Assembling Hard Surface Models With Modern Tools
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Assembling Hard Surface Models With Modern Tools
23 November, 2016
3D artist Henrique Lopes was kind enough to discuss the production process behind his intricate model of LP-42 Flare Gun. It is an awesome mix of hard surface gun elements and cloth part created with the help of 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter and some finishing touches in the newest version of Marmoset Toolbag. 



It all started as a hobby, I started making 3D models for houses my father, who is an architect, used to make to help him promote his business. I have always played a lot of games and after a few years of making arch viz models I came across Polycount, which helped me learn how to make models for games. I decided to make a small portfolio to show my skills, which helped me get started with smaller independent projects.

Later, got contacted by my favorite artist (Alan Van Ryzin aka Polygoo), which made my heart skip a beat!

Since then I’ve been working with him (at Artbully Productions and later Ryzin Art) and his team, which has been “the dream job” for me.

I have had the chance of working on high-profile AAA game projects like Rise of The Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, ARK Survival, Evolved and more.


LP-42 Flare Gun

This LP-42 Flare Gun model was just something random I wanted to quickly put together to polish a few skills such as lighting, composition, and attention to detail.

So basically, to create such a piece or any other piece, it’s mandatory to have as much reference as you can get, so thats what i did, studied its materials and how they vary from photo to photo.

I love to mix metals with fabric, I think it’s a great contrast, and since I didn’t have anything like that on my portfolio, it was the right time to make it.


Hard Surface Way

Hard surface modeling is pretty easy once you know where to add control loops to get the best smoothing. But it all starts with a good block out, then slowly adding detail until you get the desired result.

For screws and bullets I usually only model each type once, then I’ll add them to this library I’ve been working on for a few months, which I’m going to release as soon as I feel it’s in good shape. (I have released a smaller version of it already)

The full version of the library will include a lot more weapon related stuff! Its going to be great!



I always try to mimic how the model would get worn in real life, so I start with a clean version of the materials and slowly add scratches, discoloration, and roughness variation where I feel the weapon gets more use.



The cloth part was made using Marvelous Designer. I love it, it’s really easy to use and u get nice and quick results from it. It was just a thin square box that I dropped on to another box that was used as a table.

Using Toolbag 3

Marmoset Toolbag 3 is such a big deal when it comes to hard surface modeling! Starting with baking by name matching, REAL-TIME masking any skewing issues you sometimes get on your bakes, and the list goes on…

I haven’t done any animation yet, I’m not an animation guy, but I will probably play with some animations when I get the chance.

I think Marmoset 3 will turn the tides, and people will be integrating it into their baking workflows for sure! They are doing amazing work on it, every time they release an update, its the highlight of my week haha!

I usually tend not to complicate lighting too much, its basically a sky with 1 or 2 directional lights, being one of them the most powerful and causing the most shadows on the scene. Sometimes I like to add gels to my lights to break it up a little.

On this scene I wanted to emphasize the fabric material in order to get the most contrast against the metal, I then decided to give the fabric a more plastic look just because it looked so much more interesting this way.

Henrique Lopes, Freelance 3D Artist at Ryzin

Interview conducted by Artyom Sergeev 

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