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Some questions about environment art

Hey there! I've been self teaching myself environment art for a few months now and I had a few questions about it. 

- Is Substance Designer mandatory? I've been teaching myself this program for the past month or two and I just can't seem to get anything the way I want it to look. Before I spend more time studying it, I wanted to ask if it is essential for environment artists or if it's just something to learn after everything else

- Should I focus on becoming proficient with Maya, Painter, Unreal, or Substance Designer (if yes to the first question) first? I've basically only reached the beginner-intermediate stage of each software and I think it would be best to focus on a software and improve on that first

- Is the Zbrush to Substance Designer workflow used in the industry? I saw a few videos using this technique and it has always interested me, but I'm unsure if it's even practical in production. 

As you can see, I am struggling quite a bit with the texturing process and I hope someone could clarify things for me. Thank you :) 

Replies

  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    Is Substance Designer mandatory? 
    Depends on the job and the studio. There are some environment art jobs that will expect you to know Substance, But at others, probably most, only dedicated material artists are doing work in Designer, and any texturing an environment artist does will be in Painter.

    Should I focus on becoming proficient with Maya, Painter, Unreal, or Substance Designer (if yes to the first question) first? 
    I'd stick with Maya until you feel like you've got a solid grasp on modeling fundamentals--everything else builds on that. Past that, though, it really is best to take assets all the way through the pipeline and into the engine.

     Is the Zbrush to Substance Designer workflow used in the industry?
    Sometimes. It tends to not be the fastest workflow, especially since iteration takes much longer than in Designer, but it can create great results that not many artists could replicate procedurally. 
  • DuyVuLe32
    Meloncov said:
    Is Substance Designer mandatory? 
    Depends on the job and the studio. There are some environment art jobs that will expect you to know Substance, But at others, probably most, only dedicated material artists are doing work in Designer, and any texturing an environment artist does will be in Painter.

    Should I focus on becoming proficient with Maya, Painter, Unreal, or Substance Designer (if yes to the first question) first? 
    I'd stick with Maya until you feel like you've got a solid grasp on modeling fundamentals--everything else builds on that. Past that, though, it really is best to take assets all the way through the pipeline and into the engine.

     Is the Zbrush to Substance Designer workflow used in the industry?
    Sometimes. It tends to not be the fastest workflow, especially since iteration takes much longer than in Designer, but it can create great results that not many artists could replicate procedurally. 
    Thank you so much! That clarified a lot 
  • garcellano
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    garcellano greentooth
    Is Substance Designer mandatory? 
    It depends on the studio, if they need their artists to know that. But, I'd say it's best to at least get a good grasp on how it works. The workflow, making tileable textures, still falls in environment art.

    Should I focus on becoming proficient with Maya, Painter, Unreal, or Substance Designer (if yes to the first question) first? 
    Yes? I want to say. I fell into Maya first, Unreal, then Substance Designer/Painter, and Unreal again. To be honest, whichever you choose first, you'll eventually get familiar with all of these. Modular kits, tileable materials, baking, etc. Just thinking about how game art works, and putting it in the engine, you get the idea.

    Is the Zbrush to Substance Designer workflow used in the industry?
    I rarely had to use that workflow. I think I did that once, maybe just a bake for an atlas map or trimsheet. It might just depend on the asset.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe insane polycounter
    On the tutorial/substance designer  thing...
    After a number of  years hiring material artists I can spot a tutorial jockey a mile off and I don't even bother interviewing them. 
    Fwiw we employ specialists to operate designer - the average environment artist isn't allowed anywhere near it.


    If you want to be an environment artist ...
    Learn to model, learn to UV, learn to bake and learn to use Photoshop or painter to make good textures. 

    Those are the essential skills
  • DuyVuLe32
    poopipe said:
    On the tutorial/substance designer  thing...
    After a number of  years hiring material artists I can spot a tutorial jockey a mile off and I don't even bother interviewing them. 
    Fwiw we employ specialists to operate designer - the average environment artist isn't allowed anywhere near it.


    If you want to be an environment artist ...
    Learn to model, learn to UV, learn to bake and learn to use Photoshop or painter to make good textures. 

    Those are the essential skills
    Thanks a lot, I'm starting to get the idea now. I'm assuming since I wouldn't be working with Substance Designer that I am able to use materials I haven't made in my portfolio pieces, is that correct? If so, would that include Megascans? 
  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    DuyVuLe32 said:
    poopipe said:
    On the tutorial/substance designer  thing...
    After a number of  years hiring material artists I can spot a tutorial jockey a mile off and I don't even bother interviewing them. 
    Fwiw we employ specialists to operate designer - the average environment artist isn't allowed anywhere near it.


    If you want to be an environment artist ...
    Learn to model, learn to UV, learn to bake and learn to use Photoshop or painter to make good textures. 

    Those are the essential skills
    Thanks a lot, I'm starting to get the idea now. I'm assuming since I wouldn't be working with Substance Designer that I am able to use materials I haven't made in my portfolio pieces, is that correct? If so, would that include Megascans? 
    Learn how to use Substance Painter and/or Mixer to combine and modify materials, so you're not just at the mercy of what the Megascans library contains, but it's perfectly fine to make use of the Megascans library.
  • DuyVuLe32
    Meloncov said:
    DuyVuLe32 said:
    poopipe said:
    On the tutorial/substance designer  thing...
    After a number of  years hiring material artists I can spot a tutorial jockey a mile off and I don't even bother interviewing them. 
    Fwiw we employ specialists to operate designer - the average environment artist isn't allowed anywhere near it.


    If you want to be an environment artist ...
    Learn to model, learn to UV, learn to bake and learn to use Photoshop or painter to make good textures. 

    Those are the essential skills
    Thanks a lot, I'm starting to get the idea now. I'm assuming since I wouldn't be working with Substance Designer that I am able to use materials I haven't made in my portfolio pieces, is that correct? If so, would that include Megascans? 
    Learn how to use Substance Painter and/or Mixer to combine and modify materials, so you're not just at the mercy of what the Megascans library contains, but it's perfectly fine to make use of the Megascans library.
    Ah that makes sense. I'll look into Mixer. Thanks a lot 
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