Art Spotlight: RQ Dog Bot

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Hi! My name is Valery, I am a freelance 3d artist with nearly 3-years of experience.

Art is my passion. If you’ll ask me what I’m working on now – I’ll answer that I work on 2-3 works at the same time. If I have no NDA on it – I post work in progress on my Facebook, screenshots or fast renders on ArtStation.

I’ve been a Sketchfab user for a year. My colleague from a studio where I was working at that time told me about it and mentioned it was a cool way of presenting your work (I’ve never done renders with complex post processing in 2d). I’m very happy that I tried to – it was comfortable, has really good community and it’s constantly evolving – I remember what it was last summer, and now it’s just wow! For this year, I received a lot of job offers through Sketchfab and through it I’m working on the project of my dream now.

Today I want to tell you how I created my “RQ dog bot” scene.


It all began with inspiration – I found the artist and author of the concept (James McDonald) half a year ago and was in love with his stuff. I had a desire to make 3d model on one of his works.

Because of specificity of 3d-viewing, I figured up that I must do for it looked nice at closeup:

  • high-poly low poly(nearly 20k tries)
  • high-res textures (2k on character)


The girl

I decided to begin with an organic “meat-character” because that always was easier to me, I don’t really like hard surface.

When the modeling was done, it was time to go to the low-poly and UV mapping. I recorded the process partially:

I use Topogun because it is pretty simple and this is stuff that I know and work fast on it, and I unwrap UV with Maya using bonus tools.


Then I bake my maps on X-normal, paint ID map (using vertex color) and go to Quixel suite…. uuups, not this time. Something went wrong and I decided to try new Substance Painter. For first it broke my brain, but in the end I cope with it.

The Robot

Well, now we are ready to do to next step – the robot I used Maya for Hard Surface Shapes (hss) modeling, make the base-mesh and used smooth on it. But first I made markers on Zbrush for making the work with concept proportions easier.

I baked the normal maps in Maya too because I like how it bakes hss parts. To minimize artifacts on maps I always move parts to some distance.


UV mapping for characters is always hard step. You move parts and it satisfies you less and less. So a wise decision is to set a time limit for yourself for this type of work.


And then all the same steps with texture:


The floor

I decided this scene needed a floor for a more pleasant look. I made a simple sculpt in Zbrush and detailed it on Substance Painter using height maps


And we go to best part: posing ! 🙂

This year I’ve tried nearly ALL the ways to post your model: animation skeletons, vertex moving in Maya, Z sphere rigging,… I found that the least painful is posing with transpose tools in ZBrush. For more comfortable workflow apply the texture first (but don’t forget to flip it vertically haha!).


Looks done =) After some simple light edits it is ready to be published. Usually I use something like this – cold or neutral direction, warm point and cold spot-light on the back.


Final result

About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.

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