Create a Cute 3D Cat with Blender and Substance Painter

In this article, the best CPU & GPU cloud rendering service provider, Fox Renderfarm, will share with you how a 3D art student creates a cute 3D cat with Blender and Substance Painter.

The author created this work, a 3D cat during his holiday. He used Blender for modeling, Substance Painter for mid-term texture painting, and completes the final rendering in Blender. Now, he will share his production process in detail.

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Part 1. Preliminary Idea

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This is the sketch he drew in the early stage. He is not used to spending too much time on the plan drawing. The author just uses it to determine "what to draw" and the general framework. As for "how to draw", it is directly implemented in 3D software. Now, the basic elements have been determined: the main object is a cat flying in the sky with the help of a jet. This is an adventurous little guy. It looks ahead with firm eyes and uses the map to guide it to its destination.

He wanted to add some anthropomorphic features to this 3D cat, so the milk tea around its neck and the goggles it was wearing were decided early on. He also wanted to add other interesting critters to the picture. At first, the author wanted some birds, and later changed to snack fishes spilling out of his bags (oh poor little kitty).

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The author searched on major graphic websites and collected references that may be used. He used the powerful reference graphics software PureRef to organize and use the reference graphics. The observation of the reference graphics ran through the entire process.

First of all, sculpting. Blender's sculpting is really good, and is even more convenient than ZBrush when facing such less complex tasks. With the help of dynamic topology and mesh reconstruction, he can quickly sculpt the desired shape.

Body sculpture

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Facial details

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In addition to the 3D cat’s body, the author made other models using PolyMesh. The main production process is to add Instance, Subdivision and Bevel to the opposite side. Modifiers allow us to build shapes very quickly and easily while allowing us to control the model and further refine it.

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Keep adding details while controlling the whole.

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The PolyMesh of the cat model obtained by sculpting is messy, and the subsequent texture drawing and animation processes require the model to have scientific and reasonable lines. So it needs to be retopologized. Since the model is relatively simple, the author retopology it manually.

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This is a mesh comparison between topological and untopological models. After topology, the distribution of lines is much more reasonable, and they all follow their own structure. After that, we can get all the previous details with the help of Subdivision and Shrinkwrap Deform. Polygonal models sometimes have wiring issues, and we also need to optimize the mesh after applying all the Deforms (remember to back them up!).

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The pleasing lines

Once the model is built, we need to import it into Substance Painter for texture painting after further processing. Of course, some preliminary preparations are required.

Part 2. Differentiate the Materials

After modeling, we need to differentiate the materials of the model in Blender. We need to create materials to the corresponding Mesh, and Substance Painter will recognize this data. Remember, Substance Painter's texture set equals to Blender's material slot.

The author divided this cat into 9 materials, because each material corresponds to a full set of 4K mapping, so the number is relatively large.

By setting the view color of the material, you can visualize the distribution of the material, which in other words, models of the same color share the same material.

At the same time, the meshes with the same material share a UV mapping, and we need to do UV editing.

Part 3. UV Editing

All objects under each material need to be UV edited, here are two examples.

UV Layout of cat’s body

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UV Layout of bag

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We control the expansion of the UV by marking the stitching edge. First, we must ensure that each area after expansion is as flat as possible without obvious stretching. Then, on the premise of ensuring flatness, unnecessary segmentation should be avoided to facilitate UV layout. Finally, split lines should avoid important parts, because it is easy to make small shading mistakes at the seams. For example, for the cat’s face here, the author stretched it so that the front face has no seams, which is also a common practice for UV mapping of human faces.

The 1:1 UV window represents the mapping pixels, so in order to save assets, the UV must fill the window as much as possible without overlapping. Generally, the proportions of each part are the same, but there are exceptions. For example, the author zoomed in on the area of the cat's face obviously, because the face requires more mapping resolution than the body.

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After finishing the UV editing, the cat is finally imported into Substance Painter. The fbx format will retain all the information about the model's UV layout, materials, vertex colors, vertex normals, etc., so don't worry about information loss.

Bake Mapping

Before starting to paint, we need to bake the model mappings in Substance Painter. Unlike the passes mapping, the model mapping is automatically calculated by Substance Painter based on the model structure. It will help us create effects faster. There is an introduction to some useful types of mapping.

