Understanding 3D Model Optimization: A Key to Enhanced Gaming Experience

Making Of / 04 July 2023

Optimizing 3D Models: Boosting Game Performance and Realism


In the fast-paced world of gaming and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR), the optimization of 3D models plays a key role in delivering a compelling experience. This discipline goes beyond the mere creation of graphically fascinating structures; it’s a matter of balance between visual quality and game fluidity, ensuring a detailed yet smooth gaming environment. Optimizing 3D models, through techniques such as low-poly modeling to reduce the number of polygons, the application of physically accurate textures (PBR), and the crucial process of ‘baking’, can increase loading speed, graphic rendering, and interactivity of a game. 

The baking is a phase where detailed information from a 3D model, such as highpoly details, are baked into 2D maps, making the model more efficient to render. A properly optimized 3D model not only improves the player’s experience but also broadens your game’s accessibility, making it more amenable to users with different types of hardware. In this article, we will examine the importance of optimizing 3D models, using our American Style Mailbox 3D Model as an example to show how a well-designed model can boost game performance. 

Whether you are a game developer, a 3D modeling enthusiast, or a gamer curious to learn more about the technology powering your favorite titles, this article will provide a detailed analysis of the 3D model optimization process, including an in-depth discussion on baking. Join us on this technological journey and discover how our American Style Mailbox 3D Model can elevate the quality of your game project, taking it to new levels of realism and performance.

Optimized 3D Model of an American Style Mailbox, Game Ready

Understanding Low-Poly Models: A Key to Enhanced Gaming Experience

In the constantly advancing world of 3D modeling and game design, low-poly models have become a critical tool in optimizing performance. But what exactly does “low-poly” mean, and why does it matter?

Defining "Low-Poly Model" and Its Importance in Gaming

A low-poly model, as the name suggests, is a 3D model that uses a minimal number of polygons to represent its shape and structure. By reducing the polygon count, we lighten the computational load required to render the model, leading to improved performance across various hardware specifications. But the magic of low-poly models doesn’t stop at mere performance enhancement; with the right techniques, they can still boast a high level of visual appeal, enabling designers to create engaging and visually stunning games without compromising on performance.

The Impact of Low-Poly Models on Loading Speed and Game Lag

How does this translate to the actual gaming experience? Here are a couple of ways:

  • Improved Loading Speeds: A high-poly model, due to its complex structure, can take significant time to load, resulting in longer wait times before gameplay can commence. A low-poly model, in contrast, is simpler and quicker to load, enabling players to get into the action faster.
  • Reduced Game Lag: Game lag can be incredibly frustrating for players, and one common cause is the processing demand of high-poly models. By using low-poly models, the game requires less processing power, reducing the likelihood of lag and ensuring a smoother gameplay experience.           

Wireframe View of American Style Mailbox 3D Model - Illustrating Low-Poly Design

HighPoly to LowPoly Modeling and Normal Map Baking: A Key Technique in Game-Ready 3D Modeling

Once you understand the value of low-poly models in gaming, the next step is to explore how we transform complex, high-polygon models into optimized, low-polygon versions without losing the essential details that give the model its realism and character. This is where the techniques of HighPoly to LowPoly modeling and normal map baking come into play.

The Art of HighPoly to LowPoly Modeling

HighPoly to LowPoly modeling is a process used in 3D modeling where a high-polygon or high-poly model is recreated as a low-polygon or low-poly model. The objective is to retain the original model’s defining features while significantly reducing its polygon count.

This technique not only improves game performance but also makes 3D models more manageable and easier to manipulate during the game design process.

The Magic of Normal Map Baking

While the conversion from high-poly to low-poly reduces the model’s complexity, it can often result in a loss of fine details. This is where normal map baking comes in. Normal mapping is a technique used in 3D computer graphics to simulate the intricate details of a high-poly model in its low-poly counterpart.

In this process, a normal map — a type of texture that allows us to add surface detail such as bumps, grooves, and scratches — is generated from a high-poly model and then applied to a low-poly model. This creates the illusion of depth and detail without adding extra polygons. The result is a model that is efficient in terms of performance but still maintains a high level of visual fidelity.

By skillfully applying these techniques, we were able to create an optimized yet visually appealing version of our American Style Mailbox 3D Model.

Matcap View of LowPoly American Style Mailbox 3D Model without Normal Map

Detailed View of LowPoly American Style Mailbox with Normal Map

Detailed Matcap View of LowPoly American Style Mailbox with Normal Map Applied

Optimizing a 3D Model: The American Style Mailbox Case Study

Let’s delve into 3D model optimization using a practical example: our American Style Mailbox 3D Model. This serves as an excellent demonstration of how to optimize a 3D model for gaming, balancing performance and visual quality.

Transforming HighPoly to LowPoly: Techniques for 3D Model Optimization

Optimizing a 3D model begins with transforming a high-poly model into a low-poly one. Techniques range from retopology, suitable for organic objects or characters, to decimation via modifiers or removal of modifiers like Subdivision Surface and Bevel. 

After, the 3D model’s geometry is further refined.For the mailbox model, we used a non-destructive method, preserving the modifiers while creating the high-poly version. This retained the model’s details and enabled us to optimize it into a low-poly model.    

The Step-by-Step Creation of an Optimized Low-Poly Model

After preparing the high-poly version, we created the optimized, low-poly model. We duplicated the high-poly model, removed the modifiers, and meticulously adjusted the topology of the low-poly model.

This process drastically reduced the model’s polygon count, making it suitable for gaming applications without sacrificing visual appeal. This case proves that 3D model optimization can effectively balance performance and aesthetics in game design.

In the following section, we delve into how the technique of normal map baking enhanced the American Style Mailbox 3D Model’s quality even further. 

Unwrapping the 3D Model: The Key to Effective Texturing

Before we can move on to the texturing stage, the 3D model first needs to go through a process called unwrapping. This is a fundamental step in the creation of any 3D model meant for gaming, including our American Style Mailbox.

The Art and Science of 3D Unwrapping

 3D unwrapping can be likened to peeling an orange and laying its skin flat. Just like how each segment of the peel corresponds to a specific part of the orange, each part of the flattened UV map corresponds to a specific part of the 3D model. 

This process, while technical, can be considered an art of its own as it requires both precision and a clear understanding of the model’s geometry. For our American Style Mailbox, the unwrapping process involved digitally ‘unfolding’ the model’s surface to create a UV map. 

Each polygon of the model was strategically mapped onto a 2D surface, ensuring that every detail was accounted for.

UV map of American Style Mailbox model created in Blender for texture mapping process

The Importance of a Well-Done Unwrap

The unwrapping stage is essential because it lays the foundation for effective texturing. A well-done unwrap will produce a UV map that maximizes texture space, minimizes distortion, and takes into account the visual hierarchy of the model.

