Hi everyone, I’m Gil Damoiseaux and I have been in the game and realtime industry for more than 25 years now. I’m a technical art teacher at the Haute Ecole Albert Jacquard in Namur, Belgium, teaching mainly shaders, coding and visual effects. I’m also a freelance developer, working on game tools under the name Ignishot. I’ve been intrigued and passionate about 3D and especially realtime rendering since I was a teenager.
Modeling and designing 3D stuff is usually not my daily routine. I have a background in computer science and I’m definitely more comfortable with visual studio than with any 3D modeling software. But working on 3D models from time to time is quite a relaxing process and I’m really enjoying it.
Why use Fusion 360?
Fusion 360 probably isn’t the first tool that comes into your mind when you’d like to model something. I have used 3ds Max in the past and I’m still using Maya for simple mesh production, mainly in VFX, but it was always painful to handle boolean operations, and cleanup was nearly always mandatory to have a decent model. I made a gun model a couple of years ago in Maya, and it took far more time to finish it than expected, but at that time I wanted the full monty, low poly, high poly, UVs, painting …
For this new project, I wanted something simpler, straight to the point, where I could do what I wanted without always having to think about the consequence of doing things in a certain order. I already had the opportunity to use Fusion 360 for a technical project at our local hackerspace, where I needed to laser cut panels and since then I had been thinking about using that software for a design project.
The real trigger for that project was the artstation page of Alex Senechal who is an absolute master of high tech and sci-fi modeling, especially guns. After looking at his models I noticed that he was using Fusion 360 for some of them, so that was it, the confirmation I needed.
I was also quite impressed with the work of Bryan Flynn, Cameron Kerby, Jon Lane, Timothee Yeramian and Gregor Kopka on the Doom arsenal.
Evolution of the concept
I wanted to have a quite symmetrical/radial gun, using the same parts placed in circle, allowing me to concentrate on details and reuse them more than once. I also wanted to reuse the idea of tubes along the gun and liquid in flasks like the previous one I’d done; this is something I find interesting design-wise.
The first iterations were about the muzzle. At first it looked like 6 darts coming out of a metal sphere. I liked the back part of the muzzle, but definitely not the front, it was not an aggressive look for a gun and reminded me more of a knitting device than a gun, so it had to be changed.
The handles were quite easy to do, especially if compared to the ones I had made for the previous gun in Maya, the boolean operations really shine here. I was also enjoying the fact that there are basic UVs generated on the model, you barely have any controls on them, but it’s there, and it’s a nice shortcut for people who don’t like the texture mapping step, like me.
The next iteration was about remaking the muzzle and the back of the gun. I tried to find a way of justifying the liquid in the tubes and eventually came up with 6 articulated ‘arms’ ending with little spray nozzles. It quickly reminded me of the Demogorgon in Stranger Things and that led to the name of the gun.
It was also designed to be articulated; there is a closed and and open position for the muzzle, which reinforces the reference to the Demogorgon.
The integration of the flasks was also quite challenging as I wanted something practical, avoiding too much exposure and being easy to replace and reload. It was finally integrated in an articulated support with release latches.
Integration in Sketchfab
To import the model into Sketchfab I had to export a polygonal model out of Fusion 360, which is not possible with the basic software. I spent some time trying the available options and eventually chose the Simlab FBX exporter, which was a good compromise and outputs a nice and clean 3D model.
On the Sketchfab side, I used the PBR renderer, only simple materials without textures for a clean, high-tech look. For the liquid and tubes I used the opacity-refraction feature of the shader with a little bit of roughness and I was really pleased with the nice looking results.
On the lighting side, I chose a pure environment lighting with no extra lights as I didn’t want to emphasize a given side or part of the model.
The making of this project was really pleasant. It took some time to get used to the way Fusion 360 works but it has a lot of advantages for high poly modeling. The construction history stack allows you to update anything you’ve built quite easily, but also was also quite slow to handle as the project gets bigger.