PIPE­LINE TECH­NIQUES: Pho­to­re­al­is­tic tyres in Sub­stance Pain­ter

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Pro tex­tur­ing tips from Amaru Zeas

When it comes to the cre­ation of tex­tures for cg as­sets there are dif­fer­ent ways to achieve the re­sults. Af­ter three years of us­ing sub­stance Pain­ter i be­lieve that Al­le­gorith­mic is chang­ing the cg in­dus­try in videogames, movies and com­mer­cials by pro­vid­ing amaz­ing tools to cre­ate PBR non­de­struc­tive tex­tures very quickly. Al­le­gorith­mic’s sub­stance Pain­ter, sub­stance De­signer and sub­stance B2M are pow­er­ful tools. each one gives you dif­fer­ent ap­proaches on cre­at­ing tex­tures but they can also con­nect to each other. sub­stance Pain­ter is a great tool that al­lows you to im­port your 3D ob­ject and paint tex­tures in real-time.

As men­tioned, Pain­ter al­lows you to work on a non­de­struc­tive work­flow, which will dras­ti­cally help you when you want to make fast changes.

i still re­mem­ber my first project us­ing sub­stance Pain­ter re­ally well. it was fan art of the most re­cent Mad Max movie. Be­fore us­ing sub­stance Pain­ter, i pretty much cre­ated all my tex­tures us­ing pho­to­graphs and painted them in Pho­to­shop. Well, that was a la­bo­ri­ous, painful process. Just be­fore work­ing on my Mad Max project, i did some re­search on new tools to help me cre­ate tex­tures more quickly. i found a few op­tions, but when i saw some Youtube videos on sub­stance Pain­ter, i couldn’t be­lieve how easy it was to learn the ba­sics! since then i’ve never stopped us­ing it. in this tu­to­rial i would like to share most of my tips and tricks to cre­ate pho­to­re­al­is­tic tex­tures for race car tyres to use them in ei­ther a cg ren­derer like Arnold or in a real-time ren­derer like un­real en­gine.

01 New file and bak­ing tex­tures There are two dif­fer­ent types of work­flow; Metal­lic Rough­ness and spec­u­lar Glossi­ness. We will be us­ing the Metal Rough­ness work­flow. choose your project tex­ture res­o­lu­tion (you can change it at any time), se­lect your ob­ject and work­flow, and cre­ate the new project.

it is very im­por­tant to bake our tex­tures. in the Tex­ture set set­tings, we want to click on Bake Mesh Maps. here you can choose any maps you might use. Re­mem­ber you can al­ways go back and re-bake or bake miss­ing maps. i tend to bake in 4K res­o­lu­tion and with at least 2x2 An­tialias­ing for smoother cur­va­ture maps.

02 Work non-de­struc­tively i try to work pro­ce­du­rally as much as i can so i can ad­just the look of my ma­te­ri­als quickly with­out de­stroy­ing my work.

sub­stance Pain­ter has Reg­u­lar lay­ers and Fill lay­ers. i use Fill lay­ers as an ac­tual ma­te­rial. i love work­ing with fill lay­ers be­cause they can be mod­i­fied at any time.

To keep things non­de­struc­tive, i usu­ally use masks and leave the lay­ers alone. The us­age of Groups is key to mak­ing master ma­te­ri­als and keep­ing thing or­gan­ised. it is im­por­tant to name and be spe­cific as much as pos­si­ble.

You can also use th­ese ma­te­ri­als as a base and then start work­ing on top of them to make the ma­te­ri­als unique. in this case i have used the ma­te­rial called Rub­ber Vul­can­ized Raw

03 Base rub­ber tex­ture Al­le­gorith­mic of­fers sub­stance source, which is a PBR ma­te­rial li­brary with tons of re­sources. You can ac­cess it by ei­ther click­ing on the icon on the right tab or just sim­ply by go­ing to the web: source.al­le­gorith­mic.com/as­sets. how­ever, i try to cre­ate most of my ma­te­ri­als from scratch as much as i can, it helps to achieve more unique fea­tures and gives more con­trol. You can also use th­ese ma­te­ri­als as a base and then start work­ing on top of them to make the ma­te­ri­als unique. in this case i have used the ma­te­rial called Rub­ber Vul­can­ized Raw as my base rub­ber. This ma­te­rial gives you a per­fect start.

