3DSMax 2016 & Substance Painter for Videogame Production

Start your 3D Artist career today and learn how to create top quality game art with the help of a Senior 3D Artist.
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Instructed by Tim Bergholz Design / 3D & Animation
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  • Lectures 64
  • Length 17.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

Are you thinking about a 3D artist career in the video game industry? This tutorial will help you understand and apply all aspects of creating high quality game art. Learn 3Ds Max with the Basics & Beyond Chapter and how to model and unwrap efficiently in the following hours featuring the AKM. Create textures as close to photo realism as possible with Substance Painter and make the portfolio shine by creating renders with Marmoset Toolbag 2. At the end we are going to post process those renders in Photoshop to get that extra edge out of it. This Course has it all.

Software used: 3Ds Max 2016, Photoshop, Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag 2.

Important: the modeling part of the tutorial makes heavy use of the "chamfer" modifier which is only available in 3Ds Max 2015 and 2016. If you have an older version of 3Ds Max you can instead google for a third party modifier called "quad chamfer".

What are the requirements?

  • It is recommended to follow the course with the same software that you'll see in the video: 3Ds Max, Photoshop, Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag 2.
  • The modeling part of the tutorial makes heavy use of the "chamfer" modifier which is only available in 3Ds Max 2015 and 2016. If you have an older versions of 3Ds Max you can instead google for a third party modifier called "quad chamfer".

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn and apply all aspects of creating high quality game art.
  • Understand 3Ds Max with the Basics & Beyond Chapter and be able to model and unwrap efficiently in the following hours featuring the AKM.
  • Create textures as close to photorealism as possible for video game standards with Substance Painter.
  • Make your portfolio shine by creating renders with Marmoset Toolbag 2 and post process them in Photoshop to get that extra edge out of it.
  • Final high-poly AKM .OBJ file for reference; 7.62 cartridge .OBJ / Max file for reference; Essential reference images; Pivot Script for 3Ds Max; My shortcut file for 3Ds Max Checker-pattern texture for unwrapping; Procedural wood substance for texturing; Diamond pattern normal map

Who is the target audience?

  • A bit of knowledge in 3D modeling is prefered but thanks to the introduction video we cover all the important basics here as well.
  • Anyone who is willing to spend hard work to create top quality game art as you would see it in a modern first person shooter video game.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: 3Ds Max 2016 - Basics & Beyond

Let's get started by taking a first look at 3Ds Max. We start by discussing controls, preference settings and have a first look at some of the very important shortcuts. Make sure to unzip the Essentials Folders. It contains all the material that we will need for that course.


We continue with at a lot of different shortcuts and the actions behind it and discuss the importance of the Reset X Form Action for 3Ds Max.


Let's take a look at the very useful "Align Pivot to Selection script" written by firiend Christian Ruesseler from Germany which comes with this tutorial. We then continue by taking a look at some of the important modifiers.


We have a look at the Scene Explorer as well as another very useful script. We then continue by talking about one of the most important modifiers: the chamfer modifier which is integrated into 3DS Max in Version 2015 and 2016. We conclude the introduction by having a quick look at the Unwrap UVW modifier essential for unfolding our UV Islands.

Section 2: AKM - 3Ds Max 2016 - Modeling

It's time to get started on the AKM and for that we are going to bring our reference images in to 3DS Max and continue to define the right size for our object. Once this basic scene setup is done we continue to work on our stock.


We continue to define our stock and add some of the metal elements to it which we see on our reference images.


It's time to take on the next element and for that we start by making a first blockout of our receiver part and cut a hole for the magazine in to it. We then take that cut out shape and use it to work on our magazine as the next thing.


We continue to work on our magazine and add more details to it.


After adding even more details to our magazine we leave it as it is and match our stock to the receiver part which we created earlier. We are also adding a few highpoly floater elements to it that save us time for the highpoly modeling work later.


We continue to work on our pistol grip until it matches our reference image.


