This guide outlines the process for using textures generated in Poly to create a realistic prop object in Substance. Our example object is a ceramic planter.
This guide outlines the process for using textures generated in Poly to create a realistic prop object. As an example, we created the object seen in Image 1, a ceramic planter with a hand-painted floral design. To achieve this result, we used Poly’s strong pattern-generation abilities to generate several texture sets that we then combined in Substance Painter.
Image 1: This tutorial will demonstrate how we created this planter object.
The reference image for this asset is shown in Image 2. It’s a smooth and shiny ceramic planter with a hand-painted blue and white floral pattern. We’ll use this image as a loose reference; it’s primarily intended to be an inspiration. We won’t be trying to replicate it exactly.
Image 2: The reference image that the modeling and texturing was based on.
The pattern in the reference image is made up of several distinct designs. There’s a main design that wraps around the middle of the planter, two thinner designs that wrap around the top and bottom, and a final design on the planter’s lip. It would be tricky to generate one texture in Poly that had all these distinct patterns. Instead, we generated three separate texture sets, all in the same blue and white style but with different patterns. These will be combined in Substance Painter to create a nicely textured planter. The prompts used and the patches generated for each texture are shown in Images 3, 4, and 5.
Image 3: Patches generated for pattern 1. The bottom left patch was selected.
Image 4: Patches generated for pattern 2. The top left patch was selected.
Image 5: Patches generated for pattern 3. The top right patch was selected.
The chosen patches were then made seamless and upscaled before being turned into a PBR texture set. The Polished preset was selected to provide a smooth, glazed surface finish. Each PBR texture, as seen in the Poly viewer, is shown in Images 6, 7, and 8.
Image 6: PBR texture generated for pattern 1.
Image 7: PBR texture generated for pattern 2.
Image 8: PBR texture generated for pattern 3.
The textures were then downloaded to the project file and imported into Substance Painter. More detailed instructions on how to do this can be found in "How to Create and Use Textures in Substance"
We carefully considered the UV layout for the planter mesh to ensure that the patterns could be wrapped around the model without a seam. We positioned the UV seams to split the surfaces of the planter into rectangular strips. Each strip was allocated to a different patterned texture. We then positioned and scaled these strips to ensure that they would extend from the very top to the very bottom of the texture space.
Image 9: UV seams and island layout for the planter model. The islands were made to be rectangles running the full length of the texture space.
With the textures generated and the UV islands laid out, we can shift our focus to the texturing process in Substance Painter. We created a separate fill layer for each of the three textures that were generated. The texture maps for each were dragged from the asset library into the corresponding slot in the layer material properties. In this case, only the base color, roughness, and normal maps were used.
We applied a black mask to the fill layer, and we used the UV Paint Tool to mask in the UV island that each texture should be applied to. We set Fill Projection to UV Projection, and we adjusted the Tiling, Offset, and Rotation values until the pattern was aligned to the model in an aesthetically pleasing way. Note that the tiling value must be a whole number in order to ensure a seamless texture.
Image 10: Our projection settings for the patterned textures. The tiling, offset, and rotation were adjusted to position the texture properly.
Image 11: The three textures positioned on the model.
At this point, we added a new layer to the bottom of the layer stack to act as a base ceramic layer. The base color and roughness values were selected to match the white ceramic color of the patterned textures. This filled in the surfaces of the mesh that didn’t have a patterned texture applied to them.
Blue circumferential lines were added to hide the seams between the patterns. We did this by creating a new fill layer for each line and then setting the base color and roughness to match the patterned parts of the model. A black mask was applied, and the Stitches Roller alpha was applied as a fill layer in the mask with a cylindrical projection. This created a rectangular mask with soft edges that ran around the circumference of the planter without a seam. An additional fill layer of directional noise was added to the mask with a subtract blending mode, creating a slightly brushed effect. This mask created lines that look like they were painted on and that match the overall style of the patterns in the textures. A separate fill layer was added for each line, and they were organized in a folder to keep the layer stack tidy.
Image 12: The circumferential lines were added using a fill layer and a mask.
With the painted ceramic textures applied, we added some additional layers to enhance the realism of the asset. First, a roughness adjustment layer was added to fine-tune the roughness of the ceramic material. The roughness was reduced to make the surface slightly shinier. Next, a subtle dirt layer was added — to do this, we created a fill layer with a dark brown base color and high roughness value. We applied a black mask with a dirt generator and adjusted the parameters until it looked right.
Image 13: The mask used for the dirt effect layer.
After that, a fill layer was added to create more variation in the surface roughness. This was created as a fill layer with only the roughness channel enabled. A black mask with the “BnW Spots 1“ texture as a fill layer was applied. This gave the object a nice speckled roughness variation.
Image 14: The mask used for the roughness variation effect layer.
Finally, we added a dust effect by creating another fill layer, setting the base color to a light gray, setting a high roughness value, and then applying a black mask and the Dust 2 generator. An additional fill layer was added to the black mask using the Grunge Wiped Smudgy Soft texture, to create a wiped effect passing through the dust.
Image 15: The mask used for the dust effect layer.
In Image 16, You can see the final textured planter and the layer stack as shown in Substance Painter.
Image 16: The finished planter texture with the full layer stack visible on the right-hand side.