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Gameloft’s 3D artist Artem Shupa-Dubrova talked about the way you can build game content faster and make it prettier, thanks to modern tools like Quixel 2.0.
The original design is created by Fil Dunn.
Hi, my name is Artem Shupa-Dubrova. I’m a 3D artist at Gameloft. I love videogames and they really take a huge part of my life. I’ve got a whole collection of gamepads at home and I even have an Oculus DK2! However, my biggest passion is making games.
I started with the creation of mods for Operation Flashpoint and some weapons for Counter Strike. I’ve been working on various games, including Asphalt 7, Six Guns & My Little Pony.
As a 3D artist at a big team project, my task is modeling a 3d object from a ready concept art. I also work on feedbacks and do the export of the models. Before I start the modeling I try to find as much references as possible. I find the right details, find the necessary points of view and try to enrich the concept design. Then I just follow the whole project pipeline: sculpt the high-poly and low-poly models, bake the maps, do the texturing and finally export.
Building Models for Mobile Games
While working on a video game you need to be very fast and provide the content of the highest quality. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a mobile game, or a console project. It has a release date and it’s important to make everything right on time.
It’s essential to optimize the speed of the production and fix models as fast as possible. For example, you can set up the general scene with all the lights and cameras and use it to render sprites. Or, let’s imagine you’re working on a children’s game, which has a lot of ponies. You can work it out, but creating a common body to all the horses and let them just change the hairdo.
Working with Quixel NDO & DDО
I’ve been using Quixel projects for a while now. It’s a great tool for quick generation of normal maps from a texture. It’s a great way to speed up the production of some assets.
The biggest feature of Quixel is the ability to work directly in Photoshop environment and use all your favorite tools. I can quickly draw some scratches, so that you could see the metal below the paint. Or I can add stamped serial number on all the material maps. This software allows you not to worry about any baking during the production of these details. It’s great.
I was incredibly happy to see the release of Quixel 2.0. And it’s a free update. I’ve been really amazed by the quality of the final product. I really like the new 3D Viewer. You can draw directly there with your Photoshop brushes. How cool is that!
Approaching Hard Surface Painting
Working with hard surface I usually start with baking normal, occlusion and cavity maps in xNormal. Usually there’s a mix of materials in such models. For example, there’s some old paint and a small spot of shiny metal beneath it.
That’s why you need to use layer masks to use it for other maps like metallness or roughness. Modern tools like Quixel let you make the whole process of material maps creation automatic. This will help us to dynamically speed up the work of the 3D artist.
I usually use bright spots and colors to mark big, solid constructions. Dark better suits the moving parts. While working with military mechanics I tend to use desaturated colors with some bright additions like pins, text, lights or glass. if you use the right references, you won’t have any problems. While working on cars I also tend to use the bright 80’s palette. It works great.
Building Functional Things
While working on 3d models I pay a lot of attention to the shape and the general mood of the model. Sometimes, when there are some inconsistencies with logic of the construction, you can usually solve them by using a flexible material.
While building some machinery I constantly ask myself: would i sit in this machine? If I’m building a character, I try to figure out if I want to become this person? I believe Warhammer40k, Star Wars & Blizzard games are huge inspirations for me.