Category Archives: Runner Help

This is where my work for the Final Years’ Runner Project is documented


I have to say, I learnt more sitting with James, Aidan, Beth, Rachel and Daryl than I did in the three months spent at TEX.

Getting to grips with Substance Painter was fairly easy with James and Rachel taking the time to walk me through what they needed, and it was great to see the team getting rewarded for their efforts on Friday.

It was really an honour to work with them, and to finally see the finished product was amazing. The film honestly looks stunning, and I hadn’t seen the other VR project they’d done about PTSD but it just made me really excited for final year if that is the quality of work we can produce.

But seriously, how cool is this?


Completed Assets

I think the asset I’m most proud of making is the Pillar Drill because amazingly it has less faces that my lamp despite being a lot more complex and I think it just highlights how much my modelling efficiency has improved by getting to work and learn alongside Team Default.

Desk Lamp

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 17.44.52

Claw Hammer




Hand Drill

Mop Bucket

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 16.20.42

Extractor Fan

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 15.37.19

Pillar Drill

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 22.53.35

All Assets



Substance and Alphas

Creating alphas for substance

  1. I created an alpha in Photoshop to create the teeth on the red part of the hand drill
  2. Saved it as a .tif file for best quality
  3. Open Substance
  4. File > Import image > Select your Alpha
  5. Your new alpha should be in the brush list

Harvard Citation

Ronn, J. ( 2016). Substance Painter – Adding Custom Alpha. Available: Last accessed 24th Apr 2017.


Substance and Normal Maps

Both James and Rachel showed me how to do this, but I didn’t write it down and subsequently forgot.

Thankfully, there was a tutorial on the subject and I only needed the first two minutes to get the answer to my question.

Adding detail with Normal Maps

  1. Add empty layer
  2. Turn off every channel except normal
  3. Add normal stamp of your choosing to the normal channel
  4. Turn off alpha (prevents softening of the edges)
  5. Make sure flow is at 100%
  6. Click away

TIP: Hold cmd and click to create a line of detail.


Courses Planet [Graphics & Animation & others]. (2017). substance painter __ Adding Details – Stamping Normal Maps. Available: Last accessed 12th Apr 2017.

Modelling Efficiency

So initially my lamp model had around 20k faces.

My thinking behind this was that the team said the assets were being taken into Unity, and from my experience last year working in that program, I knew that models weren’t smooth when brought in.

Therefore, I went to Mesh > Smooth Mesh, and the result was many additional edge loops added to make the model retain it’s curved shape when unsmoothed.

I think I probably gave them a heart attack when they saw it, because they were aiming for around 1k.

James took the model and brought it down to 1350 faces, and showed me how to model more effectively. As my assets weren’t going to be interacted with, many of my faces could be deleted since the camera wouldn’t see them, e.g. the base of the lamp. James also showed me if I went to Mesh Display > Smooth Mesh, it made the model appear smooth without actually adding any extra edge loops and if you studied the edge of the model closely you could still see the hard surfaces.

As a result, I’ve been able to churn out models quite a bit faster, and not as heavy on my computer, gone are the days of the 5-million-face-Pagoda hahaha!