By carefully unwrapping our American Style Mailbox 3D Model, we ensured that the texture will accurately follow the shape and details of the model.In the following section, we will take a closer look at the next stage: baking the details onto our model through the use of a normal map. 

American Style Mailbox model with UVGrid Checker shown in Sketchfab interface

Baking the Details: Harnessing the Power of Normal Maps with Marmoset Toolbag

The transformation from a high-poly to a low-poly model would not be complete without the baking process. This essential step allows us to capture the intricate details from the high-poly model and apply them onto the low-poly counterpart, providing the best of both worlds: a visually appealing model that doesn’t burden the game engine.

For the American Style Mailbox, we used a robust and efficient software called Marmoset Toolbag for the baking process. 

Marmoset Toolbag: A Powerful Tool for Efficient Baking

One of the crucial parts of baking with Marmoset Toolbag involves setting the right output settings. Here, you can determine the resolution, anti-aliasing quality, bit depth, and how to save your outputs. Toolbag even provides an automated padding feature that extends the baking content beyond the UV borders, which adjusts according to your resolution. 

Moreover, Toolbag’s “Bake Groups” are dedicated folders with slots for both high and low-poly meshes. These are especially helpful for isolating different elements of your model and preventing intersection errors.

Projection Tools and Advanced Baking Techniques

Marmoset Toolbag is known for its powerful projection tools, enabling you to control the projection distance and direction of the cage. Additional features like Offset and Skew help enhance the quality of your bake, while the Quick Loader can read object names from your mesh file and automatically set up Bake Groups. 

The Offset refers to the minimum (black) and maximum (white) extent of the offset map, while Paint Skew adjusts details that are recorded suboptimally due to an off-axis projection direction. With Marmoset Toolbag, you can paint offset and skew maps either in 2D or 3D using painting tools with Photoshop-style shortcuts. 

This software makes the baking process more intuitive, precise, and efficient, ensuring high-quality game-ready 3D models like our American Style Mailbox. In the next section, we’ll dive into the final part of creating our game-ready model: texturing.

American Style Mailbox model baking process visualized in Marmoset Toolbag interface

Texturing the Model: Breathing Life into the Mailbox with Substance Painter

Texturing, the final frontier in our 3D model creation process, is what truly brings a model to life. It gives color, conveys material type, and introduces fine details that increase the model’s realism and individuality. For our American Style Mailbox, we used a powerful software: Substance Painter.

Substance 3D Painter: The Artisan's Tool for Realistic Textures

Substance Painter is renowned in the 3D industry for its comprehensive and intuitive suite of texturing tools. With its ability to create materials from scratch and apply them to 3D models in a user-friendly environment, it is no wonder that it has become the go-to tool for many artists.

Painting the Colors of Reality

Texturing is much more than simply applying color to a model. It’s about emulating the nuances of real-life materials on a digital surface. For our mailbox, we paid careful attention to the metallic parts, ensuring that they reflected light realistically. The red paint was also given a slight wear and tear, hinting at its exposure to the elements. 

With Substance Painter’s array of brushes and procedurally generated masks, we managed to replicate the intricate textures found in reality. From the roughness of the metal to the subtle scratches and chips on the paint, each texture was meticulously crafted.

Material Definition and Fine Detailing

Another significant aspect of Substance Painter is its PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) workflow. It enables the creation of materials that respond accurately to lighting conditions, which is vital for achieving a high level of realism. 

In addition to colors and materials, texturing also involves adding finer details to the model. For our mailbox, this included small aspects like rust, dust, and scratches. These tiny details might seem insignificant, but they can drastically enhance the model’s overall believability and depth. 

Overall, a well-executed texturing job does more than just beautify a model—it brings it to life. It gives the model character and history, making it more than just a static object in a game environment. 

In the next section, we’ll discuss the final renders of our American Style Mailbox and how all these steps culminate in a game-ready 3D model.

MailBox 3D Model Rendering

The Result: A Game-Ready, Optimized 3D Model

Bringing together the meticulous processes of low-poly modeling, unwrapping, baking, and texturing, we’ve achieved our goal: a game-ready, optimized 3D model of an American Style Mailbox. But why does this matter? The primary benefits of such an optimized model are improved game performance and a more fluid, immersive user experience. 

As games become more complex, with large environments and numerous objects, the performance demands on hardware rise. An optimized model, like our mailbox, lowers the performance burden, enabling smoother gameplay even on less powerful hardware. The advantages aren’t only technical. An optimized model ensures that gamers don’t face annoying disruptions like stuttering, frame drops, or excessively long loading times. 

This leads to a more immersive experience, where the gamer can lose themselves in the game world rather than battling with technical glitches.


In the realm of 3D game design, optimization is not just a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity. As we’ve demonstrated with our American Style Mailbox model, optimization doesn’t mean compromising on visual quality. Instead, it involves making smart design choices, utilizing techniques like low-poly modeling and baking, and executing careful texturing work. 

Our hope is that this deep dive into the process has been insightful for you, whether you’re an aspiring 3D artist, a game developer, or someone with a passing interest in the behind-the-scenes work that goes into your favorite games. But don’t take our word for it – why not experience it for yourself? We invite you to try out our American Style Mailbox 3D Model in your game or VR/AR environment. Witness firsthand the seamless blend of visual quality and performance optimization. Who knows? It might just change the way you think about 3D game assets. As we continue to push the boundaries of optimization and design, we look forward to bringing you more unique, game-ready models. Stay tuned!

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The Rise of Cyberpunk Character Art: A Revolution in Gaming Aesthetics

General / 07 June 2023


As we venture deeper into the 21st century, one genre of artistic expression stands out among the rest in the world of video game design—Cyberpunk Character Art. This sub-genre, with its grit, neon aesthetics, and edgy character designs, is defining the look and feel of many new and upcoming games.

Cyberpunk, a term coined in the 1980s, reflects a futuristic dystopian world where society is overly dependent on technology. In recent years, the genre has experienced a surge of popularity, and this has inevitably influenced the field of video game art.Today, Cyberpunk character art is more than just a style; it’s a storytelling tool that encapsulates themes of dystopia, transhumanism, and tech-noir. It brings characters to life with striking details, unique fashion trends, and often, mechanical augmentations.

Whether you are a game developer, a 3D artist, or simply a gaming enthusiast, understanding the rise and significance of Cyberpunk character art can provide you with a fresh perspective on game design. In this article, we’ll explore the intricacies of this art style, provide examples of its best implementations, and offer advice on creating your unique Cyberpunk characters.Strap in and join us as we dive into the captivating world of Cyberpunk character art!  

Artwork by Grzegorz Chojnacki - Principal Character Artist @ CD Projekt Red

What Makes a Character "Cyberpunk"

1. Futuristic Setting                        

A typical cyberpunk character is set in a future where advanced technology and internet connectivity have become a part of everyday life. Think about neon-lit cityscapes, towering skyscrapers, and bustling streets that never sleep. The setting is an essential component of a cyberpunk character’s design, often reflected in their attire and modifications.     

