What does our work process look like?

The client comes first

The goal of our services is to support clients in implementing their visions and ideas. We are not able to do this efficiently without adjusting our processes to their expectations. Therefore, we do not limit ourselves to just one fixed scheme. Instead, we prepared a configurable set of blocks to suit different requirements.
Level of supervision depends on the client. You might be fully involved in our work and comment on each step or only approve milestones and the final results. Every choice in between is acceptable. When the client gives us more freedom, our art director is responsible for making decisions. But, due to numerous competencies, we called this role “consultant”.

One consultant = efficient communication

The consultant has a crucial role in each collaboration. They are responsible for communicating with the specific client for the entire partnership. Consultant processes requirements and expectations, addresses them to the rest of the team, supervises the production process, and collects feedback. This means the client won’t waste time explaining the same thing multiple times. Individually recruiting and managing a team of artists is no longer needed as well. It allows you to save vast amounts of time that can be spent on polishing other aspects of the project.

Not sure if we can adjust our process to your needs? Write to us and find out.
It’s entirely free and doesn’t result in any obligation.

Default process

Our default process is split up into stages. Each stage needs to be approved by the client or, if the client gives us more freedom, by the consultant responsible for the specific project. We repeat each stage as long as it’s necessary to achieve the result expected by the client. After getting approval we don’t go back to the previous phase (without renegotiating the deadline). It allows us to adapt to possible changes and achieve punctuality.

Researching ideas

First, and likely the most important stage. Initially, we need to get specific requirements from the client: what do we need to create, in which style and quality, what should be our reference, etc. If we’re unable to start modeling based on them, we proceed to do research and create concept drawings. Usually, we use PureRef for collecting references and creating mood boards; and Photoshop for drawing and painting concept arts. We will present a few different versions of each prop. This process may require many iterations to achieve a satisfactory result.

Blockout and testing

This stage is sometimes executed simultaneously with idea research. The main goal of this step is to prepare test 3D models – usually simple gray blocks, easy to import into engine or rendering software. They are used to check how proportions, composition, or level design work with such props. Blockout is not an obligatory stage. Tiny or trivial props do not require test models. Clearly defined concept drawing allows us to skip this stage whatsoever. Blender is used to create these models.

High and low poly models

This stage is the core of the asset creation process. We create two versions of the model. High poly is very detailed, as it contains a vast number of polygons and is often digitally sculpted. On the contrary, the low poly one is simpler, with fewer polygons, as it is adjusted to be used in the game engine or animation. Details from the high poly are baked into the textures of the low poly model. The technology behind the game or animation affects the density used for low polys but never eliminates the baking. Although Unreal Engine 5 can use models with extremely dense geometry, high poly models still take too much disk space to be effectively textured or moved between different software without any simplification. The order of creating high and low poly versions of the model isn’t fixed at this stage, so we include both versions. For most of our purposes, Blender is sufficient.

UVs and texturing

UV maps are designed for the low poly version of the model. Unwarping the model mesh and placing it on the layout is purely technical. An ill-designed UV layout can result in a bad-looking texture, so it’s crucial to do it as thoroughly as possible. For UV editing we use Blender, with a plug-in called UV-Packer. Texturing gives us much more freedom and fun than unwarping. The process of creating textures depends on the style requested by the client. Sometimes textures are hand-painted, other times built with nodes in Substance Designer or alternatively, taken from the libraries. Eventually, all of them are applied to the objects in Substance Painter.

Materials, shaders, and import to the game engine or rendering software

Our involvement in this stage depends on the technology used by the client. We can support setting up props or entire environments in Blender or Unreal Engine. If the client uses technology that we are not familiar with, we will deliver the props in the most suitable format. Usually, FBX for mesh and PNG for texture maps are preferred formats. Source files will be added when requested. We don’t include Substance files containing textures that are not created specifically for the client.

Is the client allowed to change requirements during production?

Yes, but not without some limitations. We understand that the requirements and ideas change frequently during the production process, so we don’t have to stick to those from the beginning. On the other hand, each change not only requires extra time to be implemented but also destabilizes the organization and workflow. We wouldn’t be able to fulfill the contract on time if we constantly made changes. Therefore the client may ask for an unlimited number of changes without any extra payment, but only regarding the current stage. When the milestone is accepted, each change for that phase will cause a redefinition of our agreement, especially the timeframe.

Write to us and check if we can successfully support your project.

It doesn’t result in any obligation. We will respond within 24 hours. We will ask a few basic
questions to get to know your needs and then prepare ideas for the solution to your problem.