We’re kicking off the Toonit Interview Series by introducing you to our very own 3D modeler, Kane! Read his story and career trajectory towards 3D modeling, work process, and a sneak peak towards the upcoming theme, Magic and Broom. As a 3D modeler, Kane is responsible for creating the assets that YOU use in your webcomics.
Through our interview series, you’ll be able to hear the stories of various creators, how they manifested their imagination into webcomics, and overall Toonit experience.
Check out our interview with Kane below!
Tell us about yourself! What is your role at Toonit and what do you do?
Hi everyone! I’m Kane, a senior modeler at Toonit. I joined the company back in August 2021 and was able to see the team grow from five to eleven members. As a modeler, I’m responsible for producing the 3D assets that you’re using for your webcomics. That includes examining the process of our work from start to finish, thoroughly checking all technical aspects, and ensuring you can use the assets properly.
How did you first get started in 3D modeling?
During my undergraduate class in college, the curriculum consisted of an introduction to CINEMA 4D, modeling, animation, and rendering. I’ve taken classes before that focused on 2D specialized tools and images, but it felt like a new world when I encountered 3D for the first time. That’s where my journey with 3D began and at first, I was focused on creating simple objects. Over time, I continued to push my limits by applying the tools I learned in class. I further expanded my field of view by researching additional tools and 3D-related occupations. As time passed, my interest only continued to grow and I naturally followed the path of being a modeler and here I am! The 3D field is continuously developing and I hope to become a modeler who can impact the company and users, even during challenging times.
What are the previous assets you created for the Seoul Vibe?
To start, Seoul is the capital city of South Korea and the center of politics, economy, and culture. Especially with the K-pop craze, many people around the world have garnered interest in the city. Toonit’s office is located in Seoul, so we naturally thought of having it as our first theme. We took advantage of Seoul’s unique characteristics, culture, and wanted to provide an indirect experience to users who are creating their webcomics in Toonit.
We’ve created assets that represent the capital such as parks, metro systems, and well-known districts such as Gangnam and Hongdae. After much feedback from users, we even created a performance stage. We want to thank all users for taking their time to make good use of the Seoul theme and creating webcomics from it.
Can you present the next theme, Magic & Broom, for us?
If the Seoul theme has proven its realism, the Magic & Broom theme is our first fictional, fantasy theme. We wanted a theme that would be in contrast to Seoul so we decided to create a magical world where users can still express their stories and imaginations freely. By researching other backgrounds and scenes, we wanted to emphasize a similar concept to Harry Potter hence the name of the new theme, Magic & Broom. We hope you’re all having a fun experience with the new theme!
The 3D assets you created for Magic & Broom are extremely detailed and impressive! What were some challenges working on these?
There were minor difficulties, but we’re always able to solve any problems and proceed with continuing to make 3D assets. Luckily the concept of the theme is clear, but there were concerns we had for users. For example, should we create a background similar to ones shown in Harry Potter or should it be differentiated and re-made in the Toonit way.
Although there are cases where a movie is made based on a novel or original webcomic, it may be difficult to do it vice-versa. We decided to follow the direction of re-making it to the Toonit way to add our unique identity and color.
Do you have a 3D asset that you enjoyed working on the most?
Each scene differ in composition and have its own identity, so it felt like I was creating something new every time I worked. For example, I don’t like spiders but when creating the forest scene, I had to research spiders to use for reference. Through this, I was able to better understand the habits of these arachnids and their natural habitat.
When I was creating the Seoul theme and having to make the school scene, I used my alma mater as a reference. It’s not exactly the same but the structure is very similar. When you think of your school experience, there’s always interesting stories that come out one after another so I look forward to the endless webcomics that can be created from it.
What elements did you keep in mind when creating your 3D assets for Toonit users?
In order to produce high-quality assets that are optimized for the web engine and requested by users, the modeling team is always paying attention to customizing yet communicating what’s missing. If we’re going in the wrong direction, there may be setbacks because the finished asset can come out differently from originally planned.
So I think it is important to plan as much as possible to minimize the chances of going in the wrong direction. We are trying to fill in any gaps and constantly researching, supplementing new assets requested by users — while always keeping optimizations in mind.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share to 3D asset creators who would like to upload their own assets?
Here are tips for asset creators who are interested in uploading their own assets:
1. We recommend you use only one base color map for the texture. You use Emissive/Normal/Alpha if necessary.
2. Depending on the size of the number of materials and maps, the draw call can cause a computer overload so we recommend you avoid minimizing it as much as possible.
3. To show the texture details, it is recommended to set the size to 1024x1024, default to 512x512, and 128x128 if the same pattern is repeated.
4. UV is a small size map that can be spread out to fill the space as much as possible, to the extent where the pixel breaks. FPS is affected by the number of points, lines, and faces. If you create a complex shape with a minimum number of faces, you can create an optimized object.
5. We recommend that you use the minimum amount of map, mesh, and material to make the most optimal asset. The gizmo varies depending on the situation, but in general it is better to set it in the center of the bottom surface of the object.
6. To upload a 3D asset to the Toonit Architect, it must be in GLB format. The GLB export function is compatible with 3D software programs such as Blender, Cinema 4D, Marmoset.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share to users when using the new theme?
When using the new theme, I recommend taking a detailed tour of all the scenes offered. It will be a more interesting and valuable use of your time because you can have a preview and plan the necessary composition, technique, and arrangement before making your webcomic. While you’re making a brief storyboard, even more creative and groundbreaking ideas can come to
mind! If you are facing any problems, we ask that you email or message us in our Discord server.