Art Spotlight: Vintage Hitachi TV Portable 1980

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About

Hello everyone ! My name is Tahnee Peterson Stuart and I’m currently living in France. Currently, I’m an Environment/Props artist at Studio Nyx in Angoulême.

I spent three years at a graphic design school, then I was hired two years ago by this company after my internship. It’s been only since then that I learned how “Real Time” 3D in the Gaming Industry works, because during my scholarship I only did pre-rendered 3D through V-Ray. I try to watch a lot of tutorials in my free time so that I can improve faster. I love doing modeling and texturing various props! I like the idea that you can create a thing from scratch and give it “life”.

So, why this prop?

I love vintage things, especially radio and TV. I was thinking of a prop to make for my portfolio and I saw this TV and I said to myself “I will do this!”. The shape is nice and recognizable as a 1980’s TV and I thought I would customize it to be a bit funky.

Always pick references

First of all, I always start by picking references, it’s the root of the project. It can be images or concepts!

I recommend using Pureref references software because it’s so powerful, you can grab any image from the browser. Furthermore, it has no interface, and this is practical. Here is an example of my references:

Lets get started!

Low Poly

I start with my low poly in 3ds Max. First, I block out the main form with basic shapes, and then I add all the principal elements like buttons, speakers, and antenna. I like to see the global form before I get started on tiny details.

For example, for the cable I used Boolean. Booleans are very practical and if you use them carefully you will not experience any bad surprises. Next I use the modifier “turn to poly”, which removes all the unwanted vertices. After finishing the low poly, normally I move on to the UVs.

UVs

UVs are very important. In your workflow, your bake, texture and general quality will be based on your UV map. First of all, I make sure that my smoothing groups correspond to my UVs in order to avoid artefacts in baking. Secondly, I pay attention to the texel density. It is the amount of texture resolution on a mesh. I make sure that it’s the same everywhere on my mesh:

For hard surface I generally cut my UV on every 90° angle – it’s not obligatory but it works better.

Finally I suggest the tutorials of Leonardo Iezzi, they are very helpful.

Furthermore, for those who use 3ds Max, you can download Textool, a helpful free plugin.

High Poly and Bake

For the high poly workflow, I usually use dynamesh + polish in Zbrush. It’s fast, efficient, and gives good results. I recommend this tutorial.

I like thick bevels, because they are recognizable from afar. And for the bake I go with Marmoset; their bake engine is very practical, you can visualize your bake and choose the dimension of the cage.

The rest of the details, for example, screws and lines, are made in Substance Painter with height/normal layer.

Once the normals are baked, I go into Substance Painter

Texturing

It’s the fun part !

I put my normal map into my project, add all the information of height/normal that I want in a layer. I export this into a new normal map and bake my other map (Curvature, World Space, AO etc..) with it.

First I select the AO channel and add it into my project, then I grab a fill layer and select the slot “AO” and put my baked AO map into it. By doing so, I add a level and push the AO further in my model. This adds depth to the structure in general. And after that I begin to texture. I pay attention to my references and how this prop may interact in a game. Maybe someone touched it? So it has fingerprint on it, etc.. I try to tell a story.

For this object I wanted to show that it is an old TV with many old stickers on it and someone in our time has turned it into his science project. So that’s why it is dirty and there are scratches everywhere, except for the post-it and the potato because they came after. I pay attention to my texture resolution so that when I add text, it will be readable.

Final

On Sketchfab I use normal PBR configuration with Metalness/Roughness workflow. In the materials section I add my albedo, my roughness, my normal and my ambient occlusion. Just below ambient occlusion there is the “Cavity” section – I also put my ambient occlusion there; it works like an AO map but is a bit stronger and I like the depth that it gives to the model.

The lighting is simple, it’s just three point lights, one orange and two blue.

For the post processing I turn everything on and I play with the values. My tone mapping is Filmic – I always use this type. The background is just a grey color block.

I love Sketchfab because it’s super easy to configure.

Thanks you all for your attention 🙂

LinkedIn / Artstation

About the author

Tahnee Peterson Stuart

3D Props / Environment Artist


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