Art Spotlight: Bitbot House 001

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Hello! I am Quoc Nguyen 3D Artist from Bitbot Studio, an art outsourcing studio Vietnam. We’re really happy that some of our works recently got the attention of the community!

I would like to thank everyone, especially Bart Veldhuizen who helped my work get “staffpicked”. I am very excited and happy, so I decided to present the basic steps that we took to complete this 3D artwork with handpainted textures for a game.


We call this piece Bitbot House 001. We started this when we had some free time at the studio. This sort of exercise makes our team practice more and improve their skills as well.

Firstly, I am always searching for reference images on Google, forums and art sites. From that, I decided to make something in a fantasy style.

I found this concept by ZC WANG and I decided to make a 3D model from this concept.


Step 1: Block out and Model Details
I created this model entirely using Maya.

  • Block out: When you see the concept, you should focus on large objects and convert these objects to simple primitive polygons such as cubes, cylinders and spheres.
    But it’s all up to you. You can choose any type of polygons you think that will help you model faster.
    Blocking out the model will help you compare scale with the concept more easily.
  • Model Details: When you’ve finished blocking out the object, you can start to model details.

Step 2: UV And Color
Before jumping right into UV unwrapping, you need to know how to make your UV beautiful and as optimized as possible. I suggest the following:

  • Try to use the entire area of the UV map.
  • Increase the resolution of UV shells of those parts that have a lot of details, or are easy to see.
  • Try not to use too many seams and hide seams at parts that the camera doesn’t focus on.
  • Arrange UV shells that have the same base color together.
  • I usually separate UVs into multiple UV maps. Such as 1 UV map for the roof, 1 for walls,1 for wood,1 for flag,1 for glass. That way I can adjust materials easily.

I use UV Toolkit in Maya 2017 for UV unwrap.

First of all, I usually use Planar Projection to create UVs. After that, I use the cut and sew tool to create UV shells. Then I use Unfold UV to unfold UV shells. Finally, I set all UV shells to have the same texel density and push that into the UV map. Remember to increase or decrease the resolution of UV shells properly.

Step 3: Texturing

I used 3D Coat to draw the texture and then used Photoshop to polish the rest. I recommend using 3D Coat to texture, because you can draw directly on the objects and more easily fix seams.

My workflow for making the handpainted texture: I started with a solid color fill for all of the objects with the same materials and then set parameters for the list below:

  • Base Color
  • Gradation
  • Shadow
  • Brightness/Highlight
  • AO (you can render this map from Maya or Marmoset toolbag ) and set multi with opacity (30 – 60%)

Then create a layer mask for each and paint on them. I usually use basic brushes and the dynamic shape setting to transfer pen pressure properly.

For this task, I used 3 maps at 2048 × 2048, and 3 maps at 1024 ×1024.

Finally, you should consider everything to make sure your 3D artwork remains close to the concept. (Sometimes you have to deviate from the concept art to make sure a scene is ‘meaningful’, but it’s best to ask your client or manager about this strategy).

For my artwork, because it was just practice and not produced for a client, I was able to make some things differ from the original concept.

When I finished Bitbot House 001, I didn’t feel that it was anything special. I thought about how to make it more special. I have a habit of listening to music while working and sometimes it helps me come up with some cool ideas. I was listening to the Gorillaz song, El Mañana, and it reminded me of a flying fortress, and I immediately made it 3D.

About the Tree

Creating the tree took around 8-12 hours.

And it took around 8 hours to create the ground and plants.

You can see the process on our YouTube channel.

Uploading to Sketchfab

For the integration in Sketchfab I converted all our textures into PNG to have a faster preview in the viewer without a huge loss of quality.

We used three lights, an HDRI map base setting in Sketchfab and different post processing filters : SSAO, Sharpness, Vignette, and Bloom.

Thank you for reading! We are very happy to share our work on Sketchfab. It is an interesting website and community and we learn a lot from other artists.

Thanks all!

PS: If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to visit us at Bitbot Studio, or, if you have a PRO account, you can send us a message via my Sketchfab profile.

Finally we want to thank all the Sketchfab team for this amazing tool that gives us the opportunity to show our 3D projects so easily and with such quality and for allowing us to write this art spotlight.


About the author

Quoc Nguyen

Bitbot Studio

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