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Imagining Nintendo Switch 2.0 With Fusion 360 & Substance 3D Painter

Prop Artist Savely Materuhin shared his workflow behind the Switch 2.0 project, guiding us through the Fusion 360 to ZBrush pipeline and sharing valuable tips on creating attractive textures with Substance 3D Painter.


Hello, my name is Savely, I'm 18 years old and I'm an aspiring weapons and props artist.

I learned about 3D 4 years ago in some YouTube video about games. For the next 3 years, I watched streams and videos about modeling, studying the industry at the most basic level, and dreaming of becoming part of this big and interesting world. And so, a year ago, I told myself that it was time to get down to business like an adult and began to hone my skills every day, setting myself more and more complex and interesting tasks.

Switch 2.0

I made the Switch 2.0 project as part of the CODA Bootcamp. Although the work was done according to their own concept, I still assembled a ref board with a real Switch and similar attachments in order to understand its dimensions and see the details that could be added at the modeling stage. This site helped me to find sizes.

I usually separate ref boards for textures and for modeling, so here I'm completely focused on orthographic images with dimensions, different angles depicting the secrets of the model, and photos of individual parts (if necessary).


At the Bootcamp, we used the Blender to ZBrush pipeline, but since I can model in Autodesk Fusion 360, I decided to use the Fusion 360 to ZBrush pipeline, it seemed more convenient to me in this case.

At first, I made basic shapes from blocks and then I began to supplement them with medium and fine detail.

The model was exported from Fusion 360 using MoI 3D. From there, I have a low-detail model for creating low poly in Blender and a high-detail model for high poly in ZBrush in FBX format.

Before exporting a low-detail model, it is better to decide on the length of the edge on the future game model, so that you can immediately set it in MoI 3D and not have to suffer in Blender, redoing all the cylinders.

Once I imported the model into ZBrush, I combined all the subtools into one, duplicated it, activated the Weld button in the Merge tab, and clicked the MergeSimilar button to remove the duplicate vertices.

After that, I used the Split By Similar Parts tool and started smoothing out the chamfers and problem areas. It is important to understand what material this or that part of the model is made of, in order to make chamfers of different sizes depending on this.

If the mesh detail on the model is too high to smooth out defects, you can use the Project tool and make point-by-point corrections to the desired areas.

Since the low poly template was from Fusion, all I had to do was properly space out the geometry and remove extra polygons that no one would be able to see or that would be baked into the normal map. After the first iteration, I went through the model a couple more times, removing more and more unnecessary geometry.

For the convenience of creating UVs in the future, I add areas from which I want to overlap in Face Maps in the Object Data Properties tab in editing mode – this will allow me to quickly select them in the future and reflect them to the other side.

After optimizing the geometry, I name each part and begin unwrapping. I have several Blender add-ons installed that greatly facilitate this process.

I use RizomUV to straighten complex or crooked islands. Small stretches are not terrible if they serve the greater purpose of making good UV unwrapping and avoiding unnecessary ladder effects on textures. Carefully inspect your model and scan, various unpleasant bugs may be hidden here that will pop up at the texturing stage, so it's better to find and fix them now.

Now I spread the model to the sides to properly bake the AO, move the overlaps by one to the side on the UV, and export the asset to Marmoset Toolbag.

This stage is quick and easy if you haven't screwed up anywhere before. I assign a glossy material to the model and make test bakes. If everything looks good, then I start texturing; if not, then I correct the flaws in Photoshop or directly on the model itself.


Finally, we move on to the most creative part of the pipeline, where we are no longer mathematicians and nuclear physicists, but simply physicists who understand how various materials behave in real life and try to recreate them on a computer.

But before that, you need to expand and duplicate the model in Blender (to make it easier to paint hard-to-reach places) and set up a viewport in Substance 3D Painter. And the most important thing is to find references for texturing. I advise you to find the main reference for the wear that you will be guided by and analyze all the photos, notice the wear from using your asset and various interesting features that will increase the attractiveness of your textures.

I divide my texturing process into 3 stages, between which I can switch.

First, I make a base material with colors, gradients, roughness transitions, and a lot of different noises that affect all texture maps, including, mainly, the normal map. I also like to add decals and stickers at this stage so that I can immediately see which places will attract the most attention from the viewer.

Then I begin to add various damage and wear. I try to make the roughness map as interesting as possible – for this, I add bright contrast spots in logical places (where users often interact with the item, where the item somehow functions, or where I have decals), highlight by AO, make the depressions matte, and the protruding edges are glossy, I add a lot of fine detailing, which is associated with the texture on normal.

Try not to overdo it with accent spots, you need to maintain balance, without this, the magic will not work. Don't forget about Base Color, this is also an important map, the beauty of which, although not as striking as normal or roughness, also has a strong impact on the overall appearance of the textures.

In the final stage, I add dust, which has different textures and rough/color/height values, dots throughout the model, and various layers, such as sharpen, contrast, and additional curvature highlighting, which improve the overall appearance of the textures.

Look at references often, don't be afraid to redo some places several times, and try to make your textures as varied as possible without forgetting about balance. In this regard, it helps a lot to find out the opinions of other artists.

Since they are looking at your model with fresh eyes, they will quickly and clearly notice most of your flaws. My mentors from the Bootcamp – Evgenii Park and Vitaliy Ishkov – helped me a lot with this, thank you very much, guys.


Usually, by this stage, I already have a lot of ideas on how I will render my model, but I can also additionally look at various photographs and renders of other artists and put together a small refboard that I will use for inspiration.

I experiment a lot with different types of lighting and angles, make several options and when I get bored, I stop and select the best shots from the best. Then I go into Photoshop and add some processing using the Camera Raw filter. Cheating is not good, so all I do is add a little contrast, sharpness, texture, and clarity.


I believe that "success" in any area of life is influenced by two factors – your skills and your mindset. The skills in this case involve a lot of practice and analysis of both your own work and that of others. Thinking (a conditional category, everything that goes beyond the boundaries of skills) is a calm attitude towards mistakes, the ability to leave your comfort zone and experiment, give yourself a little rest, be able to draw up and stick to a plan, and listen to feedback. And in the end, just love what you do and enjoy the process.

Thanks to CODA Art Studio for the Bootcamp and thanks to the 80 Level team for noticing me and giving me the opportunity to prove myself. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to all the artists whose articles and lessons I studied, as well as those who gave me feedback throughout my journey; without you, I would hardly be sitting and writing this article.

Thanks for your attention, friends! Believe in yourself and succeed in your work and life!

Savely Materuhin, Prop Artist

Interview conducted by Gloria Levine

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