Throne room RMIT 2010 (OLD WORK)

Making Of / 23 February 2024

As I delve into the archives of my computer, I stumbled upon a piece of artwork from my university days in 2010 that I had shared on my old website. This particular creation holds sentimental value as one of my earliest ventures into 3D art using Maya during my time at RMIT.

Back then, my grasp on modeling was in its infancy, and my understanding of Mental Ray was rudimentary at best. The rendering process was quite a challenge, with each frame taking a staggering 50 minutes due to the inclusion of intricate god rays, glows, and refractions involving crystals.

To meet the deadline for a 20-second animation and lacking batch rendering skills or techniques at RMIT, I resorted to an unconventional approach. Over the course of two days, I loaded my files onto 17 class MAC computers, distributing the rendering workload across multiple machines. This required me to stay overnight at the university, catching some sleep while the images rendered.

The effort paid off, and I received a commendable grade of 86 for Imaging and Animation. Interestingly, the piece became a reference for future learners, as my teacher used it to exemplify what could be achieved. Although it's too antiquated to feature in my current portfolio, I felt compelled to share this piece with you all.

Portable Console WIP

General / 20 February 2024

Did some basic renders of a work in progress Handheld. I will upload this piece soon. 

Plasticity Sketches 01

General / 26 December 2023

Currently I am learning some Plasticity, a CAD designed from the ground up to be more friendly for artists. I have only done a few exercises following

He seems he has been using Plasticity for a few months already and has a lot to teach. I am not entirely sure on his teaching techniques as he rambles a lot and lacks structure, however it is currently the only You Tuber that has content to show, if anyone has anything to share on Plasticity in terms of tutorials, let me know! He also has a  a tutorial site at with Ultimate 3D.

I hope with time that I can focus on hard surface modelling with a combination of Blender, Plasticity, 3D Coat with a focus at doing props for some time.  

Because none of this it portfolio focused I shall update it in the Blog or Instagram for now. 

Ncloth experiments, Plus Marvelous Designer Bags

Work In Progress / 12 December 2023

Hello everyone! I wanted to start using more often the DEV Blog on Artstation to show updates of what I have been doing lately. 

Things that I have been learning lately:

I have been doing some cloth simulation with Maya. And I cam up with some interesting results. However I decided after experimenting with Zbrush as well, to go with Marvellous Designer. 

One of the first so so successfull tests that I did with NCloth
Not entirely sure what happened here, but it was fun!
Followed tips to make a cushion. 
Did some experimentation. 

However these was all R&D tests, and after lots and lots of tests, I decided to use alternative and faster means after a lot of iterations on the bags. 
These are of course all work in progress and we were trying to get the Look. In the end I got a much better result using Marvellous. This was an interesting test because I was aiming for reality while still having perfect look that was close enough. 

The following images were rendering in Marmoset Toolbag. It was much faster and it gives great results. I also did the textures in Substance Designer. I have used it before but, not do this level. 

However unfortunately the client wanted a "perfect" look that took away all the detail leaving something more bland. These will not be the bags that I will decide to use in the end in my portfolio because they look way too sterile and boring. I will however remove their logo and make up another brand to showcase it. 

Other than this, I have also been learning Blender, Substance Designer, Plasticity, Fluid effects. It has been a really productive few weeks. 

Career Journey Reflection 2022-2023 - Rebranding to

Article / 07 July 2023

I have a unique and diverse work history that has spanned nearly a decade in the industry since my graduation on 12/12/2012. Even before diving into 3D work, I explored various creative avenues such as concept art, digital painting, graphic design, and web design. From a young age, I was captivated by software like Photoshop and Flash, which fueled my passion for learning. Looking back, it's interesting to see how my journey started at the age of 12 with an eagerness to experiment and delve into these programs.

In 2010, I embarked on a computer graphics course alongside a talented group of 60 students. Although the curriculum included some questionable theory-based classes like "imaging" or "media cultures," which I personally found unnecessary, the experience proved valuable overall. Thankfully, I had exceptional teachers like Chad, Connor, and Darren who provided guidance and insight into various software tools, industry standards, and employment prospects.

