Learn how to use channels, create a fill layer, and target specific channels within a layer.
- [Instructor] In this video we're going to take a look at the material workflow here in Substance Painter. Now, Substance Painter is geared around painting and working with multiple channels at the same time. And so here in our TextureSet Settings you can see that we have these channels, and these are the channels that are set up by the template when we create our project. So in our case we're working with Metallic Roughness Shader, so we have channels that are appropriate for that workflow. We have Base Color, Height, Roughness, Metal, and Normal. So here in my TextureSet List, I'm working, or I just have selected the core material here, or TextureSet.
And what I'm going to do is just solo this, so I'm going to click the Solo button just so we can kind of focus in on kind of this area here as we work. So now, here we have our TextureSet, we have our settings, and then we have our layer stack, all of which are specific to the selected TextureSet. So what we're going to do now, is just come over here to our layer stack, and I'm going to come up here towards the top, and you'll see here that I have this button, that looks like a paint bucket, and that's what we refer to as a Fill Layer. So I'm going to just click this to create a fill layer here in my layer stack.
And so I can rename this, so I'm just going to double click, and I'm just going to call this Base. And this is going to be my base fill layer. Now, when you create a layer inside of Substance Painter, and here in our layer stack, the layer is a container for the channels that we're working with here in our document. Now yes, if it's a paintable layer, meaning it's a standard layer, as we've kind of shown in some of the previous videos. That is also a container for any strokes that I paint here on the object, but ultimately the layer itself is a container for these channels.
So with this Base Layer selected, if I come over here to my Properties, you can see this is going to give me the properties for this fill layer that I have selected. And here we have some properties that we'll cover in a different video. But for now, I really want to focus on the material and the channels. So here we have channels, color, height, rough, metal, and normal, and these are little buttons here. And these correlate to these channels here, again, that we have set up for our TextureSet. And so I can work with all of these channels at the same time, or I could choose to work with only one channel, or I could disable channels that I don't really need.
So in this case, I'm going to disable my Height by clicking on it, and I'm going to disable my Normal by clicking on it, because I really only want to focus on my base color, my roughness and my metal. So these are the channels that are going to be enabled for this particular fill. Now, when we take a look at this material that we're working with, this fill layer, which actually represents a material, again, that's the whole key is that Substance Painter is working across these multiple channels. So here we have our base color, our roughness and our metallic shown here as values.
So here for Base Color, you see if I click this color area, we get a color picker. If we look at roughness, which is grayscale information, I get a slider here, which allows me to adjust my roughness. And if we look here at metallic, we also get this grayscale value, which allows us to adjust the metallic value for this fill layer. Now, above these values, these uniform values, we also have these buttons here, and you can see these highlight as I mouse over them. If I click on one of these buttons, I get my mini shelf that pops up, and this allows me to fill a texture in replace of this uniform value.
So for example, let's say that I had a color map, that I wanted to use in this fill. Instead of choosing a color, I could instead, click this button, and do a search here. Now this texture is going to be something that's part of my shelf content, or maybe it's an asset that I imported into my shelf. And I can choose to place that texture as the value for this base color channel on this fill layer. Same thing here with my roughness or my metallic. Now in this case we're not going to do that right now, but I just wanted to understand that we can set up this fill layer with uniform constant values, or we could use a texture map if we want.
So here, let's just kind of think about the idea of creating like a metal texture. So I'm going to come over here to my base color, and I'm going to select a color value, so I just click this color area and it pops up this base color, color picker, and I can start to choose to pick a color. Now, in the case of this metal, I'm probably just going to leave it like this. I want to pick kind of a higher value, this is going to represent the metal reflectance value, which needs to be pretty bright for a PBR workflow. So we're just going to leave it something like this for now. Then I can come over here to my metallic, and I can adjust this to be a metal, so what I need to do is take the slider, and just pull this all the way up to one, so white denotes metal, and black denotes non-metal.
So we're going to keep this all the way up here to one. So here I'll just Alt + Left Click in the View port to start to kind of rotate around, and again I can hold down Shift + Right Click to move my light around. So it's a bit hard to tell that this is a metal. Let's take our roughness and drop this down a little bit more. So now we're starting to see a little bit more reflectivity, but again, it's a little hard to tell what's going on. And that's because since this metal, which we have here with the low roughness value, so it's pretty smooth surface, it's going to be picking up a lot of reflection, and our environment isn't really conducive to showing this reflectivity.
