Solo Project 5 – Underwood

In this project I created a small-scale interior environment set aboard a residential space craft, featuring the sleeping-quarters of the ship, and access to a crew member’s personal cabin.

Pre-Production inspirational/concept art

Initial Goal

This exercise was a means for me to develop my software horizons and compose a scene that featured much higher levels of detail than I’d previously created. My initial goal for the project was to build the environment using the Unreal Engine, modelling each of the assets in Maya, following standard UV unwrapping procedures, and then importing them into Substance Painter to create my own unique textures.


After the first few weeks of development, I’d wrapped my head around the basics of modelling in Maya. I was using a plethora of new tools that I’d never experimented with in other modelling packages, and was creating assets at a much higher quality than in the past. Mirror, smoothing, Deform and Cloth tools all made my asset creation a much more flexible process.

Alongside learning how to model in Maya, it was my intention to gain a full grasp on how to correctly unwrap UV’s for any object I created. This was something that I regretfully didn’t spend enough time on, as I only managed to successfully unwrap simple objects – resorting to Auto Unwrapping complex objects and using multiple materials to achieve a similar(yet less effective) result. This made my experience in Substance Painter a lot more difficult than I’d originally intended, as I was unable to paint objects that weren’t unwrapped correctly. Because of this, I’ll be revisiting UV Unwrapping in the near future so I can properly experiment with Substance Painter.

Here are a few of the models built in Maya

My overall look and feel of the environment turned out vastly different to how I originally planned, although not necessarily for the worst. I was aiming to create a more ‘grungey’, sci-fi aesthetic, with a large focus on the personal items of the crew member, however it ended up being purely sci-fi, with a larger focus on the environmental layout and colour palette, and less on the finer details.

In terms of this project fitting into my portfolio, I believe that visually, it’s something that will stand out among my other projects, however doesn’t quite reach my initial expectations for demonstrating my technical ability in regards to the UV unwrapping/texturing process. As this is something that is frequently expected by 3D Artists, it’s a skill I will develop over the weeks to come.

In my first blog post I referenced two studious that listed expectations for a position I’m aiming to reach the level of in the distant future. Whilst Santa Monica directly mentions a need for advanced UV and texturing experience (see here), whilst other studios often list “Good working knowledge of Maya … Naughty Dog Careers (2019), so it’s likely implied that UV knowledge is required. Like Naughty Dog, modelling software experience is also similarly requested in Gameloft’s recent 3D Artist job listings. (see here)

Regardless of the few gaps in my initial expectation for the project, I’m happy with the way it turned out, and it’s opened my eyes to many pathways I’m excited to explore further in the near future!


Marketplace Assets

The textures used in this project were sourced from the Unreal Marketplace, along with a couple of decorative objects within the scene such as the holographic display on the control station and some structural framing on the walls/ceiling.

Assets from this package include:
– Lamp
– Laptop
– Smartphone
– Temperature display
– Cabin Door
– Curved Holographic display

Modular SciFi Season 1 Starter Bundle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s