Pomegranate Dagger

A highly decorated dagger of Indian/Turkish origins which was later captured by the Russians in 1828 at Varna. The design has the hilt and scabbard mount made out of jade, the flowers are represented with rubies and the leaves with emeralds.

This is a mid-poly model for beauty render–it comes in at around 200,000 verts/380,000 tris. 3 4K texture sets. I have a low poly real-time model in the works and will post that soon as well.

Modeling: Blender 2.80
Texturing: Substance Painter
Rendering: Marmoset Toolbag

Thanks to all the guys over at discord for advice and feedback.

You can find the references at the link below along with more info on the dagger.


The attention to details and the accuracy of the materials is magnificent. Fantastic job!

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The beaty of your piece leaves me speachless, great job!

@birdnamnam @grecosky Thank you, guys! I really appreciate the support.

I got the low finished up and here are those renders as well.

Low poly has 1 texture set and is around 5,800 verts/11,000 tris.


You’re #featured! :+1:

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Awesome detail and materials, looks very true to the original. And just as real. :slight_smile:

Looks really good! Could be an asset from Uncharted 4.

How did you paint all the red diamonds and so on? Manually? Or did you mask them somehow?

What a beauty ! Nice work !!

Wow! Amazing work - love the materials.

Really amazing work. Completely photographic down to such extreme details. Did this project teach you new tricks and techniques or is this an exercise in what you already knew? Even the low poly has a wonderful rhythm to its construction.

Thanks a lot, guys!

@aerobraking On the mid poly they’re meshes which I just masked out with mesh fill. On the low poly I baked an ID map and used that for masking. I actually should have baked the rubies and emeralds with two different colors but eh, I masked those manually.


Modeling wasn’t that much of a challenge in this as were the materials. It was my first time dabbing in subsurface scattering which was fun. One thing I learned a lot about was the gems. Initially I thought about making a dual “mesh” for the gems–with one sphere inside another which would be translucent to get that depth and sort of “galaxy” look which a lot of gems have. But thankfully I scrapped this idea. Marmoset and it’s refraction settings did the heavy lifting. To get the depth and strands I painted cracks and lines on the diffuse.
Modeling was just tedious since every gem is hand placed–many things are mirrored but had to be changed up a bit so it didn’t look uniform.

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Looks lovely, a bit different then the reference but thats not bad i guess. I do think you need more light or adjust the renders a bit. They feel a bit under light or under exposed

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Could you explain that a bit more?
Are the gems standolne meshes in the first place? Or did sculpt them as one big highpoly part and then retopologized them as seperate meshes for the “midpoly”? I never heared the term midpoly :D, only know high- and lowpoly.

My first thought was the images here were the reference photos of the real thing, haha. Beautiful work! The materials look great and you used a reasonable amount of polys.

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I would really love to learn how you baked the high poly details onto an ID map for assignment to the low poly, that is really cool but my theory how you did it didn’t pan out. Incredible model, by the way! I love fancy blades.

@rombout Thanks! Yes, I guess in the end I’m happy I didn’t get an exact carbon copy otherwise how would that be unique.

@aerobraking They’re just half spheres pinned in there. I placed a multires modifier and then sculpted in some variants–slopes and dents. I didn’t really retopo anything, just applied the base and removed then modifier for the mid poly. Mid poly is just a middle ground between the low and high. Since the low doesn’t have the geo to support anything details while the high would be inefficient for rendering.

@Cody38 Thank you. You apply emissive materials with different colors to the high poly parts which are going to get baked. Those colors get baked to a map and you then use those colors to mask out things. I don’t know why Marmoset changed my turquoise to red though…

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Unreal realism, Truly impressive.
Would love to see reference photo, Im sure its not as real as yours.

Thank you! I’ve included a link to the original dagger in my first post.

I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!