Bogodar Havrylyuk’s Graceful Designer plants
With the large number of talented artists out there, you have to come up with a brilliant idea if you want to stand out. Vincent Dérozier has the talent and he had an insane idea: to create something in Substance Designer that no one would have thought possible!
My name is Bogodar and I work as an environment artist for N-iX. I was born in Lviv; I still live there today. I have always wanted to draw and create art, and with the advent and progress of video games, I became more and more interested in their development. In 2010, I began studying 3D simulation and computer graphics. I studied design simulation in SolidWorks and eventually began to study 3ds Max and the Source SDK tools.
The emergence of new games and the improvement of their graphics and physics inspired me to study the very process of creating virtual worlds. I had the opportunity to try different types of game development, but I preferred environment creation and its workflow, so I decided to focus on that.
Texturing with Substance Designer
I started studying Substance Designer less than a year ago. It was interesting to explore its capabilities: create material textures, try the procedural generation of plants. I was so pleasantly surprised by the result that I still continue today to create plants with Substance Designer. One of the greatest benefits of the software is its flexibility because you can change any parameter (form, detail, color) whenever you want. To do this, you only need a few clicks; it's faster than making changes in the high-poly model and re-baking textures. You save a lot of time.
Substance Designer is my tool of choice for texturing. At the beginning, it was difficult to get used to the core system and to understand the essence of the creation of materials. Every day, I watched tutorial videos from the Allegorithmic channel on YouTube for at least a few hours. Over time, I mastered the basic skills and tried to create different surface materials (concrete, pavement, terrain, grass) independently and then I started to be able to make plants that I really liked. After creating several plant variants, I began to build my own open source so that all material could only be created with Substance Designer without using bitmaps.
Sometimes I continue to use ZBrush when I create plants, but lately, I use it less and less because it’s not convenient when, in the end, I always need to make some changes. Therefore, most of the time, when I create procedural plants, I build my workflow that way: first, I create an atlas of tile elements and then, I create a 3D model with a premade atlas.
I don't have any special secrets or combinations. Before creating a plant, I first try to break it down into unique and repeating elements. Then, I create a structure from these basic shapes and elaborate it with details. The result is a finished UWV atlas with ready-made UWV islands, and I create the model itself by fitting it to the already finished texture. Here is an example of one of my works.
I follow all Allegorithmic news. Nowadays, I still don't possess all the skills and knowledge to use all the Substance Designer features, but I learn more with each of my artworks.
Technology improves exponentially and new elements are introduced regularly to simplify work and provide more opportunities for developers to create virtual worlds. I usually get inspiration from video game innovations, articles, artists whom I follow and various public pages with photos.
Today, photogrammetry is rapidly developing, which significantly accelerates the formation of ready-made gaming assets. But there are still some things that are much quicker and easier to create in Substance Designer. In my opinion, purely procedural textures will be used in the near future as the technique is fast, flexible and optimized.
A look into the future
The Substance tools are getting more and more popular in the architectural visualization industry. Texturing in a 3D viewport is a relatively new practice, but we are witnessing an increased quality of work almost every year. Having high-quality textures is an inseparable part of this development.
Many visualization artists are using the PBR material setup in their render engines: this standard gives the baseline on how to correctly set up dielectric and metal materials. This means that we spend less time on playing around with the material settings in the renderer and focus more on creating better textures.
In the future, having a proper UV layout with the correct and precise textures will become essential. Tendencies in the industry are moving towards VR and real-time renderers. Having good practices with UV layouts and the textures, just like game artists do, will be the key to success.