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Introduction to Substance for Environment Art

A 6-week course discovering the power of Substance to use in environment art for games and cinematic pipeline

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Use Substance in the design pipeline

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, and Marmoset


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   6 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Substance Designer, Substance Painter, Marmoset, Maya
Skills level:   Beginner
Prerequisites:   Basic knowledge of Maya and Zbrush

Introduction to Substance for Environment Art WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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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.
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 set up the viewport to view the materials in a clear and concise manor.
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.
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.
In week five, students will import their models 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.
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.

Igniting your imagination.

Ben is currently working as a Senior Environment Artist at Rocksteady Studios in London, 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.


July 21st!

winter TERM Registration

May 14, 2019 - Jul 23, 2019




July 21st!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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