Learning new skills during Quarantine, Substance

Trying to use the time at home in a

So life has been strange during this Corona crisis. But being more at home and having more time for myself. After a day of resting from the previous deadline I started to get motivated to use this time in a productive way.

I’ve created a list of things I still want to do or learn when having some free time to work on it. And lets say, free time is a plenty during these weeks. The list consisted of a lot of projects. But for now we will focus on the first one.

During my period as a student Substance wasn’t a big thing yet. Therefore we didn’t got classes or lessons learning the Substance software. But every time we got a new intern or colleague working at my previous office I was intrigued with what they could create with little effort using Substance. I needed to learn it for myself, already knowing how to use Shaderforge and Shadergraph I saw the possibilities in Substance Designer.

Plaster smart material with multiple degradation masks with different shapes based on noise.

One of the smart materials I made was a plaster material with a brick wall underneath it. Inspired by the theme in the drawings of Anton Pieck. The material has multiple types of degradation of the plaster that blend with each other. Giving the user the possibility to adjust the degradation per object the material is assigned to.

Plaster with wooden beams smart material with an additional mold slider adding the mold in corners and creases on the plaster.

Another smart material I made was a plaster with wooden beams smart material. The beams are just a combination of height and or normal map making it able to keep the building, using the material, to be less high in the poly count. The whole material is based on generators and noise making it able to scale on surfaces without distortion. I also added an aging slider to create mold in the creases giving it a more old and natural look.

More materials will probably follow in the Shader lab page. I’ve found out that Substance (the basics) was rather easy to learn. I think I saw a lot of similarities between Shadergraph and Substance Designer making it feel really intuitive. Substance Painter reminded me of a 3D orientated Adobe Photoshop. After investing around 50 hours in Substance within a week I’m now glad to say that I’ve learned the basics. Now it’s just a matter of using it in all future projects to get a familiarity with the programs.

The next quarantine learning project will be: Marvelous Designer

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