Creating a Glock from High Poly to Rendering

Creating a Glock from High Poly to Rendering

Alex Smirnov walked us through the process of creation of his custom Glock 17 G3 Sharpshooter “Marina”.


Hello! My name is Alex Smirnov. Currently, I work at the studio which is located in Ukraine, Kyiv, as Senior Weapon Artist. I also had some experience of working for outsourcing studios, contributing to Call of Duty и Sniper Ghost Warrior, doing 3D modeling and visualization in graphic design. I have always been interested in weapons since my childhood but I started to produce them for AAA games only two years ago.

Glock 17 G3 Sharpshooter “Marina”


When I started to think about the concept of Glock, I wanted to produce something between a military weapon but logically improved. I like realism in 3D weapons when the usage of every element of the weapon should be logically justified.  I also wanted to embody the topic of the sea in the blue slide. The name was taken from the Spanish language where the word Marina is connected to the sea topic.


After the concept and partially the design were defined, I started to gather references. I gathered references for the usual Glock and different sorts of custom options. I decided that there should be a red dot sight and a laser sight on the pistol because the aiming should be easy and rapid. It is important to understand that the number of collected references depends on the understanding of the shape of the weapon. Some weapons don’t need that many references if you realize what you are going to model.

High Poly Stage

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I use Fusion360 for the high poly modeling as to me, CAD programs are better for weapon creation because they are used by engineers in real manufacture.

When the model is ready, I transfer the CAD model into a polygonal-triangulated one with the help of Moi3D and then I import it to ZBrush. Then, I polish it with the help of modifiers Polish. For the model to be minimally “heavy” I use Decimation Master.

Low Poly Stage/UV

I’m currently using 3ds Max for the low poly stage but it doesn’t really matter what software to use because it is possible to do the same steps in any program. Since it was a personal project, I didn’t economize the usage of polygons. It was important for me that the model didn’t have visible chopped sides where they must be smooth and rounded. UV is made in UVLayout which is the most ideal variant for unwrapping UVs.

Baking Stage

All the necessary maps were baked in Marmoset Toolbag. In Toolbag, you should only name the low poly and high poly model parts and add the prefixes _low and _high. Then, Marmoset Quickloader will automatically break everything into groups, It is very comfortable and really facilitates the process.


While texturing I use the principle of layering materials and their damage/dirt.

Let’s use plastic as an example: in the very beginning, I create and tune the clean plastic and then put on the damage logically. The same with dirt, wear marks, etc. It is important to analyze what parts would be clogged, where they would be damaged and worn out.


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In this case, I used RedShift for renders. You can also use any convenient for you renderer which can support PBR, for example, Marmoset or Iray.

First thing you should do is choose the foreshortening you are going to render and under each angle, you should tune the light because the render should be good-looking. I can’t give you advice on how to build and tune the light because you should show your own creativity and you try different schemes of the light until you would get the desired result. It’s just a question of testing.

Alex Smirnov, 3D Artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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