Capsule Corp. Dragon Ball

Environment Breakdown

Alexander Kolesnikov


Alexander Kolesnikov

Art Manager


Hello to all of you! My name is Alexander Kolesnikov. I'm currently the Art Manager at Secret 6, and I also teach in the advanced master of weapons and vehicles at Voxelschool.

I specialize in Hard-Surface, and in my free time, I always try to find and research new workflows and tools.


The main inspiration has been wanting to make a Hard-Surface Vehicle/Prop and Environment.

After discarding several ideas because of nostalgia and good memories, I thought of taking the Dragon Ball ship and making it realistic in an abandoned environment while also creating an attractive storytelling element.



  • 3Ds Max
  • Zbrush
  • UV Rizom
  • Marmoset 4
  • Photoshop
  • Adobe Substance Painter
  • Unreal Engine 5


Using PureRef, I have compiled references and ideas that have come to my attention.

Looking for references, I had to make decisions:

Where did I want to place the ship?
Abandoned in the forest?
Crashed in the sand?
Buried under the snow?

I had to look for spaceships to get ideas on how I could transform the Dragon Ball spaceship into a realistic one.



  1. At the beginning of any 3D model, I do a Blockout to determine the dimensions of the asset. I always try to use a character for scale reference.
  2. Once I have the correct measurements, I start to detail the Blockout. In this phase, the most important thing is to work on the silhouette of the Asset. For this, the references we have collected will help us.
  3. It is important that we start modeling large pieces, then medium-sized ones, and finish with small ones.
  4. Once the Blockout is ready, I need to check that the model is functional. I rechecked my references so that I don’t miss any parts.

High Poly

The first thing we have to do is to analyze what technique we are going to use to make the high poly.
For this Asset, I have used a combination of different techniques to make the Highpoly.

In the beginning, I always start working with clean Subdivision to be able to apply the Chamfer modifier and TurboSmooth.


In the body, I had thought to make paneling to give more realism and interest to the body of the ship.

To make the paneling, I had thought to do it with Displacement in Zbrush.


To make the Displacement in Zbrush, the first thing to do is to make the UVs of the pieces in which we are going to apply the Displace.

It is important to make the UVs straight to make it easier to apply a pattern. To finish, we need to render the UVs and take the image to Photoshop.


In Photoshop, we have to place a displacement map over our UVs and export the map to us.


In Zbrush, we have to apply the displacement map.

This would be the result of the displacement.


The next step would be to add more details to the Highpoly, add Alphas, damage, micro-surface, weldings, etc…



For the Nanite, as it’s for a portfolio and not for a game, I didn’t want to complicate it too much, so I treated the ship as a Nanite, I made a Decimated in Zbrush.


Then we have to think about how many texture sets we are going to need.
In this case, being a big asset, we are going to need several texture sets, each color is going to be a group.


The Bakes were made by Substance Painter, using the decimated geometry to make a Bake on itself.


In textures, I always try to pay a lot of attention to the Roughness map, as it seems to be the most important one.
In this map, I always like to create contrasts. I don’t like to leave it too uniform.

I try to define well the micro-surface and add scratches, bumps on the edges, and dirt.

Many of the details are handmade to make custom details, such as these Leaks.



Bridge is a very good resource, bridge textures can come in handy as a solid base to start texturing.



From the beginning, I wanted to make the abandoned ship. I had to decide what kind of environment I wanted to do it. In the forest? Desert? Snow?

In the end, I decided on the forest because it seemed to me more interesting and eye-catching at the time of presenting the ship.

In this case, to optimize the time, I took a forest base and modified and adapted it to what I wanted with the help of Bridge.

  1. The first thing I do when creating storytelling in the engine is to create a Camera and define the camera shot.

When we have the camera set, we have to start setting the image composition.

In this case, I am going to make a diagonal composition to create a sense of dynamism.


The next step I do is to start detailing the scene. I start with the big pieces, like the mountains on the left and in the background.

(I use Bridge to dress the Environment).


This step is very trial and error. We will have to try different rocks, in different positions to see how it works best visually.

In these cases, having references of a forest with rocks can help us a lot.


I always try to dress the environment from larger to smaller pieces, from large to small details.


The next thing I start modifying is the lighting. I start detailing it. The most important thing is to define the directional light, and then I add extra lights.

Below are images with no back-up light, with back-up lights.

Once the lighting is set, we can move on to add Post-processing and fog.


The last thing I usually do is color Decals. In this case, I place Moss Decals so that the assets are more integrated.



For the post-processing part, I use Photoshop. It is the last and very important part because if we do it right, we can add 10% extra quality.

  1. The first thing to do is to add some sharpen using the Highpass Filter.

The next step is to add a bit of gloss in some areas to highlight them.


The last step is to create a depth mask.



Firstly, thank you for reading this article.
I enjoyed making the Dragon Ball capsule, remembering the good times I had watching it.

I’m happy with the final result, and I hope you like it.