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SWORD Tutorial - Master the art of Zbrush, 3Ds Max, Substance Painter & Marmoset

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  • 16 HD Video Files (+ Beginners Guide to learning ZBrush video)
  • Low and highpoly files in case you just want to follow along certain chapters.
  • Essential reference images
  • Duration: 14hrs video MP4 format with full audio commentary in English


Create a triple A quality sword in ZBrush, 3Ds Max, Substance Painter and portfolio ready renders in Marmoset Toolbag 3. Do you think about a career in the video game industry as a 3D Artist and happen to like swords? Then this tutorial is designed for you. Follow along as we block out, sculpt, unwrap, bake and texture a sword to triple A video game standards. Every step is documented without fast forwarding Also included is the "Beginners Guide to ZBrush" that will go over everything you need to know in 30 minutes.

3Ds Max - Blockout

The tutorial starts in 3Ds Max where we set up our reference image and then create a block out version of the sword. This model won't look stunning but serves the purpose to have a base mesh that we will import to ZBrush.

ZBrush - High Poly modeling

After we create the blockout model in 3DS MAX we are going to import it to ZBrush where we then use Zremesher and other tools in preparation of the highpoly modeling. This multiple hour long chapter of the tutorial aims to make you a ZBrush expert as we combine organic (skull and snake head) with hard surface elements. Learning by doing as we create our sword highpoly model and make use of any feature and function that helps us getting the most out of ZBrush.

Learn about tools, subtools, brushes, masking, Zremesher, Dynamesh... and pretty much anything else you need to know to create triple A content within Zbrush. At the end of the ZBrush part you will learn how to use ZRemesher to create a base lowpoly version which is a massive time save over having to retopologize the lowpoly from scratch.

3Ds Max - Lowpoly & Unwrapping

After we are done in ZBrush we export our finished highpoly model back into 3DS Max and create a game ready lowpoly model. We are going to make use of the zremeshed parts we created in ZBrush as well as combining parts of the of the original blockout model. After we are done creating the lowpoly model we will jump into the UV Editor and start unwrapping our mesh in order to have the perfect UV layout for out later texture. At the end of this chapter we will prepare the low and highpoly model by making sure we have the right naming convention, smoothing group setup as well as materials assigned.

Substance Painter - Texturing

In the Substance Painter part we will then bake our normal map as well as other important support maps. Right after that you will learn how to make an ultra realistic texture for our sword. Learn how to create base layer materials and how to use procedural textures, masks and generators to form up the wear and tear on our sword resulting in a photo realistic appearance. You will also get to know the latest tools that Substance Painter currently has to offer. Learn how to stamp in mysterious rune text as well as making use of the emissive channel for this extra cool look.

Marmoset Toolbag 3- Portfolio ready renders

As a finishing touch we will make a short visit to Marmoset Toolbag 3 where we create portfolio ready renders. Learn how lighting setup works in combination with Marmosets powerful camera settings as well as creating collages in Photoshop.

What are the requirements?

It is recommended to follow the course with the same software we use throughout the tutorial: 3Ds Max 2020, ZBrush 2019 (or 2020) as well as the latest version of Substance Painter, Marmoset Toolbag 3 and Photoshop. (last two are not a must)

Who is the target audience?

As all ChamferZone tutorials the sword tutorial is aimed at beginners as well as intermediate. I try to avoid heavy use of shortcuts as much as I can during the lesson so that you can see which actions I use.

Instructor Biography

Hi! I'm Tim - Senior Weapons Artist at Digital Extremes. I started my 3D Artist career at Crytek before working at Ubisoft Toronto for five years. I worked on titles such as Far Cry 4, Splinter Cell Blacklist and the Crysis series as well as other non disclosed titles. In my spare time I enjoy creating tutorials in which I share all my tips and tricks which I gathered over the years. Let me help you avoiding mistakes and equipping you with powerful techniques and knowledge in game ready 3D art creation. See you in the tutorial! Cheers, Tim

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SWORD Tutorial - Master the art of Zbrush, 3Ds Max, Substance Painter & Marmoset

4 ratings
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