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Texturing tools you should know about

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I'm assuming less programmers know about these tools than should. I need to spend some time learning these at some point but the artist workflow nowadays seems so much nicer.
 

These are some videos of Substance and some things it can do. The particle effects is a really cool feature.

 

That's about it. If you have any experience with these, or more to say about them, then share it.

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Are these specifically aimed at AAA studios? Any suitable for indie devs?

 

I've never used a texturing tool before. How does it work with models from say 3ds max? Whats the workflow like?

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They are aimed at speeding up texturing processes. It has nothing to do with where the models came from. As long as you have a model with UV's and a normal map it is a good tool.

 

If you look at just about any hard surface model, people spend time going around every edge to create "edge wear". In one of the links I posted you can see how it automatically does this with a button and a slider. And it creates edge wear on the entire model. Something you would have to perform manually. You also do have the option to select brushes and paint directly onto the 3d model using projection, rather than in photoshop working in 2D.

 

Typically you have grunge brushes and scratches etc that go on the surfaces and it can place these for you as well.

 

Also for PBR it supports painting materials so it has the proper metal/reflective properties.  It also helps that all of this stuff updates in real time and you get to see your work immediately.

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They are aimed at speeding up texturing processes. It has nothing to do with where the models came from. As long as you have a model with UV's and a normal map it is a good tool.

 

If you look at just about any hard surface model, people spend time going around every edge to create "edge wear". In one of the links I posted you can see how it automatically does this with a button and a slider. And it creates edge wear on the entire model. Something you would have to perform manually. You also do have the option to select brushes and paint directly onto the 3d model using projection, rather than in photoshop working in 2D.

 

Typically you have grunge brushes and scratches etc that go on the surfaces and it can place these for you as well.

 

Also for PBR it supports painting materials so it has the proper metal/reflective properties.  It also helps that all of this stuff updates in real time and you get to see your work immediately.

 

So it also supports creating textures entirely from scratch? I've never done it before so I'm curious how it actually works - you just apply color on a mesh in 3D and the end result is a 2D texture?

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The result is a collection of 2D textures. Each "brush" can paint with a whole material. E.g. You can have a "polished chrome" brush, or a "rough, red, rubber" brush. They will apply changes to your diffuse map, specular map and roughness maps at the same time.

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Internally it would seems as if they have a collection of tiled textures. When you decide to paint something as wood for example. You would pick a wood material (which contains a diffuse color, spec, gloss, normal map) and you can paint the wood material onto your model. It is painting at real-time, a UV texture map of new normals, new diffuse, new heightmap etc. If you had a metal bolt you wanted on your texture you could take a circular brush, select the rusty metal material, and you would be painting to all those maps I just listed, but it would be for metal.

 

If you were to manually create this piece of wood, you would go online, find some wood texture that you may need to tile. Put it in photoshop. Then create a normal map from it, which is not exactly the same as a normal map created from a height map. then find some rusty metal, go plop a circular bolt somewhere. Then you have to generate all those other maps like specular and what not depending on what part of the texture you are looking at. For instance go manually make the bolt's specular completely black. The wood would have slight specular depending on the type of wood.  It just speeds up the process of manually performing all of this stuff. Typically metal is some base texture + scratches + edge wear. So they are trying to get this as close as possible to "click button" -> generate awesome texture.

 

So in short, you get to work with materials, and you don't have to keep doing manual brushes every where. It just kind of generates that stuff by randomness. And you can see it in real time. I don't know if photoshop has any plugins that can merge all visible layers down to 1 and send to 3DsMax or whatever tool. I assume you have to click Save, then go to 3DsMax and click reload texture. Which add's an extra 5-10 seconds every little change you make.  Now realistically you might not click save until you place all dirt and grunge, but it would be nice to see it update in real time.

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