The arms creation process

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This is a guest post by Matt Waggle


– I sculpted and poly painted these arms using Zbrush.  The method of the hard surface can be best explained with this tutorial.

Specifically “Modeling a Radio Part 1 and 2”


– When I was happy with the sculpt I cloned the mesh and decimated it into a more managable polycount.

– I brought the decimated mesh into 3d-Coat and built my low-poly geometry over it.  Here’s some tutorials on that.


– I made the UV maps in maya – I separated the UVs for the screen as I knew I wanted to swap out screen content eventually.

– In Maya I assigned different materials to the screen, cloth, skin and metal since I wanted to control the look of the materials in Sketchfab.


– I rigged the arms in maya to pose later.

– I then exported my high poly from Zbrush and low poly from Maya into the .obj format.

– Using Xnormal – I baked the detail from the high-poly object to the low poly geometry

Find Xnormal here I highly recommend it: xNormal

– These maps included normal maps, Ambient Occlusion , Cavity and per-vertex color

– I finalized the maps using Photoshop.  Diffuse, Spec, Gloss, Normal, and Emissive maps.


-I posed the arms in Maya.

I exported an .obj from Maya – when you export maya writes a .mtl file as well.

I compressed the .obj and .mtl into a .Zip file


I then uploaded this .zip file into Sketchfab.  You can include your texture maps in the .zip as well if you wish.

You’ll notice in the materials drop down there will be multiple materials based on what you assigned in maya.

I uploaded my texture maps and assigned them all to each material (diffuse, spec, normal)


I tweaked each materials values separately .  This is unusual for game art as I would want as few materials as possible.  But I wanted to control the spec values in real time.

For the skin I put my diffuse texture map into the diffuse and the emission and it ended up looking better.

For the screen – I made sure the Environment was checked on.  And then in the material I increased the “Environment Reflection” to get a glass look.  I also have the diffuse plugged into emission for the screen to glow.

Finally I uploaded a blurred background made from some Fallout Concept Art.

I hope this helps some people – looking forward to seeing more of peoples art!

Please PM or email me if you have any questions.

Matt on Sketchfab

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