2. High-Tech Augmentations

Cyberpunk character art often includes technological enhancements or augmentations. These could be in the form of bionic limbs, neural implants, cybernetic eyes, or even full-body modifications. These augmentations often highlight themes of transhumanism and the merging of humanity with technology.

3. Unique Fashion

In a cyberpunk world, fashion is a blend of various styles—punk, gothic, street, and sometimes, elements of traditional Japanese attire. Leather jackets, metallic accessories, high-tech eyewear, brightly colored hair, and tattoos are all common aspects of a cyberpunk character’s fashion.   

4. Social Themes

Cyberpunk character art is not just about aesthetics; it’s also a medium to portray social and philosophical themes. These can include societal decay, corporate domination, loss of privacy, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. 

5. The Anti-Hero

Cyberpunk characters are often depicted as anti-heroes—individuals living on the fringes of society, defying authority, and fighting against a system that’s stacked against them. They’re flawed, morally ambiguous, but ultimately, compelling characters that players can relate to. 

By incorporating these elements into your design, you can create character art that embodies the ethos of the cyberpunk genre and captivates the players’ imagination. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules in art—the most important thing is to let your creativity flow and create something unique and engaging.

Artwork By Abrar Khan

The Importance of Character Art in the Cyberpunk Genre

The power of the cyberpunk genre lies in its capacity to create engaging, relatable, and multifaceted characters. In cyberpunk video games, character art is more than just visually appealing—it’s a critical element that contributes to the game’s overall setting and plot. Here’s how:

Building the Atmosphere

Cyberpunk character art helps to establish the game’s atmospheric intensity. Characters’ clothing, accessories, body modifications, and hairstyles all give subtle hints about the world they inhabit. High-tech augmentations, neon lights reflected in metallic surfaces, the worn-out fabric of a futuristic street vendor—all these details add to the atmosphere and enhance the player’s immersion in the game world. Achieving this level of detail often requires exceptional artistic skill, which can be obtained through game art outsourcing.

Driving the Plot

Characters in cyberpunk games are often deeply intertwined with the story. Their personal struggles, ambitions, and the choices they make often drive the game’s plot. By skillfully crafting a character’s appearance, artists can convey a wealth of information about the character’s background, profession, and alignment—vital components that add depth to the story.

Embodying Themes

Cyberpunk character art is an effective way to communicate the genre’s key themes. Characters living on the edge of society, enhanced with high-tech modifications yet grappling with societal decay, embody the core cyberpunk themes of technology’s double-edged sword and the socio-economic disparities it can lead to.

Engaging Players

Finally, visually appealing and unique characters capture players’ attention and make the gameplay experience more engaging. A well-designed character that players can identify with can make the game more emotionally impactful and memorable.               

In essence, cyberpunk character art is not just a tool for visual storytelling but a medium to express complex themes, drive the narrative, and create an immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re a game developer, a 3D artist, or an avid gamer, understanding the importance of character art in the cyberpunk genre can enhance your appreciation for this art form and its role in the broader gaming landscape.     

Artwork by Lea Leonowicz

How to Create a Unique Cyberpunk Character

Designing a memorable cyberpunk character requires creativity, an understanding of the genre’s themes, and a knack for visual storytelling. Here are some tips for crafting a character that stands out.

1. Start With a Strong Concept

Before diving into the design, start with a clear concept for your character. What role do they play in the cyberpunk world? Are they a street-smart hacker, a corporate mogul, or a rebellious punk? Understanding your character’s story, motivations, and personality will guide their physical appearance and visual design.

2. Incorporate Cyberpunk Aesthetics

Cyberpunk character art is known for its blend of high-tech and low-life elements. Augmentations, futuristic clothing, neon colors, and unconventional hairstyles are all hallmarks of the genre. However, avoid falling into cliches. Use these elements creatively to enhance your character’s individuality.

3. Utilize Visual Storytelling

 Every aspect of your character’s design should tell something about them. A robotic limb could hint at a past injury, a tattoo might signify allegiance to a particular group, or a unique outfit might indicate their job or status. Use these visual cues to give depth to your character and make them more intriguing.    

4. Balance Familiarity and Innovation

While it’s important to stay true to the genre’s aesthetics, don’t be afraid to innovate. Strive to balance familiar cyberpunk elements with unique and fresh designs that make your character stand out. Push the boundaries of the genre while still maintaining a recognizable cyberpunk vibe.

5. Iterate and Refine

Character design is a process of iteration and refinement. Sketch out different designs, get feedback, and make improvements. Using a 3D software can also help in visualizing and fine-tuning your character’s design.                

Creating a unique and memorable cyberpunk character is a creative endeavor that combines artistic skill, storytelling, and a deep understanding of the cyberpunk genre. Remember that the most impactful characters are those that resonate with the audience, so always strive to create characters that are not just visually impressive, but also emotionally engaging and complex.    

Artwork by Hirokazu Yokohara

Examples of Excellent Cyberpunk Character Art

1 - V from "Cyberpunk 2077"

First Sketches of V Male Character - Artwork by Lea Leonowicz

Arguably the most well-known cyberpunk character in recent years, V is the player’s avatar in CD Projekt Red’s massive RPG. Players can customize V’s appearance extensively, including cybernetic enhancements, tattoos, clothing, and hairstyle. Despite the varied designs, V retains a distinctly cyberpunk aesthetic, embodying the genre’s fusion of high-tech and low-life.

2 - Adam Jensen from "Deus Ex: Human Revolution"

Adam Jensen - Artwork by Laura Gallagher

Adam Jensen is a standout example of cyberpunk character art, featuring biomechanical augmentations that make him more machine than man. His distinctive sunglasses and trench coat have become iconic within the genre, and his design reflects his character’s struggle with his own humanity.

3 - Major Motoko Kusanagi from "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online"

Based on the anime and manga series, Major Motoko Kusanagi’s character design in the game successfully captures the cyberpunk aesthetic. Her design features a full-body prosthetic, which is both sleek and functional, reflecting the world’s advanced technology.

4  - Royce from "Cyberpunk 2077"

Royce - Artwork by Marcin Klicki

Royce, the leader of the Maelstrom gang, is another example of compelling cyberpunk character design. His body is heavily modified with cybernetics to the point where he’s barely recognizable as human – a commentary on the extremes of augmentation in the genre.

5 - Johnny Silverhand from "Cyberpunk 2077"

Johnny Silverhand - Artwork by Marcin Blaszczak

Played by Keanu Reeves, Johnny Silverhand is a digital ghost and former rockstar. His design, complete with a robotic arm and rockstar attire, embodies the punk aspect of the genre.

