80 Level: Best Props of 2021

We conclude our celebratory series with the 10 best props that inspired us over the past year.

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Hello everyone! A week ago we shared 10 of our favorite character art-related breakdowns over the passing year. Today, we unveil the final part of our celebratory series, in which we thank all our readers and followers for inspiring and supporting us, sharing your experience, and always providing much-needed feedback.

In our final rating of the series and of the year as a whole, we collected the 10 best prop breakdowns of 2021. Whether you want to find some inspirational ideas for your own projects or just want to check out some cool guns and robots, this final installment of our series fits all.

Without further ado, let's start!

We'll start our final list with an amazing steampunk rifle, created by Oleksandra Sokol in Maya and Substance 3D Painter. In the breakdown, Oleksandra shared the modeling and texturing workflows behind the rifle, discussed the retopology process, and explained why Anton Lavrushkin's The Order: 1886 fan art was chosen as the main reference. A great breakdown for those who are into Weapon Art or for the fans of the steampunk genre.

Our next breakdown is dedicated not to a single prop, but to a whole series of props instead. In this breakdown, Senior 3D Hard-Surface Artist Csaba Szilagyi talked about creating weapons and vehicles for Cyberpunk 2077, discussed the workflow in Modo and Substance 3D Painter, and shared a piece of advice with aspiring Props Artists. If you are a fan of CDPR's game or if you want to create cyberpunk-style props, you should definitely check out this article.

Next up, we have a fantastic collection of potion vials made by a Lead Material/Environment Artist Alexey Druzhkov a.k.a. Alexey HRDesign. In the interview, Alexey talked about his workflow in Substance 3D Designer, explained how to use the software to create real magic, and shared some tips on tool customization. A great starting point for beginning Substance users.

The next prop of the list was made by two Environment Artists from Ubisoft Priskah Khazaei and Benjamin Galinier. In this article, the artists told us about their cooperation during the making of the Game Boy Color, talked about their workflow in Blender and Substance 3D Painter, and showed us how they made the project disassemblable. Plus, they explained how all the little details were created. An interesting breakdown for both Hard-Surface Artists and Nintendo fans.

If you are a fan of Netflix's Love, Death + Robots series, you will definitely find our next interview interesting. In it, a 3D Artist behind weapons from the show Lennard Claussen talked about the production process, shared some thoughts about working on such a massive project, and told us how to make the weapons feel just right. 

Next up, we have an amazing vintage bottle prop created by a Junior Prop Artist from India Vamsi Kalangi. In the article, Vamsi shared an extensive breakdown of the Vintage Bottle project, discussed the workflow in Maya, ZBrush, and Substance 3D Painter, talked about the modeling process, and explained how to set up Depth Pass in MT4.

Our list would not be complete with this amazing Coupris Kineema car from Disco Elysium made in Blender, ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Substance 3D Painter, and Substance 3D Designer by a 3D Artist Nikita Skotin. In this interview, Nikita showed us the workflow behind the project, explained how the interior of the car was made, and demonstrated the process of making the model ready for 3D printing. If you are a fan of Disco Elysium, this article might just be exactly what you were looking for.

The next prop we picked for this list is an amazing mechanical sloth made in Blender and Substance 3D Painter by a Prop Artist Oleg Senakh. In our interview with Oleg, the author told us everything about the Mechanical Sloth project and shared an interesting workflow that skips high poly modeling and retopology processes entirely. A great article for Hard-Surface Artists who want to try something new.

The next breakdown that we included once again covers a lot of props that were made for the Hunt: Showdown game by a Hard-Surface Artist Alex Medina. In our interview with Alex, he talked about the workflow in Blender and Substance 3D Painter, explained the modeling and texturing processes, and told us about being a Hard-Surface Artist for games. A fantastic read for those willing to get into gamedev.

And to sum our list up, the final prop of the final installment of our series is a fantastic model of a Russian SKS rifle made by Simon Mercuzot. In the article, the artist shared the texturing workflow behind the project, explained how wooden and metallic surfaces were created, and showed how dust and grease were added.

These were our favorite props of the passing year. Do you agree with our picks? Did we miss a great model or two? What was your favorite props art-related project in 2021? Share your opinions in the comments.

And thank you very much for reading this article, we wish each and every one of you happy holidays and a great new 2022. Come visit us next year for more breakdowns, news, and awesome artworks.

With love, 80 Level Editorial Team

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