on the metal support, despite its size. The whole structure is placed along a spline using path deform and a custom script to avoid any tilting. We also developed a fifth static shadow cascade spanning the entire
level. This allows us to render shadows in real time for the complete view distance, which is about two kilometres.”
Hard-surface modelling and working on his own sci-fi designs are among Folkers’ favourite things when it comes to 3D modelling. “Anything from vehicles to machines or even megastructures,” he adds, “I would love to do robot-like characters in the future as well.” When it comes to inspiration, he often turns to the work of retro-futuristic artist Simon Stålenhag, as well as films like cyberpunk anime Ghost In The Shell.
ARTIST Ana Mendes SOFTWARE Zbrush, Blender
Freelance 2D and 3D character artist Ana Mendes spent a week, on and off, working on this cool character design. Mendes began learning 3D in 2013, starting to work professionally around 2014, primarily creating art for games and figurines. She was able to use this experience to create a unique and striking character design.
Mendes used Zbrush to sculpt the character and Blender to render the image. She notes that creating the character’s initial design was a highlight of the entire process, along with sculpting the hair.
“Most of my inspiration comes from anime, fashion, books, or sometimes even a random conversation can give me ideas of what to do next,” Mendes tells 3D World. The creative process then begins with a sketch on Photoshop or directly in Zbrush. “I then make the blockout in Zbrush,” she continues, “and when I'm satisfied with the design and shapes, I start to polish each part.” Finally, Mendes polypaints the model and renders it in Blender using Cycles.
ARTIST Thorsten Folkers SOFTWARE Orontes Engine, World Machine, Quixel Suite, Substance Painter