[COMPLETE] From Spy Time to My Time (Make a Splash in Amsterdam)

Today, I got antsy about not having added any spy gadgets into the scene, so I went ahead and got started on that.

I added a stress ball teargas grenade absentmindedly left by an identical regular stressball (:grimacing:)
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And a case of “pens” (cyanide, truth serum, knock-out serum, laser). He has trouble remembering whether the gold or silver pen is the laser – so he keeps gold separate to remember (it’s the gold pen)

As well as a rubber mask hanging out of his briefcase


Unfortunately it’s pretty obvious that it’s the agent’s face. I’m going to change the skin-tone in Photoshop to hopefully bury the lead a little better. I might also texture paint some face blemishes too.

I accomplished the mask with good ol’ sculpting. I duplicated the face, deleted the mouth bag, and moved it around in place with the grab brush. I tried using a cloth sim, but this ended up being faster with good enough results. Is this good enough? Should I try to add some large wrinkles?

The original pen is off of Sketchfab. I changed the colors using the hue/saturation adjustment in photoshop to change the base-color image in various ways.

Lastly, I created the Agent’s night cap and I grabbed some good slippers from Sketchfab!


… Unfortunatly, I forgot to uv unwrap it before deforming it into place so the stripes are warped
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It’s very bad in the back. So I gotta re-do it :(. Should go twice as fast this time though.

Here are the slippers:


I’m rather proud of what I came up with to handle the feet. Though for a more experienced 3D artist, this solution is probably obvious. I took the mesh that was the socks and extruded and scaled them into the basic shape of a foot. Then I changed the material to the face material and dropped them somewhere uniform and non-distinct.

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Actually lastly, I messed around more the blanket and carpet colors to start honing in on the 1960’s feel. It’s going… disappointingly. Color is one of my weakest area as an artist – in competition only with lighting. I never walk away feeling like I got it right… So I’ll be fiddling for some time probably.


(It would probably help if I added the rest of the walls and ceiling and made some interior light sources :grimacing:).

This is the general esthetic/color pallet I’m going for:
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I’ve spent the last few days mostly toying around with materials and I finally implemented proper interior lighting – as expected, it helped a lot. I feel a lot better about the overall scene now. I also modeled some floor molding which has done a lot to tie things together

Updated wood texture for the dresser, moulding, interior lighting

updated bedside table, light, new wall texture

Curtains (not textured yet)

I also made the room a bit larger which I think was the right move. Idk what I’m going to put on/against the empty wall yet

Hopefully baking the light for all these objects goes smoothly…

Overall I think the feel has improved a lot, but that has raised one concern: I’m worried I’ve made the room a bit too normal. I’m not sure if spy movies or spy movie parodies started the bachelor pad trend, but It’s making me question my very average bedroom here. No heart-shaped beds or even a shag carpet (though that’s more 1970’s). Point is, there isn’t a lot of “pizazz” here and I’m wondering if going more “fantastical” with a tacky wallpaper or something would be better for my standing in the challenge. I keep rambling on about wanting my submission to being somewhat whimsical, I’m not so sure I’m getting that right now. But I also need to keep time in mind. I tried to find an interesting wallpaper and that’s proven difficult. Most image online aren’t seamless or aren’t what I’m looking for. So, I’d have to make the pattern myself and that would be new territory that could be time consuming. plus, once I’ve placed more various spy gadget objects and made it a bit more messy (clothes lying around) that might compensate. I’ll focus on objects for now because they also play into utilizing Sketchfab’s viewer in creative ways.

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Looking great!

Having read your concerns with the room… I had an idea that maybe could help.

Perhaps you could paint an opacity map for both the floor and the walls. I think that if you made the walls and the floor only “appear” where they need to be for understanding the geometry of the scene, you could leave a lot more to the imagination and make it feel less empty.

I don’t know if I’m making myself clear… Basically “airbrushing” walls and floor where they need to be and leave them with undefined edges.

I know it’s a bit of a weird idea, I don’t know if it would look better but here it is :smiley:

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Hmmm. I get what you mean. I’ll definitely look into that. Thanks!

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I got the hands posed and TV remote modeled. If time is permitting I will add labels to the remote.
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Hey! As we’re entering the final days of the challenge, I’d like to give you some helpful tips to make sure you can successfully complete your entry. Please see my new post on the FAQ topic.

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I’m finally back in town and working on the challenge again!

It’s all down to wrapping things up, putting on finishing touches, and porting everything to Sketchfab.

I added a few historical spy objects.

First is this lipstick pistol

Here is a image of the real thing! (from the international spy museum in Washington DC in the USA)

Next is the Insectothopter! This was a mid-century drone that was equipped with a microphone for ease-dropping on important conversations. Unfortunately, it was never actually used because it only had enough gas in it’s internal bladder to fly 60 seconds. It was also rather difficult to control.


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I borrowed a lot from sketchfab for these objects. The firefly is largely unchanged – I just added the antenna. I did significantly remix the lipstick and bullets. All credits will be given at the end!

Beyond these gadgets, I added some new furniture, rearranged the room, and added doors. I think it looks a lot more cozy now/lived in now :ok_hand:. I’m toying with using cloth sims to place his clothing around the room to tell a bit of a story of how he moved around the room, and highlight his personality. Fingers crossed that the polycount doesn’t get too high (idk why the pants are black, something is buggy with the pants material).

