Last week we posted a blogpost in which we asked Jeremy Celeste, founder of TexturingXYZ, how he created his high quality scans of human skin. In this blogpost, Product Manager Jeremie Noguer shows us how to use these skins with Substance Painter.
Jeremie can you tell us what you do at Allegorithmic?
After working at Allegorithmic as a tech artist for nearly 10 years, I am now product manager for Substance Painter. I work on designing new features and making sure Substance Painter thrives and evolves in the right direction.
How do these new skin scans come into play in a Substance Painter character workflow?
When you want to add micro-details to skin, you can either sculpt it or paint it. Adding these pore details in Substance Painter allows the artist much more control and flexibility over dealing directly with geometry. It also allows you to be more efficient since you won’t spend time adding details that are too small to actually show up on the final textures.
The process is fully non-destructive and has the added bonus of not having to subdivide the high poly mesh as much, reducing export, import and baking times. We’re seeing a lot of character artists recently painting more and more because it is simply more efficient and will give you equally good results for micro details.
The scans also come with a roughness map, allowing you to add variations to your roughness at the same time you’re adding details to the skin normal map.
How would you use them exactly?
There are a few different ways to use the skin scans depending on what you are trying to achieve.
If I want to add specific and localized details like wrinkles or lips, I would use the projection tool along with some more classic handpainted strokes for deeper and larger wrinkles. I can easily project a full lip scan on my character’s mouth and adjust it later with the paint and smudge brushes, and add the missing details with a few manual stamps of skin pores around the lips.
When it comes to the skin itself and pores, I will likely use fill layers with different types of grain and paint very quick masks to define where each type of pore will go. It makes for a very flexible workflow and stays non-destructive.
On the cheek I actually used only one type of pore but changed its intensity locally with a smooth mask. I also reinjected the height data into the albedo to give the inside of the pores a reddish color.
Sometimes, though, when the pores have some directionality to them like around the eyes or on the palm of the hands, it may be a better idea to just stamp the details using the regular paint brush with the “Follow Path” option.
Any word on what character artists can look forward to in the near future for Substance Painter?
A few interesting things are on their way. First, more organic scans for Substance Source: we have fantastic eyes and full face scans coming from Texturing.xyz. Then we have new features planned for Substance Painter to support character artists better, one of them being supporting arbitrary-sized projection and decals, allowing them to project details from any photograph or reference without pre-processing them. We are also working on improving our shaders and providing better sub-surface scattering in both the real time viewport and in Iray.Head Scan from Ten24