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A Furnace Knight Created in Blender and Substance 3D Painter

Check out this unusual-looking character with a hand-painted art style made in Blender and Substance 3D Painter and read a small interview with its author Andrey Gorovtsov about the workflow behind the project.

3D Artist Andrey Gorovtsov has released Goreliy, a great character project with an uncommon hand-painted art style, based on a Furnace Knight concept by Marko Laine. The character was modeled entirely in Blender and textured in Substance 3D Painter. To learn more about Goreliy and the workflow behind it, we contacted the artist and asked a few questions regarding the creation process. You can check out our interview with Andrey down below.


Hi, my name is Andrey Gorovtsov. My experience in CG is exactly 5 years. But this is a very varied experience. For the first 3 years, I was only a Designer/2D Illustrator, but gradually, I began to use 3D. And last year, I mostly worked with 3D graphics.

For most of my career, I was a freelancer, but I managed to work for about a year in a B2B fin-tech project as a Designer-IIllustrator (visual content for a website, social networks, presentations, etc.). For the past three years, I have been in charge of visuals in hyper-casual mobile games for an independent team.

I have no art education, I studied to be a welder. But one day I decided to change my life in the bud and took up illustration. I have made tremendous efforts on self-education and everything that I know and can do now I have learned by myself. 

The Goreliy Project

I want more creativity and artistry in my work. This is what I miss in the process of creating hyper-casual games. Therefore, I am constantly developing my professional skills and looking for new ways to apply them. Gradually, I realized exactly how my drawing skills can be combined with experience in 3D graphics.

First of all, I was inspired by this ArtStation page. After an analysis of the works I liked the most, I realized that behind the cool 3D model lies an equally good concept. I started searching. I knew in advance that I would be doing a hand-painted texture and set myself two criteria: I wanted to see stylized metal and I'd like to try to work with alpha transparency. As a result, I chose this concept by Marko Laine:


The work was done for a specific "shot". I did not set myself the goal of making a game-ready character not to become isolated in technical limitations and optimization nuances. I wanted to focus more on the art part, so a lot of the decisions regarding modeling and texturing were driven by the fact that it was more convenient for me to achieve the desired effect.

The modeling of this character was quite easy. Almost the entire model is parts of cylinders, spheres, cubes, and such modifiers as Solidify and Bevel. I made the hands and shoes in Sculpting mode. To make the belts I modeled a section and used a curve as a guide. The first stage of work was in Symmetry mode.

Then I applied all the symmetry modifiers, posed the character, and added some details.

During modeling, I tried not to add those polygons that are not visible on the silhouette. But, for example, for such details as rivets, I made polygons to make it easier for me to work on the texture.

I placed the seams by hand without really caring about their location. I did not intend to use generators while working on the texture and limited myself to the Base Color Map. When working with a Paint tool, Substance 3D Painter handles the borders of UV shells quite accurately so that you don't have to worry about it. I divided the whole model into 3 textures: body, head, and sword with scabbard.


I continued my further work in Substance 3D Painter. First of all, I filled the texture with the main colors and outlined the lighting. There are three light sources: an almost white outline on top, pink on the bottom, and orange from the fire. In the next step, I exported the textures to Blender, set up the camera and lighting. I baked this light on the texture. It didn't give much artistic effect, but I was guided by that in the further texturing process.

The rest of the texturing was very similar to the painting in Photoshop. I used two brushes, a Material Picker tool and a Smudge tool, gradually adding details, shadows, and highlights to the texture.

To achieve the desired effect, I did not use solid color fills and generators. Almost all the work was done on one layer, otherwise, I would not have been able to correctly get a Smudge tool to work, that I actively used.

Also, I'd like to note the lack of a full-fledged bridge between Photoshop and SP. Because of this, instead of editing something with Photoshop tools, it's easier to redraw the element from the scratch. This is really a big inconvenience for those who choose SP to work with handpainted textures.

Working on each element was quite easy: the shadows first, then the highlights from the light sources and color variations, that depend on the environment and the history of the element. For example, the inner part of a stove door. I added red color there to show the long-term contact of the metal with the heat. The analysis of the concept, references, and my personal experience helps in this process. I color-corrected the textures before using them for rendering. This was done in order to match the color of the texture with the selected background.

When I finished the textures I went back to Blender. I used the painted textures in the Base Color and Emission channels. For the final render, I also used one top front light at very low intensity to slightly increase the highlight above the character's head.

Final Touches

To create smoke and particles, I used square planes and .png textures with transparency, which I made in Photoshop. First I painted smoke and a spark, and then I looked at how and where it can be applied in the scene. The whole process of creating particles and smoke took no more than half an hour.

For each frame, I did two renders with transparency. The first with particles, the second – only a model. I needed this in order to add a thin stroke to the character on the final frame. In Photoshop I added a background and an outline. This completed the work. The whole process took 15-20 hours.

Andrey Gorovtsov, 3D artist

Interview conducted by Arti Sergeev

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Comments 3

  • Tokarev Kyrylo

    Nice looking project!


    Tokarev Kyrylo

    ·2 years ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Great character!
    Please tell me how you posed the model using the rigify addon?


    Anonymous user

    ·2 years ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Great texture, weak pose. I'd at least fix the floating elbow. And look into the twinned feet pose.


    Anonymous user

    ·2 years ago·

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