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Learn the process of baking inside Substance Painter

Learn the process of baking inside Substance Painter, including the importance of proper naming and UVs.

Understand how to create a new project, set the output size, and assign the high-definition mesh.

Discover the different types of maps generated during the baking process and their significance in adding details to your character.

Begin the painting process using fill layers and paint layers.

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  • Before you begin baking your mode it is important to name your high and low poly models accordingly.

  • Every part of the low poly model should be named with the _low at the end and every part on the high poly model should be named with the _high at the end.

  • The other thing that is also important is that the low poly model should have opened UV maps while the high poly model doesn’t need to have any UVs opened.

  • This is because we only need the high poly model for its details and maps when we bake it onto the low poly version inside of Substance Painter.

  • The first and only thing to do in Substance Painter when texturing a model is to make a new project.

  • The instructor sets up the template and the resolution and adds in the low poly model in the File Select.

  • There are 4 ways to open up the Baking Window in Substance Painter: - Ctrl + Shift + B. - Go into the Edit settings and select the Bake Mesh Maps options.

- Go into the Texture Set Setting next to Layers and click on Bake Mesh Maps.

  • Any of these will open up the Bake Window and it will appear on your viewport.

  • It is important to set the resolution of the Output Size to get the best quality for our details once it is baked.

  • The resolution would be ok if it is only set on 2k but if your computer can handle it more will always be better.

  • Once the resolution is set it is important to put in the high poly as well.

  • In the High Definition Meshes click the little file icon on the right side and select your high poly.

  • On the left side are the Mesh Maps that are going to be baked onto our low poly model.

  • Later on in other classes, these maps will be explained in more detail.

  • We can change the Match setting from Always to By Mesh Name.

  • What this does is it will bake every part of the low and high poly model if they have a _low and _high and the correct name before the _low and _high.

  • The bake will have a better result than Always would.

  • Once everything is set we can click the Bake -insert name of the model-.

  • When we do that the window will close and a new small one will appear in our viewport that tells us the baking process.

  • Once the Bake is finished all of the details from the high poly will be added to the low poly versions.

  • If everything is baked correctly all of the listed maps on the small baking window will have a checker mark at the end.

  • In the Texture Set settings, all of the maps that were listed in the Baking Window will appear in our Mesh Maps.

  • The most important one to note is the Normal Map since that is the one that adds all of the details to our low poly mode.

  • All of the other maps will be explained in more detail in later classes.

  • Now that everything is set up we can go ahead and work on our model.

  • Because this model only has one shader it will be a bit more tricky to texture.

  • The best thing to help you with models like these is to use Masks.

  • There are two types of masks, black and white.

  • The White and Black Masks act as grayscale masks where the white areas are fully visible, while the black areas are hidden.

  • There is an option to clear out your mask, right-click it and select the Clear Mask option.

  • In this class, we’ll be using a black mask and paint in the color using the black and white values.

  • What this means is that when we add color using a Mask, we’re not actually painting the model with the, in this case, purple color but rather we are painting with the White value on the Black Mask which will reveal the purple color underneath.

  • If we want to erase some part we can either use the Erase tool or just click X on our keyboard and it will swap the value from white to black.

  • Painting with a black value will cover up the white value and remove the color there.

  • There are different ways to color your model when using Masks.

  • The more efficient way is to use the Polygon Fill toll.

  • There is a shortcut for it, by pressing 4 on your keyboard it will activate the tool.

  • There are 4 different Polygon Fill options that are above the viewport.

  • The first one is the Triangle Fill.

  • Even though our model is with quads it will only fill up one half or one Triangle inside of a single polygon.

  • The second one is the Polygon Fill.

  • It only colors a single polygon when you click on it.

  • You can also click and drag to collect more polygons to fill up a larger area.

  • The third one is the Mesh Fill.

  • This will select an entire part of our model.

  • Even though it looks like the model is just one part when in fact it is made up of multiple parts.

  • The last one is the UV Chunk Fill.

  • It will only fill up one UV shell at a time.

  • It behaves in a similar what to the Mesh Fill but instead of affecting the model it affects the UV shells.

- This is with Mesh Fill.

- This is with UV Chunk Fill.

  • Now that we have an understanding of how Masks work and how to use the polygon Fill tool we can go ahead and add the basic colors to our model.

  • We only want the Color channel turned on on every line we make.

  • To disable the other channels, hold Alt and only click on the color map.

  • Doing this will disable every other channel on the layer.

  • You can also disable them by just clicking on each map separately.

  • We’ll add a fill layer with a purple color.

  • On this layer, we will add a black mask and only select the purple parts of the model.

  • We’ll repeat this step with other layers with different colors on them and assign those colors to the appropriate spots on the model using the Black Mask and Polygon Fill Tool.

  • Our model will look shiner than it’s supposed to.

  • To fix that we will add a new fill layer below all the other layers and only have the roughness channel turned on.

  • By increasing the roughness we’ll notice the model losing its shine.

  • For stylized hand painting, it is best to either see the roughness all the way up to 1 or to 0.8.

  • After we are done putting down the base color we can go ahead and group up the layers into a folder.

  • To do that click the first layer then by holding down the Shift key click the last one, now that every layer is selected use the shortcut Ctrl + G to group them up.

  • You can open and close the folder by clicking the folder icon next to the layer.

  • The rest of the details on the model are going to be painted using the paint layers.

  • To make the process faster we can activate the symmetry by clicking on the icon above the viewport.

  • Our model is off-center in the world and the symmetry won’t be placed right in the middle of our model.

  • To fix that we can always move the symmetry by clicking the icon above the viewport or clicking the Q button on our keyboard.

  • Once we do that we can move the symmetry line to the center of our model.

  • Now that are symmetry has been properly placed we can use the brush tool and paint in the rest of the details.


Advanced knowledge is NOT REQUIRED and the event is FREE.

💻 WHERE? - online and live at the M3DS Academy of Visual Arts.

WHEN? - you choose a day, from June 15 to July 6, 2023 The final award ceremony will be held on July 7, 2023.

💡WHY? - Each participant receives a free course in the Unreal Engine Program - Each participant receives an international certificate of participation. - Each participant receives a discount for enrollment in the M3DS Academy.

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