3d modeling workflow


Can someone tell me AAA workflow for creating and texturing 3d models?

A list would work, i am just trying to learn how to make great looking assets.


Whats your background of experiance with 3d? For beginner you should start learning either Blender, 3ds max or Maya then move to Photoshop or Mudbox, and then further to PBR texturing softwares such as Substrance painter or 3d coat. Once you learn them, using them in order as described is the pipeline (add to that sculpting with Zbrush/Mudbox).

Well you can’t really tell someone what the ideal AAA workflow would be as it’s just one of those things that grows and improves over time.

A group I work with started out years ago using apps like Maya, Blender, 3ds Max to make stuff for the idtech3 engine. With our long overdue upgrade to Unreal 4 we have licensed the Daz3d Genesis 3 frame work and our character artists use Zbrush and GoZ so the work flow is Daz Studio > Zbrush > Back to DS as a Morph Target (injector)> 3ds Max for processing > Unreal 4

Zbrush > Maya > SubstancePainter.

The apps aren’t as important as the workflow. Get a good concept -> Block out -> Subdivision modeling or sculpting or a combination of both -> Create a low poly mesh, UV it, and bake it -> Texture (I’d really suggest Substance Painter / Designer or Quixel suite, photoshop alone is terrible for texturing -> Put it in UE4.

Or Mudbox -> 3ds Max -> Photoshop 3D, if you want a separate option for each step :slight_smile:

Or Blender -> Gimp if you want open source/free-as-in-beer options, that unfortunately aren’t nearly as good as the pay-for for these work flows.

Realistically, though, ZBrush is more popular than Mudbox. 3ds Max vs Maya is about 50/50. Photoshop is likely more popular than Substance Painter, but Substance has an edge in that it can generate procedural textures.

3ds max -> Zbrush ( If need detailing ) -> Bake -> Substance Designer / Painter

Personally I found a good example of 3d workflow here: Normal map - polycount

thank you everyone for the feedback and support, one follow up question, lets say I am modeling a wooden crate or other prop, do I have to start in zbrush or mudbox, or can I skip this step and go straight to 3dmax? Should you just start with modeling high poly and then bring down the poly count by going into 3dmax?

My workflow is 3dmax > Photoshop > ue4