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Recreating a Retro Radio in Maya, Substance 3D Painter & Marmoset Toolbag

Bruno Louis Ssekandi shared the workflow behind the Zenith Radio project, created for a term project at Vertex School, and showed how texturing different materials was done.

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My name is Bruno Louis Ssekandi, I am a Uganda-based freelance 3D Artist currently working with Sowl Studios. I am certain that antiques are a small reminder that time changes everything. 

The Zenith Radio Project

This was my first-term capstone project. I chose this old radio because it reminded me of how much the entertainment industry had evolved. From traditional painting to radio, television, film, and now gaming. The effects of time...

The Modeling

First, I spent about a week gathering references and found the radios on YouTube and eBay. I researched every part to get the sizes right. 

I started out with the high poly, which was done in Maya. I like to first set up the blockout before thinking about edge bevels and non-destructive wire mesh flow.

The inside parts

There were no plug-ins used, everything was set up manually. For the wires, I used Maya's Wire Tool, which made things really fast by letting me draw curves and extract cables out of them. 

I created all parts in the same space and then put them together. 

For the low poly, I used the reduction method of the high poly by simply looping and deleting wasteful edges, spending on the curves and saving on the straights.

I did the baking from high to low poly in Marmoset Toolbag. This took a bit of time because I encountered a lot of errors and had to redo several parts. I found trouble with crisscrossed lines causing jagged edges and faces even after baking but later figured separating those parts would solve the issue. 

The Texturing

I made the textures in Substance 3D Painter, I use it for all my texturing work.


For the wood, I laid different texture maps as base on top of each other and added color variations with spots while playing with opacity and blend modes until I got the result I needed. Added wear and scratches with generators and some noise to break things up and show some bits of age. This was followed by dust and several layers of color dirt variations to mix things up.

The clean version

The aged version


I used the same process with the metal parts. I set up different color bases, tweaked their opacity, and added color variations. Then added different layers of scratches with edge generators. and added a bit of wear, dust, and several layers of dirt. 



The Final Presentation

I did the final presentation in Marmoset Toolbag. I set up a basic 3-point light system with a key fill and backlight and from these, I got my final renders.


I enjoyed working on this project and I'm sure I'll enjoy the upcoming ones. It's always a pleasure to share what I have learned and I'm very honored to have done this interview.

Bruno Louis Ssekandi, Prop Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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