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Knight // Attic

Knight // Attic

Lea Leroy
by lealeroy on 12 Apr 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

Projects completed during a 1-year game art programme at 3dsense Media School.

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Game-Ready Character: Heraldic Knight

This character served my term 2 project at 3dsense Media School, based off the concept "Epic Knight ^.^~~~~~" by Roman Kupriianov. (

This was my first time making a character like this, and it was great to be able to learn the entire workflow from start to finish!

Gathering References

My first order of business was to break the character down layer-by-layer. I wanted to be able to be able to tackle each part of the character with a clear idea for what it was I was making.

Final High-Res Model

The base character was mostly sculpted in Zbrush, building up the armour and cloth layer-by-layer with extractions. The belts were made using curve brushes, while wholly inorganic pieces (the swords) and small details (the gauntlet clasps) were blocked out in Maya. Making the character this way felt really rewarding and enjoyable, I felt very much like a blacksmith or armourer custom-making the knight's kit! The cloth in particular was very challenging: I opted to sculpt it entirely by hand since I didn't love what the cloth sims would output, and it was both a great learning experience and a real test of resolve.

Retopology & UVs

The retopology for this character was done in Maya using the quad draw tool. The hair cards were made in Hair Strand Designer and placed in Maya.

I didn't expect to enjoy this part of the process as much as I did, but retopologising the character and laying out the UVs was really enjoyable for me. Breaking the model down to its most essential silhouettes and geometry was a new and interesting challenge, and learning all the techniques involved in making it happen felt like another big level up!

Texturing & Render Passes

The character's normal maps were baked using Marmoset Toolbag, texturing was done in Substance Painter, and the model was brought back into Marmoset for the final renders!

Environment: the Attic Room

This real-time environment was realised during my third term at 3dsense Media School. The shift in subject brought with it a change in both scope and techniques, which I was excited to learn and even more excited to apply!

The concept I worked with was "The Attic" by Paulo Loveranes Galamgam. (

Gathering References

My first step with this project was to break it down in a spreadsheet. I did this to take an itemised list of everything the project would require, which in turn helped me visualise the scale and scope of the project without being too overwhelmed by the nitty-gritty.


While making this environment threw all sorts of new challenges at me, two processes stuck out to me the most.

The first revolved around cloth: since I hadn't used Marvellous Designer during the previous term, I was looking forward to learning the program and testing it out for this project. Getting to play around with cloth simulation was very rewarding, and I was able to use it to create everything from tablecloths, tarps, hanging cloaks, pillows, burlap sacks... the list goes on!

The second big sticking point came down to texturing. I wanted to capture the art style of the original concept, namely the black ink lines and the ink-wash quality the colours have. At the same time, I didn't want to have the space become unrealistic or unbelievable, so finding the balance between the two was a challenge.

Fly-Through & Render Passes

The final renders for the environment were done in Unreal Engine 5. Getting to learn the in-built camera tools was very eye-opening: I'd been studying other people's works and demo reels since before I came to 3dsense, so discovering all the tips and tricks they used to make their work felt very rewarding and enlightening.

That's All for Now!

I'm excited to look back on these projects in a few years and take stock of how much I've grown as an artist, I can only go up from here! Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my work, I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as I enjoyed making it.

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