The World Space normal mapping will indicate the world space normal of each surface of the model. For example, we can use it to make the effect of material transition from a certain direction:

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ID mapping. We can use ID mapping to subdivide different areas on the same texture set. It will help us quickly add masks to materials, which is very convenient.

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Ambient Occlusion. We can use Ambient Occlusion to create effects like dirt in the crevices.

Curvature mapping. We can use the curvature of the model to create the effect. The wears at the metal edges and corners are achieved by it.

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Thickness mapping, as the name implies, is often used to define subsurface scattering and transmission effects.

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Start painting

The Smart Material in Substance Painter is so convenient. It is a composite material made by Substance Painter and contains multiple layers. It can achieve the mixing effect between different materials with the model mappings introduced earlier. With the ID mapping, we can quickly distinguish different areas, while using Smart Material to get good results.

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Take this injector, for example, a Smart Material works well enough to automatically generate wear at the edges and corners, revealing underlying metal and surface stains.

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Of course, we can't just rely on Smart Material, a further polish for the details with manual painting is needed.

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Adding further layers

Use the alpha mapping made in AI as a mask to add an icon to the emitter (it feels like the forward speed is slowed down) and other patterns.

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Create a cute cat with Blender and Substance Painter 21

Add further details, such as traces of fluid leakage at the seams, and scratches above the steel marks, for increasing realism. The making of other parts are similar process, with the appropriate Smart Material being created first, and then further tweaked manually.

On the whole, this is the initial Smart Material (the cat is filled with solid color).

This is after manual painting.

Substance Painter is similar to Photoshop. The layer-based painting makes it different from the Blender‘s node-based way. It is convenient to add details. The train of thought for painting is not to use the base layer, but to use the fill layer while adding a mask at the same time, and painting on the mask, which is easy to control.

This is the display of some layers of the bag.

We can control all passes on a fill layer to get details on multiple passes such as Base Color, Roughness, Height, Metallic, etc.

Some details:

Details of front face:

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Details of bags and snacks:

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Output mapping

Once the painting of mapping is completed, we bake the passes mapping. First of all, it should be set to a format suitable for Blender.

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The output of this work has six passes: Base Color, Roughness, Normal, Metallic, Opacity, and Height. Take the goggles as an example to show each mapping.

This is the UV mapping on which other mappings are based.

This is the Base Color:

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This is the Roughness:

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This is the Metallic:

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This is the Normal:

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This is the Opacity, that gray part is the position of the lens:

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This is the Height:

Create a cute cat with Blender and Substance Painter 30

Connect the corresponding passes in Blender's material node, of course you can add other nodes to further adjustment.

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Our 3D cat is then back in Blender and test rendering:

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Part 4. Hair

Blender's hair system works very well. The author divided multiple hair systems on this cat based on Vertex Weight.

Each area has about 5,000 parents, and there are 50-150 children hairs under the parents. The author control the overall effect of the hair by controlling the parents.

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Just like combing hair in reality, it is very fun:

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Slowly cover its body, and take care to avoid the straps of the bag.

The hair’s material is based on the skin’s material. We can adjust its thickness and shape, control its clump and kinking, as well as edit its roughness and random values to create the desired effect. The effect with the hair on is as follows.

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Part 5. Rendering

In order to complete the final render, we need to add other things.

Put the background image directly behind, simple but works well.

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Set up the volume material to get the fire effect.

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Create a cute cat with Blender and Substance Painter 40

Create the clouds we want with blender's Volumetric Cloud, and then take a little time to set the lighting and camera angle. Now this 3D cat is completed.

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The above is the whole process of making this cute 3D cat with Blender and Substance Painter. We hope this tutorial can be of some help to you. As the leading cloud render farm service provider, Fox Renderfarm continues to bring you the latest news about 3D art! Thank you for reading!

