Art Spotlight: MAP

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Hello, we’re CGART.VN Group, a group of freelancers. We’re really happy that some of our works recently got the attention of the community!

I would like to thank everyone who helped my work get “staffpicked” – I am very pleased and happy, and here I would like to present the basic steps to complete one 3d work with hand painted textures.

We’re often surfing on various CG sites and especially liked the concept of a game called DOFUS.

I based one of my works on concept art by Weequays and I’d like to share a little about it.


Concept art by Weequays

I selected MAP as my concept because it is very bright; the colors are very bright and child-like. Of course each person has to choose a concept that matches their preferences and skill. You can select your favorite genre – as long as you like you can do it!

For this project, we used Autodesk Maya for most of our work.

Step 1 – modeling

I box-modeled the scene to identify the location of each object in the scene map. While I used MAYA 2013, the software, you could also use: 3ds max, blender, mudbox, and others – depending on your options. It’s your pick!

Often in my work the polygon count is critical. For this personal project though, I didn’t have to keep it in mind. Still, that doesn’t mean you should use more polygons than needed, it’s a waste.


Step 2

After positioning the objects in the scene I started modeling the big things, such as walls, cabinets, beds etc.

Keep checking the size of the props in your scene against the general layout until you’re satisfied it’s balanced out properly.


Step 3: Setting up your UV maps

Again we use Maya, this time the UV texture editor.

Next I started creating my UV maps. I used a resolution of 64 pixels per meter, a relatively low resolution but enough for us to express the required design. The texturing process was straightforward – I used UV planar projections and stored all my maps as PNGs.


Step 4: Texturing

Rendering lighting into your scene is a matter of personal taste. I often see colleagues bake AO (Ambient Occlusion) and then use Photoshop’s blend mode to work it into their textures.

For me, this takes too much time, so I decided to hand-drawn the light.

Hand painting is one of my strong points, and I find that conveying the mass of an object is relatively easy to me. I chose a traditional workflow of painting in Photoshop and checking the textures in MAYA.

I started with the first black and white layer to describe the object’s mass. I use a soft brush to describe things as cloth or soft bed center, and I used a hard brush to draw hight hard objects, often in layers I painted to blend mode to overlay, softlight and multi. Ensure that all objects you draw have highlights and shadows. Sometimes I used a higher resolution for smaller objects that needed a lot of details.

I often use yellow for light (blend mode: overlay) and blue-violet for shadows (multi, opacity 20 -40%).
Next we squeeze one more layer of lightweight materials in each region with the corresponding materials, here I use softlight blending mode.

Eventually review everything to make sure I’m still close to the original concept and references. (Sometimes you have to deviate from the original concept to make sure a scene still ‘makes sense’, but it’s always best to check with your clients in those cases).


I used 10 maps size 256×256, 1 map size 512×512 and 1 alpha mask size 128×128 looked like image below.


Step 5: Light maps

Now that we’ve got our texture maps, I am going to go through some steps to create 2 directional Light and 1 ambient Light and then prepare UVs to bake my light map.


Step 6: Finishing


Step 7: Export to Sketchfab

Nothing specific here really, I just plugged in my diffuse and light map and set up some lights:


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

Thanks all !
PS: If you have any questions don’t hesitate to visit us at

Map In 08
on Sketchfab

Thanks Hung Anh!

See more of Hung Anh’s work on his Sketchfab profile and on his ArtStation.

– Bart


About the author


Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.

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