However, upon graduating, I sensed a feeling of incompleteness. While I received a diploma that declared me a Digital Artist (or rather, Graphic Designer due to a course change midway), I believed there was still so much more to learn. Skills like baking high to low poly models and utilizing programs like Substance Painter were emerging, leaving my portfolio feeling inadequate. I also lacked the necessary expertise in areas such as animation, pre-production techniques, and portfolio presentation, leaving me uncertain about my next steps in the professional world.

Some great friendly faces in our last year of RMIT in the year 2012 

Fortunately, I never lost my determination. Before fully embracing freelancing, I spent 15 years working in the hospitality industry. My parents owned four restaurants at one point, and although my father had a manipulative streak, which led to me working countless nights for his businesses without pay (aside from some pocket money and perks), I eventually found employment with him in Coffs Harbour, Australia. It wasn't until I saved up enough to venture out on my own, paving my own path in a city of my choosing, that I began pursuing my dreams. It took three years to enroll in a degree program after freeing myself from his grasp. Upon completing my degree, I realized that the last thing I wanted was to continue working in hospitality, which, ironically, was where I ended up after graduation. It took another three years of juggling part-time hospitality work until I secured a full-time job.

During the period from 2013 to 2016, I did work part-time, and it was thanks to the assistance of my friend Nick, whom I met at university, that I found the right path towards acquiring the necessary skills for job opportunities. In his small apartment, we sat down together as he loaded 3Ds Max, guiding me towards using the software effectively. With genuine kindness, he advised me that with my current skill set, he couldn't recommend me for the position he held at the time. It became clear that I needed to master an entirely new 3D modeling kit, namely 3Ds Max and Topogun. A month later, in 2013, I traveled to Spain where I spent two months immersing myself in learning 3Ds Max and Topogun, armed with a borrowed, oversized laptop from a friend while visiting my family.

Doing 3D shoes felt like doing space ships. The detail was just so abstract and was pretty surreal.

Fortunately, upon my return, I had amassed enough evidence of my skills and knowledge to secure my first freelancing gig at ZO, where I focused on shoe retopology. It was a moment of immense joy as I finally broke into the industry. Admittedly, the job wasn't ideal. The computers were slow, operating on outdated software like Max 2010, and the deadlines were tight. In fact, the pressure was so intense that it fueled my impostor syndrome, leaving me plagued by self-doubt and fears of being too slow.

Throughout my years of freelancing, I encountered various challenges. I worked on mediocre shoe projects, endured demanding clients who expected lightning-fast results for minimal pay, and received emails filled with criticism. It became clear that there were knowledge gaps I needed to address and insecurities I had to overcome. Despite these hurdles, between 2016 and 2019, I had the opportunity to contribute to intriguing projects, including ventures into VR and AR for a diverse range of clients, as well as engaging urban landscaping endeavors.

In 2019, following my first freelancing job in Sydney, I faced one of my most challenging experiences. I found myself in a small team consisting of only one artist (myself) and one programmer, working on a project with an incredibly short deadline. The task was to create 13 simple VR environments optimized for the Quest within six weeks. I had a plan and a clear scope, fully confident in my abilities. Unfortunately, the project manager had unrealistic expectations and continuously introduced changes. Despite my pleas to wrap up the project before the deadline, she insisted on adding alterations until everything was completed. This toxic environment left me feeling bitter and depressed for months, making me question my career choice. I took on a few more freelancing jobs in Sydney until the COVID-19 pandemic struck, causing all work opportunities to dry up.

During the downtime while searching for new work, I devoted time to further self-training. It was during this period that I decided to pursue stable employment and seek a full-time job for security. That's when AIE advertised a teaching role as a trainer, which a friend recommended to me. Intrigued by the prospect of becoming a good teacher and sharing my knowledge, I applied for the position. Thankfully, after my second attempt, I landed the job in April 2020.

And boy, was I mistaken! Teaching turned out to be an incredibly challenging job, and it opened my eyes to the vast amount of knowledge I had yet to acquire in my skill set.

The list of subjects I had to learn and prepare myself to teach seemed endless. From character sculpting and anatomy using Zbrush to rigging with bones, skinning, controllers, and IK, from character retopology with proper topology flow to animation principles and character animation, and even rendering for film using Renderman and compositing in Nuke. It was a whole new array of skills to master. At first, it felt like I was going back to university while simultaneously teaching and providing valuable feedback and assessments. I struggled in the beginning and often questioned whether I was cut out for the task. However, I persevered and pushed myself to do my best, putting in extra hours of overtime to compensate for any knowledge gaps I had.

