Creating a Robot Policeman in Maya, ZBrush & Substance 3D Painter

Rahul Bisht shared a small breakdown of the Robocop project, told us how the armor elements and micro details were created, and gave some tips to fellow Character Artists.


Hi, I am Rahul Bisht, a Character Artist based in Dehradun, India. I am 25 years old. I have been in the gaming industry for 4 years. I used to draw a lot as a child and after I finished school, I got my diploma in 3D from Arena Animation, Dehradun.

I started my career as a 3D Artist with an outsourcing company Lakshya Digital Ltd, Gurugram. I contributed to games like WWE 2K and worked on 3D scan cleanup, mobile gaming, and VR projects. I was really interested in character design, so I decided to join Little Red Zombies (LRZ), Hyderabad, a character outsourcing company where I learned more about characters. At LRZ, I was given the opportunity to work on Horizon Forbidden West and Alan Wake Remastered.

Currently, I work as a freelance artist and have worked on 3D printing projects as well as certain game projects. 

Inspiration and References

I was browsing ArtStation and saw Kaisei Ma’s amazing concept and thought of making it in 3D. The concept looks really good and has different elements and color variations. When I started this project, I wanted to speed up my workflow but a lot of things like low res polycount and bake cleanups were compromised. There are many things that I would have done differently, but time was a key factor in this project. The main reference I used for modeling was concept art. I took several references for the material treatment but the base color was the same as in the concept art. I tried to be close to the concept art in terms of look and feel. 

Modeling and Sculpting

I started with Marvelous Designer for clothing, blocked his outfit, and took it to ZBrush to block other parts. Everything other than clothing was made from scratch. Then I refined the outfit in Marvelous Designer and took it again to ZBrush and sculpted memory folds and wrinkles. Hard surface elements were sculpted completely in ZBrush using DynaMesh.

For the details, I used metal alphas, dam standard, trim dynamic, hPolish, and layer brush. Low res was done in Maya. I used Maya’s Quad Draw tool for the hard surface elements like the head and the armor, and for clothing, I exported a remeshed OBJ from ZBrush and fixed the non-planar geometry in Maya. For the UVs, I used Maya and RizomUV. Normal map and AO baking were done in Marmoset Toolbag 4. It gives very good results in a small amount of time.

In ZBrush, I sculpted memory folds on the fabric and everything else like the fabric noise and the stitches were done in Substance 3D Painter. SP has a really good library and it helps a lot with texturing.


For texturing, I used Substance 3D Painter. Firstly, I baked all the maps required for texturing, after that I started from the base material, provided in the material library. Metal parts are bronze and the fabric is cotton. The color variation was done according to the concept art. The environment map I used was Tomoco Studio. Some texture details, such as color and roughness variation, were not visible in Marmoset, but I liked the character's appearance and feel, so I kept going.


The render was done in Marmoset Toolbag 4. I used 6 spot lights. In Marmoset, I gave the lights warm colors and chose a warm theme for the final render. For my final renders, I also used Ray Tracing because it adds realism to the scene. After taking all the renders I went to Photoshop where I played with some levels and added sharpness to the images as it really makes your images pop.


This was a fun quick project and my first full robotic character; from start to finish, it took only 14 days. My goal was to develop a hard surface character for my portfolio in a short amount of time while maintaining the highest possible quality.

The main challenge for me was to match my character to the concept, it is still not matched to the concept but it is okay for now. My advice to aspiring 3D artists is to find a mentor, listen to feedback, and work hard every day to improve. Nowadays, I believe that sharing your work and demonstrating your presence in the internet community is the most crucial thing.

Rahul Bisht, 3D Character Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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Comments 1

  • Anonymous user

    Amazing piece of work👏🏻


    Anonymous user

    ·20 days ago·

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