Collab 2021W08 - Modern Art of Materials Museum

Diary/scratchpad for

This time I want to make something less ambitious than last week. I want to get some sleep this week :sweat_smile:. I’ll start planning in a bit of reverse order - what new things I want to learn and go from there.


Ok, so (obviously) there multiple (new) skills I want to learn and many skills I want to improve. In this challenge I will focus on the following, order of importance:

  1. [new] Learning Substance Designer
  2. [improve] Sculpting
  3. [Improve] Texture painting
  4. [improve] Real time ray tracing in UE4

The idea is to not push myself too much in terms of working long time each night :sweat_smile:. Right now my rough idea is to have a museum hall (or part) with some objects there that I sculpt/model and create materials for. But the focus will be on creating surfaces and learning Designer.

Minimal plan: create some nice material(s) and slap it on some spheres in quickly plastered together area that could look like part of museum. Don’t know how long time ago you were in a museum, but with modern art - anything is allowed :grin:. Or something like that:

Ambitious plan: sculpt a statue, materials for it, texture paint it and put it in a museum room :smiley:. Some examples:


Modern art is in a gallery not a museum.

But a good basic plan. Now all you need do is find a few dozen real museum artefacts and recreate them to fill your wall! The wall and any cases will be easy.

Recreating Michelangelo’s David rather ambitious! I thought you wanted a less testing week!


The first picture is from MoMA if I recall correctly…

If they call themselves ‘museum’ who am I to argue with them? :joy:

Easy, peasy… will do it by Wed. and will have a break for half a week :joy:


Er ok deleted rant. :rofl:

Let’s just say if their work (all modern ‘art’) is still regarded as more than scrap in the same time period as after Michealangelo’s work that took years and real skills, I will eat my hat. If I were alive by then.

Great then we can pick the items? :smiling_imp:

1 Like

Oh, common… I was waiting for it :rofl: :rofl:

Obviously not… as probably 95% of “work of art” from Michealangelo’s era didn’t survive to this day… Fast-foodization (or however one should call it) is everywhere, including art… but it’s not only that, but also the fact that gauss curve rules everything…

Lol, I can take suggestions, but no commitment :stuck_out_tongue:. I commit to “minimal plan” only for now :sweat_smile:. TBH, I’m a bit tempted to do something in this style, as I think I did quite a bad job during that challenge , but in high poly version.

Here we go try copying a real museum room.


Oh, cool! I didn’t knew this “Google Art and Culture” thing!

Edit: that’s awesome! :grin: :angel:

1 Like

First material almost created (tutorial based):

I’m not really finished yet and it’s already spaghetti of nodes :sweat_smile:


Good spaghetti! It begins to seem one of my blueprints… :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I’m just at the beginning of learning journey, but I’m starting to like designer. It feels like working with shaders or blueprints in unreal and the results can be quite nice… Will probably take a while till I be accustomed to the procedural workflow, but it seems that one can get quite nice results within reasonable time scales… The results that can be then reused multiple times and save time while modeling or sculpting…

1 Like

Not much progress today, just planned out work (some unknowns still remains, but the vision is slowly getting clarified). Finished the ground material:

And imported it to UE4.

Unfortunately, substance plugin seems to be bugged right now and crashes unreal, so workflow will be more tedious.

And in Blender:


Loving the blender version. It’s more a nature project, add small critters … go with the flow.

1 Like

I also really like the blender version. It almost looks like a landscape, a scene that it would take weeks to prepare…

1 Like

Soo another tough week. And not much progress done yet (but I started drawing course, yay! :grin:) . Reference board v1 done though:

Basic idea: create a room (top center) with display stands (bottom) and some pictures (top left), and if time permits (simple) statue (right). Overarching idea is to focus on making my own materials in designer, preferably I would do them for everything, but might not have enough time.

Backup plan is to make just a corner of the room with a few materials (or even one) that I make.


Bricks WIP (height/normal only, and yet unfinished)

nodes are fun!


A doubt, sorry if I’m wrong, isn’t Height and Normal same?
For the last collab(underground), I did googled a bit to know the types of texture maps, and found both of the Height and Normal are almost same.
And is Bump also similar to these?

1 Like

No, Height is a 1d field, normals are 3d… i.e. per-pixel a height map is just a scalar (i.e. 0 to 1) whereas per-pixel a normal map has 3 (x,y,z) describing the direction of the normal.

You can generate a normal map from a height map using the Bump node, but this will lack a lot of the information you get from a normal map baked from a high-poly model. That’s why normal maps generally give better results than height-maps as they contain more “info”.


Basically what Jaco said :slight_smile:

With an addition that you usually use a height map to displace the vertices in the model. In Blender it works by taking exiting geometry and moving it out, so it’s not really that beneficial in “standard workflow”. But if you look at what people did in nodevember with displacement that’s some crazy stuff :). In game engine there is an (optional) tesselation step, which dynamically creates additional geometry and uses this for displacement. The amount of generated geometry might be dynamically based on how far the face is from the camera. Sometimes height maps are called displacement map.

To make it even more confusing, bump maps are also a thing. Mostly thing of the past (you can think about them as previous version of normal maps).

I remember that learning all this stuff was confusing at the beginning. What I found very helpful are the guides from substance actually (I didn’t know what was it at that time, just stumbled upon those guides while doing research). Here are the links:


Bump maps and height maps are synonymous… they represent the same thing really, the confusion comes from how it is used (normal-map generation vs displacement)… I think the term Bump map has also just become less popular.