Tim Bergholz's 21 gun salute
What's your name/avatar?
Tim Bergholz. On steam and video gaming in general I usually go by the name of rascal.
How old are you?
1759 weeks (33).
Where do you come from?
I was born in Germany and grew up in the region around Frankfurt.
I moved to Canada - Toronto, the land of squirrels and poutine, end of 2011 and liking it quite a lot here.
What's your actual job?
I studied media design which got me a first taste of Photoshop and then went to a college focusing on 3D modeling which was the best career choice I ever made.
After working at Crytek Frankfurt for a few years, I got hired as a Senior 3D modeler at Ubisoft Toronto. I worked on this particular project in my personal time.
Web Portfolio address?
What are your inspirations?
Stickman’s weapon photography is a big source of inspiration: very clean, elegant and cool looking reference material. I am trying to mimic his style as much as I can with my texturing and renders. Also the gun collection will still double in its count as it's an ongoing process.
Tell us about the project:
- The workflow you used
Before I start with the actual modeling I research as many references as I can possibly find. YouTube is also an excellent source; it helps to see the gun in motion. Everything is then modeled entirely in 3Ds Max. All texturing and baking related needs are done in Substance Designer/Painter. On a few occasions I still use Photoshop, for example to lay out the ornaments (Colt 1911 or the DT11) and bring them in as a mask to painter.
- Biggest challenge and solutions you found
When you have so many weapons on your to do list, you need to come up with a very automated process to get that amount of work done. There was plenty of trial and error involved in the beginning, learning and understanding PBR, material definitions, most straightforward modeling workflows and so on. Once I got the hang out of it, I was able to speed through it much faster compared to the first few guns. Since I did everything in my spare time, staying focused and motivated to pull it through also turned out to be challenging. The long and cold Canadian winters were certainly helping that.
- How did you use Substance? What was your favorite thing about the toolset?
Substance is revolutionary in so many ways, it's nearly impossible to pick a favorite thing about it. Seeing the materials and wear and tear form up in real time on the 3D model is ground breaking and enables me to match the looks of my reference pictures in record time. Another awesome thing is that once I defined those looks (painted gun metal, wood, plastic, scratches, oil leakage etc.), I can just save and re-apply them on any new object. That makes the texturing process as quick as 1-2 hours per new gun. Before substance painter, a few days would have been an optimistic estimate for that kind of work.
Which of these guns would you use against the Indominus Rex of the Jurassic World movie?
Since I don't have an RPG in there yet, I would probably pick the DT11-L as I think it has an extremely high impact power. Only downside is that I would have to reload after every shot. Thinking about it, I should probably add a few higher caliber weapons for the dinocalypse.
Anything you'd like to add?
I am currently working on a comprehensive Gumroad tutorial that will explain my workflow on the example of a new gun. I'll highlight every single step without fast forwarding: 3Ds max tips and tricks and scene setup, high and low poly modeling, baking out all essential maps and of course making some serious texturing in Substance Painter. At the end we'll be making awesome renders in Marmoset to make the portfolio shine. So if you're not afraid of German accents, subscribe to my Gumroad account and you’ll get immediate notification once it’s available.