New to Sketchfab community (Intro): Kidlit illustrator, how I hope to use Sketchfab

Hi all! Although I’ve been a Sketchfab paid subscriber for over a year now, I’ve just started using it again. I’m a newbie 3D artist, have only been exploring it since receiving my Quest 2 headset from my husband as a Christmas gift in 2020. I write and illustrate children’s books for a living; my illustrations appear in books by Judy Blume, Michael Ian Black and others. My first career was a computer programmer/analyst for a bank. If you’re curious how/why I made the transition, my website has info.

Since then, I’ve been falling hard down the VR art rabbit hole. Have been learning a ton from the VR Art Live community & am taking their creative challenge again this year. Bought a PC gaming laptop so I can access heavier duty VR art apps via Air Link / Quest (up to then, I’ve been Mac only all my life). I’ve started using VR/3D to help me create my own reference images and brainstorm scenes for layout sketches in my picture book illustrations. You can see a sample and more info at Debbie's VR and AR art - Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Why I’m starting to use Sketchfab again: One of my goals is to help my social media followers (mainly fellow kidlit creators and K-12 educators) see how fun and accessible 3D art can be. Sketchfab is a GREAT way to do this, I find, since people can manipulate Sketchfab objects right on their devices from Twitter and elsewhere.

Another way I plan to use Sketchfab, at least until I’m good enough at creating assets myself, is to look for elements I can use to help me construct reference images for my illustrations. Creating scenes in VR and then being able to dive in and explore everything around me as if I was one of the characters IN the book has opened up so many more creative possibilities for me! Should I illustrate a scene from inside the treehouse, for example? A wide-angle shot from above? Close-up from below? It’s so much easier (and more fun) to move myself around inside the scene and take screenshots of possibilities before making a decision. Once I’m happy with a particular angle/scene, I would draw everything using my own illustration style. My style is relatively cartoon-y, not realistic.

If a Sketchfab asset looks like one I might be able to use to help me come up with these reference images, I will purchase it. More than happy to help support Sketchfab artists.

As you can tell from the models I’ve posted so far, I am VERY new to 3d modelling compared to the rest of you. Most of the assets you see right now were created in the Quest version of Tilt Brush or Open Brush. I love that I can export to Sketchfab directly from inside my Quest 2 headset! I’ve just started learning Blender! Despite my newb status, however, I plan to keep posting…and hopefully my models will start to improve.

SO inspired by you all, and look forward to participating in this community.

  • Debbie