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How long does it take to make a 3D weapon or armor of good quality?

armor weapon skyrim dragon mod mods map quality good

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The title of the topic says it all :) and I mean how long does it take an experienced 3D armor/weapon maker to make one




Thanks for the answers :)



    Is Female?!

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Well from what I can tell armors take a lot longer than weapons. If we're just saying 3d and not textures or anything - several hours +. Textures and getting everything set up... Probably a day or two. If they have a lot of time to dedicate. Then again I know people like Millenia and Matth work like beasts (in the best way possible), despite RL.




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It takes a few days, mainly because it requires the artist to use so many different talents. First there's sculpting, then there's painting, and then you have to weight paint the outfit onto a skeleton. And this is ignoring other tidbits like creating meshes to represent your outfit in the player's inventory menu.



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This depends on personal skills, and the end goal. It's too broad of a question to answer. But, yes. Armor is ten times as challenging, requires more knowledge and a lot more can go wrong.

Weapons is more my speciality, so I can answer on that.


Basic weapon, I.E: https://imageshack.com/i/n12un8p . Will take  me approximately 13 hours from start to complete. 

A more important/detailed weapon, I.E: https://imageshack.com/i/knBpb9uap . Will take me about 20 hours from start to complete.

Armor, I.E: https://imageshack.com/i/ex0M4hofp . Will take me about a week, to two, to complete.


It does depend, though. The detail of a model doesn't directly translate into more time spent on it. A 2 handed battleaxe took me nearly 20 hours to finish up, albeit being very simple in terms of design. 

Now, this is all my estimates. There are people doing things faster, and people doing things slower.  Some people sculpt, some don't. Some spend ages texturing, some magically gets it to work quickly. 


I once talked to a modeller in the industry. His name escapes me now. This was quite a few years ago. He told me a few things about the industry and how proffesionals works. There are 3 kinds of models. Quick, Normal, and hero models (His words, not mine). Normal models are given 2 work days to finish. Quick models are given a few hours to half a work day (I.E. A barrel, a crate, etc) and hero models are given 1 week in work days (A hero model is a model that takes the attention of the player, and is going to be inspected closely. I.E. A unique weapon, an important statue, character). 


I can also break it down for you, in case you wonder. This is my workflow, remember, and it is specific for weapons/game props.

Base mesh: 30 min.

Sculpt: 1-3 hours

Retopology: 1- 3 hours

UVW : 10min - 1 hour

Baking: depending on map size. 2k maps take an hour or 2, 4k takes 6-8 hours.

Texturing: 1-3 hours

Tweaking for the Skyrim engine: 1 hour


And for some self-promotion:  took me exactly 100 minutes to sculpt. I would then count about.. eh.. 4 hours to complete it.

Edited by Matth85, 12 October 2014 - 03:19 PM.



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Also depends if a modder has A.D.H.D/ or A.D.D / Ect (or any physical issues, ect), I know it slows me waaaaaay down when working on anything because I have to bounce around projects or loose my inspiration all together lol.


Dont expect all of us to be able to sit for 8 hours straight working on one mod. :P




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This is really helpful!
Yes I do notice I spent more time than average, because I keep changing things around and don't work on one project for many hours at a time. I didn't set any time line, though.




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I have a follow up question,


So I just recently decided that I wanted to make a weapon mod, but not just any weapon mod - a gun mod. But I want to go further beyond anyone has went with one and actually have it so you can actually build the rifle itself. I.e. the bolt or the trigger housing group and put it together. In addition I would like to add some bells and whistles such as smoke efx and if i can tweak the animation idk if you could but I want to make it look like your putting an actual magazine in. So considering that I have never made a mod before, and the time it would make to at minimum do this without the bells and whistles... Overall how much time do you think it will take for me to know what the f*** I am doing and put this mod out there?  




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well if you buy substance painter texturing becomes one of the more enjoyable aspects of the weapon making.

without will take more time then making the mesh.


ive spent easily 3 years trying to do this and trust me you get out the other side.


the most important aspect is the nifskope side of it


but i can pump out a basic sword like skyrims iron sword in about hmmm 30 mins i reckon.


no to learn from nothing you first need to learn a 3D modelling software (blender by farrr)

just spend a month on and off getting you skills to a decent level with no dodgy insides of your model. abd learn to UV unwrap.


then i recommend substance painter, either use its amazing simple smart maps or create your own like me.


export them as a PNG and open in photoshop and export the 3 maps (metallic, diffuse and normal) as a .dds file (copy the normal and metallic to the diffuse and save through there if its being tricky)


import to nifskope and make sure you not only have your model as an obj but also that your textures are in your skyrim/data/textures/*nameOfWeapon folder (create the textures folder)


in nifskope pay attention, make sure everything is lined up properly. make sure to set num UV to 4097 and to update and tangent spaces or your Normals wont work and your weapon will look flat and plastic. and use a cube map. billyro uploaded some for us to use so use them.


and you will need to learn basic weapon making in the creation kit.


trust me its not as scary as it may sound


i was very brief but the stuff ive said has hopefully eliminated 2 years and 345 days work for you.


so a month is you sweat it out. 


ps. start with basic blocky daggers that you can make in 1 min for testing

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