Dave Langley - Digital Scultping Thread

Hi Everyone,

While we all wait anxiously for ZB4R2; I thought it was time to start my own Sketchbook thread to display my work and chronical WIP’s.

I have been exploring hard surface sculpts lately so here is a WIP of an M2 50 Cal Machine gun I am currently working on.

I plan to post updates along the way and would be pleased to have any crits and comments.


No gun expert but the sculpt is tight and clean, nice:+1:


i dont think that sculpt is the right word here. sure its clean but i guess the major part seem to has been done in a 3d program? or with shaddow box?

anyways, its very clean though.

Wow, this is really crazy. I know Steve Warner made the Spetsnaz Tank and Mike Jensen did a Heavy Mech (and those are just amazing), but so is this 50 Cal! Man, if no one knew any better, it looks like you would have made it in some other program. You and the other two artist I mentioned, are showing that hard surface modeling IS possible in ZBrush. Great job Dlangley!:+1:

Oh, don’t forget the ‘butterfly trigger’ between the two handles (yes, I shot with one of these while in the service and man, the power you feel with this thing is unexplainable. If you ever get the chance to shoot one, do so!)

Dman3d; Thanks

MaxPeterson; Thanks; although “sculpt” may not be the best word to describe it I used the term because it is all done in ZBrush. Actually shadowbox was used only for a couple of parts so far. Extracting was used most often and I used primatives for basic shapes and “sculpted”:wink: from there.

Dragon; Thank you, hard surface things are alot of fun in ZBrush and in many ways are more intuitive than using other 3D apps. For example masking and extracting from a 3D Plane is more akin to cutting real steel than box or vertex modeling in a 3D app. Even the safety wire process was similar to the real thing.

I did get the chance to fire one of these from a CH46 helicopter during a live fire excercise off the coast of Okinawa back in my time in the service; it is an amazing weapon. Nearly 100 years since it was first developed and still in service; not many weapons can claim that.

The Butterfly trigger is definitly on my list along with the internal parts, ammunition in the feed tray and quite a few other little pieces.

Ah, you were either a Marine or Sailor (CH46)? Man those choppers are huge. Love the chaos they create when their landing. Very impressive. Isn’t the 50 Cal something? Man, that is one thing I miss about not being in the service anymore. But, oh well, had a great time and what a life experince. And oh, congrats to you my fellow vet… for helping protect the freedoms we all cherrish so dearly. Will keep an eye on this post. Best.

Very nice so far!

Dragon ; I’m a former Marine; it was a great experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The 50 Cal is definitely amazing. Thanks for your service as well!

Sebastian; Thanks

Right on brother (I was an NCO GRUNT, then later a multie media illustrator for the Government and the Military). Now, show us some more of that hard surface sculpting stuff.:wink:

Here is an update; I added several small pieces, as well as, the barrel and barrel jacket. So far I have 78 subtools and 17 million polys. My machine is feeling the weight of this thing. I may need to decimate some of the finished parts to lighten the load.

I hope you all enjoy it.


Wow, still looks like your making this in Max or Maya-:smiley: This is so cool looking, so clean. Nice.

Thanks Dragon.

I started working on ammo today and forming the links that hold the rounds in a belt. Here is what I’ve got so far; I’m not totally satisfied with the link piece yet as it’s not quite like the reference I have. It took alot of experimentation with various techniques; shadowbox gave me the best result.


looking sweet, I am looking forward to focusing on some hard surface work once I am done with my current effort. Will come back for some inspiration.

Congratulations on posting correctly modeled mechanical parts! eg: the safety wired bolts that have the correct placement of the wire to hold them after torquing to specs…:slight_smile:
I see so many, so so so many posts with mechanical thingys that are just not practical like mecha suits that will not bend at the knees or anywhere else. Vehicles with suspension that defy all laws of physics etc etc.
Anyway nice job.

Hi everyone,

I thought I would post an update of the 50 Cal Machine Gun before everyone finds themselves deeply immersed in Z4R2. I still have a few parts to build for the inside; the exterior is nearly complete save for the rear gun site. Currently the model has 104 subtools and weighs in at 16 million polys.




Excellent! :+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:

Thats really great…
it would deserve a nice metallic shader.

That might have been complicate to get the scale of each piece consistent…

DMan3d; thanks, I look forward to seeing what hard surface project you will work on.

3Point14; thanks, I’m a stickler for detail like that.

ZBer2; thanks.

Sebcesoir; thank you, I will defintely need to start thinking about shaders soon. I was fortunate to have some great reference after scouring the web. Some pieces were still a bit of guess work but based on photo reference.

I second that! Man this is just amazing DLangley. Man, can ya imagine DOD manuals in 3D instead of 2D like we had to look at (and so are current service members)? Hook them up with Ipad’s, a 3D viewer and detailed weapons as you are creating… it would be aswome.

Very well done! looks really nice and the fact that it is 100% zbrush is amazing! is it moastly shadow bow? I find it hard to use since it need a lot of polys to get good result which really crashes my machine. look forward to seeing more on this!