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Video Game Level Designer


Like everything I create, I began with a quick paper and pencil sketch. I find drawing on paper helps me bring out my creativity, which doesn't happen with digital drawing. I have concepted this particular firearm many times before since it is based in my fictional world Hamendall (novel coming soon) but felt like a new drawing was in order, one which was cleaner and easier to model from.


This project pushed my skills to their limits. I improved my modeling skills, knowledge, and ability in Substance Painter and learned a new software - Blender! I had a lot of fun to boot, which is always great.

Some things I still need to improve include baking. I have gotten a lot better at getting a nice high-poly bake for my textures, but I still get many artifacts, and the quality isn't there yet. I would also like to learn how to create materials in Substance Designer or a similar program instead of relying on the default Substance Painter Materials. Of course, my meshes could also always be better.



Above are rendered stills of the final rotator pistol created in Blender. I began this project intending to use it to teach myself Blender. I would say this was a successful attempt. I learned many of the features and tools of the software, and since this project, it has become my daily driver for 3-D modeling, rendering, and sculpting.


I brought the sketch into Blender with an image projection and created most of my basic shapes and prominent details. During this process, I also found and removed a design flaw - it turns out a giant bold connecting the upper to the lower receiver would prevent them from moving separately; who would have thought?


After the basic shape was done and I liked the proportions, I refined the shape and added more details. It was a real challenge to get the geometry clean with so many odd shapes, but I powered through. I ended with a clean low-poly mesh to work from further, sitting at just over 13k tris. I was thrilled so far.