After three years in this role, I have grown into a confident and passionate teacher who truly loves their job. The work my students have produced during my time here speaks volumes about their progress. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Lyle, Dan, and Yoav, who have also provided invaluable support over the past two years. These portfolio pieces showcase the work created under my guidance in my classes, as I teach many subjects at AIE. Initially, I had a lot to learn as an educator, refining my sense of hierarchy and structure, and learning to pace myself to ensure effective teaching.

Not only have I become proficient in these skills and in teaching, but I also witness the incredible growth of my students as they excel in their projects. Many of these pieces are their first-ever works since joining the program in their first year. I take immense pride in being their mentor, teacher, and project manager throughout these assessments.

Now, after three years at AIE Sydney, I am ready to dedicate time to showcase my own skills by creating new portfolio pieces. I admit that I have been rather silent on the portfolio front, both on ArtStation and my blog. However, I'm excited to announce a forthcoming change. I will eventually transition from hosting at to the new brand,, with a rebranding effort. I aim to focus less on web development using Wordpress and instead utilize ArtStation, which provides everything I need for a portfolio and blog site. The rebranding will emphasize simplicity while clearly representing XYZ RGB 3D, while remaining friendly to Vector 2D art. Additionally, I intend to establish a brand bible to maintain consistent standards in showcasing my work.

Time for a rebrand. Something super simple. Surely people will remember this url, right?

Paco 3D.Art may be simple and straightforward, but it's a name that's easy to remember and establish as a brand.

Currently, my main focus is on creating characters with proper anatomy, preferably in a stylized manner. Despite feeling more grounded in my overall skill set, I want to explore this avenue further. I have been self-teaching anatomy, and now I'm eager to dive into the realm of stylized texturing using tools.

It has been an incredible journey thus far, and I am truly content with the progress I have made. Although it took time to reach this point, I am grateful for the path I have traveled. I hope to continue on this trajectory and reach new exciting heights in my career. It feels like I have transitioned from Paco the grey to Paco the white, ready to showcase my magic to the world.

Since leaving my role as a trainer at AIE and relocating to Spain to be closer to my family, I have encountered some unexpected challenges in taking a break from teaching and adjusting to a different lifestyle. However, I came here with the hope of finding a moment of rest and inspiration to fully immerse myself in my artwork and studies. Although there have been a few bumps along the way, I am determined to overcome them and establish a system that allows me to focus primarily on art, with a strong emphasis on anatomy and character studies.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this lengthy update, and I look forward to keeping you more informed about my artistic endeavors in the future.

To address this challenge, I have created a dedicated Instagram profile focused on showcasing my work in progress and daily artistic endeavors. The main goal is to share something artistic every day, regardless of its level of completion. This platform serves as a reminder that as long as I engage in art every day, I am making progress and moving forward. The intention is not to showcase "wow factor" artwork, but rather to capture the evolving state of my creative journey. For displaying finished pieces, I will primarily utilize ArtStation.

paco3dart instagram

Did some Blender, next: V-Ray

General / 15 April 2020

I completed the tutorial: 

I must say that it was one of the most in-depth courses that I have followed. Very detailed. Very beginner-friendly. I have learned a lot about Blender 2.8 thanks to it. 

So to follow up on the previous post: What to learn next? (or upskill) I haven't considered something slightly more important that I might need more to show in my work.


That is right, showing my work in the best possible form at the highest quality and fidelity. 

So I believe that it is important that I learn V-Ray above all the other segments.

The tutorial Blender was incredible, and I got a couple more ideas and tutorials that I like to follow.

Here are gif and a video link to show the outcome. There is no Audio and it is a bit "WIP" But I do not want to put more work on it as it is not a portfolio piece, but a learning piece.


But back to "presentation", I discovered a new Upskill path that I would like to nail and get comfortable with. 

While I was doing the blender tutorial. I discovered how much I enjoyed the whole process from beginning to end. I was doing some animations, and then some rendering. And then I realized what I was lacking in Urban Circus. Confidence in rendering and setting Lighting/Materials for V-ray. 

I have also been finding a lot of jobs (in Arch-Viz of course) that V-Ray is a must.

