The Story behind the Fantasy Knight Moodpack
I am Damien Bousseau, 29, living near Paris (France) and 3D artist at Allegorithmic.
I’ve been practicing medieval jousting and started teaching myself how to forge shields and armor a year ago. I’ve been passionate about everything medieval since I was young: knights, castles, medieval warfare... everything!
For the past month, I’ve been working on a Fantasy Knight Moodpack. The Moodpacks are a new product that we’re featuring on Substance Store: the idea is to provide artists with tools for creating different scenes in a fun, easy way.
This Moodpack is based around a theme that includes an environment and a main character, and you can start assembling and creating immediately with the elements that are in the box: brushes, materials, patches, HDRis, and more.
If you’re looking for a specific theme but don’t have the time for in-depth modeling and texturing, you can start with the Moodpack base model and take it a step further with the tools provided in the pack.
The difference between a Moodpack and a static asset is that Moodpacks contain all the necessary tools you need for customizing any asset within the theme. This way, you have complete control of your asset.
The Fantasy Knight Moodpack is centered around a medieval theme and contains tools that allow you to do embossing, engraving, emblem painting, and a lot more. For example, you can paint the colors of your kingdom or your clan.
The pack also contains accurate medieval materials like bronze, copper, and steel, which you can apply on your mesh. You can also create weapon impacts and blood thanks to a blood-projecting particle brush.
You’ll also find preset meshes in the Moodpack, which you can texture to test the toolset. There’s a helmet, a shield, a sword, and a flail. The “Dragon Sanctuary” HDRi map lets you jump into the mood right away.
I think one of the greatest things you can do with this pack is that you can customize the tools with the images of your choice. For example, you can take an image of your clan and apply it to your armor with the paint emblem tool.
Some assets from the Fantasy Knight Moodpack textured by Damien
My passion for the medieval universe was an inspiration, of course, and made the work a lot of fun. But I did a lot of research before I started working on this Moodpack and I used a lot of historical references. I listed all the types and styles of armor in the medieval period and identified the similarities between them. I was mainly inspired by French and Italian armory. What came out of it were mainly embossings and engravings. It was also important to make something that wasn’t affiliated with a specific time period or style. I couldn’t include something associated with the Templars, for example.
Aside from my research, I’m part of a medieval association which organizes jousting matches all over France. I also started practicing blacksmithing a year ago, and I’m making my first shields and armor parts. I think this overall experience has helped me a lot in creating this particular Moodpack.
I’m also a long-time player of the Dark Age of Camelot, an MMO-RPG game which takes place in medieval times. This is the game which initially inspired my passion about the Middle Ages.
Moodboards for the Fantasy Knight Moodpack
I started with the idea that the Moodpack had to be simple to use and provide a certain amount of flexibility. I created the materials with Substance Designer, but all the variations (dust, rust, weathering, etc.) were made with Substance Painter on different layers so that the user can reuse them on other assets.
Once I finished creating the smart materials with Substance Painter, I checked to make sure that everything was easy to use and understandable. Once that was done, I textured the 6 assets of the Moodpack to illustrate what you’re able to do with it.
Besides the fact that I love the theme, I had a lot of fun creating the engravings and trying them on basic meshes. The meshes were basic forms and didn’t look like armor at first, but the engravings really got me into the theme before seeing them on more developed meshes.
The Moodpack is pretty straightforward and easy to use; there’s nothing hidden or tricky. Maybe I can tell you about something that I enjoy doing, though - combining embossings and engravings. The result is pretty cool!
Two more things - One, all the Moodpacks are now available on the Substance Store, and we’re already preparing the next ones. And two, we’re giving away a free Moodpack with each purchase or upgrade of Substance Painter 2 ;)