Dinky Fire Engine 555

Discovering Substance Painter part 1

The last months I have been working through the tools on Allegorithmic’s Substance Painter and Substance Designer and how to use it in conjunction with Blender 3D

So far the main conclusion I have come to is it works and works pretty well, there are a couple of caveats though, these I will go into perhaps in a later post. The main thing though I will mention here is to ensure you export the model in either OBJ or preferably FBX (the reason for this is OBJ doesn’t update in Substance Designer automatically). The settings for the FBX export are fairly straightforward and I came to them with a little trial and error.

The most important thing though is a UV map and a texture applied in place of multiple UV sets you use multiple textures. This is particularly important as this is the Substance Painter workflow. It may seem odd at first but as you start using it you will see it actually makes sense and is very effective at breaking meshes down into constituent parts.

These are the Blender FBX exporter settings I use, they may not be the best but they give me good results for baking. I intend playing around with them more later, especially as the FBX exporter gets updated , the one setting in particular that may be worth investigating is the Tangent Space setting my initial tests didn’t yield much and it can cause problems if the mesh contains ngons.

A really important point on the exporters: The OBJ exporter applies Modifiers to the mesh as per the Viewport Subdivision setting where as the FBX exporter applies the Render Subdivision settings. This can cause confusion especially if you use both exporters, if you end up with a huge low poly model chances are you have the render subdiv’s high. I would suggest setting both the viewport and render subdivisions to the same amount as you work through the export stage so you can see what is actually going to be exported.

I intend to do a few more articles on this as I find the time and have anything interesting to say, but as usual don’t hold me to it.

2 thoughts on “Discovering Substance Painter part 1

  1. Hi Mark! Thanks for the post. I’ve been interested in this workflow for a while. You may want to look into my AutoMaps addon for loading/reloading groups of related textures. If you do, let me know how it works and if I need to update the imported filename conventions to handle Substance textures. http://get.automaps.ca Cheers.

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