GDI Power Plant Update 7 – Texturing 2

GDI Power Plant - Texturing WIP - Substance Designer Screenshot
GDI Power Plant – Texturing WIP inside of Substance Designer

Hello again! (This is a backdated post, another one which has the finished asset will follow soon ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Sorry for the wait but this project has taken a LOT longer than I expected due to various reasons. One of them is workflow and rest…I might elaborate in a later post ๐Ÿ™‚

Change in workflow?!

The workflow reason is an interesting one because in the previous post I was going along fine in the texturing process but I then I watched the GDC talk from Allegorithmic where they were showing their workflow for an asset using Substance Designer (SD) and Substance Painter.ย Wow, I was certainly inspired! Although I’ve seen the potential of SD before, I never really understood it until I watched this talk. Needless to say, I wanted to changed my workflow ๐Ÿ˜›

Why Change?

The reason I changed was that in “next-gen” texturing (current gen now I suppose), it’s all about material blending/layering using masks and physically-based rendering (PBR). You can also see this in Unreal Engine 4, the new CryEngine and even Unity 5. At this point in time I didn’t want to tackle PBR due the slight changes in how we author our textures and also I don’t quite understand it fully…yet. I will explain what PBR (or try my best) is when I come to it ๐Ÿ™‚

Example of one of my "base material" node - Andrew Bell
Example of one of my “base material” nodes

However, the material blending/layering workflow is something I can adapt to now as I’ve felt every time I wanted to tweak a value in SD, I would try and find it in my graph and change it whereas now, I do it all in a “base material” node (multiple texture outputs in one node). It is SO much easier. Now that I had discovered that, it was back onto texturing or so I thought…

A Few Tweaks Here and There…

When I tried to do some simple tiling textures, it wasn’t working the way I wanted it to due to how I set out the UVs. In addition to this, I was getting baking conflicts on the mesh to due to certain elements intersecting with each other (eg the turbine bases and sloped elements) so I went back into 3ds Max to export them all out individually along their respective high poly models and cages (this gave me a few ideas for some maxscripts I want to develop). The baking conflicts were resolved, but now I had the issue of how to separate materials within my textures. The answer of course, was through masks.

Texture Masks

I generated my masks by baking the vertex colours of my high poly models onto the low poly model (like baking normal/AO maps etc.). This was the first time I had actually used vertex colours in my pipeline and they are great (I saw them used for vertex painting in UDK but never really understood them). Some more knowledge added to my skillset!


With all this in mind…on with texturing!

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