Artist Spotlight: shank3d

TurboSquid Featured Artists, Site

Often inspired by fantasy, models from this month’s featured artist, shank3d, add elements of stylish whimsy to the TurboSquid catalog. We took some time to chat with this talented artist and 3D teacher to find out where he draws  his inspiration for model-making.


How did you get your start an artist?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to create things; drawing and comic book creation were always my favorite activities, and as a child I created my own cartoons and games. After finishing school in 2005, I began to consider making art a career as well as my passion.


When did you start making 3D models?

I got my first computer in 1999, and since then I have dreamed of a bringing my paper sketches to life through computer graphics. I have always preferred 3D imagery over 2D, especially in the early days when 3D games were just coming out.

It was the only thing that I ever really wanted to learn. I  enrolled at a local art school in 2005 but found I could learn more from the Internet. Long before starting my classes, I practiced using 3ds Max (version 5 at that time) on my own, creating simple models and trying to get them to resemble real life objects. Over the years, I developed more technique and discipline.

I was offered a job teaching 3D design and animation, and I taught for 4 years. During that time I learned a lot about 3D graphics on my own by practicing and reading tutorials and forums as well as looking at other artists’ work.

What are the most important factors in making 3D models?

There are lots of factors, but personally, I consider appeal and perspective to be most important. If your model has a great edge flow but lacks visual appeal, it will not grab anyone’s attention. Great topology does not make a beautiful model; it’s the realism in it.

Some might question how you can make stylized characters or cartoonish models look real, but they forget that the visual appeal is always there. On the other hand, 3D models of real life objects are meant to be precise replicas so the idea of them making them at a realistic scale and proportion will always go a long way toward producing quality 3D models that are believable.

It doesn’t hurt to explore new techniques by watching other artists, studying the way they depict their art forms and sharing ideas.

What inspires your creations?

This is my favorite question. The inspiration could come from anywhere but in my case it comes from stories. I could be watching the Discovery Channel on television and suddenly I get the idea of a monkey trying desperately to get bananas off a tree or a bird that is afraid of flying. So I take the rough idea from my mind and start working on it.

I sometimes am inspired by fantasy. I like robotic models but I do not like to put too much realism into them. I also like to challenge myself by making something complex, which usually ends up with me learning something new.

Other sources of  inspiration come from upcoming world events and holidays, like Christmas or Diwali (an Indian festival). If you are in the 3D model industry, you should be on the lookout for such happenings.

Tell us about your experience with CheckMate certification.

I think the CheckMate standard is very beneficial to both artists and customers. Well-defined, quality models are always best to work with and CheckMate has certainly given me the path to know I am providing a quality item.

I have seen a significant increase in CheckMate model sales from my collection as compared to those that are not yet certified. Having inspectors to work closely with artists to get their models in top shape and to stand out from others is a very satisfying experience.

The whole process of defining standards for quality of 3D models is a must!

How long have you been selling your models at TurboSquid?

I have been a Turbosquid member since early 2008. I started out as a casual vendor until I started to see a strong potential in selling my models at the biggest online marketplace. I also spend time on Turbosquid forums, communicating with fellow artists and admiring their work. After my introduction into CheckMate program, I have grown my collection to have as many CheckMate models as I can.

Over the years, I have recommended that my students and colleagues visit Turbosquid. Not only does TurboSquid offer great models to buy, but it is the best place for newcomers to the industry to see what the current quality levels are in the market and to learn from other artists.

 Thanks again, shank3d! We wish you continued success with the CheckMate program and as a talented veteran of the  TurboSquid collective of artists.


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