Sun from Teletubbies | Face: Nicholas Cage | Edits by @l_draculius
Remember when I mentioned in this post that businesses would commemorate in loco if they got a 10% increase in a certain metric? Well, an artist recently received not a 10%, 50%, or even a 100% increase. She accrued over a 1000% increase in followers with a single raffle. That's absurdly good, which I had to write about, since I enjoy some math and analysis. So that's what I will be doing...
Before I say anything about the raffle, how about we ask the artist, Julia, about the raffle and her life as an artist? I asked her to do a short interview with me and she was kind enough to sit down and answer a few of my questions.
A Little Interview - Julia WinterPaw
How long have you been doing 3D art? And why did you choose that medium for art?
I’ve been doing 3D art seriously for about three to four years but working on characters for the last two years. I knew back in high school that I wanted to work as an artist for video games, or VFX, so there wasn’t much deliberation about it. I was really just deciding if I wanted to continue with 2D art or learn 3D; which is what I eventually went with.
What’s the main differences between making 3D models for animation and VR Chat?
The whole first half of the process is the same between the two -- I sculpt the character, retopologize it to create a usable mesh, create the UVs, then paint the textures on the model. They diverge after that when I reach the rigging stage, which is when I create a skeleton within the model that tells the character how to move. This is the part of the process that I am the least proficient at, as I only recently learned it in order to work on avatars. A good rig for animation requires much more detail and care than a basic VRChat rig so that it is easy for the animator to work with. VRChat rigs can actually be very simple and are much easier to learn how to make.
After this stage, an animation model is pretty much finished but a VRChat model still requires setup within Unity so that it can be uploaded into the game. This involves setting up materials, creating face gestures, and making sure all of VRChat’s pre-made animations are working nicely, among other things. With the recent update to VRChat they have given us many more options that allow for much more advanced features, which I have only scratched the surface of.
What inspired you to do a video to advertise the raffle?
I was actually inspired to do a video for the raffle by another 3D artist. We had started our twitter accounts around the same time yet I was sitting around 400-500 followers while they already had 10,000! I asked them for advice on how they managed to grow their account so quickly and they told me that as an artist, the quickest way is always through raffles. I knew that for something like this to spread, my twitter post needed a very flashy, eye-catching graphic to ensure that people would stop scrolling and interact with my tweet. And so I actually put a lot of time into creating an attractive video that displayed my best work.
Did you expect the raffle to go so well? What was your reaction to see that many people taking part in it and then following you?
I really had no idea it was going to do so well. I was hoping that it would get me to maybe 1000-1500 followers and then I could go from there but for it to shoot up to 5000 in just a few days was really amazing! It was a little overwhelming at first to have that many followers. I’ll admit I actually was nervous before I made my first couple of tweets afterwards because so many more people were going to potentially see them. But now I think I’ve gotten used to it and I’m just excited for the raffle to end so we can see who won!
As you can see, she gave a couple of extremely important pieces of information. So, what we shall do is extract what brings attention from the tweet raffle itself and from the little interview.
The Power of Video
That's what gets your attention at first. A video. Twitter (when the tweet is not embedded) by default auto-plays the video with the sound disabled. Another characteristic of a video is that the twitter cropping algorithm does not work on it, because anything related to video is, really, really slow or complicated. But to save internet and disk space in their servers, Twitter compresses videos into [Redacted] oblivion and [Redacted] quality, then adds black borders if the video doesn't have the aspect ratio of 16:9. (Also, if cursing about compression is not present in this paragraph, Mariah removed it, which I can't blame her.)
The power of the Editor, and all my literary love~ -Mariah💙
So, why do videos gets your attention more than static images? Well, our brains are trained to pay attention to movement way more than static images because it's important for our survival as a species. Hello Darwin, how's it goin'?
It's instinct to pay attention and look for movement, like if a car is coming at you, than to keep your attention on things that aren't moving. In addition to that when we were all nomadic, we had to pay attention to predators jumping at us. Also, the first model in the video is of a cheetah, a carnivorous animal, in motion. Somewhere in your mind if you are not careful you might get hurt. Your eyes being drawn to a video of a cheetah model is not a coincidence.
The Emojis and Her icon
The icon and emojis color she chose are really good in catching attention because of the contrast they make either with white or black background. Who uses white background? I do! Anyway. Since the emojis and icon gets your attention, what will you do next? Read the text.
The majority of people that see the text will automatically read it unconsciously. So the information contained in the tweet will get sent to the reader, which is an important thing in marketing. It's all about sending a message.
A Raffle For A 3D Model
2D artists are more common than 3D artists because 3D models are very hard to make. But why is it so hard? Well, first, you need way more steps to make a 3D model than a 2D image. For example, you sometimes need to make two 3D models to be able to make a single 2D image to then apply on your original model to add more detail. It's complicated.
3D models, depending on the size of the company making them, tend to be made by over 5 people. One person does the model, one does the rigging, one does textures, one does the texture maps, one does animation, and so on and so forth. Then you have producers and directors that make sure everything is held together and fits into the overall project. They also help with communication to avoid the person doing the rigging killing the person doing the modelling because he messed up an edge loop.
There are also concept artists, voice actors, actors to do the animation, writers, and tons of other staff involved with every model. This team does everything in a week, more or less, with each person having a backlog of work on their own.  If you create a full 3D character by yourself for animation, then your doing everything by yourself. The work of 5 to 10 people is all on your shoulders. This helps to account for the price difference between 2D and 3D work. You can find some good 2D artists from 100 to 150 USD . Good 3D models are from 500 to 750 USD . About 1000% more expensive for a considerably higher workload.
If you pay attention, people are replying with images. Twitter loves images , also, there's some big artists participating in the raffle too. If somebody sees a well designed character in the replies, they just might check the profile of that artist as well.
To wrap up everything, it wasn't luck or coincidence that she got so many followers. She applied a very thought out strategy that worked, really, really, well. But, you will need luck to win the raffle, that you may join by clicking here. It's still going and you can still participate. Also, how about you join her discord server by clicking here?