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Nicolas Lopez - Rookies 2020

Nicolas Lopez - Rookies 2020

Nicolas Lopez
by nicolaslopez on 26 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Here is my entries for the Rookies 2020 in Game Development category ! This is 3 Game-Ready works that I have realised during the year. It was a great way to discover and learn how to make real-time projects that could be effective for games. I hope you will enjoy them !

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Aston Martin DB5 - Real-Time (UE4)

This is the first project I did on Unreal Engine 4. It's a reproduction of one of the famous car of James Bond, and this was my first steps in real-time rendering.

2 Materials, 4K Textures.

Modeling in Autodesk Maya, Texturing in Substance Painter and Lighting/Rendering in Unreal Engine 4.


Here is my main references board, which was useful throughout the project (from Modeling to Surfacing and even Lighting, to see how reflections bounce on the car).

The challenge of Optimization

The main goal of this car was to have a really good ratio polys/quality, for the modeling and the texturing. I think I could be more generous with me about the number of polygons (that I've fixed to 30K max.) but I really wanted challenge myself and see the real-time constraints that I would faced to understand this new technology.

To make the experience even more rewarding, I've rendered it in Unreal Engine 4, which was an opportunity to discover how the lighting and rendering works in engine !

UV's & Textures

I couldn't spend so much time on optimizing my mesh if I didn't spent time too on optimizing my textures. So I've tried some differents  methods to reorganize manually my UV's to make as much space as possible useful on my UV sets. 

 Then, after have textured everything in Substance Painter (and created all the alphas I needed on Photoshop and Illustrator), I've also looked how manage my maps to export the less of them (using RGB and Alpha channels).

And I have used a texture from Quixel for the ground (thanks to the partnership with Epic Games/UE4) and also to check if my car was realistic enough to match with it.

That's a way to work that I have used after this for all the following projects !

Game Ready Character - Presh0t : the Space Pilot

Here is Presh0t, my first game-ready character that I have fully created, from scratch to 3D. It was really fun to give him life and find his personality !

3 Materials, 2K & 4K's Textures.

Sculpting in Zbrush, Modeling in Autodesk Maya, Clothing in Marvelous Designer, Texturing in Substance Painter, and Rendering in Marmoset Toolbag.


I wanted to create a Sci-Fi character that could fit in some universes that I really like, espacially two of them : Guardians of the Galaxy and Beyond Good & Evil. So I've coupled that with my desire to create my own chameleon (which is my favorite animal !) and Presh0t is born.

That was also an opportunity to deep into Zbrush, and also have fun with a new software that I have learned this year : Marvelous Designer.

Polygon's Optimization

To increase my details level (especially for the skin because I really wanted to have something polished) I have choosen to sculpt everything in Zbrush and then use my high poly in Substance Painter (and by the way try to understand how baking options works in this software). But my sculpt on Zbrush and my clothes on Marvelous was way too heavy in polygons to be used in game. So I had to retopology everything ! I used Maya (and its Quad Draw tool) for the body, and for Marvelous Designer I've used a tricky but very usefull pipeline which allows to export and use 2D Patterns, that we retopology, and then use as UV's to finally morphed them as 3D patterns.

UV's Management

To keep a relative same texel density between each parts of my character (and also between my 3 UV's sets) I've classified them in 3 categories : Body, Cloth, and Props, that, between them have the same texel density. It was easier after that, in Substance Painter, to keep the same detail level between all my textures.

Game Asset - Soldier 76 Mask (Overwatch Fan-Art)

This is a reproduction of the mask of Soldier 76, a character of the video-game Overwatch. It was an opportunity to make some game assets and stylized textures, in game constraints (for the polygons and the texture maps).

1 Material, 2K Textures.

Modeling in Autodesk Maya, Texturing in Substance Painter and Rendering in Marmoset ToolBag.

Training Exercise

The main goal of this project was to try to product a polished asset as I could have to do if I worked in a video-game studio. So I've worked on my productivity and my effiency, and also try new techniques on Substance Painter to have some results (like gradients or normal map details for example).

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