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Today I spend 4 hours (:grimacing:) just resizing images so the scene would be under 100MB. I knew this was coming because I made the conscious choice to not really worry about texture size throughout…but I didn’t expect to take that long. But, it is what it is. I just have to push forward with the time I have left to work on it.

On a brighter note, I’ve gotten a draft version into sketchfab that I can share:

I still need to apply modifiers, rid of vertex colors, and fine tune everything as well as add a bunch of annotations. But this is it!

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I’ll be honest though, I feel like my submission has felt less good the more submissions have rolled in. It feels boring compared to other submissions, especially the more fantastical ones. To me now, it just feels like a boring room. I worry that the humor of my submission works best as a 2D render. A lot of that punch is lost in a 3D scene. Also, I’'m feeling the effects of creating an enclosed space. Orbiting around can be frustrating as objects get in the way, and the backface culling hurts immersion maybe.

I’m hoping that once I figure out how to give the scene an “initial camera location” and add all the cool spy gadget annotations that will make it feel more lively and, to be frank, worthy of winning. I’m planning on giving each gadget a annotation with text and a picture that shows off the gadget in some way. I’ve also set up a bit of an easter egg hunt with panic buttons around the room. There will be an annotation pointing one out and will encourage the viewer to find the others. Since I have a more straightforward scene than many submissions I think being creative with sketchfab will be what could give me a leg up.

Overall the competition aspect has been a roller-coaster. I went from assuming I had no chance and joined for fun, to really feeling like I did, and now I’m really unsure. It might also be an issue that I’ve been staring at this for weeks :joy: . That’s the curse of one’s own creative projects. The impact wore off long ago, so maybe it’s a better more engaging scene than I think.

Hopefully this post doesn’t come off too cynically. I’m happy I’ve done this challenge and I’m loving many of the submissions! It’s been a ton of fun. I just felt it was important to document this part of the experience as well – the emotional journey so to speak.

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Whatever you receive (and I wish you all the best) I would like to emphasise that it is my (and others?) pleasure that and how you have us on your journey! I really enjoy the process and - especially- the honesty of your “confession” about your doubts! As you said! It’s part of the process!
Keep your head up! I’m looking forward searching for the easter eggs!

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Great thought!

I really have gone through all the stages you mention too… I’ve found making a scene to be viewed in 3D to be very challenging and a lot of work. And long projects are really a roller coaster of motivation!

Congratulations for finishing, reaching the end and not giving up is already a victory on its own.

Good luck!

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Thank you for your encouraging words! Funnily enough, your entry is one of the ones I’m most intimidated by. It looks so good and it’s so immersive. And the concept is really creative. Once yours popped up in the entries, I knew I was in trouble :joy:.

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Oh, come on!

Thanks for your comment, but I must let you know I feel the same. It’s a matter of getting tired of your own submission. Anyway, however this ends, following the process is being so much fun!

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Agreed! The atmosphere of this challenge has been so great.

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All I can say is that I think we all feel like this, and I see that the words of @homspau share this feeling as well… I think we are all experiencing this, and it’s part of the challenge. Seeing the WIPs can discourage, as there are such great artists. And yet, this is a great opportunity to see the workflow of others and sharing bits of our own. But it is hard! The motivation comes and goes, some phases of the creative process are better than others, and there is always a part of the creation that could need further improvement, further polishing. And yet, what we create is uniquely ours, and together with the information we share in our posts, it is a testimony of the collective effort that we are all putting in our creations. And it is no small thing :slight_smile:

I am looking forward to seeing the final upload of your project! Glad you’re back at it, and may your spirit lift up in these last days of challenge!

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After reading through everyone’s encouraging words yesterday, I came up with two more ideas to hopefully bring some more intrigue to the scene. So, I’m officially in BLITZ mode! I spent most of last night and this morning adding this super-fan :smirk:. And, no, the colander is not a colander. It’s an invisibility cloaking device!

And, since Sketchfab is a 3D viewer I added an exterior segment and bushes to hid her non-existent lower half. I also created an opacity map to fade out the ground. The harsh line did not look so good (special thanks to @homspau for originally suggesting airbrushing an opacity map for the walls).

The other idea is to add a “secret stash” hidden compartment that is open with a few fun objects inside as well as an alternative brightly colored bulletproof suit using his existing suit. BUT, with the fan included, I am at ~95MB :grimacing: (Max 100MB). So adding this last thing might not be possible.

Since the ideas above might result in work I’ll have to delete anyway, I plan on spending the rest of my day after work ironing out everything for Sketchfab and getting it looking as good as I can, that way I can have a completed entry and everything I can manage to add tomorrow/Wednesday morning is gravy!

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Yay! Looking great!

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Thank you!

Here is the new sketchfab file with the Super Fan included:

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Looking good, man I love this concept! My finish line feedback would be to play with the lighting for smaller falloff bedtime lighting; right now it looks like there’s a directional sun casting sharp shadows from wall objects, and since it’s bedtime I think you’d get the best results from soft falloffs only from the interior lights

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