Game Studio Spotlight: Ironbelly Studios

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Hey there, I’m Ryan Wiancko from Ironbelly Studios. I founded the studio in 2009 as a technical and creative service provider catering to game developers and studios around the world. Our projects run the gamut from creating stunning 3D weapon or character assets for an FPS to starting from scratch and building an entire game. We’re comfortable jumping on board at any stage of a project and have spent years perfecting our workflow and art pipeline to ensure that even if our artists and clients aren’t in the the same timezone, we’re all on the same page.

We started with very deep and strong roots in 2D concept art, and since the early days we’ve branched out to offer services such as 3D models and animation, programming, level design, UI/ UX and VR development. We work with indie developers, established AAA studios as well as non-gaming companies.

We operate with a core team in Montreal, QC, however artists and producers collaborate from several different countries in North America and Europe.

 

From the start, our goal has been to level the playing field for indie developers.

It was our close relationship to indies which sparked the idea to begin selling 3D models on the Sketchfab Store and various marketplaces. We’ve worked with many passionate developers who had great ideas but either lacked the budget or skills to create stunning 3D models. As a way to help the community, we created AAA quality, game ready assets such as weapons and character animations that could be dropped into any project, at a fraction of the cost it would take to make them from scratch

At the same time we’ve been launching products, we’ve also worked on some great projects such as Hold Your Own: Survival Crafting Game, Empathy: Path of Whispers, Fractured Veil, LawBreakers and Transport Fever to name a few (that aren’t still under NDA). It’s also been amazing to see our weapons pop up in titles such as Player Unknowns Battlegrounds, which you could pick up today:

SCAR FPS Weapon Model (as seen in PUBG )

Sniper Rifle from Hold Your Own

Our Process

Before our artists begin work on any project, we search the web for multiple references of the highest quality possible, even when concepts already exist. It’s a great way to ensure photorealistic quality and draw out areas to focus on.

It is fairly even down the middle with projects that already have references and those starting from scratch without concept art. Either way, our producers and artists engage in meaningful conversations about which references stand out. Its routine to ask questions about the overall vision for the character, environment, item or weapon.

Collecting inspiration and reference also helps to battle the dreaded “art block” that can happen. Our team agrees that gathering reference material can be the most important stage throughout the entire production process.

For this particular Snowmobile model, we gathered inspiration from existing brands. As is the case with most professions, having the right tools as an artist is essential. We use 3D Studio Max for modeling and Substance Painter for texturing and materials. Additionally, having a graphics tablet can be handy for sculpting in any 3D software or painting textures.

We like to use modifiers to correct mesh shapes without having to manually push and pull every vertex. Splines are the best way for us to create rails, pipes and other objects of cylindrical shape. We also use the object paint for instancing things like bolts, screws and other smaller objects across your mesh without you manually placing them. With texturing and detail, we wanted to make the snowmobile look like it had been cleaned recently, but without using a cloth to dry the excess water, leaving swirl marks all over the machine.

We’ve found that Sketchfab is the easiest way to show off special details, and to refine the textures to make them really pop. We use the platform to market our weapon models and our work around the web and to potential clients. Since launching our Sketchfab store, we’re looking forward to seeing how folks use the weapon models we offer in their projects. Overall, Sketchfab is a great way to showcase and highlight the model without needing to spend hours reworking it. Be sure to follow Ironbelly on Sketchfab to keep up with our latest weapon models and artwork.

About the author

Michael

Entertainment at Sketchfab.

Simply, I’m a friend to all 3D artists, game creators and filmmakers. If you're working on a 3d project, don't hesitate to reach out to me.


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