Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of scene setup, part of Creating Painted Metal in Substance Designer.
- Before we can start in earnest on our material creation, there are just a few aspects of both the start scene that we'll be using, and Substance Designer in general that I would like to quickly talk over. With the first, concerning general pipeline or workflow. As I typically use Unreal Engine 4 in my daily work, one of the first things I tend to do with a new install of Substance Designer is work through the steps that will ensure that my normal maps all export correctly from the application. To do that, let's come to the tools menu at the top of the application and then open up the preferences dialogue.
In here, we want to come to the project's category, and then scroll down through the settings until we come to the 3D scene section. There, in the tangent space plugging controls, we want to click the browse button, navigate to our Substance Designer 5 install folder, and from there, drill down through the bin64, plugins, and tangent space folders. Make certain that the mikktspace.dll is loaded. This just ensures that we are making use of tangent space in our normal maps.
Although, of course, if you are wanting to take your final substance into the unity engine then you will need to make sure that you have the unityspace.dll loaded instead. If you do use that, however, bear in mind that some node outputs may look a little different when compared to what you will see in this course. Throughout this course, I will be monitoring the progress of my substance using the shaderball.fpx file that has been included in the exercise files download. Although, you can feel free to use any custom fpx or built in geometry type that you like.
Do bear in mind though, that each time you open your saved substance package, you will need to drop your custom fpx file back into the 3D view before continuing with the lesson. Another step that I would recommend you take each and every time you come back to Substance Designer for this course, is to ensure that the 3D view is using the new Iray Render Engine. Simply because it gives us a really nice high fidelity render that we can use to check our progress. This is set via the rendering menu in the 3D view itself.
Because we are using Iray, we will need to make sure that we are using the physically based material for Iray on the shader ball mesh. Which, again, can be set via the 3D view. Only this time, located in the materials menu where we navigate to the shader ball, definitions, and material sections. To ensure that you are also getting the same lighting and reflections as we'll be seeing in the course videos, you might want to make sure that you are using the gdanskshipyards.hgri that can be loaded into the 3D view via the environment section of the library.
My preference is to have it not show up in the view as that really helps me stay focused on material creation. Although, you may prefer to do things differently of course. In fact, after using the environment edit command from the drop down menu in the 3D view, we will also want to set our exposure to a value of one in order to brighten things up a bit. We can also make sure that the ground plane is turned on, and that it has a reflective value of 128 with glossiness set to 0.8.
Again, this will help match the results that we'll be seeing in the course videos. Finally, let's come to the camera menu in the 3D view, choose edit, and then in the parameters panel set the camera up so that it is using a 40 millimeter lens. Again, just be aware that closing Substance Designer, or using it for other projects, may change some, or all, of the settings that we have tweaked here. They may have to be redone before you can carry on with the lessons in this course.
- Creating pitted and dented details
- Adding and blending in scratches
- Breaking up the surface with normal maps
- Creating a roughness map
- Adding an ambient occlusion effect
- Exposing parameters to create variation and customize the material