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Texture Weapon Grip Using Substance 3D Painter

Roman Shvaiko explained his working process behind the Magpul MOE grip, showing how he highlighted points of interest on the black object.


Hello, my name is Roman Shvaiko, I'm a 24-year-old 3D artist from Kyiv. I started getting interested in 3D back in 2018 when I decided to take a course at the "ARTCLUB" school in Kyiv. However, after graduating, I decided to focus on my studies at the university and returned to 3D only at the end of 2021 because I realized that this is my vocation and what I enjoy!

Magpul MOE Grip

My main goal was to improve my skills in creating plastic textures for weapons. I immediately decided that it would be a separate small part, not a whole rifle, which would take much more time.

That's why the grip was the most attractive option for me, as in real life it is in constant contact with the shooter's hands, and it can tell an interesting story.

After defining the model, I decided to search for references to understand what materials to use and to understand the peculiarities of their wear, types of physical damage, chips, and peeling of films – all this is important to study.

The main source for references was the auction sites where weapons are sold. In general, for weapons, this is the best option for finding references, as they put up lots of already-used weapons, which is definitely a plus for 3D artists.

Then I identified interesting details for myself and marked them with different colors to make it easier to pay attention to the details I wanted to repeat.


Not so long ago, I came across the tutorial "Game Ready Weapon Handgrip Modeling" by Alexander, so for the high poly I used the mesh from this tutorial, which saved me time in creating high poly.

For the low poly, I used Maya. For a quick reversal of the more detailed low poly mesh, I applied Crease on the hard edges and then used Smooth to give the model smooth roundness and shape in general.

To create the UV, I used RizomUV. Everything was packed into 2 UDIMs to get a bigger texture and a unique UV, which definitely helped me with the quality of the textures.

During the baking, I worked on the main cards (Normal, AO, Curvature) and then also baked the noises and text in Substance 3D Painter.


The first step was to prepare the scene in Substance 3D Painter. Namely, to replace the environment map and enable the Active color profile.

For the environment map, I used Simple_Lighting_G, and for the Active color profile – "ACES_UE4_Log".

Here you can see the difference in Substance 3D Painter viewer (a standard Substance 3D Painter scene and a scene with a different environment map and ACES).

This scene is very similar to the one where the rendering takes place in Marmoset Toolbag so you don't have to constantly export textures to Marmoset to see the final result. Personally, I use this scene for works in my portfolio.

Next, we had to create the base material of the plastic. So that it was immediately clear what kind of material it was, without detail.

It was also important to separate the parts of the model by material and color.

The biggest challenge was to correctly divide the points of interest on a small black object. The texture rubbing, oil, blue numbers, and small drops of yellow and brown paint helped me with this.


I rendered the project in Marmoset Toolbag 4. For a more saturated rendering, I used the ACES mode in the tone mapping lab.

I decided to make two types of renders: with green fabric and dark light and with cold light but without the background. For both cases, I only used a sky light.

For the warm render, it was "Simple_Lighting_G Environment Map", which I used in Substance 3D Painter. For the cold one, I used the "Studio Three Point" screenshot.


Big thanks to the 80 Level team for giving me the opportunity to talk about this project. The main goal for me was to practice texturing plastic, and this interview was a great way to share my experiences and skills.

Thank you all for your attention. I wish you inspiration, there is no way without it, and of course to never stop at what you have achieved!

Roman Shvaiko, 3D Artist

Interview conducted by Gloria Levine

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