6 - Sam Porter Bridges from "Death Stranding"

Sam Porter Bridges -  Artwork by Bruno zorzi

While not strictly a cyberpunk game, “Death Stranding” incorporates many cyberpunk aesthetics. Sam Porter Bridges, played by Norman Reedus, is a courier in a post-apocalyptic world. His character design, particularly his high-tech equipment and clothing, carries a strong cyberpunk vibe.

These examples highlight the versatility and creativity in cyberpunk character art, demonstrating how designers can use technology, fashion, and personal history to craft unique and memorable characters.

Techniques for Creating Cyberpunk Character Art

Creating cyberpunk character art involves a blend of traditional art skills, digital technology, and a deep understanding of the genre’s aesthetics. Here are some key techniques and tools used by artists

Concept Sketching

This initial stage involves creating rough sketches of the character. Artists often explore different designs, including clothing, cybernetic enhancements, and physical attributes, to capture the unique mix of high tech and low life that defines the cyberpunk genre.

Artwork by Sam Leung

3D Modeling

Once the concept is finalized, artists use 3D modeling software such as ZBrush, Maya, or Blender to create a digital sculpture of the character. This stage involves creating a 3D mesh and adding intricate details like cybernetic implants or rugged clothing.

Texturing and Shading

After the model is complete, the next step is to apply textures and shaders using software such as Substance Painter. This process gives the character a realistic look, from the gleam of metal on a cybernetic arm to the worn leather of a dystopian jacket. 

Rigging and Animation

Rigging involves creating a digital skeleton for the 3D model, which animators then manipulate to bring the character to life. Animation can be particularly challenging in cyberpunk art, as characters often have non-traditional bodies due to their cybernetic enhancements.

Lighting and Rendering

The final stage involves setting up lighting and rendering the character in a 3D scene. Artists use various software tools, including but not limited to Unreal Engine, Unity, Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, and dedicated rendering engines like Arnold, V-Ray, Redshift, and Octane, to create atmospheric lighting that accentuates the cyberpunk vibe.                                        

Creating cyberpunk character art is a multifaceted process that involves a blend of artistic skills and technical knowledge. With the right approach, artists can create characters that not only look impressive but also embody the themes and aesthetics of the cyberpunk genre. 

Artwork by Dylan Kowalski

Learning Resources for Cyberpunk Character Art

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner eager to dip your toes into the world of cyberpunk, there’s a wealth of resources available to help you hone your character art skills. Here are some suggestions:


  • “The Art of Cyberpunk 2077”: This official book gives a deep insight into the process of creating the unique art of the widely acclaimed game, “Cyberpunk 2077”. It’s an invaluable resource for understanding the intricate details involved in cyberpunk character design.
  • “Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Sci-fi and Fantasy”: While not cyberpunk-specific, this book covers key digital art skills that can be applied to the genre.         

Online Tutorials

  • ArtStation Learning: Many professional artists share process breakdowns and tutorials on this platform. For instance, you can find specific cyberpunk-themed character art tutorials.
  • YouTube: Channels like FZD School of Design or Sketchy Trav, often share useful tips and tutorials applicable to cyberpunk art.

Online Courses

Forums and Communities                        

  • Reddit: Subreddits like r/learnart and r/cyberpunk offer plenty of advice and feedback opportunities for emerging artists.
  • Discord: Many art-related servers exist where you can interact with like-minded artists, share your work, and get critiques.  

Learn Software

  • Learn software like ZBrush, Substance Painter, or Blender. They often offer in-depth tutorials on their official websites.                                        

Remember, mastering cyberpunk character art takes time and practice, but with these resources at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to dive into this exciting genre.        


As we navigate through the neon-lit, rain-soaked alleyways of the genre, it’s clear that cyberpunk character art is more than just a futuristic aesthetic. It’s an expression of individuality and societal struggles, a reflection of a high-tech world riddled with low-life problems. From understanding the defining characteristics of a cyberpunk character to appreciating the role they play in a dystopian narrative, there’s a lot to unpack.The unique blend of sci-fi and noir in cyberpunk character art is what makes it so captivating. 

When creating your own cyberpunk characters, consider their background, their purpose, and most importantly, the story they tell about the world they inhabit.We’ve also discussed a few standout examples of excellent cyberpunk character art in games that can serve as inspiration. Use these examples as stepping stones on your journey into the genre, but don’t be afraid to diverge from the path and carve out your own niche in the expansive world of cyberpunk.

With the multitude of resources and tutorials available, both aspiring and seasoned artists can refine their skills and learn new techniques. This genre has something to offer everyone, from the stylistic exploration of visual design to the thematic depth of its narratives.In conclusion, cyberpunk character art is a rich and vibrant field teeming with creativity and innovation. It poses an exciting challenge for artists, inviting them to envisage a future steeped in technology and question what it means to be human. So, go forth and bring your vision of the cybernetic future to life. With a little patience and a lot of imagination, the possibilities are limitless.                                        

The images used in this article have been sourced from the respective websites and artist portfolios in an appropriate and legal manner. However, if you believe that the use of any of these images infringes upon your copyright or intellectual property rights, please do not hesitate to contact me so I can resolve the issue. I'm committed to respecting copyright laws and promoting the legal sharing of content.     

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3D Modeling Techniques: Master Blocking Out with Blender

General / 08 April 2023


3D modeling is an art form that demands patience, precision, and creativity. To achieve a top-notch 3D model, it's essential to follow various stages, one of the most important being the blocking out process.

Discover the value of blocking out, also known as blockmesh or graybox, in the realm of 3D modeling. This technique involves crafting a three-dimensional rough draft of the object or scene to be modeled. By constructing a basic structure using simple geometric shapes and bypassing intricate details or advanced graphic elements, you can focus on the foundational aspects of your project.

Why is blocking out a critical step in 3D modeling? The key reason is that it offers an overarching view of the object or scene, allowing you to concentrate on the general shape and evaluate the effectiveness of your idea without getting bogged down in the details.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into using Blender software to master the blocking out process for creating exceptional 3D objects. Are you prepared to elevate your 3D modeling skills?

Unlock the Power of Blender for Blocking Out in 3D Modeling

Blender is a robust 3D modeling software that excels in blocking out techniques. Its main advantage lies in being a free and open-source platform, making it accessible to everyone, regardless of budget. Blender's user-friendly interface ensures a smooth learning curve, even for novices.

Equipped with an extensive array of features, Blender offers versatile tools for blocking out, such as primitives, modeling, and sculpting capabilities. Its modular kit system enables users to swiftly connect pre-made components, akin to Lego blocks, streamlining the blocking out process.

Leveraging Blender's robust community and extensive resources is another significant benefit of using the software for blocking out in 3D modeling. With countless tutorials, forums, and user-generated content available, finding support and inspiration becomes an effortless endeavor, facilitating the learning and creation process.