So let's come over here to our Viewer Settings, and for our environment map, let's click this button, and let's just choose a different environment, like an outdoor environment. So here I'm just going to come over and choose this corisca_beach HDR map. So I'll select this, and now you can see that we're reflecting the environment, and this really starts to show off this metal. Again, I can interactively adjust these constant values. So let's see right now it's a little too shiny. Let's just increase our roughness here a bit. And so here is kind of this metal that I have.
Now, what we've done here is just kind of manually set this up. If I were to just come back over here to my shelf, and let's just come over here to the window browser area, and let's click this Materials category. Here we have a set of just materials. Now I'm going to click one of these materials, let's try this Gold Pure Material. So notice when I click this, what it's going to do is it's going to automatically set these channels with appropriate values, so here we go. We're going to click Gold Pure, and here we go, this got set.
And so now, you can see that we get this gold. We can still kind of interactively adjust our roughness value and so on. Here we'll try a different one, here's Iron Brushed. And one more here, we'll go back to this Cobalt Pure. Now, all of these materials again, they're just presets, which means they just set up these color channels for us here, on this fill layer. And it's a really important concept again, to really understand that this layer is representing a container for the channels that we're working with.
So for example, here let's just come into here, and let's take this roughness and let's make it really rough here in our uniform value. So here you can see that this uniform value is very rough at this stage. Now, we have our base fill layer selected, and here at the top of the layer stack, we have this little drop-down window. If I click this, here you can see that it's giving me this same list of channels. Here, let me go back to my TextureSet settings, so we can really view our document channels. While here, I'll Save my TextureSet Settings here for this particular TextureSet List.
And I'll click this drop-down and you can see again, it mirrors the channels that we have enabled for our TextureSet. Again, base color, height, rough, metal, and normal. So these are our channels. Now, let's say that I want to be able to adjust that roughness, so of course I can adjust it here. But let's say that I can't do that. Let's put in some type of texture for this. So right now it's really easy to interactively adjust this slider, but it's uniform and kind of boring, so let's add a texture here. So what I'm going to do is come over to this button, and I'm going to click it here. Now I'm going to kind of filter this result.
So I'm just going to select this text here, and I'm just going to start to type in grunge. So I'm going to look through some of these grunge maps. And I want to filter this even a bit more, so I'm going to hit Comma, and then do Dirt. And so now we're staring to filter this a bit more, and I'm just kind of looking through and here we go, I think I'll try this guy here. So Grunge Scratch is Dirty. This is a texture map that I'm going to use, so I'll just Left-Click on this, and that's now applied a texture here into this input slide. So if I just kind of Zoom In, let me just minimize my Shelf view here.
Zoom In a little closer, let's hold down Shift + Right-Click, and just kind of move our light around. That's very important to do when you're working with roughness, so you can really see how that roughness map is going to interplay with the lighting. And so here we can see the type of effect that we're getting here. Now, I do have a few controls for this, so such as balance and so on. And the reason why I do have some of these controls is because this grunge texture is what we refer to as a Substance. That means it's not just a standard texture, it's a substance texture, which has a few properties which allow me to kind of manipulate the value range of this texture.
But even so, at this stage maybe this is just a little bit too intense of roughness. I don't really want to have it to be this intense. So what I can do is come over to my base layer, and I can actually target my roughness information specifically out of this base layer, so to do that what I need to do is come over to my Drop-down List, and let's select this. And I'm going to choose Roughness. So what we're saying now is hey fill layer, I want you to operate, or I want to only make changes to the roughness information that's stored in this layer.
Now, if we come over here to the far right, every layer has a blending mode, and opacity slider. So if I click this Blending Mode Option, you can see that we get a whole list of blending modes. Common blending modes, such as Overlay, Screen, Soft Light, Multiply and so on. And we also have this Opacity Slider. So if I Zoom In pretty close, so we can really kind of see what's happening here, and in this fill layer, I'm targeting the roughness channel, and I'm going to come over here to this Opacity, and I'm going to click this, and I'm going to take this little slider, and I'm going to start to just lower this down.
And so what this is doing is just adjusting the opacity value of just the roughness channel information, that's stored in this fill layer. And so that allows me to kind of feather in that roughness effect. So like I said, maybe using this grunge map is still maybe a little too intense, so I had it set up and then I just kind of walked or feathered that back, by just adjusting that opacity for my roughness information. So the key takeaway there is that, you have a layer, and within this layer, it's a container for the channels that you're working with here in your document, and you can target that specific channel by using this drop-down that you see here.
- Creating a project
- Getting to know the views
- Working with layers and materials
- Working with the brush tool set
- Texturing a weapon asset
- Exploring textures
- Rendering in Iray