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The Hogwarts Express and The Combo

The Hogwarts Express and The Combo

by LindsayLiu on 21 May 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

These two projects were completed as my final projects for the intermediate and advanced term at Think Tank Training Centre Online. The Hogwarts Express is focused on hard-surface modelling and texturing. The Combo is focused on organic sculpting and shader developments (refraction, reflection, SSS etc.). Enjoy!

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This project is truly special to me, as it marks one year into my journey of learning 3D, transitioning from being a Financial Advisor.

 My primary goal for this project was to dive deeper into photorealistic texturing. Texturing was also the most challenging part of this project. Since there weren't many colors in the diffuse maps, all the control relied on the spec, glossiness, and bump maps.

Software used in creating this project: Maya, Substance Painter, Mari, V-Ray, Photoshop, and Premier Pro. 

The hardest part was to achieve the differences in the metal textures while maintaining overall harmony. The metals cannot look too different, especially in the diffuse map, but they have to be distinct enough to achieve the right look.

To create the Molder's Marks (raised letters) on the cast steel, I merged a blurred version with the printed letters in the bump map. This makes the edges of the letters less sharp, mimicking how they would appear in the real world.

The Combo

The Combo was completed during my intermediate term at Think Tank Online. By that time, I was 8 months into learning 3D. It was quite a challenge, as it was my first time learning the ZBrush workflow and exploring photorealistic texturing, especially for food.

Software used to create this project: Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Mari, V-Ray, and Photoshop.

Sculpt and Base Shader:

Texture Process Views:


Subsurface Scattering:



Bump Normal:

Super special thanks...

to my advanced term supervisor, Patrick Kilcher, for the Hogwarts Express project and my intermediate term supervisor, Maciej Biniek, for the Combo project. Without their great guidance, I could never have overcome the challenges I faced. Also to John Robertson, who gave me the courage to embark on this journey to explore the world of 3D.

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