Community Profile - Ilya; 3D Artist

By Tony_Hilliam, May 28 2020



My name is Ilya and I'm a 3D artist from Russia. I began my study of 3D with 3ds Max in 2005, motivated by my passion for the railway. At that time I was only 14 years old. All this was exclusively in Russian; it was very difficult to study these programs in this language. With my 3D knowledge, I managed to get a job in an advertising agency in 2009 as a 3D artist of railway vehicles. I worked there for only a short time, although quite productively, but at that time I did not want to associate myself with 3D.


Later I realized that I was wrong. And now my main job is as a 3D artist of various props and vehicles. And I still have a hobby for train simulators.


I fully discovered Blender for myself in 2016, and since then it has greatly accelerated my work in 3D. It even led to me finding real work as a 3D artist working with Blender.

At first, I worked remotely for BlueHole and created and optimized existing assets for PUBG. After a while, I moved to VisualPurple and still remotely make assets for their VR projects.


I discover Trainz in 2002, then UTC came out. A little later, the first official version in Russia from the Akella company came out. It was already a version of Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 in Russian called "Железная дорога 2004".


With this version, I began to study CCG, but in reality I started creating content around 2006, these were small houses, small infrastructure of railways, and so on. Of course, I dreamed of creating a rolling stock. At first I worked on the envelope of ready-made models from MSTS (Microsoft train simulator), but of course I dreamed of doing something on my own from scratch, since I did not want to use other people's work, this could not make the whole essence of creating content understand.


Soon, I founded my project in the railway community, which was called trainsimulator, then it began to be called tsmteam and now


Here, several people and I are developing rolling stock aimed at realistic control.


There was a different rolling stock that I did. Here are some renderings of my old models made between 2007-2009 and the last 2011.


I also did all kinds of different things for commercial renders. In the screenshots of the contactor and switches from electric locomotives.

This is only part of my work, and now it's time to move on to the present.


I started learning PBR in 2015, with the first versions of Substance Painter. Then in the Trainz community, this was not accepted. Although data from the texture was quite possible to bake the normal game diffuse texture + normal map, what I was doing, then I also called on people to start the study of this, but no one did not take it seriously. And soon, we heard from N3V that PBR support will still be implemented. It made me happy.


Let's move on to the current project that I started working on at the end of 2019, it was the VL10 electric locomotive, it was decided to redo this model instead of the old one that was released for TRS12.


Old model made with photo textures



I decided to make high-poly models for most of the elements anew, keeping only the base part of the body. I used that because it had been made according to the factory drawings, and had the correct dimensions.


New model

Various bas-reliefs, tablets

For the game, the external model of the locomotive with bogeys and pantograph is about 144k tris



For the development, I used a lot of drawings (more than a hundred drawings of parts) and photo references. I got drawings through acquaintances, in various Russian railway depots.



Some specific elements were sculpted, of course in Blender.


Pantograph of a locomotive



For animation, the IK bone system was used. Thus, by moving only one bone, I set in motion the entire pantograph.

Bogie, it contains electric motors that drive the locomotive.




Work with textures was carried out completely in Substance Painter, finally without using photo textures.

For the game engine, we are limited to 2k textures. Therefore, the model is divided into four 2k textures, and a pair of 512. I use an Nvidia RTX 2080Ti GPU and even it does not work smoothly with so many layers. But texture baking was very fast.



Work was carried out not only on the external model but also on the interior model.The interior was also created from scratch, all the details were created in very high quality, for the future, when 4k textures are introduced, this will be very useful.

In total, only Blender and Substance Painter were used on this project. No other software was ever used.


Game Screenshots

All the work took about two months to create the model (230 hours in total if there is free time), and the configuration continues to this day. We mainly work on functionality.

After sharing my work on the Trainz Discord channel, N3V contacted me about my work. I am very happy to now become part of the N3V team and I hope that we can create lots of great quality content for you.

Thank you for the attention!