Creating a Siemens Projector in Maya, Substance 3D Painter & Marmoset Toolbag

Alexey Kirsanov shared the workflow behind the Siemens 2000 project and talked about creating the materials for it.


Hello there! My name is Alexey Kirsanov and I’m 18 years old. My journey started 3 years ago when I was participating in a Game Dev competition with my friend. That event helped me to discover 3D and plunge into it. After some studies, I got an internship at Sperasoft as a level artist, and that’s when my career started. A year later, I got a job at Lesta Studio, so here I am today, working with great people on a cool project.

The Siemens 2000 Project

In my every work, I think about what skills I want to improve. I didn’t do any complex props for my portfolio, so I found this projector and thought that it would be a great practice in modeling and texturing.

Besides Pinterest and Google, I used eBay and auction websites to gather references. I was able to find a lot of close-up photos in good quality where you can see details. In addition, I watched YouTube videos to understand how the projector behaves.


Before starting modeling, I separated the projector into 3 parts: bottom, top, and inside. Then, I started blocking shapes on each part to catch proportions and imagine how it would look in the future. When I want to get the right proportions, I usually compare the scales to one of the object’s detail, in this model it was the projector’s lens.

After I did a simple blockout, the next one was more detailed with smoothing edges and correcting some shapes closely to references. In this part, I paid more attention to the shading and angularity as I wanted it to have a smoother look.

The final part was detailing each piece and doing Booleans. So this is where the references from eBay and auction websites helped me a lot. I could see all the details and modeled them with no difficulties. The only issue was to fix Maya's shading after Booleans.

UV Mapping

After the modeling was done, I did the mapping. Seeing a lot of unique parts and cylinders, I chose to do my UVs in RizomUV because it can straighten all my cylinders in one click.

Inside Rizom, I did the layout. It’s important to set the padding depending on what will be your texture size. In my case, the padding is 16 pixels because I’m using a 2k texture. For more info about what padding is, you can check this article on Polycount.

When the UVs were done, I overlapped all the same pieces, like screws, bolts, etc. Overall, I made 3 UV sets.


For texturing, I used Substance 3D Painter and Designer. I always start with my usual display settings, so I highly recommend downloading Brian Leleux’s ACES LUT for Substance 3D Painter.

Then, I started looking at and analyzing references again and decided to make the base material in Substance 3D Designer because it seemed to me that it would be hard to replicate this material in Substance 3D Painter.

My base setup for spots in Designer looked like this::

Looking at the references, I decided to use random tiles with 2 non-uniform directional warps for big and medium spots and the same setup for the smaller pieces.

Then, I started making a Base Color map. Flood fills with histogram selects gave me random masks to make tints on different spots. Next, I used a bunch of noises with uniform colors and blended them with spot masks. Finally, the base was done!

Jumping back to Substance 3D Painter, I started looking at my ref board again and picked out stages of how I would make my material. My plan was: the base material – light grunges pass – damage paint – complex grunges paint. As soon as the base material was done in Designer, I started with grunges. In this stage, all the layers that I created were not so strong, but the thing is there are a lot of layers, and all in all, they created a good base for painting.

Then, I created a setup for painting the damage. For the transition between damage painting and the base material, I used a setup that I usually use in Substance 3D Designer: angular bevel with two slope blurs. I painted most of the damage with stencils.

After receiving feedback, I created a bunch of layers for dirt. I wanted more control with occlusion, so I took my brush and painted it in the places where I found it logical.

I used this setup for the top part. This way, I also created other smart materials for plastic, metal, and others. For a more detailed look, you can see my files on my ArtStation store for free!


My render was done in Marmoset Toolbag with ray tracing. In my opinion, the right HDRI map is 90% of a good render In my case, it was Tomoco Studio's from the default Substance 3D Painter files. For the lighting, I used 4 sources of light.

Finally, I set up the camera angles. I’m not a big fan of Photoshop, so I did all my settings in Marmoset. For all my cameras, I used one setup.


Take your time, post your work when it's 100% done, and enjoy the process. Ask for feedback from different communities, for example, Experience Points or The DiNusty Empire, this will push your work further.

Alexey Kirsanov, 3D Artist

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