In summary, Blender is a powerful and versatile software tailored for blocking out in 3D modeling. Its free, open-source nature makes it an ideal choice for creators at any level.

Master Blocking Out in Blender: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Streamline Your 3D Modeling Process

A fundamental aspect of 3D modeling is the blocking out phase, which entails crafting simple shapes to form the foundation of the model. Blender simplifies blocking out by utilizing primitive shapes, reference images, and scale figures.

Begin by constructing basic shapes that correspond to your model. For example, in the case of a sci-fi rifle 3D model, the entire silhouette was formed using uncomplicated shapes, suitable primitives, and scaling and moving against the background reference. This initial step provides an understanding of the accurate proportions and scale for each component. Introduce a 3D mannequin model to compare measurements or adjust them based on the real-world dimensions, if available.

After completing the rudimentary blocking out, progress to subsequent stages, gradually incorporating more detail. Ultimately, reach the highest level of refinement, where you can apply modifiers such as Boolean for detailing, and subdivision surface and bevel for a realistic appearance.

While initiating the blocking out process, consider which primitive best represents each component—a cube, cylinder, or sphere? This assessment will guide the modeling and blocking out stages.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can efficiently create a precise 3D model in Blender that embodies your intended design

Unlock the Potential of Blocking Out in 3D Modeling with Blender: Streamline Your Workflow for Accurate and Aesthetic Results

In conclusion, blocking out serves as a crucial step in 3D modeling, enabling you to test basic shapes before incorporating more intricate details. This method ensures proportion accuracy and optimizes both aesthetic and functional aspects of the model. Blender is an exceptionally powerful tool for executing blocking out, owing to its extensive features and user-friendly design.

With perseverance and practice, Blender allows you to craft detailed and well-structured 3D models, even when starting from elementary shapes. If you're new to 3D modeling or seeking a more efficient approach to your projects, mastering blocking out in Blender could be the perfect solution for you.

Thanks to Eldar Safin for the concept in the background.

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Master Your 3D Workflow: Discover PureRef, the Ultimate Reference Image Organizer for Artists and Designers

Tutorial / 30 March 2023


Hey there, 3D enthusiasts! Today, we're excited to introduce you to an incredibly useful tool in the world of 3D creation: PureRef. If you haven't yet discovered the magic of PureRef, fear not! We'll dive into the ins and outs of this fantastic software, revealing how it can streamline your daily 3D work process.

PureRef is an indispensable, free application designed for organizing, managing, and displaying your reference images within a single, user-friendly workspace. For 3D artists, designers, and illustrators, reference images are key to accurately rendering objects, environments, and characters. However, juggling multiple images can lead to chaos and frustration.

Enter PureRef, the ultimate solution for maintaining an orderly and efficient reference image library. With its intuitive interface and extensive features, PureRef keeps your digital workspace clutter-free, ensuring a seamless workflow. Best of all, PureRef is perfect for everyone, from 3D novices to seasoned pros.

Why Choose PureRef?

a. Advantages of PureRef: Streamlining Your Reference Image Workflow

When it comes to organizing and managing reference images, PureRef stands out among other software options. Its user-friendly interface enables easy image arrangement, resizing, and opacity adjustment with just a few clicks. This streamlined process saves artists and designers time and frustration compared to using traditional image viewers or design programs not specifically tailored for reference management.

b. Key Features and Flexibility: Enhance Your Creativity with PureRef's Powerful Capabilities

PureRef boasts an array of features that make it the go-to choice for reference image organization. Some of its key features include:

  • Infinite canvas for arranging images in any layout
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for effortless image import
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts to accelerate your workflow
  • Compatibility with various image formats, such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, and more
  • The ability to create and save multiple boards for distinct projects
  • Image cropping and rotation tools for precise adjustments
  • Support for high-resolution images without compromising quality
  • Always-on-top mode, keeping reference images visible while working in other applications
  • Cross-platform compatibility, available for Windows, macOS, and Linux

c. A Free and Lightweight Software: The Ideal Solution for Artists and Designers

One of the most appealing aspects of PureRef is that it's entirely free to use. This makes it an accessible tool for artists and designers of all levels, from hobbyists to professionals. Moreover, PureRef is lightweight and doesn't demand high system resources to run smoothly. This ensures that it won't slow down your computer or interfere with other programs, allowing you to maintain an efficient and productive workflow.

How to Begin with PureRef

Embarking on your PureRef journey is quick and straightforward. Follow these simple steps to download and install this reference management software:

  1. Access the official PureRef website: Head to PureRef website in your web browser to reach the official PureRef site.

  2. Obtain the software: Click the "Download" button on the homepage, leading you to the download page. Select the appropriate version for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux). After making your choice, click "Download" again to initiate the process.

  3. Extract files for Windows and Linux users: If using Windows or Linux, extract the downloaded .zip file. Right-click the file and select "Extract All" or employ your preferred extraction software to move the contents to your chosen folder.

  4. Install the software for macOS users: For macOS users, open the downloaded .dmg file and follow on-screen instructions to drag the PureRef application into your Applications folder.

  5. Launch PureRef: Open the extracted folder (Windows and Linux) or Applications folder (macOS) and double-click the PureRef application icon. The program will present a blank canvas where you can begin organizing your reference images.

Having successfully downloaded and installed PureRef, you're now ready to utilize this powerful tool to elevate your creative workflow.

Creating Your First Canvas with PureRef - A Beginner's Guide

Now that you've got PureRef installed, it's time to create your first canvas and discover its potential for organizing your reference images effectively. Follow these easy steps to get started:

  1. Launch PureRef: If you haven't already, open PureRef by double-clicking the application icon. You'll be greeted with a blank canvas, ready for your reference images.

  2. Import images: There are several methods to add images to your canvas:

    a. Drag-and-drop: The simplest way is to drag-and-drop images from your computer directly onto the canvas.

    b. Use the 'Load Images' function: Right click in the canvas and select 'Load -> Load Images.' Then, navigate to the desired image(s) on your computer and click 'Open' again to import them.

    c. Copy and paste: Copy an image (or its URL) from another application, like a web browser, and paste it directly onto the canvas by pressing 'Ctrl+V' (Windows and Linux) or 'Cmd+V' (macOS).

  3. Arrange images: Click and drag images to position them on your canvas. PureRef's infinite canvas allows you to organize images in any layout you prefer. To resize an image, click and drag its corners. You can also rotate images by selecting them at the corners.

  4. Adjust image opacity: Drag while holding down the left mouse button along with Ctrl+Alt+Shift to increase or decrease opacity

  5. Save your canvas: To save your canvas and its current layout, right click  and select 'Save -> Save As.' Choose a location on your computer and give your canvas a name. This will create a .pur file, which can be opened later to continue working on your project.

With these steps, you'll have successfully created your first canvas in PureRef. As you become more familiar with the software, you'll unlock its full potential and streamline your creative workflow.

