old substance painter tutorial

Last year, I taught a class at Studio Arts online.  I would frequently make supplemental videos for the people in class.  One session I had all kinds of crashes in Zbrush, Maya and Substance.  it was a weird day, and I felt bad afterwards, so I made this video for the people in the class as a sort of mea culpa.    It's super basic, but if you're new to substance painter, maybe something in here can help a little.  

Project Recap (Pt. 1 -- texturing the costume)

A breakdown of some techniques I used for a recent project for a good cause.  I just wanted to put something in the world with good intentions.  So much pain out there.  Please, take care of yourselves .  Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and in whatever way you need.  I hope the sickness will subside in the coming months (c'mon vaccine -- do your thing!).  Love to all  y'all.   Peace.

Project organization script

Hello good people.  This is not a directly art-related post, but I hope it makes things a tiny bit more efficient for someone so you can focus more on the art.  It's a windows batch script to setup a simple file structure for your projects. Link to script  (use at your own risk): 

Part One: What the script does...

Part Two: How to customize the script...

I know almost nothing about batch programming in Windows.   If I've made a mistake here, or you have some wisdom to offer for improvements, please share, and thanks for having a look.  

No more pencils, no more books....

...No more teacher's dirty looks.  The semester is over, and I'm ready to put teaching aside for a while, focus on the new job, and learning some new stuff.   Here are some supplemental support videos I made for people in the courses.  Pretty basic stuff, but perhaps it can help someone just starting out.  The sculpt block-in and retopo are just timelapse vids, but the UV layout video has audio. Zzzzzzzzzz. :-) 

Xolotol Live Link update testing SP >> Blender....

Such a handy little time saving utility.  You can get it from gumroad, just google "gumroad SPlivelink"

*I am not affiliated with this product in nay way, just a user trying to spread the good time-saving word :-)*

Photoshop Mixer Brush Basics

The mixer Brush is great at helping to make an image appear painterly, and integrating multi-source images (renders, photobash, etc.) to get an overall painterly aesthetic.  The brush has other uses as well, but this is just a short introduction to it.  

Retired Yakuza Demos...

These are some demos from an old class at the School of visual Arts a few years ago.  The course covered some basic character design in 2D and 3D and converting the design into a production ready asset. 

I know a bunch of us are still stuck in the house, and if this helps even one person out there pass the time, stay sane, and stay safe, then I am more than happy to share. 

This was a sketch I did on my ipad based on the initial prompt I got from a student.  The prompt was "Old, Retired, Yakuza."  There were several sketches and some reference gathering of alleged older, former members of the Yakuza.  This was the sketch we ended up going with a base for the design.

This was a block-in of the head sculpted in Zbrush.

After the initial shape pass has progressed a little, designing with color is the next step.  Seeing the color and shapes together can really help flesh out the design, even if it's not a final product, ready for production.   The tools these days are fast and responsive enough for this kind of iterative design in 3D (the entire premise of this course).

When working for/with others, you want to show your work clearly.  With a rough pass of shape and color blocked in, here we talk quickly about lighting and setting up a quick turntable in Zbrush.  

A quick technique for blocking in some teeth.  This was our first time working outside of Zbrush in Maya.  You can absolutely do this in Zbrush as well, but I felt more comfortable at the time doing this sort of thing in Maya.  I try to stay tool agnostic, and use the best path I know how at any given time.  

Although the head is far from done at this point, it's blocked in enough to move on to blocking out the character's body.   Coming back to the head sculpt later ill also allow me to approach that aspect of the character with fresh eyes. 

After establishing some initial proportions, we can refine the shapes a bit.  It's important for to think of these things in steps, because it allows me to make changes and evaluate thing in stages.  I'm not smart enough to do everything all at once.

After adding some fingers and toes, the base body is blocked in and merged with the head, and we have first pass at all the shapes.

Once the blocking of shapes is done, we have to begin thinking of what might be needed to make the mesh more suitable for production.  In this next series of videos, we discuss retopology.

For the final few videos in this series, we talk about UV layout and texture blocking in Substance Painter.  I kept things simple here, and went old school video game style -- single udim for everything.  Yes, it means there are some sacrifices made for texture resolution, but in a nutshell, it's about learning the basic tools and if we did that, I feel OK if we didn't go too deep into technicality.

Thanks for checking these videos out.  And, if you hear me chastising the class participants about not watching the videos, apologies you had to listen to me moan about that, but hey -- they were not watching the videos anyway, so they never had to hear it! :-P . 

Testing & Learning...

Testing a bunch of stuff in this video.  

 I continue to be impressed as  long time Maya user with the ease with which Blender can achieve some things.  I tried to middle mouse the other day to rotate the viewport in Maya....  


A few years ago, I had a great time working on this maquette for Brother Man: Dictator of Discipline.  When I was a teenager, seeing the books by Dawud Anyabwile, and Guy A. Sims really made an impact on me.  It took the kind of comic book style a lot of kids at that age and time loved, and fused it seamlessly with graffiti art style and b-boy culture in a way that resonated with me tremendously.  To think, all these years later, I would be able to communicate with Mr. Anyabwile a pay tribute to his amazing work reminds me there is still wonder in this world, and this morning, I am reflecting on that.  

Hanging with some cool people...