Texturing a Knight in Armour with Substance 3D Painter

Taught by Charles Chorein

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
December 2023 
3 hours 28 minutes 
This course, from professor and VFX supervisor Charles Chorein, covers how to texture a Knight asset in Painter and how to maintain a consistent setup between Painter, Maya/Arnold and Nuke.

Charles Chorein is a CG supervisor in London with 15 years of experience. He has been working in London since 2009 and has achieved various movies such as The Hobbit, Prometheus, The Hunger Games 2, Superman: Man of Steel, Harry Potter 7, Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and DespicableMe. He has more recently been working on TV shows and recently finished Dark Crystal for Netflix.
Texturing a Knight in Armour with Substance 3D Painter
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Foundations

How to prepare a Maya scene for integration with Substance Painter, and conduct a thorough comparison of the advantages and disadvantages associated with using both FBX and OBJ file formats. Learn how to utilize the ASM Painter template and meticulously assess the color management through OCIO between Maya and Substance Painter to ensure seamless and accurate transfer of information.

Class 2: Scene Configuration

With all the necessary preparations and setup completed in Substance Painter, we are now poised to mock up our assets and obtain the initial draft of the texture work. Our scene is be configured with the specified HDRI, shadows, and shading properties to enhance the real-time experience. The export of our Knight asset will showcase a smooth topology and a meticulous examination of our various UV tiles, based on the export, will be carried out.

Class 3: Texturing the Armor

An examination of background settings and properties, emphasizing the critical nature of getting these elements right. The focus will be on initiating the texturing process for the armor, employing our HSL perceptive shader. You will gain a solid understanding of fundamental concepts related to masking, such as Masking, Filter Fill, UV, and Tri-planar projection.

Class 4: Texturing, Continued

With a solid texture base, it’s important to dissociate all our channels color, roughness and height channel to get full control. We then use the Filter Level to make adjustments per channel and explore the procedural texturing to break up our first pass. We start on texturing the cloth mesh.

Class 5: Maya/Arnold Integration

With the first version of our knight complete, it's time to begin the integration in Maya with Arnold. We export all textures and re-establish connections for the albedo, roughness, and displacement maps. Employing the Painter Arnold template, we explore the nuances between the Arnold legacy template and the Arnold template version. Additionally, we gain insights into effectively setting up our texture maps in Hypershade and optimize the process. To enhance rendering quality, we incorporate the Arnold GPU denoiser.

Class 6: Fixing Discrepencies

Now that we have an initial render output, dive into understanding the discrepancies in color between Painter, Maya, and Nuke, including unraveling the intricacies of the ACES CG color space setup. We use baked maps to enhance the complexity of our albedo and roughness channels, employing blur and sharpen filter. Additionally, we embark on incorporating texture files to elevate the quality of our texturing assets.

Class 7: Texturing the boots and cloth

Implementing an updated mesh with a newly adjusted shader, we proceed to texture the boots and cloth sections. We introduce texture files for a nuanced approach, deviating from relying solely on procedural textures. To achieve a leather appearance, we incorporate displacement with triplanar projection. Leveraging our initial Generator, we create a mask based on the world position map. Lastly, we step into utilizing our first Smart Materia to improve the overall knight asset.

Class 8: Back to Maya

We export all textures following the enhancements we've implemented. The next step involves connecting these textures in the Maya Hypershade as we did previously, with the aiStandardSurface shader for each channel while ensuring the correct color space. Subsequently, we fine-tune the shading adjustments on our displacement shader to align seamlessly with the appearance achieved in Painter. Finally, we initiate a render to assess the results.

Class 9: Final Touches

Finally, we return to Painter to refine our armor, leather, and cloth textures, making final adjustments.