Organizing and Manipulating Images in PureRef

Once you've created your first canvas and imported your reference images, it's crucial to learn how to organize and manipulate them effectively. In this section, we'll cover practical tips and tricks to help you optimize your PureRef experience:

  1. Aligning images: Align multiple images by selecting them, right-clicking, and choosing 'Images -> Align.' Align Left, Right, Top, Bottom etc.

  2. Locking canvas: Prevent accidental movement or resizing by locking canvas. Right-click the canvas and activate 'Canvas -> Lock Canvas.' To unlock, right-click again and deactivate 'Canvas -> Lock Canvas' (Shortcut CTRL+R).

  3. Optimizing Your Canvas: PureRef's 'Canvas > Optimize' function enables you to maximize your workspace and improve your overall organization. This feature automatically arranges your reference images, eliminating any empty spaces and ensuring an efficient layout

  4. Display Modes: PureRef offers several display modes to customize your working experience. These modes allow you to control how your reference images are displayed in relation to other applications on your computer such as 'Always Top', 'Always Bottom' etc
  5. Layering images: Arrange images in layers by right-clicking, hovering over 'Layer,' and selecting 'Bring to Front,' 'Send to Back,' 'Bring Forward,' or 'Send Backward.'

  6. Navigating the canvas: Move around your canvas by clicking and dragging with the middle mouse button. Zoom in or out by scrolling the mouse wheel.

  7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts: Streamline common tasks by customizing keyboard shortcuts in PureRef. Right Click and go to 'Settings', select 'Key Bindings' tab and edit shortcuts according to your preferences.

By mastering these techniques, you'll efficiently organize and manipulate your reference images, boosting your creative process and productivity with PureRef.

In Conclusion

PureRef is an indispensable tool for artists, designers, and creatives who rely on reference images in their projects. Its user-friendly interface, multitude of features, and customizable options make it the top choice for organizing and managing reference images efficiently. With its free availability and lightweight design, PureRef is accessible to both professionals and hobbyists.

From downloading and installing the software to creating your first canvas and optimizing your workspace, getting started with PureRef is seamless. The various display modes, such as Always on Top and Transparent, enable you to tailor your experience and enhance your overall productivity.

Incorporating PureRef into your daily workflow can save you time, minimize frustration, and help you maintain a clean and organized workspace. Give it a try and discover how PureRef can elevate your creative process to new heights with this powerful reference image management tool.

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The Making of the Hot Dog Cart: From 3D Modeling to Publishing on Marketplaces

Making Of / 15 February 2023

The Making of the Hot Dog Cart: Introduction

Discover the secrets of my latest 3D Hot Dog Cart model, optimized for both Unity and Unreal game engines. This model was created with a low polygon count in mind and I also added LODs for even better optimization. With 7 unique texture sets, each with its own UV space, the textures are amazing and the resolution is top-notch.

The components are separated for easy rigging and animation. The tools I used were: Blender for modeling and unwrapping, with the help of HardOps, BoxCutter, and MeshMachine 3D addons. Marmoset Toolbag was used for baking, and Substance 3D Painter for texturing.    

From Inspiration to Reality: The Concept Design of My 3D Hot Dog Cart

I’m always on the lookout for inspiration when it comes to creating game props. I take screenshots while exploring open world games and save them in a folder for later. Another great source of inspiration is checking out the talented artists on Artstation. For my hot dog cart concept, I was inspired by a similar cart in GTAV. As a street food fan, I couldn’t resist the temptation to bring my own version to life. 

To gather references, I did some research by searching for images and 360-degree views of hot dog carts using Sketchfab. I also watched videos on YouTube to gather more information about the various components and features of hot dog carts. I wanted my design to be as realistic as possible, so all of this information was invaluable.

I kept all of my references organized using PureRef, a fantastic tool for collecting references. I had it open in a small window on the bottom right of my screen for easy access. Here are some of the images I used as reference.      

From Blocking Out to Highpoly: The Journey of a 3D Hot Dog Cart Model

The blocking out phase is a crucial step in the 3D modeling process. This involves creating simple shapes to assess the proportions and silhouette of the model. If you have good references, such as front, side, and top images, you can start modeling directly in the 3D viewport. But if you don’t have any references, the blocking out phase becomes even more important. 

In my case, I had a silhouette available for my hot dog cart model, so I was able to start modeling right away. Personally, I like to start with some details, such as bevels and subdivisions, to get a sense of satisfaction and see if I’m on the right track. That’s why I started with a highpoly model.        

Overcoming Challenges in 3D Modeling: The Hot Dog Cart Edition

When it comes to modeling new game props, I always think about how I can utilize my hard surface modeling skills and techniques. My goal is to have a clean and organized topology, despite using booleans, the subdivision surfaces modifier, and bevels and chamfers. I also enjoy using the remesh workflow for creating high poly models. I carefully consider my approach for each component I model. 

One common challenge in hard surface modeling is cleaning up the topology after boolean operations. Fortunately, addons such as HarOps, BoxCutter, and MeshTool can greatly help speed up the process. I like to model based on references, tracing the profile and building the mesh, manipulating vertices and using my favorite modifiers. This technique helps to achieve a result that is faithful to the original and therefore more realistic. 

Another challenge is maintaining accurate scale, proportions, and thicknesses in 3D objects. To overcome this, I always compare my models to a reference character that is approximately 180cm tall or look for exact measurements of the real object when available.    

Unwrapping and Baking

When it comes to unwrapping and creating UV maps, I used Blender. I created 7 texture sets for 7 materials to maximize texture resolution. During the unwrapping phase, I used the ZenUV and UVPackmaster add-ons that provide fantastic functions to properly unwrap the mesh. UV unwrapping can be a time-consuming process, but fortunately, there are some great addons that can help you speed it up and improve the quality of your UV maps. One such addon is UVZen, which offers a range of helpful functions, including a tool for calculating Texel Density. This allows you to distribute texture resolution evenly across all mesh components, ensuring that your textures look great on every part of your model. Additionally, UVZen makes it easy to straighten UV shells and together with UV Packmaster offers many other useful functions that can help you get the most out of your UV maps. By using these addons, you can streamline your workflow and create better unwrapping and 3D models in less time.

After finishing the Unwrapping and material assignment phase, I exported the highpoly and lowpoly fbx files and then used Marmoset Toolbag for baking. I cannot stress enough how fantastic this software is, it has an intuitive interface and allowed me to make photorealistic renderings, texturing, animations, and much more! 

Marmoset Toolbag’s sophisticated baking system made the process even easier and more precise by allowing me to correct artifacts in real-time and make operations on the cage such as adjusting the offset or the skew map. Working with advanced and high-quality tools is always a pleasure! Additionally, starting from version 8.3 of Substance 3D Painter, the baking system has been reviewed and significantly improved.


