Elective | 3D Classroom. CG Master Academy
Intro to Substance for Environment Art
Registration Starts On
Monday, Feb 26th 2018
Class Begins On
April 28, 2018
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Ben Keeling
Environment Artist
Ben is currently working as an Environment Artist at Creative Assembly in Horsham UK. He has worked on numerous Environments on various productions and projects for 3 years, including working at EA on the Need for Speed franchise and Sony creating VR worlds with PlayStation VR. Ben is currently work on Halo Wars 2.

His work has been featured on the Algorithmic homepage, Polycount and CryEngine forums.

Course Description

Inside Substance Painter and Designer, you will be taught how to create believable realistic materials for all aspects of Environment Art. You will take a terrain material from start to finish inside Designer and texture a small prop. You will also texture an asset inside Substance Painter, blending together complex PBR materials to create a realistic finished prop. You will conclude the course with a small set of materials and assets which you will create a final render for in Marmoset.

The class will cover
• Substance Designer
• Substance Painter
• Marmoset

Skill Level: Beginner

Pre-reqs: Basic knowledge of Maya and ZBrush recommended

Course Format

Course Format: Standard
Duration: 6 Weeks
Lecture Type: Pre-recorded
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual Recordings
Q&A: Once a week. 

*For classes with fewer than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live Q&A session.

Estimated time for course work: 10-20 hours per week

Course Outline


Introduction to Designer & Painter UI |
In week one, students will learn how the basic UI of Substance Designer and Painter work, and how to arrange viewports to work efficiently across multiple assets. Students will also learn how to set up models for baking, and cover how some of the basic tools work across the two programs.


Making a Tiling Texture Part 1 |
In week two, students will pick a tiling material to create from reference. In part one, we will cover how to make the main body of the texture, starting with the height map and converting it to a normal map. Students will also learn how to setup the viewport to view the materials in a clear and concise manor.


Making a Tiling Texture Part 2 |
In week three, students will cover how to create the remainder of the textures from week two. Taking the existing height and normal map created, we will generate the roughness, metallic and Albedo textures. We will then create a final render of the material.


Texturing an Asset in Designer |
In week four, students will bake an asset using Substance Designer and texture using mesh maps to create a base material. We will learn how to layer up different materials to create effects such as edge wear and dirt on the model.


Texturing an Asset in Painter |
In week five, students will import their model and mesh maps to texture the asset using Substance Painter. We will cover how to assign materials to different areas of the model using material IDs and masking. Students will also learn how to set up groups and layers of materials, and how to blend them together using masks. Finally, we will cover more in depth techniques such as smart masks and smart materials, and how to get the most out of them.


Final Composition |
You will combine the tiling materials and assets you have created in Substance Designer and Painter to create a small scene. The Scene will be rendered in marmoset to create a final collection of the work you have authored over the previous weeks.


  • Hardsurface Modeler
  • Texture Artists
  • Game Environment Artists
  • Prop Artists
  • Concept Artist
  • Visual Effects Artists
  • Architectural Previz