Art Spotlight: DBD T1

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Welcome to the art of Marc Gauvin! I’m a ZBrush Artist, a indie Dev and a hardcore gamer. My 3D journey started when I tried to find a solution to sculpt freely which Solidworks can’t do. That’s how I came across ZBrush as a sculpting tool and haven’t looked back since. Since I had no teachers, I forced myself to learn it via online tutorials. From Design to modeling to Unity Integration to Scripting to Animation to Real-Time Rendering, I had to learn everything from scratch has my main background was from CAD softwares like Solidworks or Autocad. I put thousands of hours to learn all of this to be able to reach my dream to create my own X-Com game with real mods support and a full co-op/versus campaign.

Meanwhile, I create small projects for Unity 2017 or help Indie Devs to fulfill their dreams. Want to check it out? Here’s my Patreon for Rich who have extra gold to support cool artists or for ones who Hate Pay-to-Win and want to support me to fight this issue.

The Lore of the Dual Blaster T1 (DBD T1)

The SyloZ The Dual Blaster T1 turret was fitted in a hurry on the Grav Disc Gen-1 by MaErDa Corp, to stop an emerging infestation of a new lifeform discovered on planet MagmarZ industrial’s zone. After constants waves of attacks on theirs Dual Blasters Turrets, our superiors decided to eliminate the hive who sent them constant threats, to get rid of the problem for once. But hordes of monsterZ ate up the supply of the expensive prototypes and they get out of ammo and juice after few hours of battle. In the face of the adversities, the King sent one of his sons on MagmarZ for a last fight to honor and pay the sacrifice of his colonists. SyloZ the Silly was the Chosen.

Few hours laters, he landed on MagmarZ with his personal guards looking for recruits to salvage the wrecks of years of battles to upgrade the old Dual Blaster Type 1 model with 2 industrial plasma generator they retrofitted from his Royal Spacecraft. At this point it was a one-way ticket for Hell. The Prince and his guards designed enough Plasma-Thrower for 12 guards and used them to hold vicious attacks from MagmarZ’s MonsterZ for 2 years before falling out of supply. There was born the SyloZ Concept reserved for the worst Pyromanes of the Empire in Honor of SyloZ and the MagmarZ Colonists.


BastarZ Battle is a personal project I made in Unity 2017. It’s a top down third person Shooter based on Cooperation and Multi Faction. ArenaZ is a Minigame version of BastarZ Battle to get enough funds to develop BastarZ Battle. My main goal with ArenaZ is to reach a maximum players ingame on a modding friendly platform because modder are awesome.

The game ArenaZ is currently in prototyping phase (Alpha) so I can’t commit on anything before I have a solid prototype in hand. I plan to use Playmaker, Uscript Pro or NodeCanvas to speed up the process and made the game easier to mod without coding skills. I use Unity Connect to recruit artists, coders, devs.

I would like to use PBR shader for ArenaZ but am experimenting on the result on 64 players or more. I would try to use non-PBR shaders and PBR shaders to give a chance to low-end PC players.

The Creation Process

My low-poly Pipeline Workflow boils down to this:

  • ZBrush 4r8 Zmodeler (low-poly)
  • Blender to Assign Material Groups and Deploy UV
  • ZBrush to Weld Points and SubDivide (high-poly)
  • Substance Designer and Painter
  • Blender for Animations
  • Unity 2017
  • Sketchfab
  • You

ZBrush 4r8 Zmodeler (low-poly) ZBrush is awesome! Despite occasional crashes, it’s really the strongest sculpting tool out there, especially if you like fast iterations, sculpting, designs, diversity and automations. With Dynamesh+Zremesher+Zmodeler, you can achieve nice looking results in hours instead of days.  But ZBrush offers so much it’s easy to get lost. The best advice I have is to get the Zroomclass and watch it once through and come back to them as you start sculpting. Don’t be afraid to buy tutorials or plugins. They will save you hours of learning curves and mistakes. It’s also helpful to set up a UI set that you can actually navigate. Mine looks like this:

Blender to Assign Material Groups and Deploy UV

  1. Import low-poly Mesh with Symmetry
  2. Assign Names, Groups and Materials 
  3. Edit Mesh and Delete all symmetrical Vertices 
  4. Deploy UV 
  5. Use Symmetry Function
  6. Duplicate and merge mesh until the all symmetry is complete (X/Y/Z)

ZBrush to Weld Points and SubDivide (high-poly)

  1. Import low-poly back into ZBrush 
  2. Weld Points and SubDivide you mesh until desired smoothness 
  3. Sculpt high-poly details with colors if desired 
  4. Export your high-poly 
  5. Create Cage Mesh if desired 
  6. Save and save a backup

Substance Designer and Painter

  1. Import low-poly 
  2. I mainly use theses maps : Color, Metal, Rough, Mixed AO, Specular, Height, Normal Map, Emissive (Because I love Sketchfab 😉
  3. Bake your Maps with your high-poly mesh ( AA maximum if you can wait ) 
  4. Wait 
  5. Look for a better CPU 
  6. Look in your pockets 
  7. Wait 
  8. Buy Alphas and textures packs 
  9. Watch tutorials 
  10. Examine awesome models on Sketchfab 
  11. Ask tips 
  12. Paint in what you learn today and repeat 
  13. Use your Clown Map or Groups to generate mask (I prefer polygon selections. Less jitter than a baked Clown Map. With a better computer who can reach 20 millions polygons; I will prolly use Clown Map for faster workflow) 
  14. Play with materials, spend time to create tools to stamps details onto your models quickly and made them with an multiple alpha input to get a quick variety of effects. ( I will prolly sell some of my Substance Tool I use on my Gumroad soon if I have enough demand ) Don’t be afraid to buy plugins or tools. Few bucks is really cheap for hours of experimentations to find cool and nice effects. Most of them are found purely by luck and crazy experimentations. 
  15. Don’t be afraid to be crazy and experiments anything. Don’t forget to save all your experimentations or mesh. You can always find something useful later to play with or remember how much bad you was and give you a moral boost over what you achieved through that. For example, you can throw a crappy materials into an mask generator, play with layer mode and find really interesting noises or layering effects. Generator, Filter, Masking, Layering offer an infinity of possibilities.
  16. Filter Blur is your friend : don’t forget to blur some details to blend them together.
  17. Something I hate from Substance Painter is that there is no realtime Opacity preview! Solution? Export to Sketchfab. A quick way to saw the end results of your Opacity Map.
  18.  Study UV vs Triplanar to know when and how to use them accordingly
  19.  Use as many Layers and Folders has you can, all the while fine tuning as you go along.

Blender for Animations

For that part; to be honest, I’m pretty new to the Animation World and I seek animators to learn or cooperate with them. I learn basic keying methods who give quick results if you set yours origins accordingly. I’m seeking for a someone who can rig and animate quadrupeds or multi peds who work on Blender or Unity 2017. Feel free to contact me.


Sincerely, I love Sketchfab. That offer me the possibility to saw final real-time results in few clicks and display my art in full 3D which is awesome compared  to 2D renders with its animations, sounds, lights, RenderMode, and wireframe! 

Contact Me

Support me on Patreon and get collectible models, kitbash sets, Substances and more to come

Sketchfab Profile

Unity Connect


About the author

Marc Gauvin

Zbrush Artist and Unity Indie

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