Texture creation is all about organization and attention to detail. I’ve learned a lot from observing talented artists on Artstation and their tutorials, which I’ll share at the end of this article with links to their profiles. I focus on one piece at a time during texturing, but I also know that starting with a basic material for all components of the object and gradually adding more detail can be an interesting approach. This is a similar logic to what’s often used in modeling and sculpting. 

To keep my layers organized in Substance Painter, I divide them into folders and give them logical names. I begin with a base material and then add variations in roughness and color as needed. I also use generators or smart masks to add effects such as dirt, scratches, etc. I love combining these generators with the curvature map or ambient occlusion to create interesting effects on the edges of objects or in cavities. 

Texturing is a process that requires attention to detail and organization. It’s important to have a good collection of references for the different materials, to look at every detail, and to try to recreate what works best for our project. During the texturing phase of the hot dog cart, I discovered a very interesting filter in Substance 3D Painter to recreate the water droplets on the hot dog cart sink. It’s called MatFX Water Drops and it really helped me add that extra touch to my model.       

Optimizing the 3D Hot Dog Cart Model through Levels of Detail (LOD)

After completing the texturing, I exported the PBR maps for Unity and Unreal using the Substance 3D Painter configuration. Then, I created the Levels of Detail (LOD) using Blender and exported them as fbx files. LODs are versions of the original model with a reduced number of polyggon, which are loaded based on the distance from the camera. I used the Blender decimate modifier to create the LODs. 

For the subsequent LODs, in addition to decimation, I also eliminated components that wouldn’t be visible from far away. Finally, I loaded textures at different resolutions for each LOD, for example, LOD0 in 4K, LOD1 in 2K, LOD2 in 1K, etc. 

Optimizing your 3D model is like giving your game a power-up! It helps ensure a smooth and speedy gaming experience, especially on devices with limited processing power like mobile phones or lower-end PCs.Creating Levels of Detail (LODs) is a super smart move when it comes to optimizing your 3D models. Think of it like having different versions of your model, each with fewer polyggon details. This means the GPU can process them more easily and efficiently. And, when the camera moves away from the model, the LOD with fewer details will be loaded, saving resources and helping your game run even smoother. 

Textures are another important piece of the optimization puzzle. By loading lower resolution textures for LODs, you can lighten the load on the GPU and improve performance.By doing all of this, you’ll be giving your hardware a break and reducing the number of drawcalls required. The result? A more fluid and enjoyable gaming experience for you and your players.       


Once the optimization was complete, I published the model on major 3D model marketplaces such as the Unity Asset Store, CGTrader, BlenderMarket, Artstation Marketplace, FlippedNormals, so game developers and 3d artists can purchase and use it in their projects. Additionally, I published a timelapse video on my YouTube channel showing the creation of the 3D model and its texturing. 

I am very grateful to the supportive community that provided valuable feedback during the development process. I want to invite everyone to try the 3D Hot Dog Cart model in their game projects and provide me with their feedback, so I can continue to improve and perfect my 3D models. Thank you for reading this article, and I hope to have inspired you to create increasingly beautiful and functional 3D models.

Special Thanks to

🔥 Paula Sánchez-Ferrero for her awesome course on Domestika

🔥 Blender Italia, the community where my journey into the world of Blender and 3d computer graphics started 

🙂 And many other people who every day teach me something new                                        


Here are some great channels to follow and resources

🔥 Old Chair Full Creation Process (by Andrew Averkin) – (affiliate link) 

🔥 Learn HardOps and BoxCutter (by BlenderBros) (affiliate link)

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👉 Original article published on 3DSkillUp Website            


🛢️🛢️🛢️ How to create LODs with Blender and use them with Unity

Tutorial / 17 June 2022

In this article we will see how to create LODs with Blender and use them with Unity. LOD stands for Level Of Detail and is an optimization technique to reduce hardware workload by reducing the number of polygons of the meshes that are distant from the camera.

When an object is far from the camera, details will not be seen, but if LODs are not used, the GPU will still calculate the number of polygons in the distant mesh thus leading to unnecessary workload and impacting the performance of the scene. But thanks to the LODs technique the polygons will be reduced so that optimal performance will be achieved in real-time rendering.

By name convention you assign LOD0 to the original mesh and then increase the number by reducing the geometry.

Let’s create LODs with Blender!

We can create LODs by reducing the geometry manually or through the use of a modifier, in this case Blender’s Decimate modifier. It’s useful to reduce geometry manually when we need to maintain a clean topology, such as for characters, organic shapes or anything that needs to be deformed or animated. Instead, for static objects, like game props, we can make use of decimation modifiers. 

✔️ To create LOD1 we make a copy of LOD0 with Shift+D

✔️ We add the Decimate modifier and set the ratio value to 0.6

✔️ We add the Weighted Normal modifier if shading artifacts occur 

Then we repeat the same process for LOD2 and LOD3. We duplicate LOD0 and create LOD2 by add the decimate modifier with ratio 0.4 and LOD3 with the decimate modifier and ratio 0.15

How to use LODs with Unity               

At this point you can export to FBX format our LODs and use them with Unity.               

We organize the Unity project with all the necessary folders. In particular, the Textures, Meshes (containing the imported LODs in fbx format), Materials folder and Prefabs folder were created. 

The textures folder contains the textures with the 4K, 2K, 1k and 512 dimensions that will be used with the LODs. The LOD0 will have the material with 4K textures loaded, the LOD1 at 2K and so on. 

✔️ We move LOD0, LOD1, LOD2 and LOD3 to the hierarchy panel of Unity.

✔️ Then we select LOD0 from the hierarchy and add a LOD Group component from the Inspector panel.

✔️ Now we have to select the respective slots named LOD0, LOD1 etc. (to add a new slot right-click on them and Insert Before) click on the add button and add the corresponding LODs present in the hierarchy we created with Blender.

We can then drag our lod0 into the prefabs folder to create a prefab that we can easily reuse in the scene with the loaded LOD Group. 

In this article we looked at How to create LODs with Blender and use them with Unity

So that’s it as far as creating LODs with Blender is concerned. Stay tuned for new posts!

You can follow me on 🔥 Artstation and 🔥 Artstation Marketplace

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Video Youtube (Audio in Italian with English subtitles)


🖱️ Blender Selection Tools - Tutorial for Beginners

Tutorial / 13 June 2022

Blender Selection Tools

In this article we will look at Blender Selection Tools and learn how to select and deselect objects in the 3D viewport

In the left toolbar (keypad N) you can select the Select and Activate Items button. If we hold down this button it will be possible to choose different modes of selecting objects, including Select Box, Select Circle, Select Lasso. To select objects in Blender’s 3D Viewport we will just left-click on them. 

