Industrial Design: Injecting Realism with Substance
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Iskander, I'm 21 years old. Addicted to computer graphics, I first started working with CG in 2011 and have been working professionally since 2014. I have a dream to become part of a company for professional game development.
What are your specialties?
I’m a 3D artist, working mostly with hard surface objects such as architecture, weapons, vehicles, and so on. I’m also a texture artist (PBR), developing complex textures for my projects using Substance Painter and Substance Designer. As an art director, I work with my team and train them to more effectively accomplish tasks with the best tools and pipelines.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Every day I go to ArtStation for an extra dose of inspiration as I strive for something bigger and better.
How did you discover the Allegorithmic tools? Which ones have you used on these projects?
I stumbled on Substance via the Internet and was impressed with the speed and usability of Substance Painter.
Tell us more about the "Leather Shoes" and the "DeWalt Drill Driver" projects: Why these 2 different objects?
I loved my shoes and always wanted to model them. In real life they are not leather (ha ha); I just decided to add "flavor". For the drill, it was a commissioned project. A customer provided a scan of the drill and asked me to do retopology and textures for it. The result was a very impressed customer.
Where can we get more details about the "Leather Shoes" project and the "DeWalt Drill Driver"?
I recorded the whole process on video and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. People warmly received my work and wrote very nice comments.
Why did you decide to texture the Dusty Paint Robot [IRB 5400]?
Trace studio company saw my work (they develop 3D content for games). They offered me the position of senior 3D artist in their studio and asked me to complete a simple test task. The assignment was to make a robot which worked in difficult conditions.
How much time did it take you?
I spent about four days, working two or three hours on average in my free time, or a total of about 10 hours from searching for references to the final texturing.
What tools and materials did you use in Substance Painter?
I used Substance Painter base materials with smart masks and the mask builder. I also baked normal maps from a high-poly model. Small details like bolts and screws I did with a brush in the height channel.
You worked on both organic and hard-surface projects. Do you have a preference?
I love to make solid objects: sci-fi style objects, weapons, military equipment, vehicles, et cetera. My Achilles’ heel is organic forms. I don't know how to do complex organics, like people, animals and so on. In the near future, I will study anatomy and start to conquer organic art.
What was your biggest challenge on each project?
The biggest problem is getting a precise statement of technical specifications from the client. For modeling and texturing however I have no acute problems, that goes smoothly.
What was your production pipeline on these projects and how did Substance integrate into it?
I model and unwrap everything in Blender 3D. After that, I send the project to Substance Painter and bake all the maps, then paint textures.
Do you have some Substance techniques to share with the community?
Before you start basic texturing, paint small details such as seams and bolts stamped with lettering with a brush with a height channel to save time on modeling. Then export the normal map with the painted parts. Next, using the blue channel of a normal map, combine in blend (mix) mode with the main ambient occlusion map to give depth to small details on the model. Using this technique you will get a more “lively” texture.
How did your use of Substance change your approach to texturing?
Before discovering Substance Painter I wasn’t fond of texturing and always found this process very complex. However, I was wrong. After I learned about Substance, my opinion completely changed. Texturing has never been so easy and logical.
Tell us more about your next projects.
The next project will be an old and rusty Soviet-made car GAZ M21 "Volga" in a post-apocalyptic style. In this project I’ll use photogrammetry – thanks to Yuri Sitov for providing photos. I will do a clean mid-poly retopology, then textures of course will be done in Substance Painter with rendering in Marmoset Toolbag 3. During the whole process, I will record a video and after completion of the project I will post it to my YouTube channel.
Is there a 3D artist that inspires you a lot?
Can you add a picture of your workspace?
Here is the link to the Russian Substance Community on VK: https://vk.com/club78544614