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My 3D Journey

My 3D Journey

Sandra Clavijo
by sandracn on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Hi everyone! I'm Sandra and I started my 3D journey on January 2020, when I joined Animum School. First I made a general course followed by a Master Degree in Character Modeling. I really would like to show you my progress and I hope you like my models so far. Thank you very much!

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This is my realistic character project. I loved so much the concepts of Taran Fiddler, "Beneath the Waves", since the moment I saw them. I choose Tama, as I really liked the shapes and the different elements in the character, and because this was one of my first characters, it would be a challenge for me.

I started this project by doing the base mesh on Maya. I find very useful to strat any project in Maya because it gives you some parameters very handy for the entire project that ZBrush doesn't.

Then I sculpted the character in ZBrush, it took me some time but I enjoyed it very much, time flies while sculpting. For some elements, like the nets or the chain, I went back and forward from Maya to Zbrush. I did the base of the nets in Maya, working between edges, curves and cilinders. Then I took it to ZBrush and I made ropes with the cilinders, and give them a nice shape very carefully.

For the chain, I made it in Maya with curves and Mash.

Next step was doing the retopology and uvs (in Maya), and when it was ready I textured it in Substance Painter. I worked a lot on the skin, I wanted it to seem alive and to have a lot of variety and tones to separete the hard parts and the soft parts of the body, playing with the roughness as well. I added a lot of details like scars or pores in this stage too.

Finally I rendered it in Arnold, and I gave it the last touches in Potoshop, like the glow, dust, god rays, depth of field, or chromatic aberration. I also gave some lose hairs to the ropes with Xgen in Maya.

To sum up, I'm very happy with this project, I took a lot of inspiration from underwater creatures in cinema like the ones in Pirates of the Caribbean, I used male anatomy references in some parts of the creature, and whale and shark references, as well as different sea elements. I put a lof of effort and passion on this project and I hope you enjoy it!


This is an awesome and cute character designed by Jeremy Polonen. I choose it for my cartoon character project and it was so much fun to do it. I think to try to recreate food elements in form of a character and stylized at the same time is so interesting, so I was sure I wanted to make this little friend.

This time I used Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Arnold and Photoshop as well. 

I worked a lot in the cone. I started it in Maya using nonlinear deformers and I used a texture pattern in the uv of the cone to place it how I liked. Then I created a displacement map with the texture in ZBrush, and I got the biscuit pattern.

Textures and shading were very important on this project. I wanted to make them very interesting but very clean as well, to match the cartoony aesthetic. I tried to give each part the right texture, for example I wanted the marshmallows to look soft and velvety, and I gave them the effect by using a fall off in the shading stage so it seems the light affects them more on the edges of the object. And for the ice cream part I gave it some little ice particles, very subtle.

It turned out in a very cute and cheerful 3D piece and I'm really glad with the result.


This is a personal project from a concept by Hong SoonSang. 
I used Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Arnold and Photoshop.

What I learned from this project was to work on a femenine figure, to work with fabrics and clothes, and to practice with the hard-surface prop.

I think is a very delicate and elegant piece and I enjoyed it so much. Also I had to investigate and learn about the different parts of a violin, it was so interesting.

Here you have some details of the violin as well.


This was one of my first models in 3D. The beautiful concept was made by Yusuf Artun.

This time I used Maya, Substance Painter and Photoshop.

I tried to give it many little details to make it more complex and interesting, and I learned so much with this project, as it was my first time with Substance Painter. I find it a great and creative software and I have used it so much since then.

I also learned to do the composition of the differents render passes in Photoshop, which is very interesting  and useful as well.


At last I would like to show you some parts of my anatomy projects that I find interesting. I'm still learning and it's a fascinating topic, so I currently keep practicing anatomy from every gender and age.

Here you have some testing with human skin and with human teeth.

Thank you very much for watching my projects and I hope you enjoyed them in some way. I'm very happy with starting my career in 3D art, as I enjoyed doing it so much and I'm eager to learn new things.

Thanks and have a nice day!


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