Dwarven cleaver
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Dwarven cleaver

by EtkyArt on 31 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Handpainted 3D model from a concept by Bryan van der Linden!

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For this project I wanted to push my handpainting skills on Substance painter. After choosing my concept I started with a really simple blockout on 3DsMax, which will change a lot on later stages. This part is only for getting some basic shapes right, and not having to start from scratch on Zbrush.


After that, I exported the blockout to Zbrush and the fun part started. The blade was looking really boring so I pushed the shapes there, and added dents and irregularities on the whole model, thinking about using the curvature map on Painter afterwards. 

That is the almost final highpoly on Zbrush and how it  ended up being. I made some little changes once it was on Max, like the little ring placement.

The retopology was done on Maya and Max, mainly because on Maya I find the quad draw easier for tasks like the blad of the knife. The handle and the rings were easy to do on Max afterwards, where I also unwrapped the UVs and packed them to get it ready for Painter. The final polycount was 2.400 aprox.

The bake went pretty good from the first try, I used the common by mesh name method and it worked like a charm. With that out of the way, I started texturing. I knew I wanted to have a handpainted final result but I wasn't sure how to start with, so I made some generators, using the curvature and normal world position maps. I added base colours, some AO generators, and then started painting on top of that. It was quite a fun workflow, just focusing on making it look as good as possible by hand. For the final touches I added colour variation with some gradient maps, and it really helped the piece pop.

Above: Base color and normal map bakes. The uv seams on the normal map weren't noticeable on the bake so everything went well!

Then, I exported everything to Unreal 5 and with some special set up for handpainted textures, using a post processing custom material, I took some final renders. I want to work more on my final render set up skills, but all in all I'm quite happy with how this project ended! 


Special thanks to Santeri (@Voidie3D) and Tyler Soo (@Tyler_soolum), as their feedback helped me a lot when pushing this piece to the max. 

Original concept by Bryan van der Linden, thanks for letting me model your design, it's been really fun!


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