Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Jagged Little Pill Album

In the pursuit of replacing my CDs with MP3's this little gem got forgotten about.
Jagged Little Pill, superb album, great lyrics and currently the album I am listening to in the car.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Substance Designer 2.5 - Learning Continued

Click to View.
So, day two of my Substance Designer 2.5 discovery and I am starting to grasp just how powerful the potential of this utility is.

At the moment, I am simply learning how the engine works (figuratively speaking) and as you can see, it's based on looping nodes together by Input - Filter Effects and then Output nodes.

The filtering nodes are actually not dissimilar to Photoshops Filter and Layer Style effects but with Substance Designer there are a lot more options for creativity.

As I mentioned in my last post, what makes this software unique and powerful is that all of the changes and parameter tweaks with each node,  effect the connecting nodes in real time.

So,  if I make a texture and decide later I want to add rust to it, I can re open the node graph (Seen in the middle upper window of the screenshot) and either add and connect a ready made rust node into the mix, (Which will have its own customizable parameters) or make my own and loop it into the graph mix.

Each one of those nodes can be customized or edited in real time, effecting all of the connecting nodes and of course the final output node, ie: The texture, which by the way, will be seamless by default unless I specify I do not want a tiling texture when I started making my graph.

Still with me? lol Hmm,  I know what I mean in my head, it's just hard to explain in tech speak.

Bottom line; Yes, it's complex and has a steep learning curve but the only thing that stands between me not understanding it today and mastering it tomorrow is time and commitment.

If I keep playing and learning it will all start to make sense to the point were like I work with Photoshop, it becomes second nature.

That is the rule of thumb for any person and any learning curve.

Just keep chipping away, one day at a time and eventually anyone can master anything. Literally.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Substance Designer - Game Textures

I have gone into hibernation. You won't hear or see much from me for some months.
And I don't like not creating new textures but technology is moving at lighting speed and I have to keep up with the times, so I bought both Substance Designer (Video Above) and also B2M (Video below)

Yes, it's cost me a fortune for the commercial license for both software applications and based on the limited learning resources for them, I estimate it will cost me at least three months in time just to learn how to navigate it.

I am currently following a 72 hour training course (Which I also purchased)
I am guessing that will teach me which peddle does what and how to parallel park but like driving a car, it's the "hands on" experience of using the machine day in and day out that really teaches you.

It's complex. Node based. 
Totally alien to me as a 2D Photoshop artist but it's also allowing me a leg into the 3D arena which is an area that I find too mathematical and techy to enjoy learning. 
I find 3DMax cripples any creative enjoyment. Playing with vertices and welding seams in UV maps is enough to induce a coma, personally.
A massive involuntary yawn reflex.

Substance Designer is a hybrid of traditional 2D graphic software like Photoshop or Illustrator and a procedural texture generator in the sense that you can combine SVG and BPM file formats with the procedural engine that will create Normal, Specular, Displacement, Bump and all kinds of 3D maps in real time "as" you go about create the Diffuse map. They all update in real time.

So far, I am really enjoying the training course but I am the kind of person that cannot multi task.
I pick a path and I stay on it until I reach the final destination.
If I stray off that original path for too long I can never find my way back for some reason.

I guess I am an "All or Nothing" person and I am so excited about the visual potential of both of these applications I am already frustrated by what I can not do...takes me back to the early days of grasping Photoshop. (ugh!)

And so,  I am in hiding in the hopes that when I come back, I will be better equipped with new skills and abilities that will allow me access to a higher quality,  niche market.

Plus, it's a unique skill and piece of software to put on my CV too. 

Wish me luck! (I am too old to learn fast! lol)