Hi! I’m Dries Deryckere and I’ve been a technically inclined 3D artist since 2013.
I’m mainly focused on weapon art and hardsurface art because on one hand I absolutely adore a realistic science fiction style, and on the other hand because I can’t sculpt worth a damn. I’m incredibly inspired by a whole list of people, including but not limited to: Ben Bolton, Tor Frick, Edon Guraziu, Paul Pepera, Vitaly Bulgarov and many more talented artists. I have a Pinterest board I add to every now and then where I try to bring together product design, materials and just cool things. You might notice I’m a big fan of black and white objects.
I model most of my assets in 3Ds Max and ZBrush using this workflow, and texture them using Substance Painter. Most of the time I make my beauty shots in Unreal Engine 4, but every now and then I work with Marmoset Toolbag 3. I like the versatility that Unreal Engine brings, and if I want to go further with shaders, it’s easier in Unreal. As I’m someone who likes to put their time into presentation, this is usually my way to go. If I need a good result quicker, I tend to move to Marmoset.
I usually default to guns and other firearms because they just so happen to be the perfect size – not too big and not too small, they have interesting and different materials, have an eye catching silhouette, and just have general cool factor about them. I rarely design anything myself though, as I consider myself to be much more of a “3D translator” than a 3D “artist”. Most of the things I make are therefore just real, or based on the artwork of other artists.
I got the initial idea from a similar asset by Nicolas Campelo. I liked the feel of the shapes and was bitten to make something similar.
I started out with a rough sketch in ZBrush to get the overall shapes and feel down.
I didn’t spend any time on polishing or getting things straight, I simply wanted the shape language out of my head and onto the screen. To begin I started from a base mesh of an arm.
From there I put the shape sculpt into 3Ds max and started modelling all the parts using a combination of booleans, turbosmooth tricks and just straight up chamfer modifiers. This was quite time intensive, but gives you a pretty clean blockmesh to work with. After that I put the mesh back into ZBrush and used the dynamesh polish workflow to give everything soft edges for baking in Substance Painter.
Making the lowpoly for this was quite a hassle, because there’s a lot of small details that are intersecting or part of a bigger whole, so I had to model a lot of things as one piece in the lowpoly. After I got the lowpoly down I moved to baking and adding extra normal details with the normal stamps in Substance Painter. I also use the normal stamps from JRO tools sometimes.
Small tip: when texturing sci fi objects I really like to add a touch of brass or gold in there, as it can give a cool break up in color from all the grey values.
Walther P99 – Flaregun
For this asset I used the standard Proboolean – Polish workflow outlined here by Ben Bolton.
This gives the following Highpoly where I continued from.
Adding the normal stamps afterwards gives you a nice extra boost of sharper detail, as the result can sometimes be a bit soft if you go fully highpoly.
This asset was completely recorded. A timelapse video is available, but is not yet online. It will come online later in the future on my YouTube account.
The flare gun is also made the same way.
I first came into contact with 3D through Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) at Howest University of Applied Sciences. I was 18 back then, and really enjoyed the process of creating 3D models for games. In 2014, in my second year, I first came into contact with Unreal Engine. I absolutely loved creating environments, scripting small but fun games and making things look as nice as possible.
In my final year I created a graduation work in which you could destroy cars to your heart’s desire. As this was purely intended for learning purposes, I put the project online for free, to help other people and to share the project with anyone who likes to throw bricks at things. You can find everything about the project here.
After that I went on my internship during my last semester at DAE. During my internship I moved to Valencia for 5 months to work at Elite3D, an outsourcing company for 3D assets. I absolutely loved working there, and the company was a joy to work at. It also brought me into contact with amazing big titles, and I even got to work on assets for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. You can see some of that work here.
After my internship, Elite3D offered for me to stay at the company and work there, for which I was very grateful. I didn’t take the offer though, as I applied for a job at the university I had just graduated from. You see, during my time at DAE we had the opportunity to teach introductory courses to the new first years, and that experience really triggered me to go more into education. I found out that I love teaching things to people! So why not make it my job?
So I started working as a lecturer at the school I just graduated from. Which was a bit funny at times, as some of my students were older than me. We got along nonetheless. At the end of my first year there I was setting my sights on achieving a masters degree, and as Belgium doesn’t provide masters in game technologies I looked across the border to see what our Dutch neighbours had on offer. During my second year teaching at DAE I combined a full time job and a full time masters degree abroad. Luckily that school was “only” 2 hours away by car, and it was a masters degree that relied heavily on project related work, offering plenty of opportunity to work from home, or meeting with my mentor over Skype. It was a heavy year, but really worth it.
This year I start my second year as the Coordinator of the Game Graphics Production Major at DAE, and my third year as a lecturer.
Selling on the store
I started getting into selling a few assets because I just had some practice assets lying around doing nothing. Some advertising emails from Sketchfab about the store later, and I found myself putting a few items up for sale.
Right now I make assets as example assets for my students and continue working on them in my free time. So every now and then I can put a new asset online.
Whenever I put something up for sale I usually just compare it to similar objects and try to price it accordingly. Seeing as I don’t make a living selling things on the store, I can put my prices quite low, and I spend almost no time advertising my work. It’s just there if you’re interested, and if not, no harm done.
I make it a sport to set up models with lighting that’s as clean and straightforward as possible. I’m a firm believer of making the model speak for itself, without any fancy lighting or post process effects. This means that most of the time I just light the model with an environment.
Currently there’s a booming market for architectural visualization in real time engines. I believe a marketplace for architectural assets that are ready to be put into Unreal Engine would me a massive hit. Right now there are a lot of these stores made for V-Ray, but with the power and graphical prowess of game engines these days that shift towards high quality archviz assets is happening.