VPT Update: Substances

Well it seems that I'm back to my old ways of barely posting, and I was hoping the next post would be saying that I have finished the train station, but unfortunately its still not done. I actually have all the assets made and textured, but the big thing is that they are textures and not substances. Every day I finish 1 substance, if they are small assets like a hand dryer I can pump out 3 or 4 in a day but all the small ones are pretty much finished. 

I was hoping to have at least some screen shots for you guys today but the scene is actually really quite ugly now. I had switched to baked light maps after getting some pretty bad performance because of the 50 real time lights inside the building, and after I had updated some of the assets with their new substances all of the lighting is now screwed to hell. But don't worry its really not a big issue, I just don't have time to pretty the scene up for a screen shot or 2 to have to do it all over again in a week or so. On top of that I actually really don't light the building in general, so I have been thinking of making a new building and spending a bit more time on the geometry and layout. You are probably thinking its already been a long time which is true, and that's exactly what this update is supposed to be talking about, substances...

So about the shelf in this updates header. It is one of the assets in the example scene, and as you can see there is 7 little slices, each that are a different variant, with the one on the far left being its default state, and as you go to the right it starts to get dirtier, moldier, and eventually snowier and bloodier. There is actually hundreds of sliders and values you can change in the substance to make it look completely different and original for your game. You can also change the type of wood, and the pictures in the frames, all within the substance. Back to what I had said in one of the first updates about VPT, I had said that since I'm going to be using the assets that I'm selling for my future projects, and since originality does kind of matter to me, I want to still be able to have an asset that is original, even though it started from the same thing. It does take probably 4 times longer to make each asset, but I think its worth it, but I guess reviews from people like you are going to have to confirm that.

Now a lot of these things, like snow and water could be done in a shader, which could save me a bunch of time. What's been taking me so long, is that for each asset I need to make a substance with the same values over and over again. Now I could just export a template and input the base and mesh maps, but it definitely does not bring out the best of its potential, so that is why I do it from scratch almost every time. But that doesn't mean shaders are out of the question. One of the features of the tools is that you can edit Material and Substance properties from as many different materials that you want at once, so now you just have to change one value instead of opening up all the materials and doing it one by one, and not only that but it will instance them as well so it will only affect the objects in the group. It may be hard to picture, so once this example scene is complete, it will be time to start pumping out the videos. And before I forget, shaders are also on the todo list, I am pretty new to writing CG so it might be a ways away, but I do plan to make an UBER shader for this pack eventually to replace things like weather/ing effects in the substances. If you want a good book to read for shaders, get "The CG Tutorials." Its pretty old, and does not teach things like Unity's Shader Lab, but its pretty easy to convert them into something usable by Unity. I was able to write shaders fairly easily after one day of reading, and playing around in Unity. Anyways....

So when am I going to explain everything in full? I know I'm running a bit behind, I just had no idea how long it was going to take to make every asset a substance. Remember how I said I've been finishing 1 every day, well here is a list of the assets I still have to complete. Once these our done, all I need to do is attach the tool scripts to the objects, and finally place them in the scene. And finally, here is the list.

1. Laptop

2. Vending Machine

3. Ceiling Lights

4. Clock

5. Train Schedule Sign

6. Ceiling Beams

7. Industrial Windows/Door Frames (About 7 or 8 of them)

8. Wall Paintings/Pictures

9. Desk Papers

10. 2 Types of regular doors and a door frame

So once that's all set and done, I will be making a series of videos explaining all the features, what features are yet to come. because there is still a TON of stuff yet to come, its really going to have a bunch little tools and things to help you out with various types of things. Haha I know, "and what would that be?" Everything is almost done I swear! Anyways that's enough about VPT for today, I just have a couple other things I would like to mention of what's yet to come.

So what is yet to come? More things for the store, lets say you don't want to purchase my tools, but you would like some of the substances and assets that are in the example scene. Well you are in luck, because they will all becoming to the store as well, either in a pack of substances, or assets, or just one of them on their own. Oh they are coming, I swear. Just to clarify, no I'm not the writer for the game of thrones.