View all the Finalists for Rookie Awards 2024
My Think Tank Training Student Portfolio

My Think Tank Training Student Portfolio

Markus Gruner
by AkhushGruner on 19 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

I'm pleased to present my submission for the Rookies 2023. A collection of student work from my delightful time spent at Think Tank Training Center. It was an incredible period full of learning, growth and enjoyment and I am proud to showcase the fruits of my labor after learning the world of 3D art from scratch.

6 950 1
Round of applause for our sponsors



Primary Render

Valkyrie Concept by meltifire (

This project was my  4 month mentorship piece which was my final for Think Tank and was a crash course in hard surface modeling and texturing after a student history of creating organic focused characters. This impressive concept piece by yongsubsong instantly caught my eye and I'm so glad I decided to go for it despite the volume and variety of elements and pieces involved. The design was a delight to work with and I enjoyed adding my own flair to the shield and armor surfacing. 

Left Render

Back Render


All aspects of this project were blocked out completely in Zbrush minus the chains which were created using a maya mash network and the cape which was simulated in marvelous for the first pass. Starting with the female figure the initial shapes and proportions of each asset were dialed in and brought into balanced relationship with each other I then took each piece into maya to retopologize and UV before returning to Zbrush for sculpted detailing.

All texturing for the project was accomplished in Substance Painter.  A smart material was created as a base for the armor pieces and then each piece was remapped and tweaked to create a sense of uniqueness while maintaining the unity of the set. I created a separate material for each of the different leather assets (Straps, cuirass, collar, skirt) The skin was done using a mixture of Texture XYZ multi channels, projected using Painters projection and warp tools and hand painted detail overlaid on the initial projection in the displacement, color and reflection channels of the skin texture. The buckles, chains and bolts were also textured separately while trying to maintain a sense of unity for the full set of armor. The cape was textured using opacity maps to create the torn look.



Helmet Turntable


Primary Render

This Likeness project of Gustaf Skarsgaards character Floki from the show Vikings was my 3 month advanced semester project for Think Tank. It was my first 3D portrait and I learned so much about facial anatomy as well as topology and UV's for portraits. I had originally intended to create expression with blendshapes but I ran out of time, however the topology was still built with the motion of facial muscles in mind.


Grayscale Render

Left Render

Right Render

This project was sculpted in Zbrush with maya camera lineups and reference image planes used to dial in the likeness match.  Once the likeness was achieved in low resolution I moved onto the Retopology and UV creation which were both done in Maya as well. A texture XYZ detail and color pass were projected using Mudbox projection and then hand tweaked  in Mari after the initial pass was complete. The reflection pass was built off the existing node network for the diffuse and then desaturated and tweaked further. A separate coat channel was created for additional reflection control. All hair and fur were done with XGen in Maya. The outfit was sculpted in zbrush, retopologized and UV'd in maya and then textured in Substance Painter.


Topology and Render Passes

Gustaf Skarsgaard Likeness Sculpt

Animated Camera

Female Figure Sculpt

This was a quick sculpt study of the female figure done in Zbrush after graduation. No topology or UV's are involved this was a 2 day gesture piece for practice.





Comments (1)