Art Spotlight: Om-1

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About Me

Hi everyone, my name is Ilya, and I am a graphic designer, I am fond of photography and three-dimensional graphics. I was born in the city of Chita, a small city in Russia, near Lake Baikal. I lived there for 31 years and recently moved to a comfortable place, near the city of Krasnodar.

Since childhood, I liked three-dimensional animation. I could rewatch Pixar’s great films over and over again and once decided to try to create a three-dimensional model myself; since then, this activity has become my favorite hobby. In small cities, it is difficult to find a community of people who are fond of three-dimensional graphics and even more challenging to find work in this direction, so 3D has not become my primary profession. I haven’t explicitly studied working with three-dimensional graphics anywhere; YouTube is my teacher. When I get tired of work, I start Blender and something happens all on its own. 🙂 I like this process.

Why Exactly OM?

Photography is my second hobby. In addition to digital photography, I tried many times to shoot with film, but each time I put it off…until my friend gave me an Olympus OM-1 camera. I wanted to shoot with this camera; it is beautiful in everything and elegant in its design and ergonomics, in particular. The next time I looked for an object to practice in 3D, I didn’t think for long.


The main software that I use is Blender. Great program. Over the years that I have used this program, it has become a continuation of my hands. Seriously, sometimes I do not have time to think about any detail and already see the model on the monitor screen. It’s great that the sculpting mode has been updated in new versions of the editor—maybe soon it will be able to replace ZBrush for me. The other must-have tool in my arsenal is Substance Painter. For me, all the experience with 3D is divided into before and after getting to know this program. At some point, it stopped me shaking at the thought of texturing. 🙂


The thing I consider to be most important in creating any model is the selection of the correct references. This time I had the opportunity to take detailed pictures and look at all the details on a real object, which helped a lot in later work.


In modeling, I try to adhere to the principle: the model should look great both with and without subdivision faces (I am slightly obsessed with a clean grid and try not to use subdivision without any special needs). I am glad that this time everything worked out.

In the latest versions of Blender, the Bevel shader for Cycles has appeared. From the very beginning, I knew that I could do all the chamfers with it, and then bake them into normal maps, which allowed me to focus on the main form and get a clean grid without unnecessary loops. In addition, the add-on included in the standard LoopTools set, especially its space and flatten functions, helps a lot in the matter of a clean and even stack. If you do not know about this add-on, I recommend that you check it out.

Except for a couple of these details, the modeling process itself is simple—to maintain maximum details with a minimum of polygons. A little extrusion, a little bevel, and the model is ready. 🙂

UV and Texturing

Next is the UV unwrapping. Everything is simple here. I select all the hard edges, do an automatic sweep and pack everything using the Shotpacker add-on, and that’s all. I’m not sure if this is correct, but the result suits me, and so far, no one has complained. 🙂

When creating textures in Substance Painter, the worst thing is to make a lot of dirt on the surfaces. I use standard Substance shaders, redrawing them for myself. From these shaders, I often have to remove the layers responsible for dirt and chips. These details are good where they are justified, and this is a rather rare case. I wanted to show the materials of the camera, which was used by the photographer for a long time, but not by zombies from the next world of the apocalypse. 🙂

Publish to Sketchfab

I like how models are displayed on Sketchfab. I always use a bit of sharpness in post-processing, as well as tone mapping and color balance, and sometimes vignette. Be sure to control the location and power of light sources. Standard templates are good, but the light is very important in the work, so you should pay attention to this point.

Unfortunately, I could not achieve a realistic shader for the glass of the lens, but I have seen such shaders in other works.

That’s all I can tell about the creation of Om-1. I hope it was useful. Beautiful models and an exciting process for everyone! 🙂

If you want to see more of my works and projects, follow me on Sketchfab and ArtStation. You can also support me on Patreon.


About the author

Ilya Kalyagin

Graphic Designer

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