Found Object Texture Study

I was walking around my office in North East Minneapolis when I saw this really cool metal object on the ground. It had all the characteristics of a good texture study subject.








Why such a great subject?

The Shape

It has a irregular shape that says it’s seen some hard times. A shape that has crevasses that collect dirt and edges that get scraped and worn. Wavy and dented surface to catch light in interesting ways. Yet simple to model for a quick iteration.

The Textures

This subject has all the PBR loving 3D artist features. Painted metal that is worn down to raw steel with rust where rubbing can’t clean it off, micro scratches and dents all over and dirt in the crevasses. The underside has grease and a even distribution of rust with no paint to protect the metal. And one more thing, a decal in bright yellow denoting some purpose and importance to this object.

Let’s get started …

The Model


My goal was not to replicate the shape exactly, just get the feel of the form.


This is where all the magic happens.

I first nailed down the base painted metal look.


Then I added a layer of raw metal.


Using an effects mask I limited the raw metal to just the edges and a few other places.


I added dirt using a similar method as the raw metal and with a variation of the raw metal mask, I applied the rust too.


Then the final touch, the decal. (5 105)


Come checkout out my sketchfab of this study to see the underside of this object. See the different rust textures and a bit of grease added.

Ugh, I made all the textures a bit big so the download is large, sorry for the delay.


I hope you enjoyed seeing my process of doing a texture study. Please leave comments if you have any questions or comments.

I’ve got problems

I see two big problems I have to overcome while working on my game, over designing the game and distractions.

Over Designing

I have already designed a game that would have been awesome if I had a crew of twenty to build it and, therefore, it quickly stalled. As a gamer, we know how deep and expansive games can be. Avoiding the temptation of feature creep and focus on execution is key.

My solution to avoid over designing is to implement what I call, “Fractal Project Management.” The idea is to make a complete game with low detail and low features then pass over it until it has the detail and features to make the game complete. The true test to whether or not the game is done is if it’s fun and matches the value I’m asking for it.


Distractions from game development are going to happen. There are just too many shiny new cool awesome things going on as well as day-to-day responsibilities to say that I’ll never be distracted. I first thought I was the type of person that could squeeze all the extra demands of game development in at night or on weekends. Well, I’m not that kind of person. I know this now. I have an engaging job and I’m also a father. Not a lot of extra time. Honestly, game development became the distraction.

A solution was to carve out a dedicated time for game development. Thankfully I was able to negotiate a reduction in hours at my job. Being that what I do at my job is programming and 3D illustrations, they saw that the skills I’ll learn developing a game could be directly applied to the work I do for them. Someday, this could even be an extension of what I already do as added value to our clients.

Now I can freely say that this dedicated time is my time for this project. No distractions. BTW, did you see the new Tesla 3?

Techno for show

Here are some aspects of my independent game development project.


  • VR
  • Global Illumination
  • HDR
  • Physics Simulation
  • Reflection and Light probes
  • Physically Based Rendering

Programs using:

  • Unity 5.3 (Game engine)
  • Modo 801 (Modeling)
  • Algorithmic Tools – Substance Painter 2.0, Bitmap2Material, etc (Texturing)
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Textures, Video and Sound)


  • Mac 5k (wish I would have gotten a PC for Oculus support)
  • Oculus DK2
  • PS4 controller