substance painter in VR


Looking into getting/learning the allegorithmic substance programs to get better looking materials…but I design mostly for VR and was wondering if these materials would slow down my FPS too much. Anyone have any experience using the substance painter/designer programs with VR?


Using color,spec,metallic,rough,normal won’t really slow you down. PhysicallyBasetRendering settings are there to use, and look great in VR. I highly recommend Substance Painter. If you’re targeting mobile, then that may be an issue… but I’ve been making plenty of nice PBR materials in VR, substance or not.

awesome thanks! i tried it out and it does seem to be working great. makes a huge difference in overall look. only thing i’ve noticed though are normal maps in VR…do you have a workflow for getting them to look good?

Use normals for only really small details, or details at a distance.

Yes, as Jeremy says, only use them for fine detail. Any medium size detail that attempts to change the shape of an object should be done by adding actual geometry in the model.

what do you consider “medium” detail? I have many assets that have a lot of rivets. Not small flush rivets, but old school battleship style rivets. They range from a half inch diameter up to about 1 inch diameter and about half that in height. These are important details to set the look of the environment. In some areas there are a few thousand rivets.
I have been using some really low poly rivets (8-12 quads) with a normal map applied to make the smooth for close up and just regular normal map rivets for farther away. Is it okay to continue on with this technique for VR? I dont have any VR headset yet, but would like to model, bake and texture in such a way that I wont have to rework everything later.

Well, it’s hard to know without seeing it in a vr headset, but in my experience, if you intend to get close enough to the rivets where you would expect to see the profile, then it should be geometry, with enough detail to hold the curving shape. If you’re not going to be close, then you might get away with a normal map for rivets… but that would be pretty far. You might use instancing in UE4 to create the rivets, which would allow for you to use many more… but I’ve found that just combining details like rivets into groups of objects can work fine.

I’d say the answer is a tough call, without a headset to test. But I’d side on more geo detail then normal maps for rivets. Normals for creating mechanical shapes is generally not good in VR.