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Sebastian Irmer showed how he created the Demon Souls fan-art with a combination of Cinema4D and Substance Painter.
My name is Sebastian Irmer. I’m 30 years old and I’m living in Germany. I’ve studied applied media management at UAS Mittweida. After receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree I’ve been working as a 3D artist in Berlin.
I’m currently working at a company with the name “sMeet Communications GmbH”, working on two games at the same time right now. The first one is called Smeet which is an online social game for browsers. The second one is an mobile game called Metamons which is a game about catching Monsters and traveling the world. I’m responsible for creating the environments and assets of these games.
I’be been a gamer for quite some time now. I’ve seen a lot and therefore I have tons of great assets I like in my mind. Sometimes I do some fan art of games I really enjoy as a form of tribute . Other times I just do what came to my mind. Usually I try to be versatile and develop myself. Each piece should be better than the piece before.
Demon Souls Fan Art
When I start with the production of fan art I begin by looking for screenshots of the things I want to build. I like to give my fan art my own spin. So I do my own concepts based on the original.
There is usually one Centerpiece I want to create and that’s the point, where I start.
C4D is my 3d program of choice. It’s very versatile and this is exactly what I need for my work. First of all I build the base mesh. I try to get really close the look of the thing I want to make. Silhouette and proportion must be clear and the topology clean.
When the base mesh is done I start with sculpting. C4D gives you a good variety of sculpting tools to do the job. I begin by defining the form of the base mesh with a large brush. After that I start with the fine details, using smaller brushes, stamps and stencils.
Thereby I’m focusing on one area at a time. This helps to keep the overview of the project. When I’m pleased with the result, I use a copy of the base mesh to do a retopo of the sculpted model. After that I unwrap the low poly model und export low poly, high poly and a cage to get everything ready for the baking process.
I create my PBR materials in Substance Painter 2. I use the low poly and high poly mesh combined with a cage to get the baking done. First I do a 1024×1024 test baking with 0xAA to make sure, everything is right. When I’m pleased with the test results, I do a high quality bake in 2048×2048 with 16xAA. Time to take a walk with the dog because this bake will take a while.
Substance Painter 2 can use normal and AO information’s of the baked textures to generate Smart Masks. I’ve started by adding plane colors to different sections of the model. After that, I applied Smart Masks to add details like grunge, wear and tear and roughness to the reflections to make the material interesting and the details pop. A special addition was the illum channel I used for the hot glowing parts. The pool of magma was generated by combining three colors with a mask to simulate bright hotspots in red colder magma areas.
The placement of lighting was very straight forward in this project. I’ve put a very broad, white orange and bright spot light over the main light source in this scene, which was the magma pool. With that the illumination of the scene was too orange and not balanced enough to be interesting. So I’ve decided to use a cold white bluish rim light to accentuate the details and silhouettes of the assets using a directional light for that purpose. The rest of the lighting was accomplished by using one of the HDR map provided by Sketchfab.
Presenting in Sketchfab
A nice addition for any model is a neat animation. Especially creatures can get some character through movement. I’ve rigged the low poly model of the bear bugs in C4D and created a small clean animation loop. Furthermore, I’ve created some particles which I attached to splines via a cloning object. This object is able to move the particles on a spline by using offset manipulation.
I’ve exported everything as .fbx and baked the animations in the process. Sketchfab provides the user with a nice range of post processing filters like SSAO, DOF, CA and BLOOM. I’ve used these filters to give the diorama the last touch. It’s important to note, that less is more in that regard. Overdoing the filters will distract the viewer. Accentuate your work with smart use of filters, don’t cover it with them!