Nils Wadensten

 Professional 3D Artist


Name: Nils Wadensten
Date of birth: 30 April 1986
Nationality: Swedish

Who am I?

As a kid my two favourite things were playing games and being creative. Needless to say, these interests eventually guided me towards the work I do today. I’m passionate about all areas of game art, with a special interest in anatomy and character modeling. My experience so far has been broad and varied in roles and assignments. As a 3d artist at a smaller firm I’ve been able to develop my skills within many areas and as of late I’ve also had the opportunity to try my hand at Art Direction. I find challenges stimulating and I spend most of my waking moments thinking about the creative projects I’m currently involved in. When I have time, I also like to do traditional art like drawing and sculpting.


Rendered Historical Characters

Being the history buff that I am, I wanted to create these characters from one of my favourite historical periods – the 16th century. What was initially intended to be a fairly small project grew as I kept adding a lot of details. It was a great learning experience, I especially had to really learn how to handle the intricacies of Marvelous Designer to recreate the characteristic look of clothing from that era. I also had a lot of fun learning how to render using Arnold 5 in Maya.

Rendered in Arnold 5
Software Used: Maya, Marvelous Designer, xGen (hair plugin for Maya), Zbrush, xNormal, Photoshop, Arnold, Agisoft Photoscan, Quixel Suite

Realtime Character (PBR)

This is a personal project where my goal was to try and push for a slightly more realistic look. Made with PBR textures. Body (without hair) is around 8k polys.

Captured in Marmoset Toolbag 2
Software Used: Maya, xGen (hair plugin for Maya), Zbrush, xNormal, Photoshop, 3d Coat, Agisoft Photoscan, Quixel Suite

I worked as sole artist on this game released in 2015. It’s a 2D isometric game for mobile platforms. Sprites were rendered out from Maya using Mental ray and painstakingly put together in large sprite sheets. The whole project was done start to finish in just a few months time (during which I was also working my regular job full time).

In game screenshots
Software used: Maya, Mental Ray, ZBrush, Photoshop, Illustrator, xNormal, Glueit

These models were made for a character creation system and consist of many separate parts, giving the player the ability to create endless combinations. All textures have one or several colors that can be changed as well. The models are optimized for Wii U and have around 3500-5000 triangles with all parts added together. I made all character parts as well as the rigs and animations.

Screenshots from Maya Viewport.
Software used: Maya, ZBrush, xNormal, Photoshop

Zbrush anatomy sculpts. I wanted to create different body types and really practise my anatomy skills, so I spent a lot of time looking at reference photos and pouring through my anatomy book collection. All models were of course sculpted in a rigging friendly symmetrical pose, in these images I have just posed them for display purposes.

Renders from ZBrush
Software used: ZBrush

Watercraft models for Aqua Moto Racing Utopia. I couldn’t use any real world models, so these are my own designs entirely. Triangle counts for the low poly models are around 5000. I also made several texture variations.

Screenshots from Maya Viewport/ZBrush Renders
Software used: Maya, xNormal, Photoshop, ZBrush
Year: 2014/2015

This was a personal project. Since I’ve done a lot of traditional miniature sculpting and painting before, I wanted to try out 3D printing a miniature. This character was printed out in 54mm scale, with different parts to allow for casting.

Rendered with Mental Ray
Software used: Maya, ZBrush
Year: 2013

These are some of a great number of modular assets I made for a jungle environment. The terrain pieces are tilable and the rocks can be rotated in any direction for maximum variation. For the trees, I made a lot of research into South American rainforest flora, to make sure they are as believable as possible. In total, I made around a dozen species. I didn’t have access to Speedtree or any similar tool, so all trees were made in Maya, ”by hand” or based on paint effects meshes. I wrote a lot of MEL scripts to speed up this process. Of course, since it was made for a Wii U game, they had to be seriously optimized. Most of the trees are around 100-1000 triangles, depending on their size and importance.

Screenshots from Maya viewport
Software: Maya, ZBrush, xNormal, Photoshop, Quixel Suite
Year: 2015


Work & Education

Current Position: Senior Artist
Paradox Arctic, Umeå

Education: Computer Graphics
Luleå University of Technology


  • 7+ years of professional experience.
  • 7 shipped titles.
  • In-depth artistic knowledge of the Human Anatomy.
  • Proficient in MEL.
  • Experienced in Photogrammetry (3D Scanning).
  • Passionate about historical weapons, armor and clothing.

Contact Information

E-mail: nils.wadensten(a)