3D Modelling as a hobby

Hi everyone! (I'm Kostas. Founder of REALATED VISUAL and Silverlab Creations. The text below is my presentation speech on 3Ds London meetup. The first one that was online in April 2020)

It’s great to be here. Especially as a speaker on the first online 3ds London meetup. Hope you all are well and staying home :) Right? No pubs, no offices…

My first 3ds London meetup was back in 2015. I had just come from Greece, and I was extremely surprised to find there a 3D meetup with guys like me, but also the big names I had followed online for years. You know the “sharks” of archviz. But there - in the pub, the sharks were approachable, wearing t-shirts with their studio logos and a beer in their hands.

And I suppose almost everyone here is a visualizer or related to visualisation. And we all know how to render and make visual content, each of us at our own level.

But we also know how to model. Some of us know it better, because the classic learning path for 3D before Vray was firstly interface - secondly and mainly modeling and so on. You know the rest...

I'm 36, so I started with mental ray, just when vray was getting popular.

And some of us don't like or don't want to model. And the reason is, we all make money producing visuals and having artistic skills in this industry means devoting time to making beautiful images, rather than modeling.

But, we all know that 3D modeling is part of the job so we try to push it onto someone else, because it takes a long time. Also, there is more money in visualisation skills in archviz than in modeling.

So, that's why I'd like to speak about 3D modelling as a hobby. I …. started as a good 3D modeller. Everything here was made in 3Ds max. Not zbrush. I've had a few unsuccessful attempts with zbrush. And just one link of a chain ended up being 3D printed.

It took me just about a year in the University of Athens in the interior design department to discover my passion: 3d modeling, 3d programs and of course archviz.

I was consumed by it and, shortly after, I was already teaching 3dsmax, both as a private tutor and to groups of students in a tech college.

But that wasn’t enough 3d for me so I started organising weekly meetups with my colleagues, friends and students, also welcoming anyone interested in 3d or sharing knowledge and information about the industry. These meetups became a big success, and a facebook group with the name 3Dreamer enlisted more than a thousand members (only greeks at the time).

So, the active participants & speakers at my meetups numbered close to 100 people in a few years, and one meetup had over 40 people.

That's why I was bowled over to discover something similar in London four years ago. I felt I had found a new 3D family.

So, just when everyone was getting tired of 3D models, I was introduced to jewellery production, 3D printing and metal casting. In 2009 3D printing was my everyday life. I was a lead 3D modeler in a jewellery workshop in Athens.

Surprisingly, 3D printing in that part of the city in the jewellery industry was already the standard way of making stuff. And even the most old-school jewellery makers were printing nearly every day.

But what they didn't have was Me. The young super-star 3D modeler who could take on any challenge in producing 3D models. At one point I was making models for dozens of workshops in the city.

Back then, at the regular trade show I saw four stands with jewellery made from my models.

So, the whole concept of 3D modelling then became a business.

It became a real business when I first made a replica of a choker from the TV show Spartacus "Blood and Sand". If you are a fan, you’ll know the names Crixus and Gannicus.

One day, a son of a russian ambassador in Athens came to our workshop. He’d searched every jewelry shop in the center of the city for someone to make such a custom order and luckily someone suggested, he should visit our workshop, cause we could absolutely make custom orders.

He showed me the REF with a snapshot from the movie. We said "yes, we can do it, and we would make it better than the photo". And we did - we produced this. Here is the one from the movie and here’s the one we made from my model.

Two months later we launched a store on etsy.com and we were almost the first store producing proper quality pieces inspired by movies and TV shows, sometimes pc games as well.

Crixus stayed our bestseller for years. We met many online customers and were excited to hear their stories related to this piece from Spartacus.

But the best-loved pieces were the "Game of Thrones" pieces.

I know these days, after that final season, it's a shame (shame, shame) to talk about it, but back then I spent some very happy days and nights making these 3D models.

The first was the direwolf. I spent 4 months finishing it as it was a personal project at the beginning.

If anyone feels inspired, and decides to STAY home and make their own jewelry tonight. You should consider that the knowledge of how to finish the 3D model is just the beginning.

You need to know how to optimize the volume of the 3d object, to keep the weight of the final piece as low as possible. You also need to know how to split the model to make the assembly of the pieces possible for the jeweler.

After the Direwolf I made models and we produced the Hound, Dragon, Tyrrells and I still have the Lannisters just as a model, just as a concept, cause what you see here is a render and the whole model is not prepared for 3D printing, not optimized, not even split into parts.

By the way, the Hound ring, was my own inspiration because there is no house of Clegane in the TV show and they don't actually have a sigil. I'm talking about this one, because Hafþór Björnsson is wearing one.

If you don't know or remember he was the Mountain - the brother of the Hound and the guardian of the queen. Also it is the biggest ring we've ever made. Most ring sizes stop at 14. Mr Bjornson ordered a size 16,5…. Our jeweler struggled with engraving it for days because it couldn't be adjusted for any standard laser engraving machine.

This concept -LANNISTERS- shows the whole set...Ring, pendant, cufflinks, bracelet. That was a big achievement for me as a concept artist, realising that I had to think about a range of pieces with the same design from the start.

Unfortunately, we don't have time for a few more stories...

In the last few years we have produced unique designs and bespoke orders from:

The witcher is the latest stuff we've done. And also Breaking Bad, one of my wife’s top TV shows. Now the business is hers.

Here you can see photos from ComicCon last year.

We made these models in the summer and I'm talking about those with real love because they are the only 3D models where I was both concept artist and production manager - not the 3D modeler. I helped my wife find a modeler so she gave me a promotion!

I believe everyone here has the potential to produce whatever they want, just as I did on my own.

We are all 3D dreamers. But, coming together online or in the pub, we can achieve much more.

So, please join the group. We started it to support people in 3Ds whatever their level. And unlike other groups, it’s not just about posting beautiful images but also improving your skills by asking "stupid" questions. We love stupid questions!

By the way, the official language for that group since last year has been English! And the name now is Realated Visual.

Thanks a lot!

#stayhome #washyourhands


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