Creating Virtual Rubber
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by Alvar Lagerlöf
9 hours ago

Dammit. Not again. This is path tracing not Ray tracing. Ray tracing is practically an hybrid scam. This is the real stuff, the stuff from Disney and Pixar movies. Stop helping Nvidia sell ray tracing. It's not good.

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Creating Virtual Rubber
4 April, 2017
Sergey Lysenko presented us with a nice little breakdown, showing how he created those stunning Michelin wheels.


Hello everyone, my name is Sergey Lysenko, and I’m a 3D artist from Odessa, Ukraine, where I currently live and work. At first I studied at the Odessa National University (ONU) at the Physics Faculty. Then I got my second education as a jeweler. I worked in this field for more than 8 years. The fascination with 3D started because of this profession.

We worked closely with 3D printing specialists. I saw that what I had to do with my hands for many hours, the printer cut out in a few minutes. Then I decided to connect my life with 3D. But, as it turned out later, the use of 3D graphics is much more interesting.

I studied 3D in Computer Academy “STEP”, where I studied at Design & Computer Graphics. In the process of learning, I got carried away by the development of games. Together with my team, I participated in the annual international competition “Golden Byte”. We presented a 3D game in Unity, action adventure in the category of Game Design. The game is called “SILAR“. We didn’t make it to the final.

Currently I work as a freelance 3D artist and continue to study the peculiarities of 3D art. My modest portfolio can be found here

Getting to Know Substance Painter

I used ZBrush and Photoshop for texturing my first game models too, but after watching the course from Gnomon “Introduction to Substance Painter with Christophe Desse”, I realized that this is what I need, and the possibilities of this package are simply limitless.

Substance allows to compensate the lack of drawing skills with procedural texturing and the possibility to customize the materials.

The library of materials amazes with its variety, the one in the package and an excellent resource called Substance Share, where almost every day users post their materials for free.

In my opinion, Allegorithmic’s products are the best solution for those who want to professionally engage in texturing. I don’t want to offend Quixel lovers, but that’s another story.


As for organic models, I use Zbrush, Maya and Substance Painter. If it’s hard surface, I use Zbrush, 3ds Max and Substance Painter.

I deal with mapping in 3D-Coat, because I think that it is easier there.

I bake maps in XNormal, but for the last work with wheels I tried the amazing plugin MightyBake, which showed excellent results.

My work begins with a detailed study of the modeling object, and the search for appropriate references that I place in an excellent free PureRef program.

You can find it in every lesson and in every interview, but I repeat: the more accurate and detailed the references are, the more quality and realism you will get at the end. It was no exception with my wheels.

I started modeling the wheels with simple shapes, then made spikes, and set up the overall shape.

Then I proceeded to model the brake discs. Without forgetting about the references, I tried to be as accurate as I could.

I got pretty good wheels in the end, didn’t I?


The brake discs, as I mentioned above, were created entirely based on references.

I used a free brush pack for 3Ds Max “Deez Nuts Kitbash Kit“, which was kindly provided for free use by Henrique Lopes. It certainly saved me some time.

3ds Max is quite a powerful package for modeling. And my personal opinion is that for subdivision surface modeling it is the best solution. No wonder it is used by such a professional artist and my idol Fausto De Martini.


I chose the standard Rubber Rubber material, where I kept only Roughness. Adjusting it, I began to search for the color of the material, taking as a basis several shades, which gave the rubber more realism.

To give the rubber a little wear, I used several Smart materials with dirt, applying them and adding some modifiers. Having played a little with the settings, I got the result that satisfied me.

I also customized Normal and Height.

Roughness and Metallic

I think I got a successful combination of various types of abrasions and deformations selected from different smart materials, as well as a good combination of reflective and absorbing properties.

Different Rubber

The material is essentially the same, but different modifiers are applied to certain parts of the rubber.

To achieve this, I worked with masks, getting rid of unnecessary material properties. With the help of masks, you can give uniqueness to any material.


The text was added by importing several images. Putting them on my brush in the Stencil section, and disabling all the channels except normal, I put text on the surface of the rubber.

Then, by adjusting the transparency and intensity of the Normal channel, the final result was achieved.

By applying a black mask and using Add Paint, I changed the color.

Since I’m for interactive renderers, I rendered the final model in Marmoset Toolbag 3.

Adjusting the materials and setting up lighting and camera got me great results.


What I love most about the third version is a function called Enable GI that gives you extra volume and depth.

Sergey Lysenko, 3D artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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1 Comment on "Creating Virtual Rubber"

Sergey Lysenko
Sergey Lysenko

Those are rims, not brake disks