Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Substance Designer workflow, part of Up and Running with Substance Designer.
- Although there probably is no such thing as the perfect production pipeline, given that pretty much every studio and even freelance artist has their own unique needs and preferences, I still want to take some time in this particular video to outline at least a basic set of suggestions as to where Substance Designer might fit into your material creation and rendering pipeline. The best way that I can think of doing this, is by means of the humble flowchart. At the most basic level then, no matter which area of the CG industry we create for, be that games, TV and film, architectural and or product viz, or whatever, we may well find ourselves starting and finishing the creation process inside a 3D-based digital content creation, or DCC, application, such as 3ds Max or Maya.
In this pipeline type, we would want to do our modelling and UVW mapping in 3ds Max for instance, take those assets straight into Substance Designer for map and material creation, and then come straight back to our DCC application for the material, lighting, and final rendering part of the process. We could also, of course, use this same basic workflow but then rather than coming back to the DCC app, move instead into a game engine for the lighting and rendering phase of production.
If sculpting in applications such as ZBrush and Mudbox are a part of the way we work, we might again start in our DCC application, but then once we have completed the base modelling and unwrapping, move our mesh over to our sculpting package. Once that phase is complete, we may need to reduce the polygon count that will be used at render time by retopologizing, after which we would make the move over to texturing in Substance Designer. Finally, coming to the host application for final lighting and rendering.
We could of course start the modelling process in our sculpting application. We may have animation requirements in that project. And we could go on and on with pipeline possibilities. The cool thing for us as users of Substance Designer though, is the fact that no matter what our typical project pipeline looks like, we can easily slot Substance Designer into it using either the procedural substance package itself, for final texturing, or by creating a set of output bitmaps rendered from Substance Designer itself that can then be plugged into and control various elements of a host application's material types.
To keep things simple for this particular course, we are going to be using a simple shadeable mesh that was modeled and UV mapped in 3ds Max, exported as an FBX asset, and then used in the 3D view of Substance Designer itself. We could also have just as easily started the texturing process in Substance Designer itself, using one of the built in mesh primitives, and then taken the finished substance straight into a rendering application, which in the case of this course, is going to be Unreal Engine four.
- Creating a new substance graph
- Importing resources
- Setting up lighting
- Generating maps
- Creating material outputs
- Using generator nodes to create surface detail
- Using filters to create amps
- Publishing a substance
- Importing substances