The last few weeks I have spent a lot of time working on textures for my current project. Its a time consuming affair that requires several software applications, and most likely you are multitasking those applications at the same time hopping back and forth to manipulate and preview; its an annoying thing really.
When I create the textures, I use Blender for the baking of normal maps and other maps that may apply. When this is done I move on to Photoshop for the process of creating the textures themselves, creating several folders, layers, masks and adjustment layers. When this process is completed, I often throw the texture maps into CrazyBump so that I can easily adjust intensity of the different maps. In the end they are all combined in UDK to give me a proper preview of how the texture turned out, if it needs to be changed – I tend to take a break to be honest.
This process makes me have around 4 applications open, and a Photoshop file that frequently turns out to an disorganized mess. It would be much better if there were an application that could provide me the different tasks in one single software, an application that were developed for texturing – oh wait, there is!
I looked at this software a few months back, but it is first now I realize how ingenious this application really is. The node based workflow really makes for a much more fluent experience when you are creating the materials. And it also allows for exposing functions of the material to the software that is going to use it – so the end user can easily generate different results in a simple manner. Examples: Hue, rust intensity, decals for a barrel, as well as giving the ability to randomize the effects used.
There is unfortunately no support for substances in UDK nor Blender, but 3ds Max, Unity and several other packages does support it, and after all you can bake out the results for software that does not support the substance matter.
The only thing that is a little less appealing is the price, it would require some time to save up for that amount of cash when you are a student – but hey, it’s Christmas soon, better add it to the list.