The main purpose of creating this artwork is to become familiar with the basic modeling tools in Blender and improve my texturing and rendering skills. I wanted to choose a smaller prop to work on to ensure I could complete it within an appropriate time frame.
After researching the internet, I found the shape and design of the Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope to be really cool, so I decided to go along with it.
- Substance Painter
- Unreal Engine 5
The first step in any workflow always begins with finding good references. The internet is a great resource for obtaining high-quality real-life images to analyze the scope’s materials and structure.
Gathering references from YouTube videos showcasing the scope from different angles and investigating how it functions in real life are all helpful for studying the functional design of the asset and making the modeling process much easier.
I always start with a rough blockout to get the correct dimensions and shape of the model.
I avoid diving into all the minor details until after finalizing all the main structures.
Once the rough blockout looks good, I then proceed to create all the details part by part.
Since I’ve already added all the detailing during the blockout stage, I only need to clean up the mesh and apply bevel and subdivision modifiers.
I don’t spend too much time perfecting the topology; I focus on ensuring there are no obvious issues with the sub-d model.
I will show you the method I used to create this twisted wire.
First, I modeled out the path of the curve for the final wire.
Then, I created 5 circles using a circular array with the ND addon, which is a free add-on available on Gumroad.
You can find the link here.
After that, I added a screw modifier to the circles you just created, adjusting the angle, screw, and iterations based on your needs. Don’t forget to choose the correct axis.
Lastly, I added another curve modifier to it. For the curve object, select the final path that you want the wire to match (which is the path you created in the first place). Again, don’t forget to choose the correct deform axis to make it work.
Since the main purpose of this artwork is to improve my texturing skills and save time, I took my high-poly model and adjusted it to the lowest subdivision for the low-poly version.
For UVs, I simply unwrap and pack in RizomUV, keeping things organized in the outliner with proper renaming for a smoother workflow, especially when things become more complex.
Since this asset is not intended to be a game-ready asset, I divided it into multiple texture sets to achieve a higher texel density.
Here’s an example of the breakdown of the texturing process:
I always start with base materials, then move on to color variation, main details (edge highlights/edge wear), surface details (scratches/oil details), and fine details (shavings/fingerprints).
For decals with height values, adding an edge outline onto them will help integrate the final result.
First, select the decal you want to place on the surface.
After masking it, create an anchor point for later use (remember to rename your anchor point to prevent confusion later on).
To create the edge outline, add another layer (ensure it’s on top of your main anchor point layer) and fill it with the anchor point you just created.
Apply a blur filter, add a level adjustment to control contrast, and finally, add another fill with the same anchor point, but this time change the blend mode to subtract. This will give you a result similar to the one shown in the image above.
This image is just to show you with and without the edge outline.
After adding the edge outline, although it’s a minor detail, it appears more natural and realistic.
The grunge maps in Painter are sometimes limited, so I like to use Bridge to find grunge maps that suit my texturing.
You can find them under the imperfections tab. I use them as stencils to paint specific details (e.g., scratches/leaks) on specific areas.
For Unreal presentations, I like to rotate my mesh by 20-30 degrees to showcase better light reflections on the surface.
This emphasizes the roughness more effectively.
A slightly tilted angle for your mesh adds a dynamic touch to your shots, as seen in most of my cinematic shots where the props are tilted by 20-30 degrees.
For lighting, I always use the basic 3-point lighting setup: key light, fill light and rim light.
I play with the contrast between warm and cool light for cinematic shots to make them look more dramatic and interesting.
For the cine camera setup, I usually opt for DSLR settings for my film frame. I adjust the focal length and aperture as needed, going for longer focal lengths in most shots to create focus and using shorter focal lengths for landscape and environment shots with a wide-angle view.
For the aperture, I choose lower values to capture a deeper depth of field, helping guide the viewer’s focus to the right place without distractions from the rest of the scene.
Before publishing the artwork on Artstation, I always do some thumbnail exploration in Photoshop to test the results and choose the most appealing thumbnail.
Thumbnails are crucial for catching the viewer’s attention, and if they’re not attractive enough, there’s a lower chance of viewers clicking on your artwork.
That’s the breakdown of the process behind creating this asset. Thank you for reading this article, and I hope you found it useful. Thanks to GamesArtist for giving me the opportunity to write this article and share the process of this project.
Feel free to check out my Artstation for more of my work. Good luck, and have a great day!