Roblox Creator Interviews: Getting Started with UGC (feat. PolarCub)

Hey creators!

Earlier this year we had the chance to interview @polarcub (also known as Dani). Dani is a UGC designer and content creator who specializes in vector, 3D, and digital art. With over 4 years of creation experience on Roblox and partnerships with brands like NARS, we wanted to hear about her experience getting started and learn about any tips and tricks she’s picked up along the way that could help newer creators get started.

You can watch the interview here! Or if you prefer to read, the written version is down below (that has some additional questions/answers that didn’t make it in the video!)

What got you into UGC in the first place?

“I had noticed that people I knew and worked with previously were getting into 3D modeling for the purpose of Roblox UGC, which I had no idea was a thing at the time. This was back in like 2019, which feels like forever ago by now. I was immediately interested since I’ve always wanted to learn how to 3D model- now I kind of just had a specific reason to start. I’m obsessed with cute fashion, and custom Roblox accessories was the DREAM, as I loved dressing up my avatar. I had friends willing to teach me the basics, so I was really fortunate and I was able to learn quickly.”

“I know that people meme on the whole “Blender Donut tutorial” thing, but I genuinely did start learning how to 3D model properly through that video series. I even made a donut purse as one of my first UGC uploads. I had an obsession with food items, I’m not sure why lol. That never really left either.”

“Twitter post of my very first UGC item I ever made (way back in 2019!)”

Are there any common pitfalls or mistakes? Got any funny stories starting out as a beginner?

“Something I figured out early on was actually making sure that my “mesh normals” were correct. More often than not I would import my finished item into Roblox only to find that my mesh looked inverted and weird, and I would panic thinking my model was ruined and that all my hard work had gone to waste LOL. I remember going to my friend who at that point was already in the program, and asking them what I did wrong. I sent them my model for them to look over it, only for them to send me this image-”

“My normals were inverted!”

“I then learned about what normals are, and how to correct and/or use them to my advantage. You can do cool tricks with inverted normals!”

(If you haven’t seen the video, Dani goes over what normals are, what it means when they’re inverted, and how to fix inverted normals in Blender. You can jump straight to that portion here)

Walk us through your creation flow: say you have an idea for creating something, what do you do? Where do you start?

“I always start with making a list or picture collage of ideas, and then I narrow it down to a couple to make a drawn design. It’s the easiest way for me to conceptualize what I’m imagining in my head (before I forget it). Once I get a concept I’m happy with, sometimes I’ll either create a drawn turnaround of the item to reference, or I’ll just wing it and use my ~imagination~ and hope for the best on how the shape turns out. Sometimes I have to really squish and stretch it to get it right, but it’s smooth sailing from there. I think UV unwrapping and texturing is my biggest struggle.”

Idea exploration, conceptualization

How do you continue to learn and grow? Do you have any resources or practices you’d recommend?

“Even now I’m constantly having to troubleshoot any errors I’ve made, and I think a big thing that helps is having a community of people around you who are also learning, and sharing things you’ve learned with each other too. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube that Roblox UGC creators have made already, or speed-modeling videos to showcase the production of items. Ideally, I think a really great way to learn is just by following what other people do and their processes. I learned how to make hair by watching another UGC creator model it live.”

“I also think there are efficient ways to model things accurately and quicker. I really enjoy using the mirror modifier on Blender. I’ll usually just split my mesh through the middle and delete one side. Then I’ll turn on the mirror modifier and check clipping. I use this function religiously! I think it’s important to learn the basics first. Like I had no idea what a vertex or anything was until like my second model, I just clicked around until I got something good. But there are so many free and available resources online now that anyone can easily learn!”

“These are some people and groups that I know work hard and make good items! Theres probably a ton tbh but I like these folks a lot and/or theyve helped me.”

“For actual tutorials-”

What do you find most fulfilling about designing clothes and accessories?

“I think the most fulfilling part of designing accessories is seeing the payoff when you spot people wearing what you made around Roblox. I’ve made new friends even this year, who I found out would just casually be wearing stuff I made like 3 years ago without knowing I made it. It’s really cool to see how far your work spreads and how people customize their looks with it.”

What would you say to someone who’s passionate about design, but hesitant to take the leap?

“The worst that can happen is that your stuff doesn’t look the best at first. You will never lose out from learning a new skill- especially one that is monetizable if you work hard enough. I genuinely believe anyone can do art, whether it’s 3D or 2D or other forms. The more persistent and open to learning you are, the faster you’ll improve. The old saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this is true for literally every skillset. If you are interested or passionate about a specific subject, 3D or not, I think you owe it to yourself to pursue it and try it at least once.”

Big thanks to @polarcub for taking the time to chat with us! You can connect with Dani through any of her links below:

Want to get started making UGC items?

We have lots of resources to help you get started making UGC items, formally called Avatar Items.

Avatar Items Home Page: This is a great place to start and grasp the technical pipeline and key terms associated with UGC item creation.

From there, you can branch out and dive deeper on whatever Avatar Item interests you the most:

50 Likes

This stream is so great! I wish you guys covered her experience with UGC moderation though, like her " PolarCub Bear Bundle" forced to need a modesty layer recently.

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Thanks again for having me, it was an incredible honor to be involved in this!! The video turned out great, and I hope to see more people interested in creating UGC and being involved in the community!

17 Likes

YOURE SO COOL @polarcub_art !!!

7 Likes

this is certified cool, do more of these pretty please

11 Likes

Amazing episode from DucksAreYellow and PolarCub. Such amazing sharing!

5 Likes

nice work, I want to get started too

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