Texturing and shading assets using Substance Painter


Hello! This tutorial will be a brief explanation of my texturing and shading workflow. I will be covering texturing with Substance Painter, and how to achieve a cool look in Maya with the Arnold Renderer.

Expected result

Get your model done

To get the model into Substance Painter you will need all the UV unwrapped, the history deleted, and the model frozen. You can then export this as an OBJ. To import, open Substance Painter and import the OBJ file into “New Project.”

Model ready to send to Substance Painter

Substance Painter import

Bake your auxiliary maps

Baking is a very important step when using Substance Painter; all the smart masks and smart materials use the auxiliary maps when creating things like the masks, and to project details from a high poly mesh. To bake the textures go to Texture set settings > Bake mesh maps, and in the bake settings just set the map to 4096 and let it bake. It will take a while, grab a coffee.

Baking textures

Start texturing

Gather some references and start checking the Substance Painter library. It’s really cool to check the Substance Painter presets and keep changing the fill layers projections to fit the texture the best. Always try to use fill layers and masks to keep it procedural.

Material presets

Explore the variations

Keep blending and experimenting with the layers; it’s really important to think about the material’s variance of color, roughness, and of course height differences. The height maps will be used as displacement for the final result.

Texturing results

Export the textures

Once you have finished the texturing process, it’s time to export the files. Open the File > Export Textures. It’s recommended to use the Arnold 5 (AiSurface) preset, and the file type TIF 16 bits or EXR.

Texture exporting

Setting the lights in Maya

For look dev it is recommended to use a HDR environment map of a studio plugged into an aiSkydome Light. You can download one for free from here.

Using the Dome Light

Setting the shader

In Maya, open the hypershade, press TAB and create an aistandard surface. Connect the maps to the respective channels as listed in the image. For the roughness, metallic, normal map, and height, change the color space of the file node to RAW. If you have some doubts check the Allegorithmic documentation here.

Render settings

For the final settings I used those shown in the below image due to the need of my scene. For your asset, it may be best to tweak until you get the desired affect.

Render settings

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