04 Real-world de­tails The more ref­er­ences you gather, the more con­vinc­ing the tex­tures you cre­ate will look. i al­ways try to find ref­er­ences in dif­fer­ent types of light­ing since i like to see how ma­te­ri­als in­ter­act in the real world. it is very im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to tex­ture scale. Many artists make mis­takes with just adding de­tails with the wrong scale, this will make your tex­ture not look be­liev­able. some­times small de­tails are bet­ter even if you think they won’t be seen by the viewer.

05 Add age to the rub­ber As i men­tioned be­fore i like to leave my base ma­te­rial as sim­ple as pos­si­ble so then i can start adding more de­tails.

if you use the Metal­lic Rough­ness work­flow you know that the rough­ness tex­tures will de­ter­mi­nate the look and feel of your ma­te­rial. i like to add two or three lay­ers to add ex­tra rough­ness. For this i just cre­ate the layer and leave only the rough­ness chan­nel, then i cre­ate a mask and i can ap­ply a Fill. in the Fill slot i usu­ally use the pro­ce­dural tex­tures in the sub­stance Pain­ter li­brary.

i have seen artists add many de­tails to their tex­tures but some­times they just look life­less. For a tyre i add some di­rec­tional dirt on the tread just to make it look that there has been mo­tion

06 Add mo­tion to the tex­tures it is good prac­tice to add mo­tion to the tex­tures. in real life noth­ing is static. i have seen artists add many de­tails to their tex­tures but some­times they just don’t make sense or look life­less. For a race tyre i like to add some di­rec­tional dirt on the tread just to make it look that there has been mo­tion.

For this i cre­ate a new layer and this time i use all chan­nels. Also, i like to add a tex­ture into the colour chan­nel and lower the in­ten­sity as this helps to bring a bit of dirt vari­a­tion. Then i cre­ate a mask where i add a Fill. here i can add the di­rec­tional look i want.

07 Add dust and ex­tra dirt some­times we for­get to use the map tex­tures we baked at the be­gin­ning. Of­ten i use the cur­va­ture map to add de­tails on the edges and the oc­clu­sion map to add some dust and dirt. To do this just cre­ate a new layer, keep colour, Rough­ness and Metal­lic maps and make a very opaque ma­te­rial. There are two op­tions. You can ei­ther just add a Fill and then add your AO baked map or just make it more com­plex.

08 In­stance Lay­ers The us­age of in­stance lay­ers is great when you have mul­ti­ple ob­jects in dif­fer­ent layer sets and you want to share the same ma­te­rial, be­cause when you make a change it will af­fect all the lay­ers that have the in­stance. i used in­stanc­ing with the base rub­ber ma­te­rial so i can have the same clean look for all three parts of the tyre and then just add the wear sep­a­rately. To do so just right-click on the layer or folder then go to the in­stance layer and then se­lect the tex­ture sets you want to ap­ply it to.

09 Paint the de­tails i like to paint de­tails af­ter i am done with the pro­ce­dural. some­times small de­tails can add more re­al­ism. in this case i de­cided to add some chalk marks. For this i start with cre­at­ing a Fill layer and low­er­ing the Rough­ness. Then i cre­ate a mask on that layer where i add a Paint fil­ter so i don’t af­fect the layer, this way i can change the colour at any time.

There are many brushes in sub­stance Pain­ter and i ended up us­ing the chalk brush. To cre­ate the nor­mal map for the big logo on the tyres i do the same ap­proach, cre­ate a fill layer, only this time i leave only the height chan­nel with some value, then cre­ate a mask and fi­nally add a Fill on the mask to add my Logo Al­pha tex­ture.

Amaru Zeas amaruzeas3d.com Bio Orig­i­nally from Cuenca, Ecuador, Amaru is a se­nior 3D artist based in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. Cur­rently he works at Ama­zon Game Stu­dios as a se­nior 3D artist.

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