For this project i wanted to challenge myself with an object that would be complicated to model and texture. I decided to model the M4A1 carbine rifle that is currently used by the United States armed forces as this was a modern weapon that had a complicated shape and lots of small details. As always the first part of this project was to do a considerable amount of research by finding images from as many angles of the rifle to minimize an guesswork when it came to modeling.
I modeled a high polygon version of the gun first and then the low polygon version while still keeping enough polygon to show the amount of detail i wanted, I decided on this wanting this rifle to be used for a first person game where the rifle would take up a considerable amount of the screen space as they do in the majority of first person shooters.
Next I would take the high polygon version to ZBrush where I would sculpt some of the finer detail like the grain on the handle. The rifle is also colored in ZBrush according what materials the rifle is made of in the reference images.
Finally after UV’ing the low poly it was time to texture in Substance Painter. After baking the maps from the ZBrushed sculpted rifle it was a simple matter of applying the proper materials and fine tuning the roughness maps to get it looking close to the reference image. The last step would be to make it look dirty and used by using the substance generators and alpha masks.
This is the first pass of texturing the rifle. The base materials match that of the real weapon, but it is missing some of the details that would give it more character and more visually interesting.
On the second pass, I added some scratches, dirt, and dust to it to make it look like a rifle that is currently in use. I also gave it some custom etchings to give a lite more info the user of the rifle, clearly this rifle belongs to a soldier from the state of Texas. This detail gives the rifle a story and makes it mode interesting.