Questions I Get Asked A Lot - 001

General / 14 February 2018

"Hey Josh, how long does it take you to make a texture?"

The answer I give to that is simply this.

It does not really matter how long it takes if the art does not look good.

If you think about it, people remember beautiful art and presentation. They don't remember how long it took someone to get there. In other words, make it look so good they don't even care :-).

Advice / Goals

You are not going to get top row, WAYWO recap, Art Station Picks / Trending, or for that matter, gainful employment, by focusing on speed over quality.

Your goal should be producing quality art in a consistent manner, speed can and will come with time.

Cut yourself some slack with at home work, its your time to explore and challenge yourself. Don't get in your own head, have fun creating!

"But Josh, what about in production?"

To be honest its not a really straight forward or easy answer. There are several variables at play, especially considering how production works. Items such as...

  • Is the Art Direction already established?
  • Will the texture be made from scratch or are their existing Substance files or assets to pull from?
  • Blends / decals and how they all sit with each other.
  • Balancing of the scene / polish.

Some textures take me a day, some can take up to a week.

The Upfront Curve with Substance

Substance designer has an inherit up front cost. This includes R&D when exploring new workflows, challenging yourself with creating new material types, etc. But once you get rolling, things really speed up, and it is AMAZING!

What would I prefer artists to ask me instead? In other words, where should they focus.

  • "Where should I be spending my time when making a texture?"
    • Height / Normal are key, then roughness, then albedo. All the while looking at reference.
  • "Do you feel like more often than not you spend more time on one aspect of material creation than another?"
    • Yes, the height / normal map are where I spend a majority of my time, especially with more organic textures. Man made stuff you could be spending that same amount of time on gloss / roughness for key material read. For more organic textures I spend a lot of time in the albedo.
  • "Can I do anything to speed up my workflow?"
    • There are a number of things you can do to speed up your workflow. 
      • RE USE stuff!
      • Make utlity nodes that simplify things you do very often.

I hope this blog post was helpful in some way! If you have any further questions or comments, drop em below. I am happy to have a discussion and try to help :-).