Favelas: Behind the Render
In this special edition of “Behind the Render,” we’re joined by Joseph Sylvester, the artist responsible for all the 3D modeling in our latest asset kit: Favelas. Prior to joining KitBash3D as a Freelance 3D Modeler, Joseph was honing his skill sets and trying to gain experience wherever he could in order to enter the industry. To celebrate his exciting debut, we spoke with Joseph to shine a spotlight on his work and share some of his creative process! Read more below.
KitBash3D: Hello, Joseph! It’s a pleasure to have you with us! We’re excited to show off your work. As your first project in your first industry job, what was your initial thought when we asked you to model this new 3D asset kit?
Joseph: “Ope! This is gonna be interesting. Aight let's do it!” Hahaha! Yeah, I had never built anything like the Favelas in my time as an artist. The amount of props and details alone was daunting. However, I am more than happy with the results and am very appreciative of this opportunity.
KitBash3D: What inspired or influenced your design for the kit?
Joseph: To start, I had fantastic concept art to work with which established a clear vision of the end look. One aspect that I really needed to focus on was adding the small details and story-telling elements that made the models feel lived-in and create that feeling of grunge. Trust me, there was no shortage of references for the “junk” I could spread around the model.
Also, growing up, I was practically married to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and so creating something that was similar to the “Favela” map was really exciting to think about and accomplish.
KitBash3D: That’s a fun connection – and thanks to you, people will now be able to create Favela-inspired maps of their own! I wonder what your younger self would make of that. What was your favorite part of designing this kit?
Joseph: My favorite part about making the kit was the story-telling aspect. These cities have very few resources and income at their disposal, so a lot of items I might take for granted here in the U.S., they might have to “MacGyver” it. For example, I used an unusual combination of objects in an entryway to serve the same function as the stairs next-door to it, while also establishing a story for both living spaces.
KitBash3D: It’s a wonderful humanizing touch. Favelas are anything but cookie-cutter, so I’m sure artists will appreciate the attention to detail you brought to this kit. I also have to give you props (no pun intended) for the chaotic randomness you achieved. Everything feels so organic, like it was built (and decayed) over time, as it would in real life.
KitBash3D: Is there anything you learned from making this kit, or perhaps a lesson you tried to employ while making it?
Joseph: What *didn’t* I learn?! There were so many tips, tricks, tools, scripts, and programs that I absorbed and utilized. Most notably, I had to dip into Marvelous Designer for the first time to utilize its cloth simulations for the kit. I admit, I haven't even scratched the surface of the program, and I was in awe of how easy and beautiful it was to create fabric for my models.
KitBash3D: First time? Impressive! With the results you've achieved here, hopefully this can serve as motivation for those reading to pick up and experiment with new programs and methods, whether it be creating cloth simulations or learning how to use Unity. On a similar note, what drives you to keep creating?
Joseph: Seeing the fruits of my labor is very engaging. I love seeing what was either in my head, on paper, or on screen become 3D. Also, the reactions of those who see my work, creating those “ooo…” kind of moments, is an amazing feeling and just drives me to create more.
KitBash3D: We look forward to enjoying more of those “ooo” moments sparked from your upcoming work! Thanks again for joining us, Joseph. We’re so grateful to have you with us and we can’t wait to see how artists utilize your first contributions to our 3D model library!
About Joseph Sylvester
Joseph Sylvester is a full-time, freelance 3D Modeler at KitBash3D currently residing in the beautiful mountains of Big Bear, California. He attended higher education at Norco Community College and received an Associates Degree in “Game Art: Environments and Vehicles” in 2019. He was accepted to the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, but couldn’t pursue a degree due to financial cost, so he continued teaching himself and working on personal projects for the next few years to break into the industry – a goal he accomplished when joining KitBash3D in 2020. For more of his personal work, you can follow Joseph on ArtStation.