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The Hero of Light

The Hero of Light

Hannah Whittingham
by Hannie on 26 Apr 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

This is a 3D recreation of some old fanart I did a while ago of Arc from Final Fantasy 3. I decided to specifically work on this project as a submission for the 2022 Rookie Awards!

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Final Render

Tools: Blender (Modeling and sculpting) / Substance Painter (Materials & Texturing)

Render Engine: Cycles

Total Time: 51 hours

Reference & Inspiration

Over the last 10 years I've been redrawing "Arc" from Final Fantasy 3 to gauge how my art has improved and how my style has changed. The first piece on the far left was from 2009, middle was 2011, and on the right was 2017. It felt appropriate to test my new 3D skills by once again continuing my tradition of redrawing Arc in every new style I adopt.

Below you can see the original designs I was referencing my fanart from. However, not only did I want to create the character model, but I also wanted to place the character in an environment from Final Fantasy 3. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to create a full landscape so I decided to create a small diorama to place my character model onto. In Final Fantasy 3 (and most FF games for that matter) the characters are OFTEN traversing through caves, as such I thought it only suitable to also put my model in a cave setting.

The Process

This is my second time sculpting a character, because of that recreating this character was a JOURNEY. It involved redoing certain objects 2-3 times before I was happy with it. Not to mention I learned a new program for this project too - substance painter!

As I started to model the character, I realized the way I sculpted the face was very wonky and uneven. My character was looking more like an alien than "kawaii". To fix that I smoothed the mesh out more and decided to add a nose and redo the mouth. I tightened up the jaw a little bit more too.

At last! Now that the model was done, I could get to shading and texturing! However, as I was adding colours I began to realize that something about the eyes looked "off". Everything about the eyes just looked too flat, and the skin was looking too pasty. I didn't like the direction it was going. I looked at more references to see how other modelers created eyes, I also realized that this would be a great opportunity to learn substance painter and make my textures pop that much more. 

I started experimenting with a different eye shape and tried modeling & colouring the eyes in different ways.

After finishing the base model, I brought my model into substance painter for the first time and experiment with different materials and colours.

I was getting the hang of substance painter! But I also started seeing some more flaws in my model (damnit lol)

I fixed some of the proportions of make my character to fit that "chibi" aesthetic better. (Enlarged the irises, made the ears on the hood bigger, shortened the legs, etc.) 

After all the fixes to the model, I had also finalized the colours and textures and could get started on the diorama! Luckily this was the easiest part of the whole project.

Which of course leaves me to the end of this project!

Thank you for following along and making it to the end. This was such a fun project to work on and taught me so much along the way.

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