Prop Breakdown

Diana Davydiants


Diana Davydiants

3D Artist


Hello everyone, my name is Diana, I am 22 years old, and I live in Kyiv, Ukraine. I started studying 3D Design relatively recently.
First, I took a course, and since then, I have been continuously practicing on my own.


My main goal in this project was to realistically resemble the textures and evoke nostalgia in those who had experienced Dandy.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have that experience myself.


  • PureRef – References
  • Maya – Blockout/high-poly/low-poly
  • ZBrush – High-poly
  • RizomUV – UV unwrapping
  • Marmoset Toolbag – Baking/Rendering
  • Adobe Substance Painter – Texturing


Finding references for the forms of the console and its additional details was relatively easy, but it was quite an adventure regarding textures.

My main sources were eBay and sites with auctions. I searched for unique examples of signs of use to convey them in my work.


High & Low-Poly

I used to create highly detailed blockouts and proportionally correct shapes immediately before moving to the high-poly stage.

I made cavities and cutouts using boolean operations, with minimal fake geometry.

I needed to achieve all of this through geometry without relying on constraints in the polygon.


During the high-poly stage, I paid close attention to the buttons and smoothed the angles on the console itself in ZBrush.

I added textures of broken plastic on the large button at the cutting place, as well as hollows on the round buttons, to simulate long-term use.

I created the low poly versions of large elements (Dendy, controllers) by retopologizing the high-poly models, while the smaller details were made from the blockout.

UVs & Baking

Unwrapping is a rather specific stage for me; I always liken it to Tetris, where I create an optimized map with an optimal texel density. I pack small shells in RizomUV with the required resolution while observing the correct proportions.


Total texel density: 18 px per cm, 2048 texture set resolution. Afterward, I began baking. There’s nothing new here; I adjust the skew and the cage, bake the maps, and then proceed to texturing.


This stage was incredibly important to me because the model itself lacked visual appeal, so textures played a major role. This stage took more than half of the time spent on the whole model.

For the convenience of texturing, I flipped the model in Maya before starting work to access the bottom of the objects.


Additionally, I created geometric masks for the main elements to optimize my workflow.

You can see variations in the base color in the video:

Coming up next – giving the model history!

My favorite part. Almost all the dirt and scratches you see are hand-drawn; minimal dirt was generated.

Film peeling was created using an anchor point. One of the final layers is a fixed layer with a “Color Correction” filter and Passthrough blending mode, which improves the appearance of materials, saturation, and contrast.

However, if you need to make changes beneath these layers, simply turn them off and move them to the bottom.

If you haven’t encountered Passthrough blending mode before, keep in mind that it’s very resource-intensive, so it’s better to use it towards the end of work on the material/model. Another useful tip – if the UV seams are visible on the textures, the best way to fix them is with a stamp!

I learned this technique from the YouTube channel MykhailykArt, and it really helped to remove visible seams on the diffuse textures!


Rendering is an incredibly important stage that can either enhance or detract from the quality of the prop. For each shot, I created a separate composition and used different lighting setups.

While I primarily used omni lights in the past, I recently discovered the benefits of using Directional light. By highlighting corners, creating flares, and obscuring certain areas, I achieved a more compelling look for each image.

The camera settings for each shot varied, but the averages were as follows:


A big shoutout to GamesArtist for the opportunity to share the history of my work. It’s a great honor for any 3D artist, especially a beginner like me.

To all the artists who are just starting their journey in GameDev, I want to offer some tips:

  • Always study, watch tutorials, and read articles. You can find valuable information in every source.
  • Avoid taking on overly complex objects for your portfolio. Focus on simple models but showcase various types of materials that demonstrate your skills.
  • Dedicate a significant portion of your work to texturing; it can elevate even the most mundane shapes.
  • Always seek feedback, especially during the high-poly, texturing, and rendering stages. Reach out to artists whose work you admire and ask for their input. These are just a few tips, but there’s much more to learn. Good luck!