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Advanced Substance for Environment Art by Ben Keeling

Release date:2020

Author:Ben Keeling

Skill level:Intermediate


Exercise files:Yes

In this advanced version of Intro to Substance for Environment Art course, students will learn the context of material creation by importing textures into Unreal Engine 4. Students will learn the process of setting up Master Shaders, including vertex blends and exposing our own parameters to drive interesting effects for our 3D worlds. Students will round up learning how to present and render our final materials and textured assets in interesting and striking ways. Inside Designer and Unreal Engine 4, you will be taught how to create believable realistic materials for all aspects of environment art. Students will start the course by creating a complex organic material for blending in the later weeks. In the second week we will tackle vertex blending, which is a technique used commonly in game production to interpolate between materials on larger surfaces. Students will learn how to create complex Master Shaders, which feed directly into your environments and can be used across multiple projects. We will round up the advanced course by delving into blending multiple Designer graphs directly inside of Substance. Tackling a new material and to complete the course, a new final blend incorporating everything we have learnt across the three weeks. At the end students will render the final output in Marmoset to create professional portfolio images.

Table of Contents

Week 1 | Organic Designer tiling material
In this week, we will create a reference pack for our material. We will create all aspects of the organic material including; height, normal, roughness and diffuse. The homework assignment will be to recreate your own version from the tutorial or choose your own material to create from scratch.

Week 2 | Vertex blend shaders
In this week, we will start with an introduction to Unreal Engine 4, correctly exporting and packing texture channels from Designer and creating vertex blend shaders. We will learn how to build master materials and tweak the parameters for a project use case. We will polish and refine our results until we have a great shader. We will utilise the materials we have already created to get great looking results. The homework will be to recreate your own shaders.

Week 3 | Create Final Blend Material
In this week, we will start by sourcing reference. We will create another transition material and revisit our previous designer file to expose parameters. We will demonstrate the variations you can create from one material showing the power of Substance. We will then work on our final blend material before rendering the result in Marmoset. The homework will be to create your own final blend material and create compelling final renders.

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