So after a little bit of digging, I found this tutorial: 

 And damn, it looks fascinating. I'll have a good look to see if it is the match for me. It is a deep 18 hour tutorial on going deep with V-ray.

If this goes well I might then after the tutorial I'll prepare some Arch Viz examples to then practice what I have learned here. This of course will make WIP's look a lot more refined and final work that I do.

I still have the other upskilling paths in mind, but this one might be able to help me, even more, to find good work out there. And then I can choose between 3ds Max or Blender to create projects. I think that for any game-related environment projects it might make more sense to start in Blender. However, for anything architectural pieces I might remain in 3ds max due to v-ray.

After this, we'll see! I still have Speedtree, Gaea and Substance Designer in mind. I think that there has never been a more exciting time to be a digital artist. But also there has never been such a crazy amount of talent out there. Holy shit you guys. Competition is getting really, really real. But it is all a lovely marathon that we are all running together in this: I will not give up until I am satisfied. Even if it means ever.

Time to Upskill, But what?

General / 06 April 2020

So now that everyone is experiencing the COVID-19 epidemic, and everyone has to stay indoors all day long: Everyone has an amazing opportunity to upskill. And I took a good opportunity to learn Blender so It can become gradually the main modeling tool to be used.

Now I have fully taken comfort at knowing what is most of the Modelling Tools in Blender, how to set up Materials. Learned a fuck-load of shortcuts. I think I now know more shortcuts in Blender than Max due to its nature to so shortcut responsive. Next in the tutorial that I am following I'll learn how to set up Particles and Lighting. 

After I get really comfortable in Blender, Ideally to a level that I can be Mid going towards being an expert. I need to consider where I take my self as an artist to focus.

Looking for work has been incredibly hard due to the massive amount of competition out there (you guys are so freaking amazing!). And now it is becoming a trend that unless you are amazing at doing one thing (Prop/Environment artist), you need a second set of skills that comes along with what you can do as a role as an artist with many hats.

Some models I have been doing in Blender following a tutorial

I have been applying to so many jobs out there that either ask that you can do: animations, characters, or provide examples of making full fleshed out Environments. And I can't do either of that. I have done some basic characters and I have done some simple animations. But it is not enough. So when I finish learning Blender as I become a Mid from a beginner. I have thought of the following options. But I would love of course in time to be able to do all of them just well enough to be able to do it if it comes to it. 

So the options are:

  1. Be fucking good at making environments and this composes of: 
    • Learn Speed Tree. Making procedural trees is just a must.
    • Learn Gaea. It is a recent terrain editor that just looks insane.
    • Master Substance Designer. By Master is, be able to create procedural textures of any type of form by following any real-life example and re-create it within Designer. Maybe follow 5 different examples and recreate it.
  2. Be insanely fantastic at just making props of all kinds and levels
    • Learn Hard and Soft surface skills
    • Make tonnes of hard surface objects
    • Be a master at Substance Painter
    • Learn to be decent in Mari

  3. Be decent at making Characters (Modelling):
    • Learn Anatomy. I can follow something like Proko and be a gun.
    • Master Zbrush. I am pretty comfortable with Zbrush and I love it. But if I am going to get super good at it. I might need to breathe in Zbrush to have an edge. And while at it after I learn Proko well do an anatomy studies in Zbrush.
    • Get comfortable with Marvellous. I mean, be able to know to do some common patterns and think as a fashion designer when I create clothes and costumes.
    • Do a bunch of Characters (I can definitely do that in a project where there's is a number of characters that has to be done)
    • Learn how topology should flow in characters, especially in the face, Ear, and then down the body with rigging in mind.

  4. Be a comfortable Animator and Rigger. By comfortable, it means just good enough to do basic indy projects. But also be able to grow and do better if I get in bigger projects as a sole Animator or Rigger.
    • Follow a number of tutorials that fully focus on being able to animate
    • Learn to create Character controllers in Unity.
    • Be able to learn how to rig both humanoid and animals
    • Do a basic collection of types of animations to know (walk cycle, run cycle, shoot, dodge, etc)

So you can see why I had to do this list. A magic wishful list of things that I would fucking love to do. However, there is no way I can learn all of these things, right away, overnight. But I think it is very important to pick your battles and eventually be able to reach where you want to be. In the last few years, I have been trying to do all of these things here and there, but never good enough to be amazing at it or to show that I can do it. 

