Art Spotlight: Tiger Tank

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

Hey everybody, I am Maximiliano Vazquez. I am a self taught Hard Surface 3D artist from Argentina with 3 years of experience working as a freelance artist.

So when 2015 started I was really excited, I was decided to make this year the big improvement year, so I quickly got the idea to make a Tiger tank, my all time favourite tank. I wanted to build a model that looked like a Tiger I tank without going 100% realistic, it was more of an artistic take on the tank to learn how different it would be to make a vehicle to the weapons I am so used to making. As I wanted this to be an improvement piece I needed as much critics as possible so as quick as I would have some progress I would go into polycount and create a post looking forward for feedback. I also wanted to learn how to detail hard surface models in zbrush so I decided to add zimmerit to the tank, zimmerit is a characteristic non-magnetic coating produced for the purpose of combating magnetically attached anti-tank mine.

After planning the project scopes and goals I got started, I went into Google and got as many references of the Tiger as possible and setted up the blueprints in Max so I could start working on it. I blocked out the main shapes first and started subdividing some of the parts, splitting some of its panels and what not, after some hours I had something I could show to get some critics on. Getting critics early in this project was really important as the blueprints where pretty bad and I was relying heavily in photos for the proportions and its pretty easy to get some shapes wrong. Heres the link to the polycount post in case your interested reading it.

After several iterations and critiques I got the high poly ready to be imported into zbrush to add the Zimmerit, heres the high poly model before adding the zimmerit.

It struggled for quite a bit but I finally managed to find a good way to add the zimmerit. First I would subdivide the model and then I would apply a displacement map. For the displacement map I googled for zimmerit photos and made a tileable zimmerit texture with photoshop using NDO to create a heightmap out of it. Once the mesh had the zimmerit displacement map on it I would import it into zbrush and use the clay brush with a very hard falloff to add some damage.

After that I started the low polying process, using the high poly model I deleted all the support loops and edited the geometry to better match some parts of the high poly, I went totally overkill for the tracks as I wanted to have some fun with them. The uv mapping was a bit more tedious but I got it and baked after a long day. Heres a screenshot of the bake:

For the texturing process I created the base materials in DDO. After that I exported the maps and started further detailing by hand in Photoshop. At first I was going for an ambush camouflage but I ended up scrapping it cause I was told it made it look blurry. Keep in mind I was trying to copy the real ambush camouflage used by the german army during the second world war.

After chatting with some friends and getting some critiques in polycount I decided to get rid of the camouflage and go for the grey coat paint the tanks used to get out of the factory. The process was all about iteration, I spent some days playing around with the texture trying to refine the masks for the dirt and the rust leaks and separate them from the paint. This is the finished model:

Final maps (albedo, gloss, metalness, normal map, ambient occlusion (not shown in picture)):

Final Result

by maxivz94
on Sketchfab


Overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out even if I would like to improve the textures a bit more I feel it was time to move on. This was an extremely fun and amazing learning experience for myself and I couldn’t have made it without the amazing critics I got from Polycount. It has been amazing to break down the process and thoughts I had through this process with you, hope you guys enjoy it!

Thanks Maximiliano!

Don’t forget to check out Maxi’s Sketchfab portfolio. He also has a personal website and you can find his work on ArtStation and Facebook.

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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