Airship Project

I’ve been very silent on here latley! During the holidays I’ve sort of neglected this blog, so here’s an update on what I’ve been doing! Last post, I showed my moodboards and concept art for the airship project. I’ve completed it, however I am not able to add rigging, animation or fx. It was ambitious, and I suspected I wouldn’t get it finished by this point and had planned to continue it into second semester. However, I have just picked up a contract job that I’ll be paid for, so it needs to take priority.


I modelled each part separately in the beginning, putting them together at the end. This is one of the largest and most intracite models that I’ve attempted, so there were a few hiccups. The bow of the ship was the hardest part, but I was able to use curves to help me out.

7 6 2 1 Render 19


This was really difficult to UV, and I ended up redoing it quite a lot of times in order to get it right. I UVed as I went originally, but ended up changing the whole thing at the end, after combining the mesh.

12 11 10

Sculpting Normals

As I had used mudbox in the project this was supposed to replace, I decided to use it here. I mostly sculpted wood and scratches, nothing as major as in the last project.



For the texturing of the ship I experimented with the Quixel suite, using it to generate maps based on pre defined materials and the maps I gave it. It was really interesting to try this PBR style of texture creation and I feel it added a lot of believably to my materials. If I’d had more time I’d have tried to create more hand painted textures, as I feel this fits more with the modelling style, and see how these work in Quixel. The one hand painted bit I did get to do was go into the diffuse maps that quixel generated and repaint them myself, as I felt that I needed to do some more actual artwork by hand.

Texture Texture 2 15 compare Render

What did I learn?


The novelty of actually having a Christmas holiday made me pretty lazy this winter, so I should have considered this when I undertook the project. I also should have known that doing modelling, rigging, animation and fx, especially for a large object was quite a lot of work.

Merge and UV as you go.

I really regret not merging, cleaning up and uving as I made the model. I had LOADS of cleanup at the end with the main body of the ship and merging and cleaning early would have solved nearly all of my issues.

Start with a colour palette.

I was unhappy with my texturing until the very last minute, where I pulled the colour scheme in – had I more of an idea of this at the start I would have done it at the beginning.

Texture similar areas at the same time.

Similar problem to those above – comparing completed areas and half made ones made the whole model look bad and I forgot which colours I had used and had to search though my files to get them.

Render 17 Render 15 Render 12 Render 10 Render 6 Render 4


Overall, I’m pleased that I managed to get a go with Quixel as I wanted to give it a shot and I am happy with what I’ve produced. Its probably the most complex model I’ve ever made. I’m dissapointed I didn’t get the extra animation done on it and would have liked some more time to look at texturing and style.

Render 1


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