Women on Sketchfab: Shannon Lau

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Hello everyone! My name is Shannon Lau, a Senior 3D Artist working in an outsource company creating 3D assets based in Singapore. I enjoy traveling and playing PC games like Valorant and It Takes Two!

My interest in art began at a young age as my dad is also a creative hobbyist. A vivid memory I had together with him was creating a dolphin figure from a bar of soap for a school project. When it came time to pick what I wanted to study in college, it was no doubt Art, but what? Which genre? I ended up pursuing a multimedia course that gave me an introduction to 2D and 3D.

My years of experience working in the art industry have had their challenges. My internship days were spent creating motion graphics for TV commercials. I quickly learned that motion graphics is not for me and my drawings aren’t the best, which led me to learn ZBrush on my own. From there onwards, I focused on learning 3D and got a job as a 3D artist. I was creating realistic 3D models and textures for props and characters for several years and I thought to myself, ‘Why not try out stylized art during my free time?’. It was something unfamiliar to me but I wanted to give it a go. As an avid Dota 2 player then, I took advantage of Steam’s Dota 2 Workshop as my learning ground. When I got the hang of it, I was fortunate enough to see some of my creations get accepted for in-game use. That boosted my confidence to continue creating more stylized art!

My work

Underwater Diorama was my very first diorama piece. I was an advanced open water diver back then, and thought it would be a fun challenge to create an underwater scene. Seeing how beautiful and colorful the corals were during my dive (but definitely not the sharks, haha!) gave me inspiration. I was still new to stylized hand-painted art and didn’t want to burn myself out creating an entire scene, so I chose to focus on a smaller scale. Still struggling to find my own style here!

Once in a while, I still put my skills to the test and go back to creating realistic 3D props. No harm in honing more than one artistic skill set! For this piece, I challenged myself to abide by a low poly budget, small texture size, and include realistic details of a used revolver.


Concept art by a good friend of mine, Debbie Yeo.

Creating dioramas is always enjoyable to me and I loveee putting a “slice of life” into the scene. To date, Sushi Bear has been one of the most time-consuming personal pieces I have ever done. Balancing full time work and a personal life, this took me about 3 years (on and off) to complete, believe it or not! The amount of props in this scene still haunts me, lol. I was not entirely sure how to plan this piece the ‘smart’ way with the use of trimsheets. So I modeled, sculpted and textured most of the props and learned it the hard way, but I’m glad I pushed through! This experience has taught me to put more thought into the early stages of planning and also to simplify my workflow.

Softwares that I mainly use for all the projects above are: Maya for modeling, ZBrush for sculpting, PS and Substance Painter for textures.

Experience on Sketchfab

I’ve been a member of Sketchfab since 2013 and I’m still using Sketchfab to showcase my personal works in 2022. It’s a wonderful platform for artists to display 3D models and explore other artists’ work. The “model inspector” is a great feature that gives insights on how other artists creatively model and texture their 3D assets. Sketchfab’s staff members are very supportive and friendly people too.  Many great artworks here gave me inspiration and I can’t wait to create my next piece and display it on Sketchfab! 🙂

Many thanks to Abby, Mieke and Jasmin for inviting me to be a part of the Women on Sketchfab series!

Thank you for reading! You can also follow me on ArtStation

About the author

Shannon Lau

Senior 3D Artist based in Singapore. Specialized in 3D props and characters for games and cinematics.

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