Art Spotlight: Tugboat ASD 2810

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I am Igor and I live in Moscow and work in an animation studio. My education as an architect has long been a profession. In the design process, I always worked on the facades of buildings, which led to the creation of the correct 3D model, according to my own drawings. Architecture is inextricably linked with prototyping and modeling. In free time, I created models for myself.

igor yermelenko art

My profession and modeling skills, along with my hobbies, led me to create my cartoon models. Now I am a 3D and 2D artist who has worked and is working at Moscow cartoon and film studios. I create models for cartoons and movies. At some point, I noticed that I had created a large number of cartoon models and I thought about going back to creating realistic models based on drawings. That, plus my passion for ships, made me decide to create models for sale and projects for myself in my own style.

boat model

At the moment, the tug model is my best ship model. I found many drawings and photographs of this ship on the internet. This tugboat is the workhorse of port services. While modeling ships, I study ships and marine life.

sketchfab boat models

Modeling and Deployment

Modeling was carried out mainly in Maya. I started blocking to get the correct overall proportions. I prefer to model everything in parts, so I typically create a low poly part and then refine the high poly part before moving on to the next part.

tugboat mesh

Often, a new highly detailed model (part) that appeared on the deck of my tugboat would force me to improve a nearby part. I tried to reproduce all the details and elements of the ship while keeping everything optimized to avoid having an overly dense mesh on the final 3D model. Eventually, the whole model displayed the same degree of detail.

tugboat detail

After that, I proceeded to unwrap. Since the model has many details, I packed the textures into several UDIMs. My product should not heavily burden the scene in which it is displayed. These were my main parameters when I created the model (i.e., an easy convenient model for those who purchase it).

tugboat UVs


Texturing was the most time-consuming part of the project, but for me also the most fun part. I was not going to make a dirty or old-looking model. The goal was to create a new clean ship. Just as it would look if it were maintained and in operation.

tugboat textures

I also studied photos of this tugboat and created a set of stickers that are present on all units and parts of the tugboat.

tugboat stickers


sketchfab 3d editor settings

I have been on Sketchfab for 4 years. This is a great platform for showing and realizing the talents of model creators. I really like to look at strangers’ models and revisit my own models. Usually, a model is created and you get only a picture or, at best, a little animation and that’s it. At Sketchfab, you can create a live composition with animation and sound. It is very cool. Thanks to the Sketchfab team for their excellent work.




This tug was my test model during the period that I studied 3D. My work can only get better.

P.S. I am writing this article some time after creating the tugboat. Now that I have created new ships, I want to fix some things and make clarifications on the tug. But I will remember this ship as a step up in my 3D skills.

About the author

Igor Yermolenko

Hello! I'm a 3d and 2D artist

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