Abandoned Mercedes SL 300

Prop Breakdown

Yaroslav Tyshchenko


Yaroslav Tyshchenko

3D Artist


Hello, my name is Yaroslav, I'm from Ukraine.
I started my journey in 3D in 2019 with simple blender tutorials on YouTube.


I like challenging tasks, so I decided to practice subdivision modeling, and a car was perfect for that.
Additionally, I wanted to practice texturing. I opened Pinterest and started looking for inspiration and came across this Mercedes SL 300.


The car immediately caught my eye. When I chose what I was going to model, I started thinking about the story that I could tell with texturing.

There were a lot of ideas, and they were large-scale, but sometimes it’s better to stop yourself and take on a task that will be within your grasp because it’s easy to burn out on a personal project.

So, smaller and better quality is better than something grandiose and not done or done poorly.


  • PureRef
  • Blender
  • Rizom UV
  • Marmoset


The main thing in the work is references; you can’t do without them. Even for the simplest object, it is better to find a reference.
To model everything from your head could be a lost cause. In my case, it was good that there were a lot of car references.



For modelling, I use Blender, which is the program with which I started my professional career.

In general, I love Blender for its flexibility in customization. I have every function set to hotkey and pie menu.
Here is a list (not all) of addons that I use; they significantly increase productivity:

  • Pie menu
  • Hardops
  • Box cutter
  • Zen UV
  • UVpackmaster 3
  • Kekit
  • Zen sets
  • Pivot Transform
  • Machinetools
  • Meshmachine
  • Interactive tools

I modeled with subdivision. There are many ways of modeling; my favorite is through the bevel + subdivision modifier. This is the power of Blender – non-destructive workflow.

But if there is some complex geometry, I make support loops by hand.


I found blueprints, created a cube (car size), and started building edges following the car flow.
You can read about this technique in this article.


If you want to improve your subdivision modeling, I recommend reading materials by the cool artist Devmatt.

And if you work in Maya.

The final highpoly model looks like this:


Before starting the low-poly, I add the _high prefix to all the high-poly meshes in the scene. Then I duplicated this collection, and now all the meshes have the _high.001 prefix.

Then I use the Simple Renamer addon to change all the naming conventions to low.


I applied one level of the subdivision and then cleaned it up a little by hand.

Of course, there are many places to optimize, but I didn’t want to limit myself by poly count and spend time on it, so 170,000 was fine for this model.



For this model, I have 4 UV sets, texel 12p\cm 4k texture.


I do most of the work with UV in Blender, by using Zen UV, this addon has a lot of cool functionality, for example, it is very convenient to check the texel in real time, quadrify shell in one click, or stuck-unstuck overlaps.

I packed everything with Uv Packmaster 3.


If the geometry is more complex, and I need to align UV shells, I use Rizom, because it has an amazing feature like edge constrain.
(You can do it in the Blender too).


With Bridge from Blender to Rizom, I can export models just in one click.



After I checked the correct name of all meshes, transforms applied, triangulation modifier too, hard edges had seams assigned and the overlaps moved by 1 UV space, I exported the car to Marmoset.

Everything was baked without any significant artifacts.



The main story was like, the car is conditionally abandoned but well-maintained. Perhaps its owner died, and now it is in the garage.

For this story, I found perfect references.


I started with the basic materials and tried to add a lot of variation to the base color and roughness.

It is very important. If you look closely at any object in real life, you will notice that there are many variations in the base color and roughness, so I use the same principle in my work, especially paying attention to roughness.

It is one of the most important maps with which you can give “life to the asset.”

Also, if you’re aiming for realism, you need to exaggerate some things because usually, the objects in our lives look boring.


I used different generators (metal edge, dirt, position & light), broke them with grunges, and used different layering methods like screen, overlay and multiply.

After that, I worked on the places where I wanted to see some accents, I used custom stencils, you can find them on textures.com, or even take pictures yourself and then make them with Photoshop. Here is a Tutorial that could help.

I also play with different blending methods and hang anchors on them on the mask to further break down the variations of this mask in the future.

One of the most useful features of the Substance Painter is its anchors, I will not be able to describe all their capabilities, it will take a lot of time, but I recommend using them, you can watch the tutorials on the official Adobe YouTube channel.


I decided to add stickers that could tell the story that the owner took part in some parties and stuck them on the glass, I found them on Pinterest.


After working with various base colors and roughness I moved to the dirt.

First I threw on the basic generators, made sure to break them with grunge, then threw on a few more layers of dirt and worked it all out with stencils in places where the logic should be dirt.


It is a very crucial topic, and you could easily ruin your entire work. So, I watched the lessons of professional photographers on how they expose light.

Video 1

Video 2

First of all, I went to the website HDRI Haven, downloaded several HDRIs, and started looking at which one I liked the most, which gave me more volume and contrast.

Then I added a few lamps and cameras.


I tried to catch some kind of light on the car and make the render itself look three-dimensional.


Here are my render settings, I used ray tracing – to make shadows appear softer.


I am satisfied with the experience I have gained during this work. I am sure that only through practice and our own mistakes can we progress and learn new things.

So always do not give up halfway; always try to finish the work and do not be distracted by anything.

I consider this an essential skill nowadays.

Thank you for reading to the end; I hope at least some of the information was useful to you.