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Applying Decal Textures Using Projection in Substance Painter | Tutorial | TimefireVR

Applying Decal Textures Using Projection in Substance Painter | Tutorial | TimefireVR


Some of the feedback we received from Epic’s repost of our quick tip demonstration of an artistic painted decal effect last week wisely pointed out that decals are rarely the ideal solution for this type of effect. And while the decal option did rise to the top as preferable after carefully weighing the performance demands of using unique textures on a large, modular hero piece such as our Art Studio, versus the performance cost of using a handful of decals in this manner, I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate a better option for a more common situation where you require a colorful paint effect on top of a base texture. So my quick tip today is going to show you how I applied a similar design directly to the texture of this flower planter, using Substance Painter. As you can see, our concept art calls for another custom “hand painted” effect on both of these planters similar to the effect that we used on the surrounding modular building walls. After I’ve baked my base textures from the high poly mesh and low poly mesh in Painter, and then set up the plaster and dirt layers, I’m ready to start. I add a new, blank layer to my project, above the base layers. You’ll note that depending on which paint mode you are in, the display of your layer will be different. In our case, we want the projection tool, which overlays the view with the current layer properties, which we haven’t set yet. In the Properties panel, I’ll turn off the texture channels that I don’t want to affect with this layer: the rough, metal, height, and normal. Before recording, I whipped up a couple more painted designs on transparent backgrounds in the same style as my reference. I’ll choose the import option in my Project pane, and then select the textures I want in the project. I click Open. Then in the import menu, I select and identify both my resources as “texture”, and indicate where I want them imported, which for now is in the project. If I hadn’t already imported them, I’d press import and they would appear down in the Project panel. From here I can simply drag a decal into the base color slot in the layer’s properties. With the tool set to projection, a repeating tile of your decal will appear layered over the view. I like to shut off the soft alpha mask so that I get crisp edges wherever I paint. Then you can position your view so that the mesh lines up with the decal the way you prefer, and simply paint. The beauty of projection is that you can wrap details seamlessly around the surface. Continue this way, adding as many parts of your decal as you like. I’ll paint through the overhanging detail intentionally here to demonstrate how you can easily mask off areas of the mesh that you didn’t intend to paint. Let’s say you just want to get rid of this part that wrapped around to the back face. First add a white mask, which reveals everything in the layer, and then you can either paint with a black brush, using any of the brush alphas you prefer, or alternately, you can select the “polygon fill” tool. Make sure that your fill color is black and then click to fill entire face of the mesh, and mask the face cleanly. And that’s it! A quick method for using your decal textures to add hand-painted details to the base textures of a mesh, using Substance Painter. Thank you for watching. Let us know what you think in the comments below and feel free to ask us questions! Be sure to subscribe for more videos like this one from the TimefireVR team.

Comments (7)

  1. Well done, clean, fast and precise. Thanks!

  2. dont know why, but it doesnt paint anything on my project :/ seriously, have checked a 100 times… I'm using version 2.5.1, might that be the problem? i'm using a PNG image with transparent background :/ my brain's about to explode.

    EDIT: ok, i've noticed that in the material "white ball" on the right panels doesn't appear my decal when I drag it to base color, and in yours it does appear. have no idea why though, as i do the exact same steps you do… 🙁

    EDIT: I tried with the latest version and doesn't work either 🙁 can't understand what's wrong

  3. Hi, is it possible if i want to add some grudge or scratch to the projection?

  4. When I try to paint, is painting on both faces, is crossing the painting, how do I deactivate that?

  5. it's really shit… No "mathematic" alignement, can't edit after posing decals, ect… I DON'T BELIEVE PEOPLE USE THIS FOR WORKING !

  6. Every so often I need this technique. This video has helped me on many occasions. Thanks!

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