Laser Designator

Prop Breakdown

Lyubov Vasileva

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Lyubov Vasileva

3D Artist

Introduction

Good day! My name is Lyubov, and I'm from St. Petersburg, Russia. I'm a beginner at 3D modeling, but I've been doing it for less than a year. I'm insanely passionate about it and happy to create new projects.

I came to the field of creating hard surface from a completely different field: design and 2D illustration.

Project

My dream is to get a job and break into the gaming industry. I would like to create realistic props and weapons for AAA projects. I really want to learn and get into making games. That is why my goal was to completely focus on creating high-quality, realistic textures, to make something really cool and professional.

I am also very lucky to be in a team of strong artists, Denis and Ivan, who help me in my work and my education.

Software

• Blender
• ZBrush
• Rizom
• Substance Painter
• Marmoset Toolbag
• Photoshop

Reference

Collecting references correctly is very important. It is necessary to find good photos that show the proportions and silhouette of the model from all sides.
Also, be sure to pay attention to references for textures.

These can be not only your products but also things similar in materials. They must have similar physical properties.

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Modelling

I always start with a rough blockout first. This allows me to check all the proportions. My pipeline is from low-poly to high-poly since the sculpt in this work will not be very large. Otherwise, you should always start with high-poly. At this stage, it is important to determine what you will overlap.

I decided to overlap some iron and plastic parts. They will not be seen together. With different colors, I showed the details that I will overlap. Also at this stage I often make corrections.

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When everything is completely ready, I send the model with subdivs and staged cuts to Zbrush.
There I add smoothing through Polish. It is also necessary to control the thickness of the bevels. Since all parts are different sizes, I run each part individually to get bevels that fit each item perfectly.

After that, I do some cool little damage sculpts and details. On the high poly model, I remove all the small details – letters, marks, and carvings.

Unwrapping

Overlaps are great! As soon as I learned how to work with them, I started using them all the time. It’s nice to save some textures to work with.

In Blender, I do all the seams and then go to Rizom, where I pack the shells. On inconspicuous internal details, I can reduce the textile by 20 percent. I definitely straighten all the shells. This is a very monotonous process that can take up to an hour. I ended up with 2 UV sets: one for the main body and one for the glass lenses.

While I am doing the scan, I like to watch a movie, such as Shrek. This movie tells me that no matter who you are, there will always be people who love you, no matter how grumpy you are.

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Baking

I do baking in Marmoset Toolbag. It’s cool to work with cage settings for baking complex volumetric details. I advise you to always check the correctness of these settings and ensure that paint skew works well. I definitely bake normal maps, normal OBJ maps, curves, thickness maps, material ID maps, ambient occlusion maps, and cavity maps.

Texturing

This is where we start texturing. For me, this is always the hardest part. I can spend quite a long time texturing, often redoing several stages over and over again. Here I again return to the search for additional references, which will very accurately reflect the structure of the material and its properties in different lighting conditions.

I like to take photos of completely different objects to see how highlights and shadows will play on these textures. I usually divide my process into stages, such as creating a base fill from materials (the most difficult stage). Then I come up with logical damage and pollution. And at the very end, I add dust. I texture in the metal/roughness pipeline.

Base layers are made up of many assembled layers. I add a lot of noisy layers with different blend modes. I also add variety in height and normal maps.

I like to add spots of varying silhouette and proportions – you need to make sure that you have small, medium, and large spots. It is also important to add a little fraying around the edges of the mesh, to erase some text.

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The sticker was made using Photoshop. To make it look realistic, I added air bubbles under the paper in Substance Painter. I also added scuffs and damaged edges using generators. It was my first experience creating such a fragment, so I worked on it for a very long time.

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I always like to add a little damage, tweaking it through the edge-wear generator. Be sure to make it on all maps so that it looks quite realistic.

Damage has different heights and differences in albedo in terms of saturation and roughness. Also, don’t forget to change the metallicity properties!

The final stage, adds its own charm. Be sure to study well where the dust accumulates the most. To do this, I reviewed a bunch of photos with various coatings on metals, rubber and plastic. I paint dust in several layers. These can be solid gray coatings, single pieces, or hairs.

Rendering

I love looking at beautiful renderings by other artists. Be sure to be inspired by the angles used in the photographs, and study the lighting. I like to use a lot of light sources. It’s so interesting to choose different angles for the incident light. Also, in the rendering settings, always enable all the maximum settings for shadows and reflections.

This will affect the quality of the picture. An interesting but tricky element for your renderings is to add some assets to the background. This will make the picture look more complete and interesting.

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Outro

I want to wish everyone success in their work! Don’t forget to take some rest too. Many thanks to my mentors Denis and Ivan for their professional advice. They really taught me the art of 3D modeling and the secrets of texturing. This has helped me grow a lot as an artist. Denis and Ivan are great artists.

Thanks to the Games Artist site for seeing my work and appreciating it, and giving me the opportunity to share this article with readers. I wish you all success in your work and life!

Here is a link to my profile, where you will find more renders and technical shots.