In this tutorial we use the feature Smart Materials of Substance Painter 1.3 to create a metal texture for a fork we created with Blender.

The fork is a simple model, low-poly and UV unwrapped with Blender 2.74. When starting a new project in Substance Painter the model can be imported, we used the fbx format:

import mesh into substance painter

Import mesh into substance painter

After the import you can see the model in 3d view and the UV layout like that:

UV and 3d view

UV and 3d view

For this project I want to create textures for the corpus / body of the fork, the plate and support pillars, the elastic band and the little knob.

Before we start adding materials to the different parts of the model we need to bake some textures, the ambient occlusion and a curvature map. In Substance Painter you can bake these texture with the Bakers:

Bake textures

Bake textures

Press Bake textures and the following window will open:

Bakers window

Bakers window

Let’s select the Ambient Occlusion and Curvature. We will need this textures for the smart materials because these make use of the textures when creating dirt, scratches and other details – you will see when I talk about this later on.

Now we are ready to add the first material. Select the Smart Material called Weapon Metal in the Layers Window:

Smart Material Metal Weapon

Smart Material Metal Weapon

After that the whole model is filled with this material:

metal overlay

metal overlay

Here you can see the scratches on the edges. The smart material uses the curvature texture to create these destroyed areas, we don’t need to paint it ourselves.

But we don’t want all areas to be filled with this material. So let’s create another one, a yellow metal in the Layers window:

smart yellow metal overlay

smart yellow metal overlay

Okay, looks nice too, but again the whole mesh is filled – but now we will change this. Create a black mask to mask out the yellow material:

Add a black mask

Add a black mask

Then choose the Geometry Decal tool instead of the Paint tool in the Tools panel:

Select geometry decal

Select geometry decal

and in the Properties panel choose a white color and UV selection:

Geometry decal uv

Geometry decal uv

Make sure that you have your black mask selected in the layer of the yellow maerial. And now comes the cool part: Click on the parts of the model (UV islands) that you want to unmask with this white color. For this parts the yellow material will appear because they are painted white in the black mask:

apply geometry decal for uv islands

apply geometry decal for uv islands

Mask over smart material

Mask over smart material

And that’s it, you can use this technique for all parts of the model that you want to fill with a different material. This is how the result looks like, painted in about 5 minutes:

2 smart materials

2 smart materials

We created the texture with a resolution of 1024 px. If we want to increase the resolution after we painted the model this is also possible with Substance Painter, just increase it as you like to get finer details for your textures:

2048 px texture

2048 px texture

After that you can export your textures for the game engine or 3d tool of your choice, but we will cover this in a next tutorial in which we export the textures for Unity 5 to be used by a material with specular setup.

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