As a next thing we are going to work on our trigger guard for which we make a lot of use of our extrude action. We are also making it fit perfectly to our bordering pistol grip.


Next we are going to work on the actual trigger itself and continue with the safety switch. For that we start with a cylinder shape out of which we drag fresh geometry and shape it around to match our reference image.


We finish the remaining work on our safety switch and continue to work on our upper reciever element.


With Chapter 2 coming to an end we are going to finish our upper receiver by adding geometry to the inside of it as well as more details in general.

We continue with some smaller elements such as adding the so called rear recoil spring guide for which we are going to use the ProBoolean action for the first time. We continue to work on our bolt carrier.

Next we create the two elements responsible for holing our rearsight. Once this is done we are going back to our actual receiver and add a whole lot of floater and non floater elements to it.


Now it's time for us to work on the rear sight which proves to be quite the challenging piece as it has a lot of details to it. Close study of our references images help us to get the right results. We also start working on our rear sight leaf responsible for actually aiming properly.


We continue to add more details to our rear sight leaf and add some high poly floater text to it. Once this is done we add a little handle to the rear sight.


We finish the work on our rear sight and continue to work on the next wooden element after the stock which is our hand guard. For that we create a cylinder which we modify until we get the desired shape matching our reference images.


Let's work on our upper handguard making sure it matches perfectly to our other elements such as the rear sight and our receiver. We are also adding some of the metal cap elements to it out of which we form up our barrel elements.


We continue to work on plenty of details for our barrel elements and match the closely to our reference images.


We dedicated some more work on our gas cylinder block which is part of our barrel elements and work in a lot of details. After that start to work on our front sight by extruding a fresh set of geometry out of our front barrel part.


There is still plenty of work left on our front sight and we make use of a whole lot of different techniques such as Boolean, FDD modifiers and as very often our symmetry modifer.

Now we add some remaining elements to our front sight and continue to work on our muzzlebreak at the front of our barrel.

Now it's time for us to revisit some of the things we created earlier on and give them a proper polish pass. We then add some more highpoly pass as well as getting started on the actual highpoly modeling for which we devide our work we did so far in two different folders.


We now transform our previous geometry in to high poly meshes by making heavy use of our chamfer modifier in combination with the turbosmooth. We are also making an important adjustment to our magazine which we created in the first chapter.


We continue to turn our individual elements into high poly meshes by adding support edges and more chamfer modifier usage.


The highpoly modeling part is coming to an end. We add some small remaining floater details as well as making sure everything is perfect and ready to go for when we bake later. We then take our lowpoly mesh and prepare it for our unwrapping process.

Section 3: AKM - 3Ds Max 2016 - Unwrapping

We start our unwrapping process by talking about some basic rules that will apply through the following chapters. As the first piece we are going to unwrap the stock.


We continue to unwrap our stock and then tackle most of our small elements such as the bolt head and screws.


After some more smaller elements we are going to work on the unwrap for our upper receiver as a next big element.


Let us finish the upper receiver and continue with the receiver, pistol grip and trigger elements.


The trigger guard turns out to be quite a bit of unwrapping work and we are going to finish it in that part.


We continue to work on our safety switch as well as start unwrapping our magazine.


The magazine has a lot of different things to consider when unwrapping and we continue working on that.


We finish the magazine and move on to the bolt carrier and our rear sight.


The rearsight keeps us busy in that part as well as its surrounding elements.


It's now time to unwrap our handguards as well as the metal caps that are attached to it.


We continue to unwarp our barrel elements and work our way all the way to the front sight


Only a few pieces left to unwrap after which we continue to puzzle together our actual UV-Map. That means that all the individual unwrapped bits and pieces now have to fit in our UV - texture space.


We continue to pack our elements as tight as possible while making sure to have enough pixel space in between our UV shells to not get any clipping later on.


More packing work as our UV-Map gets more populated with all the individual shells.

We are still not done with the packing process but we are getting there at the end of our chapter 3.

With our UV space getting fuller and fuller we have to make clever decisions where to put our remaining pieces.


