Home Technical Talk

Advanced texturing techniques


I am an aspiring sneaker designer/3D artist and I have mostly all the tools under my belt to design and bring to life my sneaker ideas and concept. However there is one area where I have been stumped and that is effectively adding 3D texture so parts of the shoe.

Here is a link to a page showing exactly what i would want to achieve.

The designer/artist however is hiding his technique, but I feel as though he's discovered a novel and efficient way to achieve the textures.
My fist theory was to use substance painter, but after experimenting with it it doesn't seem to achieve the accuracy i am looking for. Another possibility could be zbrush, but I feel zbrush isn't what was used for the first example.

Here is another example:

this person uses zbrush

Any help here would be great, I've be scouring the internet for some insight.

Thanks in advance!


  • Neox
    Offline / Send Message
    Neox veteran polycounter
    why doesnt painter give you the accuracy you want? i recently have made something very similar building heightmaps inside substance which then have been displaced onto the zbrush highpoly. worked like a charm
  • sneakerfreaker
    Could you maybe show me some of your process, or maybe try and replicate what is shown in the reference pictures so I can learn?

    Would be greatly appreciated!
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    It's not as advanced as you probably think.

    You can do a test to figure out the workflow. Use a sphere or a cube that has the UV's layed out. Make a repeating pattern black and white image. Apply the image as a displacement map. 

    From there you can convert the displacement into actual geometry, and then from there you could back that into normal map or whatever you need to do based on project requirements. 

    Probably googling "zbrush displacement maps" and "zbrush convert displacement to geometry" is going to give you hundreds of viable answers. Don't be afraid to spend a couple hours playing around. You only have to learn the process once.

    Here people give short answers not because they don't want to help, but because the answers have already been written many, many times. So a few keywords that you can google is all that is needed.
  • sneakerfreaker
    Alright you guys have motivated me! But I do have a question, if you had to choose would you use zbrush or substance painter?
  • wirrexx
    Offline / Send Message
    wirrexx ngon master
    Alright you guys have motivated me! But I do have a question, if you had to choose would you use zbrush or substance painter?
    which gets the job done. Go with whatever software is more comfortable to use.
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    each software is like a set of tools. Which to use depends what your final goal is. 

    Off top of my head I think substance painter wont be able to convert displacement to geometry - if you were making a realtime render/animated model maybe you would need to do that so that you could make a normal map... maybe not just depends on what you are doing.

    In general working with textures versus geometry is going to be lighter, quicker, less-destructive... but since you aren't sure pros and cons of each smart thing to do is try both. It really will only take a few hours and then you'll know.

Sign In or Register to comment.