Sep. 18, 2019
Breathtaking Realtime Renders with Substance 3D Assets and UE4
With 8 years experience in the automotive industry, Fisher Dai explores Substance 3D Assets and Unreal Engine.
Porsche 911 Revolution
Everything starts with a tiny idea. At the beginning of 2018, I wanted to explore the extreme quality that Unreal Engine can achieve without being limited by commercial projects, so I spent half a year working on the Porsche 911 Revolution project in my spare time.
I decided to call it Revolution because I was struck by the strength of Unreal Engine after completing this project. For me, it almost subverts the entire CGI production process that I am familiar with. For the first time, I was able to throw away all sorts of technical details, such as GI noise, anti-aliasing parameters, multi-channel compositing, etc.
This is a great improvement for my creative mood. In this project, I didn’t even do any post-processing! This kind of intuitiveness, as well as the freedom of creation, is revolutionary to me, so I gave it the name Revolution.
The project was a great success. Epic Games invited me to demonstrate the project at China Joy. Also, at the opening of Unreal Open Day, Tim Sweeney introduced the project himself.
The following is the recording when the project is running in real-time (with a GTX1080 graphics card):
This is also my first time using the Substance tools. It started from one of my friends, Hartmut Noerenberg, an awesome photographer. He was studying Substance Painter in his spare time. I found it was interesting, so I wanted to try it out.
At that time, the vehicle material was almost completely finished, so I used Substance Source and Substance Designer to make the ground. I am very satisfied with the final result. Here are a few close-ups of the ground:
Bull Leather is a standard template that I have always liked. It is very suitable for simulating new seats.
The following picture shows the result of using it directly in the scene:
This look is totally enough for automotive visualization; after all, a brand new car is always the best.
But in this project, I wanted to do some interesting details, to make the seats more like what we see in our daily life, with little wrinkles and oil, just like the next picture:
In addition, Substance is really convenient for making these small details. Previously, I had to do a day with Photoshop, in Substance, it’s just one hour!
In order to achieve this look, I first imported Bull Leather’s .sbsar package into Unreal Engine, then made the following adjustments based on the material generated by Substance.
Important blocks, like Leather_roughness and Leather_Normal are as follows; all important nodes are marked:
This is an additional texture node that interferes with the roughness of the cortex to simulate the oil stains that appear in everyday life and to avoid an appearance of perfectly uniform smoothness (a common problem with CG images).
The texture of this node comes from the Oled Dashboard Screen preset I just mentioned.
The texture template’s Roughness texture perfectly simulates the fingerprint effect. So I used it on the center console as well as on the seat leather, as shown below.
This is a more interesting node whose function is to add extra wrinkles to Bull Leather. I got a great texture, T_Alcantara_Cloth_N, from the vehicle template released by Unreal Engine (AutomotiveMaterials), which is the normal map from a sample of Alcantara material.
I used the BlendAngleCorrectedNormals node to blend it with the original normal of Bull Leather as an extra normal to simulate the folds of the seat, and then got the two Leather New/Default comparisons you saw above.
The effect of this pleat is not strong, but it adds a lot of eye-catching details to the subtleties and is very simple to use. Here is the texture:
Made with Illustrator
All images courtesy of Fisher Dai and Fang Xiang.