Selection of all 3D objects 

Pressing Shift+Left mouse button will allow multiple selection of objects. We can select all the objects in the scene at once by pressing the A key, and with the Alt+A key it will be possible to deselect them. We can also press A twice fast enough to deselect. 

It’s possible to select some 3D objects in the viewport and then reverse the selection with Ctrl+i.

Box, Circle and Lasso Select

By activating box selection, you will be able to create a selection box by dragging the left mouse button, and everything inside that box will be selected. We can create a multiple selection with the selection box by holding down the Shift key. Instead, it’s possible to deselect by pressing Ctrl.

It’s possible to call up the select box more quickly with the shortcut b. When we use shortcut b for the selection box it will be possible to deselect 3d objects by holding down the middle mouse button. 

Then we have the circle selection mode, which can be invoked with the shortcut c. We can enlarge the radius of the circle by simply scrolling with the mouse wheel. It will be possible to deselect by holding down the middle mouse button. 

And finally we have the select lasso. This will create a select lasso by holding down the left mouse button and dragging. With the select lasso we can create multiple selections of 3D objects by pressing Shift and deselect by pressing Ctrl. 

Blender selection tools – Some tips for selection in edit mode

The selection methods we have seen so far in object mode also apply to in edit mode to select vertices, edges, and faces. 

And here are some suggestions for selection in edit mode. You can select an entire loop by pressing Alt+Left mouse button.

If we need to select a contiguous area, instead of selecting individual faces with Shift, we can select them in one go. By selecting the first face and then the last one while holding Ctrl

To select faces alternately more quickly, we can select the first face then the second and then press Ctrl+Shift+ the + key on the numpad.

In this article we took a look at the Blender Selection Tools

So that’s it as far as Blender Selection Tools are concerned. In future articles we will look at some advanced selection techniques, so stay tuned!

You can follow me on 🔥 Artstation and 🔥 Artstation Marketplace

👉 3D Skill Up Website 

Video Youtube (Audio in Italian with English subtitles)


🪕 Breakdown - Modeling a Banjo with Blender - Full Process Time-Lapse

Making Of / 07 May 2022

Modeling a Banjo with Blender (full process timelapse)

Hello friends of Artstation. Today I am sharing with you my entire timelapse workflow of creating a game asset with Blender, marmoset Toolbag and Substance 3D Painter.

✔️ I start the high poly modeling and create the 3D lowpoly model of the Banjo with Blender. 

✔️ Then the unwrapping phase with and then the baking of the normal map, ambient occlusion and curvature with Marmoset. 

✔️Finally how to texturing with Substance Painter the Banjo, this ancient musical instrument of African origin. 

🎮 This process is what I usually use to create a Game Asset, with an additional step that is the creation of the LODs.  So get comfortable, brew a refreshing tea (or even a cool Mojito 🍹 if you prefer) and enjoy the whole process.  

🖥️ Software Used: 

✔️ Blender 

✔️ Marmoset Toolbag

✔️ Substance 3D Painter


🍷 How to Create a Realistic Wine Glass with Blender for Beginners.

Tutorial / 02 May 2022

🍷 Create a Realistic Wine Glass with Blender!

Hi ArtStation dudes! I'm Francesco Saviano from 3D Skill Up. Today we're going to see how to create a realistic wine glass with Blender.

Almost everything around us in real life can be traced back to simpler, more primitive shapes like cubes, cylinders, spheres, etc. With this principle in mind we can begin to model starting from simple shapes and then arrive at increasingly complex and detailed forms. This phase is known as blockout.

🖼️Let's start with a reference

Although in this case a glass is a very simple shape, it is always a good idea to start modeling with a reference image in the background or in front of us. In this way we won't have problems with proportions and our 3d models will be more realistic.

In Blender we insert an image in the background adding it from the menu add -> image -> reference (shift+a shortcut)

Let's start modeling the wine glass!

Once we have inserted the image in the background we can start modeling the wine glass. We start with a cylinder, enter edit mode (tab key to switch from edit mode to object mode) scale on z, place it at the base and then extrude and scale following the profile of the glass in the image. We then remove the top face.

Let's add modifiers!

At this point we can add the modifiers:
✔️Subdivision Surface

Solidify will give thickness to the wine glass while subdivision surface will give it a better shape by subdividing the mesh..
Remember to apply the shade smooth in object mode by clicking with the right mouse button -> shade smooth.

We then place some edge loops (ctrl+r) to give the appropriate shape to the glass.

Then let's create the liquid part for the wine.

We must apply the Solidify modifier, in the modifiers stack select it and use the shortcut Ctrl+a to apply it

To create the liquid part that will represent our wine, we select in edit mode the inside of the glass up to a certain height, duplicate the selection and separate it creating a new piece.

In Edit Mode, once selected the faces we are interested in, we duplicate them with Shift+D and then separate them pressing p->Separate Selection

Now let's recalculate the liquid normals. Just select the whole piece in edit mode by pressing the a key (select all). Then press alt+n to open the Normals menu and recalculate the normals.

🔥 It's time to create your glass and wine materials!

Glass Material

To create the glass we will use the PBR Principled BSDF shader of Blender, in this way we will have a physically correct material. Let's move to the Shading workspace, select the glass in Object Mode and create a new material. I called it mat_glass.

In the Principled BSDF Node we set:

✔️ Transmission to 1

✔️  Roughness to 0 

✔️ Base Color to pure white.

In Blender Properties, in the World Properties tab, load an HDRi by selecting in Color->Environment Texture. Also remember to change the rendering engine from Eevee to Cycles if it is not already set.

Wine Material

In the same way we create the wine material. Select the mesh in object mode and assign a new material mat_wine. As for glass we set transmission value to 1 and roughness to 0. For this liquid we will additionally use the:

✔️ Principled Volume node

necessary because otherwise the liquid would look too clear and clean. Instead it needs some consistency, some depth. 

Then we insert the Principled Volume node from the Shader Editor pressing Shift+A then Shader->Principled Volume. We increase the density and change the color absorption. In this way we will absorb part of the light as it passes through the volume, creating a more "dense" liquid. And that's what we were looking for!

💡 Let's set the lighting and launch the rendering!

We insert a floor and a camera and use the three-point lighting type. We add a key light shifted to the left about 45° from the camera. We add a fill light to the right at 45° from the camera, and a back light behind the object. The light intensity should be set like this 100% key light, 50% fill light and 20% back light.

We use a warm color for the key light and a cool color for the fill light so that we have a nice warm-cold transition.

🔥 Then in the Render Properties tab set the samples to 150 plus denoise and start rendering!

🍷 And here's how to create a realistic wine glass with Blender! 

▶️ If you want you can follow the whole process on YouTube (🇮🇹 Italian audio with 🇬🇧 English subtitles)

❤️ If you'd like, support my content creation by following me on:

👉 Follow me on Artstation

👉 Follow the 3D Skill Up Youtube Channel (Italian audio with English subtitles)

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