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Quick Blade (getting back into texturing - need advice)

polycounter lvl 6
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OFPismySOP polycounter lvl 6
I made a quick blade in Maya and unwrapped it get get going in Substance Painter again after a long time. The only thing that amazed me more than how much I remembered was how much I forgot. The guard and scales are premade materials in Substance with some dings and wear for good measure but I made the blade from scratch.

I followed Flipped Normals YouTube video on getting into Substance but I was wondering if there is anyone else out there that's tried and true for you all when getting into Substance as stone cold beginner. The tutorials from the Algorithmic seem a bit steep on the learning curve, for me at least.

Any c&c on the blade is welcomed as well! Thanks!



  • Firebert
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    Firebert polycounter lvl 14
    Hey!  Glad to hear you're up for learning some Substance and other techniques.  Some pointers would definitely be to go into Substance with a full set of texture bakes that match the materials needed for your model.  Tangent Normal, World Space Normal, Curvature, etc. all of which are staples in most painting workflows.  These can be added to your model in your texture set settings tab on the bottom right of your screen in Substance. Having these available to you throughout your Substance texture creation will allow you to experiment with any smart materials already available to you.  Using those as a base and then building up can help a lot of stone cold beginners, but nothing more than a base.  From looking through your previous posts, it's clear you know how to lowpoly, unwrap, and bake down the maps you need.  

     Material ID maps are also essential.  These can be however many colors you want or need to segment off your materials on your object.  I will typically assign these in my highpoly meshes before baking anything down. It looks like you already have this concept at work in your model, but nevertheless, here's an example using maya to achieve a material mask output for substance.  https://youtu.be/kP0pG2PJIqI the basic principals apply to any 3d app during the highpoly phase. 

    One thing to be wary of when using smart materials in Substance is the layering up.  You will notice that your normal maps will become 100% broken if you do not pay attention to your height channel for each smart material, but it can be so subtle that you may not realize it is happening until you've slapped too many weird smart materials on your mesh.  I've had beautiful bakes in my low poly's become absolutely destroyed because I dropped a smart material with a fancy normal map that smothered the original detail of the full model.  Be very wary of how you use smart materials in your work.  

    As for the model, I would consider making the carbon fiber a wood material that might have screws or nails on one side.  Nails may be more fitting given the design of the guard you have modeled.  The shape of the model seems a bit contradicting with the guard and the cutaways.  The cutaways to me visually represent a modern era, but the guard shape represents more of an ancient weapon.  For learning in substance, there's nothing wrong model, but if you are looking to make this a portfolio piece, I would encourage a redesign of some shapes. 

    Thank you for putting your work up here and keep grinding away at Substance!  
  • GarethStandfield
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    GarethStandfield polycounter lvl 3
    Something i feel would help this jump out alot more would tone down the shininess and add some AO, an AO map can go along way to making features POP like here the handle sorta just... mhmm connects like magic i guess? im not sure how else to put it haha.

    As its metal on metal some welding lines would be cool, but if you dont wana go that far some AO too atleast separate them a little! ill do a rough paint over of what i mean sorry im terrible at explaining, just to separate the objects alittle to show the shape and bring out that edge.

  • OFPismySOP
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    OFPismySOP polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you both for your critiques with this, and the video that was posted was very helpful!
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