Mechanized Tank Units

First project completed for 2020! I’m excited to finally get this one wrapped up and done. This piece originally started back in December of 2018 as a last minute project to end the year on but 14 months later it has been through a lot of changes.

Two years ago I was still developing and working on my 3D skills so at the time I decided to recreate this wonderful concept piece by James McDonald. Which was subsequently used as concept art for Z2Live’s mobile game, Battle Nations.

Which you can find James McDonald’s social media accounts here!
Instagram. Twitter. Tumblr.

This project was intended to be a quick build, focusing on practicing proportions and scale. So like with every project, the first thing I did was gather lots of reference. At first I wanted to go with realistic PBR materials with stylized proportions.

However that experiment lead me to the overall project looking off. I can’t put my finger on what exactly was causing it but I knew I had to go back to the drawing board.

No matter how many times I adjusted the roughness or materials it just didn’t feel right. But by this time it had roughly been 5 months of development, with just an hour or two over the course of a weekend to work on this. So by August, I scrapped what I had and decided to create a small platform and a texture sample first. Which after a while of experimenting it got me pointing in the right general direction.

Then between the months of August and November I UV’d and experimented with roughness and metal values. Eventually I ended up dropping them all together and just kept to a Diffuse and Normal Map. During this time I was still only working a few hours on the weekend. So I think the five day break from it and continuously coming back to it on the weekend with fresh eyes helped a little bit with its direction.

By the beginning of January 2020 I had a little more accomplished and was almost done. But it needed a little more “umph” to finally wrap it up.

So the rest of January was dedicated to polish and knocking out a few extra props. Which was well worth the effort and gave this project the final push it needed. I ended up adjusting the color values and bumping up the shadows to really make the highlights and darks pop. Then on a whim, I went ahead a created a play-blast out of Marmoset Toolbag 3 to share on twitter for feedback. Which people seemed to love!

By far the highest interaction I have ever gotten with a piece and I am quite proud of that. Getting almost 2,000 views! What a concept! I was probably lucky and likely just timed my post very well but I’m still grateful for the love and support I got from this piece.

I’m very happy with this project and how it turned out and am more than ecstatic to finally cross it off my “To-Do List”. You can check out even more renders on my portfolio at Thank you for reading this far, hoped you liked it!

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