In this video the folks over at Allegorithmic walks us through the new Layer Instancing feature within Substance Painter 2017.

The new Layer Instances feature lets you share the content of one or several layers across multiple texture sets. This means that different texture sets can now share a single unified layer stack, reducing dramatically the time spent on the look development phase when working on complex assets. The feature is flexible enough so that you can share the full layer stack or only specific layers and folders, giving you the ability to increase productivity while still maintaining good performance on large projects.

Okay this s gonna be a relatively quick video on how to remesh and reduce this monster asset into something more reasonable for a real-time engine to utilize. And what I mean by a monster asset is if you see up here in the Tri count it’s 225,000 triangles, and if I bring the hypershade up here you’re gonna see he’s 11 draw calls, so basically; he has 11 materials assigned to him. So if I go here to the body, shader group and select objects right click and select objects with materials, you could see I have a material assigned to his body and those are all laid out in the UV space 0 to 1.

I have his cloak UVed and textured, I have his gun-arm over here broken up into 3 different or 4 different materials, here I’ve got his ammo assigned to one material and again UVed and laid out and zero to one UV Space. He’s a little unwieldy for a game engine right now, so what we’re gonna do is again optimize him utilizing the remesh functionality with an instalod.

Now different from the previous video where we had a high-resolution mesh with no game res; what this basically is is a very high resolution game res asset or is an asset that’s already UVed, already has textures baked to it and we’re going to condense that down into something more reasonable.

To visualize this let’s take a look at this image right here so right now what we have is 11 different draw calls so 11 different materials each one of these colors representing a different material and each material is gonna have 1, 2, 3, 4 textures plugged into it. In this case, its these PBR, he’s gonna have a base color, metallicity, normal and roughness map plugged in. Each one of these maps is 2048 by 2048 and what we’re going to use this remesh functionality to do this time is take all 11 of these materials and make one material and all 44 of these textures and drop it down to just 1, 2, 3, 4 textures in my new material.

As you can see over here, we’re gonna make this a 2048 by 2048 texture for our new material, if you wanted to you don’t have to condense all of these textures into 1 2048, even if you were to double that into a 4096 you can see the footprint isn’t gonna be terribly large certainly not compared to the original object so it’s not a deal breaker for your end result or what you’re gonna be using this in engine for say a character create or a game where you can have a 4096 assigned to your character. Assigning a 4096 may not be a deal breaker for you, now that we have a little bit of a better idea of what we’re doing let’s go ahead and look through some options.

Source: Michael Pavlovich

Chaos Group shows a simple step by step workflow of how you can implement their vrscans library into your project.

VRScans Explained

This VRscans demonstration in this video we’ll take a closer look at the VRscans technology together with the VRscans material library we are going to cover the Vrscans material features as well as simple step by step workflow of how we can use the VR scans material in our project.We’ll take a look at some of the key features of the VRscans. A VRscans material is generated by capturing thousands of images of a real life material sample, the resulted scanned material is often indistinguishable from the original sample which makes the pure photo realistic.

The amount of photographs generated by the high quality Hardware captures the material’s texture in exceptional quality and detail. using all these physical data the viewer scans technology captures the materials bi-directional texture function or BTF. This approach is far more advanced and accurate than a single point bi-direction and reflectance distribution function, also known as BRDF. As a result VRscans recreate a material true surface appearance and unique response to light, to recreate a material that is physically accurate as possible from the ground up; you need to build a complex shading network which could be daunting and time consuming.

 

The VRscans require no prior material building knowledge or use of any reference materials. Setting up a VRscans material is as easy as just drag and drop and on top of that, a scanned material is seamlessly tile-able, which means you won’t get any seams or repeating patterns when you tile the material over the surface. The VRscans materials can be fine tuned further in terms of appearance directly in 3DS max or Maya, you can alter the color of the original scanned material to suit the needs of your scene, also you can paint on top of the color or texture without losing the materials properties or affecting the reflection color. You can adjust parameters such as UV tiling and bump strength and you can use VRscans materials with Vray materials as well. The VRscans material plugin is part of Vray version 3.5 or higher which provides the user interface for importing modifying and using the VRscans materials in vray for 3ds max and Vray for Maya.

 

There is no need for additional installation, once you purchase a license for the VRscans plugin you automatically receive a one year subscription for the VRscans library. In short the VR scans materials are more than just texture maps, they capture the materials physical properties and light behavior under different lighting angles, all of this is packed into a single material file that could be drag and drop onto any geometry in your scene; this approach provides incredibly fast workflow when it comes to shading your scene.

Let’s get started by downloading a few materials from the VR scans library. The library is a repository of pre-scan materials created by Chaos group with the VRScans Hardware, the library contains a large quantity of materials, currently around five hundred and fifty and it’s still growing. There are different types of materials broken into categories such as car paint, plastic, wood, leather, metal and so on. The library is accessible to all VRscans license holders and also with the extended day trial you can use the VRscans plugging along with access to the library.

The folks at Unreal recently held their Unreal Dev Day in Montreal, where industry experts touch points on best practices and techniques within Unreal Engine 4. One particular topic they gave insights on was Lighting within Unreal Engine.

Jerome Platteaux from Epic games gave a tutorial, or a class rather on using lighting within the engine. He touched base on lightmass, which is used to create lightmaps with complex light interactions like area shadowing and diffuse interreflection withing UE4. This will hopefully help upcoming developers to grasp the concept and produce better light bakes within Unreal Engine.

I would highly recommend watching the full video.

In this Arnold 5 tutorialArvid Schneider demonstrates his techniques of working with the new Arnold 5 AIStandardSurface Shader to setup a realistic skin shader within maya. Arnold comes pre-packaged with Maya so there’s no additional setup required and most importantly, you can follow his tutorial with the Digital Emily model from WikiHuman.

MtoA Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss13J1emsvw

Emily Wikihuman: http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Research/DigitalEmily2/

XNormal Batch Baker is a baking tool for Maya 3D, written in python, by Tomás Poveda, a technical artist currently working at Gameloft. The tool allows Maya users to efficiently workflow when baking maps with xnormal. Tomás created a quick video demoing how he uses the tool.

  • Features:
    – Nomenclature based workflow
    – Similar xNormal UI workflow
    – Automatic Photoshop integration

The tool is available on his Github repository.

Download and Source Code: https://github.com/tpoveda/xNormalBatchBakerForMaya

3D instructor Andrew Silke at Create 3d Characters has created a mini character series which seeks to help Maya users make a transition to Zbrush 4R8. He goes over some core Zbrush features including blocking out, dynamesh, sculpting techniques, displacement maps and more. It’s also worth to noting that he touches on rendering with different rendering plugins, these are renderman, arnold and redshift.