Creating Armored Game Characters

Follow A Real World Design Brief & Create An Amazing Portfolio Piece with Paul Widelski

Classes Meet Thursdays @ 12pm Pacific

Production Focus classes are for Game Artists who want to create a real-world project straight from a AAA game studio for their Portfolio.

Class Overview

The mistake many artists make is thinking that Character Arts is all about anatomy and figure sculpting… but how many nude game characters do you see?

Paul Widelski’s day job often involves months of time where he is focused on one thing: Creating Armor.  That’s it.  That One thing.  He works in a team, after all. One guy does the face. Another the hair.  Paul… he’s the armor guy.

That’s a job you can earn yourself but you’ve got to have the portfolio to show it…

Learn how to create a convincing set of armor from high poly to low poly, texturing and presentation, from one the Industry’s leading artists, Paul Widelski. Currently a Senior Character Artist at Splash Damage, Paul has been working in the Industry for 4 years.

This course on Creating Armored Game Characters will consist of six modules of lessons with live Q&A sessions. You’ll focus entirely on the skills and workflows for creating a set of armor and be part of a community of artists working to achieve next level quality in their work.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Format: Standard
  • Duration: 6 Weeks + Lifetime Access
  • Lecture Type: Pre-Recorded & Live
  • Assignments: Deadlines each week
  • Feedback: Live, weekly Q&A

What You’ll Learn

Our Production Focus courses all follow a specific format.  You start with a design brief that comes straight from a AAA game studio pipeline.

You’ll go through the full process of creating a full set of armor, from reference to presentation. The emphasis will be on moving through the workflow, from high poly to low poly to texturing and presentation, always staying focused on how the armor fits the character and how the character fills the armor.

Students will learn how to add details such as engraving and embossing and will also understand how different components of the armor fit together.

Our job here is to prepare you for the real world tasks of being a Character Artist in today’s highly specialized industry.

By The End Of The Course


  • Understand how to get a good and quick starting point in ZBrush.
  • Understand how make convincing armor parts and fit together fasteners, buckles, etc.
  • Have mastered how to add details such as engraving and embossing.
  • Know how to use Substance Painter workflows to create smart materials for the full set of armor.

Concepting - Concept Blocking In ZBrush

  • Getting a good, quick starting point in ZBrush
  • Gathering reference
  • Things to keep in mind when designing armor
    (weight affecting clothing, form fitting, historical use, etc.)

High Poly A - Starting The High Poly In 3ds Max

  • Effective use of the blockout from the previous week
  • Creating the first part of the armor
  • Using 3ds Max for high poly

High Poly B - Continuing The High Poly 3ds Max

  • Using our reference to make convincing parts
  • Fitting parts together, fasteners, buckles, etc.
  • Having our armor sit convincingly on our base body

Game Ready Mesh

  • Low poly methods, topology and UVs
  • Baking in Substance Painter using name matching
  • How to streamline the entire process


  • How to make convincing materials for our armor
  • Substance Painter workflow tips, setting up smart materials for use all over the armor
  • Convincing use of wear and tear

Engraving & Presentation

  • How to make convincing materials for our armor
  • Substance Painter workflow tips, setting up smart materials for use all over the armor
  • Rendering in Marmoset Toolbag, clean presentation

Paul Widelski

Paul is a Senior Character Artist currently working at Splash Damage on Gears Tactics.

He has been working as an Artist in Games for the past 4 years, covering all aspects of 3D Art.

He started as an Asset Artist making weapons, then moved onto vehicles and environment assets before finally becoming a character artist.

Watch his Interview here:

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