Baby’s First Substance

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Let’s get back to the blogging thing. I’ve recently picked up Substance Designer + Painter and the motivation to start making some arts. It’s been ages since I’ve posted here and even longer since I’ve modeled anything. Work has me wholly focused on code, so to keep my head balanced I’m starting up some small projects on the side to practice (read: learn) PBR and get back into Unity. But you say you’re only interesting in codes? Don’t worry. We’ll keep exploring cool patterns and strategies in Python and C# for application in art tools!

The Grenade Tutorial

I recently completed a fantastic tutorial by Tim Bergholz on Gum Road. The two-part series is free and goes through the entire process of modeling a realistic grenade in 3ds Max, followed by baking and texturing in Substance Painter. Having been my first project in Painter, I can say I’ll fallen in love. The baking workflow is thoughtfully designed, comprehensive, and fast! There are some superbly clever and intuitive design decisions made for layering materials together, like the ability to bias a layer’s height map up or down. This helps you nail those subtle depth changes across materials!

Here’s my results in Unity 2048×2048 textures…


Texture Maps


Bonus Points

I took the tutorial one step further and brought the asset into Unity for a real-time turnaround render. There were some tweaks needed to the normal map bake to account for Unity’s tangent space. I also needed to pack my roughness map into the alpha channel of my roughness map map and invert this roughness map into a metallic map. (I should totally make a Substance Designer material to automate this and provide clean exports for Unity.)

The most amazing thing? Nope. Inspired design? Nah. But that comes next!

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