In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.
I’m Kaspars Pavlovskis, a freelance 3D artist, from Latvia (Riga). My 3D art journey started in 2009, when I decided, that I want to make games for a living. Mainly, I make weapons and props, however, I love to do other models too. I have always loved the Fallout series, so I started to make props and weapons for modding. Here is my latest creation, weapon called: Nuka Shotgun
When Fallout came out in 2008, I was still in high school and did not know what I wanted to do with my life. At the time, I just bought a new PC and wanted to test it out. I always loved post-apocalyptic art, so I bought Fallout 3 and instantly was hooked. Played it A LOT, for almost a year. At that same time in 2009, my brother Oskars Pavlovskis worked in a game studio and saw that I was interested in 3D art. He gave me a good push in the right direction and I tried out Maya and other standard 3D programs. He always gave me comments and critique, which he still does. To practice, I created a lot of Fallout fanart to see my progress. So when Fallout 4 came out, I knew what I needed to do. I remade a lot of my old nostalgia art and now I can look back and see how I have progressed from noob into a good 3D artist. When Fallout 5 comes out, we’ll see where I’ll be then!
Every time, I want to start a new model, the most important thing is, knowing, what I really want. Because this was a Fallout fan art model, I needed to check out most of the weapons in Fallout series. I focused on the small details to make a big impression, and would be memorable for everyone who saw it. It is hard to get your artwork visible if it is generic and with no extra detail.
I gathered a lot of reference pictures, with Fallout weapons and props. When I decide what kind of weapon it will be, now I am searching for unusual props, that can be a good addition to gun model. Due to the new DLC: Nuka World, I decided that I need to implement nuka bottle, in my weapon. Instantly, nuka bottle scope came in my mind and I knew what to do.
For modeling, I use Blender3D, I start with a simple blocked out mesh. This allows me to get the scale and silhouette, just right, before I move on to more detailed model. At this point, artist should not worry about wireframe or geometry, this mesh is only for a 3D reference, something to build on later.
If I am pleased with the blocked out mesh, I start to model each part, for high poly mesh. At this point, check in google, real weapons and mechanisms. Every part should be logical and fit together with everything else.
High poly and low poly mesh:
After high poly is done, I take some parts from it and re-use in low poly. Clean up geometry a bit and cut some polygons out. For a FPS game, like Fallout, polycount for weapons can be 10-20k. I try to land in between, just around 15k polygons. I always check my mesh, from FPS perspective, so every part is visible and does not block out the screen.
Nothing too specific in UV map department, I just cut the mesh with edge select tool and unwrap it. I always try to hide the seams inside the mesh. When I am done with the UV map layout, I resize the islands, by a specific order. First I lay out the main parts, that should have the best looking texture and then the small pieces, that can be a bit low-res. After I am done, I check everything, with checkered texture.
I baked everything in Substance painter, then imported into Quixel suite, for texturing. Started with a good base materials and checked every part, if all looks good and I don’t have any bugs on the model. Than I build from there, start to add detail and the usual wear and tear effects. In the end, I add unique details: decals, text and stickers.
Here is a WIP picture, from Quixel suite. As I stated before, I added base and now started to add cool details, like the painting on handle.
Finished with the texture. At this point I am happy with the result, but some of the textured parts can change a bit during the finishing process.
The scope was done, just like the weapon. Same workflow, same technique, only difference is the glass part. I needed to make inner parts, that will be visible through the glass. Also the bottle mesh, needed to be double sided, with inner and outer walls.
For me, Sketchfab is awesome tool to showcase your mesh to other people and allows me to check my work on other platforms and screens, tablets, phones and other computers. Every time, I finish a milestone on model, I upload it to Sketchfab and check on it the next day, anywhere like at work and on any device. This way, you can check our mesh with fresh mind and see every part of it.
In the end, Sketchfab is my go-to platform to showcase my creation. I love the new animation add-on and try to use it, every time. Without Sketchfab, my portfolio would not be as interactive and fun to check out.
(I’d also like to thank my friend Oskars Dzenis for helping me with the animation!)