I am mostly terrified at being a good rigger/animator, followed by being great at anatomy. 

But after following this impossible list closely I think the smartest order to pick follows: Number 1, 2, 3 and then 4.

So to rephrase, be fucking good at Environments, Then make some amazing examples of Hard Surface Modelling with Mari. Followed closely with making some characters. And then do rigs and animations for them. 

But I think this whole list and following it, it is a fantasy. But it is not a fantasy by starting to focus on just one of it at a time. And sticking to it until it is finished. That is the point of this blog post. To break it down at one thing at a time. 

I do have intention in creating up Blog Posts on how I make a forest environment. I still haven't picked what Biome or Area to do. It has to be easy and simple so I do not find it overwhelming, but at the same time, It would be good to have a good list of Plants/Flowers/Bushes and Photographs so I can follow it as closely as I can. 

This assignment would be focused primarily that I can make a realistic environment. I will focus on making it pre-rendered first and then finding methods on optimizing it for a game environment. 

If you have read this, perhaps it is time for you to consider: What is your Career Skill Road? Do you want to refine some fundamentals? or do you want to stir in a different direction? add an accent? Focus on creating some Portfolios? Now it is such a fascinating time to Just do that. Make a plan and press the start button!

Digging the Past: Jabberwocky Tower. Update #1

Work In Progress / 26 November 2019

So now that I got a small gap, I finally took courage to Dig a really old portfolio piece that I started some time ago. I was very ambitious with this project, but I wanted to make something that felt that the entirety of it felt hand-made. At the end of work and just laziness I never got to finish it.

I would like to however give another shot at this work of progress Piece and see if I can finish it for once an all so I can clear my space to make a new piece.

I'll see if I can show progress Next by Introducing some windows for the Tower, Some Preview Rocks, And a tree.

I added a ground with the aid of Quixel's Megascans but I did not just "slap it in" I did Load the tool in Zbrush. Smoothed and Stylized some of the details as it is a very Stylized Piece. Did some color corrections to replicate to the colors of the Illustration. 

Bottom Door Piece. I haven't shown this to anyone yet but I worked on this a few months ago alongside this other version of the Upper Door.

I am honestly pretty new with Unreal. So after I do the remaining pieces I may learn deeply how to create materials for Terrains and how to introduce foliage with brushes. I hope I can show you the next update soon.

I understand that the piece has its problems but I will make amendments after the entirety of the pieces is in place. And currently, I am not really looking for feedback until it is complete and then I desire to make further changes.

Problems that I am aware:

  • Bricks have an odd "ring" AO on them ( have just edited the pieces that have this linework to make it substantially less dark )
  • Pieces have unique textures but they could benefit from simply having a repeating texture and using vertex color to make color differences.
  • "its too much rock" Let the Eye rest
  • Post-processing effect is "too pink" 

Concept art  by Graeme Base

Bakery Testing

General / 07 November 2019

Been Experimenting with doing a very basic and common Lighting Exercise. This is however real-time and the lighting is baked on to the mesh. I have used a really neat and recommended plugin for Unity. (Bakery)

I would like to at least make another 2 or 3 lighting (and basic) Scenarios and play with lighting a little bit. Any suggestions are welcome as long as they are plain and focus on Lighting.

Most of the time was used to get the lighting look correct... Looking forward to keeping experimenting.

Conversion to Artstation

General / 24 October 2019

Although I must confess that I am really happy with my website and I have put a lot of time and dedication to it, it is becoming to a realization that perhaps the time it takes for maintenance and also the performance issues is perhaps, best, to realize that it is ok to move across.

It will take some time as I am still working as a freelancer. And I will move the job's that I have done across eventually one by one.

I always considered Artstation too cool to be part of it, as the works seen on here is always so spectacular. But It is ok to finally jump the wagon.

My Blog is more of a Work-In-Progress kind of Blog and I think that is ok! I'll show you a screen-shot of what AI mean.

I have been really busy doing freelancing in a lot of areas that I can't share work but I am getting really itchy to do some amazing things.

Currently, I am doing an Augmented Reality Map for tourism in Victoria (Australia) and I am pretty excited to get it finished to I can show you better Progress.