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Nicholas Tung | 3D Character Art Showcase

Nicholas Tung | 3D Character Art Showcase

Nicholas Tung
by NicholasTung on 17 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Hello all, my name is Nicholas Tung. This submission features some of my character works at Gnomon School of VFX, Games + Animation.

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Nomad (Game Ready)

Concept by: YiShu Ci 慈火火

My take on one of my favorite character artist's original character. Translating a 2D concept to 3D is always a fun challenging task. I really focused on capturing character silhouette, strong stylized shapes, form, and color.  


Since this is a stylized piece, the textures need to match the model. I used Marmoset Toolbag to bake and Substance Painter to texture. The textures are my custom stylized texture featuring baked lighting and gradients. The whole process was fun and I am always trying new ways to make my textures more appealing.

Gilded Caitlyn 

Concept Inspired by: QiFeng Lin

This project started shorted after Arcane's release and I really wanted to make something related to the show and the game. I found a concept for Legends of Runeterra and decided to add more to it. This Caitlyn model is a mixed from her original design in League of Legends, Arcane, and QiFeng Lin's concept. This piece won Gnomon's Best of Term Spring 2022, Character for Games)     

The concept I selected was "B."  Since it is black and white, I had a lot of creative freedom selecting her colors.  For my piece, she wields her lever action rifle from the Arcane show.


For this project, I stuck to PBR texturing method.  I used Vray's skin displacement.  For her hair groom, I used XGEN.  It was definitely a challenging and rewarding experience.  One the piece was rendered, I composited her in Nuke.  

Ela Kitaru (Original Character)

Before I started Gnomon, I did a lot of 2D Character art and for years I have refined my original character, Ela. Once I got accepted to Gnomon, my goal was to feature her for my demo reel. She was the motivator to study hard and learn because I didn't have the skills at the time. So in order to build her from scratch, I must learn all the 3D techniques and software!


Just like Caitlyn, her work process was very similar.  I used PBR texturing methods for her clothing and skin.  I used Marvelous Designer for her jacket.  Her hair was done through XGEN and the piece was composited via Nuke.  For her hair, it was tricky as my concepted featured a stylized haircut.  I used tube grooming and placed xgen guides within the geo to achieve the look.  I think she turned out great but there's always room for improvement as I grow as an artist.

Decals used in this piece also related a lot of me.  Ela plays a big role in my art side and I always like putting small nods and references to the things I do, go, and enjoy.

Tactical Operator 

Original Concept

Inspired by Call of Duty and my interest in tactical themes.  Focused on realism so it was a drastic changed from my previous pieces.  Face loosely based on the actor Chad Michael Collins.


For the skin texture, I used texture XYZ.  This allows me to use ultra high resolution scans of real people.  Thanks to the wonderful Tran Ma, she was taught me house to used skin displacements and Mari projection painting.  I used XGEN for the groom and Nuke to composite.  

Thank You!

I just want to take the time and thank The Rookies for giving me an opportunity to share my work at Gnomon.  Thank you to all my wonderful friends, instructors, and family for supporting my journey.  This grind and journey would not have been possible without every single one of you!  

- Nicholas Tung

[email protected]

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