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Substance designer/Nodes unreal engine a must for Environment artist?


I'm interested in learn about environment art but I wanna know, is it required to know
substance designer and learn how to create like complex materials in Unreal Engine to become 
an Environment artist? 

There's a lot of tutorials an videos on how to make props and stuff but is not that common to find info about this other side of it so 
I was wondering.

Thank you guys so much.


  • oglu
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    oglu polycount lvl 666
    You wont need to create designer materials in the most studios. But its a plus if you know how todo it.
    Here is more info.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky

    in all likelihood you won't be allowed anywhere near those things in production but it won't do you any harm to have some experience 
  • Ghogiel
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    Ghogiel greentooth
    Even if you wouldn't be let near either of those things in a studio, can you make a well constructed environment in say UE that will look good without knowing at least something to get a portfolio piece that would attact studio interest? If you can then the answer is probably you wouldn't need to be mega good at those aspects.

  • Enavi
    So studios would hire someone who is in charge of creating substance designer materials and UE materials for the scene? or who does that?
  • Eric Chadwick
    Yes. Though it depends on the size of the team. In larger studios there is more specialization, so there will be texture artists who mostly just make materials. These will usually be senior people, not entry level.

    In smaller studios they will want people who can do multiple things, so environment artists will need to make their own materials from scratch.
  • Benjammin
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    Benjammin polycounter lvl 5
    Where I work, tech artists set up master UE materials that the 3d/enviro artists instance for their assets. Designer stuff is used  by some individual artists but we're not necessarily doing anything too complex. Its not a requirement -  maybe 20% of the art team know how to drive it. 
    We're about 70 people, for reference. 
    I would recommend learning how to do basic stuff (in designer and UE materials) but don't worry about the more complex use cases.
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt polycounter
    It's bad for your career to always ask "do I need to know this?" 

    What you always want to ask is "can I use this to make my work better?" 

    Asking the first question seems like you're trying to do only the minimum amount of work possible. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Enavi said:
    There's a lot of tutorials an videos on how to make props and stuff but is not that common to find info about this other side of it so 
    I was wondering.

    Tutorials are great. Much of what I've learned has been from tutorials. To get a good dive into Unreal materials and general shader tech art stuff check out ben cloward on youtube. 

     But as you've said, there is a million tutorials for making models and textures but much less for intermediate and beyond tech art stuff. That's because there is less interest as it is more technical. 

    Tutorials can get you started but if you wanted to fast track more tech-art stuff I think you need to find a mentor. Some senior artist who does that stuff professionally and is willing to teach you or just answer questions on a regular basis. You can find some on patreon, twitch, or just hunt around sites like here or art station and I'm sure you could find a mentor or a few if you wanted. Maybe you pay a few hundred dollars each month for the time but it could save years of learning so I think the investment is a no brainer if you want to learn.

    I only know the basics of that stuff but it seems to me it is dependent on strong foundation in math. 
  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky
    You can go a long way without needing much maths but you will hit a very steep wall when you get to anything remotely interesting involving shaders, designer, computational geometry etc..

    On the plus side, YouTube is rammed full of videos explaining linear algebra and shader related things so getting the principles jammed into your head is fairly painless(apart from the headaches) 

     Freya holmer and 3blue1brown are a couple of good channels to poke at. 
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