Author Topic: Skin (question)  (Read 23166 times)

Can I make skin textures with SD?

I see the skin in a lot of tutorials, but they always say the mass or most the work was done in another program.

Can I do the whole process in SD?


Of course that you can! I don't know if you tried Substance Painter, but the presets of skin are substances made with Substance Designer.
You should also be able to find some example in our database on our website.

Head of Product Management

I have the skin substance from the store, but I haven't viewed it on a model (or seen it modeled on a human model before)

Unless it's just meant as a starter point, and I add all the details to it. But I've seen no skin look like that before. Has a lot of lines and wrinkles for it

Actually you can have a look at models in the Gallery. The Android Helper for example, or Mr Grumple from 2013. They both have some skin made with Substance.

Head of Product Management

Okay, then what was done in SD?

Because I'm sort of wondering if you can do the folds and creases of the skin in SD, or if that's something that needs to be sculpted into the model

for subtle stuff in skin you can do that with a simple bump map but for deep creases you'll have to do some sculpting to make it look correct.

I'm not sure about this, but

Is it a bit more common to just do the base skin color with like...a Zbrush mat?

You may need to define for yourself what kind/style of shading you are looking for. The most advanced skin setups are those that have over 10 layers of details and colors within a single shader. But you could most likely be interested in something much more simple and stylized for a game.

 Not to mention your real time shading options are very limited when dealing with something like skin since you actually need raytracing (which is usually very computationally instensive) to create an actual skin shader with accurate colors when the model is animated. But again, I doubt this is something you will need for a game.

If you're just talking about details, that can be done with just photos and brush tools, no shading needed to do that kind of work.
Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 03:43:14 am


Not sure what that is? Is that a Zbrush mat?

Sorry, don't know much about this. My model normally uses textures that people either take form photos, or sometimes hand paint...but for legal reasons I can't use them, so I want to make my own textures (or temp to do it)

Frankly, it's difficult to understand what you are really looking for.
The short answer would be: "Yes, it is possible.", but how to achieve it is whole different ball-game. Realistic? Cartoonish?
If you want to hand-paint everything I'd recommend SP, if you want to use bakes such as AO or Curvature maps, you can mix procedural noises with colored versions of your bakes like explained in this tutorial:

You can also use photos, process them in SD, and use them as stencils in SP.
"Hinhin!" :-D

yes, fine details from scratch are usually applied using alphas that are captured from photographic reference (granted you can also paint some alphas from scratch as well. . .  and then the way they are dispersed on the surface can be done through the type of brush you are using (Particles in SP, tiling brushes, scattering brushes). For instance the leaks brush that you can see wes demonstrating in his videos creates some really nice streaks but usually there is also an interesting alpha applied to the  brush that filters in the type of detail you want applied to the color application.

THEN the color maps you create can often be tweaked using the various nodes in Substance and Photoshop to create normal/bump maps, spec, gloss and refection maps, self-illuminating emissive maps etc.
Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 03:14:48 am

okay, maybe I'll start over

I would like realistic-looking skin, but this is my 1st time...with skin, all together...or textures in general. So I doubt I'll be getting it any time soon

1) do I need to sculpt to get that look? (never sculpted, but I have seen some Zbrush things to help with it)
2) if sculpting isn't needed, can all the work be done in Allegorthmic's products.
3) which Allegorthmic product would be best for my needs?

I think you mentioned you wanted to do realistic stuff. In which case sculpted normal maps would work best for developing the contours of a face or for anything really. Allegorithmic does not offer sculpting software just painting and texturing software. So in other words sculpting normal maps will give you the best results for organic creatures and some types of cloth.

So have a look at Sculptris, Zbrush, Mudbox or 3DCoat for that and use it in tandem with Allegorithmic and Photoshop. So most likelyl you'll need three applications to fully surface some character designs realisticly.


I've been doing some test on skin painting and adding fine detail using only Substance Painter. For this test, I imported my zbrush alphas and painted the wrinkles (small and large), pores, stubble and eyebrows in the Substance Painter using Height.

I created several layer groups, one to control details, skin, translucency and subdermal. These maps were then exported to Toolbag 2 for rendering.

Zbrush was only used to create the base mesh with overall large details. In the 4th screen shot, you can see the base mesh exported from ZBrush that I used in Substance Painter. All detail was added using only Substance Painter from that mesh.



Head of Substance Demo Art Team
Twitter: The3DNinja

As I wish there was a tutorial showing this stuff off

Was the base skin done in Substance Painter?