Behind the Magic: 3D Game Art Scrap Shotgun

Weapons, and in particular firearms, are a particularly fun piece of 3D game art. They’re front and center for much of the gameplay, right in the hands of the player. Even if it’s not an FPS, they are something that often draws player attention. For 3D game artists, creating a fun, high-quality, and interesting weapon is a challenge that is often encountered.

In this scenario, one of our very talented 3D game artists was tasked with building out our internal portfolio with something that packed a punch!

Creating 3D Art with a Bang

This scrap shotgun was built with the Cobray Terminator shotgun as its base. The goal was to deliver a weapon that could be at home in a post-apocalyptic setting.

The basic 3D art production pipeline was followed. Reference materials were collected, a base concept was established, exploration followed the concepting until a core identity was found. From there, a high-poly model was created, then a low-poly model. From there, the geometry was baked on and the process ends with texturing. The tools utilized in this process were 3dsMax for the modeling and Substance Painter for the texturing.

The stage of texturing is important as it allows to double down and focus on the signs of wear and tear established during modeling. As a post-apocalyptic piece, it needed to tell the story of its survival and its crafting. Leather windings were added to differentiate it from a fresh weapon, rust and chipping were introduced. It’s important to our art team that every piece of a game helps tell a game’s story and expand its world. These are the elements that tie players into the narrative and the lore, encouraging immersion.

Tips for Creating 3D Weapons

A simple and reliable weapon, this is a unique design given its single shot capacity and unusual frame. Our artist described it as “brutally beautiful” and said that “creating any kind of beauty is fun.”

One piece of advice our entire art and animation team is to gather the right references and as many of them as you can find! If you’re recreating something from real life, the key to high-quality 3D game art is the references you can draw from. If you’re creating something entirely fictional, it will have to have some kind of base as a reference – either as inspiration or as the core of its design. Either way, quality 3D game art is foundationally based on high-quality references.

Another tip given by this artist was to understand that a firearm is a mechanism. “When it comes to modeling a mechanism, you must understand how it functions. To truly create it faithfully, you must know its operation.”

There you have it! When creating 3D game art of firearms, expand your thinking, go beyond the mind of an artist. Get into the headspace of an engineer!

To leverage our 3D game art expertize, or any of our other stellar services such as full-cycle game development, our comprehensive art production, or real-time VFX, get in touch today! Together, let’s create magic.


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