Same as in the previous parts we continue to pack and shuffle our elements around on the UV map while making sure to get the maximum resolution out of it for our later baking process.


We are finally done with the actual UV map puzzle process and can now start copying our mirrored elements back in to place where they will share the texture information.


We continue copying shared elements back in to place and discover a case for Reset X Form usage on the way.


Now it's time for us to prepare our meshes for the baking part and for that we have to make sure to use the right naming convention on both our high and low poly elements.


We continue doing exactly that by working our way piece through piece making sure all names are setup.


Some last elements that need their names assigned as we nearing the end of our 3Ds Max chapter.


We wrap it up with the 3Ds Max part as we are going to export both our low and high poly meshes getting it ready for the baking process in Substance Painter.

Section 4: AKM - Substance Painter - Texturing

It's time to bake out our base textures and for that we are going to have a look at Substance Painters baking plugin. Once this is done we boot up Photoshop to add a few more details to our normal map.


We go through some of the Substance Painter essentials so that we know the difference between materials, smart materials and paint layers and get started to work on our wood stock for which we load in the wood substance that comes with the tutorial.

We continue to define the look of our wood substance by tweaking the parameters for it until it matches our reference images and we start to mask out our metal elements on the AKM.

We assign more masks for all our different base materials and start working on our pistol grip material for which we make use of a smart material. We then go ahead and start woking on our metal wear and tear.


There is still plenty more metal wear and tear to be worked on and we make sure to work our way from element to element until we like the look of it.


It's time for us to hand paint in a few details that we see on our reference images and for that Substance Painter will live up to its name as we go ahead and paint them on a seperate layer. We are also having a look at the Color Map that we baked out earlier and how we can use it to make a quick mask of the text on our rear sight leaf.


We continue to add more wear and tear to our wood parts as well as our plastic grip. Following that we handpaint in a few more oil stain details that we want to see under our bolt heads.


After we finished painting in all our little oil stains we continue to add some subtle finger prints to our object.


We finish the texturing part of the tutorial by adding some fine dust stains on to it. At the end we are going to have a look at the export textures dialog from where we export our textures out for Marmoset Toolbag 2.

Section 5: AKM - MarmoSet Toolbag 2 - Rendering

It's time to make our work shine in Marmoset. We have a look at some of the marmoset basics and start by setting up a material with all our Substance Painter textures in it. We continue to set up our camera settings and find us a sky that we like.


We continue to make our first render in Marmoset showing the full AKM infront of a white canvas. We tweak it until it looks like our reference image. Once that is done we continue to work on a closeup render and add some depth of field to our scene.


We start to render out our closeup render and bring it in to Photoshop where we add some Particles and Adjustment layers to the scene to give it a bit of an extra depth. After that we make another render and add some cool looking smoke effect to it in Photoshop.


Let's have a look at the turntable animation feature that Marmoset comes with that enables us to render out a 360 animation of our object. With the Marmoset tutorial coming to an end we have a final look at how to use the Marmoset Viewer feature that enables us to look at our art in the browser. For that we have to size down some of our textures individually.

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Instructor Biography

Tim Bergholz, Senior 3D Artist

Hi! I'm Tim - Senior 3D Artist at Ubisoft Toronto.

I'm originally from Germany where I graduated in game design in 2008 and then started my career as a 3D Artist at the Crytek headquarter in Frankfurt. One of the many great things about this industry is that from day one you find yourself surrounded by many of the top talent of the industry. Today I can look back having worked on titles such as Far Cry 4, Splinter Cell Blacklist and the Crysis series as well as other non disclosed titles.

I found my passion in hard surface modeling such as weapons and vehicles and I also enjoy creating tutorials as of late. In those I share all my tips and tricks which I gathered over the years, helping you to avoid mistakes and equipping you with powerful techniques and knowledge to get your 3D Artist career started. Make the first move today and build an impressive portfolio. Let me help you getting there!

Cheers, Tim

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