Art Spotlight: Mecha Game Project

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My name is Florian Potier, I live in the North of France where I work as a 3D computer graphic designer in charge of the Unreal Engine department at the studio DECOD, a small studio in Paris.

Idea – Reference

To begin the project, i had to find a reference which was visually interesting but also not too complex technically to avoid the risk of giving up in the middle of it.

It’s in the gallery of Joao Fiuza that I found the ideal reference.


I completely changed my usual hard surface sculpting workflow for this project but stayed true to habit in ZBrush for the most part. I was inspired by Oscar Perez, who makes numerous round trips between ZBrush and 3Dsmax.

This workflow is largely facilitated by ZBrush’s GoZ tool, which allows you to send meshes from ZBrush to 3DS with a single click. I  began with the most delicate stage, the blockout. A lot of observation, not so much technique. You should not be afraid of modifying, deleting, or starting over. Many beginners remain stuck by using only one subtool. You should not hesitate to use as much subtools as needed.

Here, for example, with the block out I saw that the trunk hadn’t enough volume, and that the cheeks were too much hollow. It is really necessary to try to block harmonious forms as soon as possible. Once the block out was done, I needed a working base for 3DSmax. So I duplicated, decimated, and sent only the head in 3DS (Goz), to be able to create piece by piece  the various parts of the mask.

Now the hard surface part really begins. The purpose is to use the ZBrush’s retopology tool only to retopologise the object’s surface. We do not need the thickness/volume at this point.

Once the retopology is done, I generate the mesh (iteration 1) which I model in 3ds Max. In 3ds Max I go back to a more classical workflow: I detach the various parts, adjust them, clean the meshes and apply the modifier “shell” to give volume. Then I use the “chamfer” modifier on angle’s edges.Do not hesitate to switch between softwares to model objects. For example, it is much easier to realize a cable with “lines” in 3Ds Max, or tubes in ZBrush with ZModeler. For the jacket, it’s a completely ordinary sculpt, nothing particular to note, except for the use of the excellent brush of Ryan Kingslien.

About Texture

With Substance Painter, there is an amazing feature which is to be able to paint details directly onto normal maps. It’s very flexible and allows to try things without limitation.

Sketchfab is a powerful tool that allowed me to maintain the same quality I had in Substance Painter. As it’s very easy to use, Sketchfab is one of the best software to show / publicize your real time projects

The community is also an important element, since the quick feedback/comments allow us to improve our projects.

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About the author

Florian Potier

3D Artist, 29 yrs old, Lille, France. Specializes in ZBrush, 3ds Max, Substance Painter

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