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Top 9 Best And Free Blender Render Farms of 2023
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It allows developers to extend their Maya capabilities by providing access to the (MEL) Maya embedded language. Using MEL, developers can customize the interface by writing scripts and macros.- The Best Cloud Rendering for Maya of 2023Blender is a cross-platform application that runs on Linux, Mac OS and Windows systems. Its memory and hard drive requirements are minimal compared to other 3D creation tools, and Blender's interface uses OpenGL to provide a consistent experience on all supported hardware and platforms.A full set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) is available to accelerate the features and functionality of Maya. It also provides a Python-based API for those who want to use it.- Top 9 Best And Free Blender Render Farms of 2023Blender comes with a wide range of basic tools such as modeling, rendering, animation, video editing, VFX, texturing, rigging, simulation and game creation. Blender adds complexity and jargon. There are multiple terms such as UV mapping, materials, meshes, shaders, etc. which are the artist's medium. Understanding these terms will help developers take full advantage of Blender.Maya Dynamics helps developers create compelling visual simulations. Many more dynamics tools are available. To simulate and render viscous fluids, atmospheres, fireworks, and ocean effects, use Maya Fluid Effects. For clothing and fabrics, the nCloth effect is available, and nParticles can be used for effects including liquids, clouds, smoke, spray, and dust.!Which is Better, Maya or Blender 1Author: Ashif Ali The Main Differences Between Maya and BlenderThe differences between Maya and Blender are explained in the following points.1.Maya provides customization through MEL (Maya Embedded Language); interfaces can be extended with it, and Blender embeds Python3 for writing add-ons, binding roles, and more.2.For years, Maya has been the industry standard for 3D modeling and animation, and Blender's 3D painting and sculpting tools cannot match Maya's standard.3.Maya is better suited for large studios, while Blender is ideal for smaller startups.4.Maya has received extensive support from Autodesk and users around the world, while Blender is open source software, which is heavily documented on its website, and the rest of the support is provided through community tutorials.5.Maya exposes a node graph architecture where each node has its own properties and customization, while Blender has a node-based compositor that provides comprehensive video sequencing and post-processing capabilities.6.With Maya, rendering an animation for the first time can be quite a challenge, and Blender can make the rendering process a little easier to render an animation or a series of frames.7.Maya is the industry standard for 3D animation and is used by professionals around the world, while Blender lives in the shadow of Maya and is useful for freelancers and small startup projects.8.Maya is more powerful, but this powerful function comes with a lot of complexity, and Blender can solve some of Maya's complex problems, such as the rendering engine.9.Maya is a licensed product that comes with fewer bugs, while Blender tends to be error-prone, resulting in bugs in every version.10.Maya has a moderate learning curve with a more expressive toolset, while with Blender, it can be daunting when first trying to master the subject matter.!Which is Better, Maya or Blender 2Author: Sam Laerte ConclusionThere is no doubt that Maya is the industry standard for 3D applications, and there are good reasons to support it. It is a very powerful program that allows users to model, texture, render, and run simulations and animations. Blender, on the other hand, has always lived in the shadow of Maya and is considered the underdog of the 3D industry. But that doesn't mean that Blender is a worse tool than Maya.Blender is more intuitive than Maya in some ways. The same animations, assets or renders can be created in Maya or Blender. It depends on the skill and efficiency of the developer or artist, which determines the creation of the product.Of course, Blender has many unique features that can help speed up the workflow or make tasks easier. As well, Maya offers certain components that are superior to Blender. Each has its own benefits. Before choosing Maya or Blender, project timelines and costs need to be highly considered. For now, Maya will be much more in demand than Blender for corporate job applications, so if you are changing careers, it is recommended that you choose Maya to learn first. If render farm renders are needed for Maya and Blender, then Fox Renderfarm, which offers leading cloud rendering services, is a great choice. We also offer a $25 free trial for every new user! Thanks for reading!
How to Render High-quality Images in Blender
How to Render High-quality Images in Blender
In this article, the best CPU & GPU cloud render farm and cloud rendering service provider, Fox Renderfarm, will tell you how to render high-quality images in blender.- Top 9 Best And Free Blender Render Farms of 2023With the development of computer technology, Blender has been widely used in the field of graphic design, so that ordinary people also have the opportunity to come into contact with Computer Graphics technology referred to as "CG technology". Computer Graphic Image is also computer 3D animation technology, referred to as "CGI". Whether it is "Toy Story", "The Lion King" or "1917", the success of these world-class blockbusters can not be separated from the establishment of models in 3D software, and then to visual effects, post-production software composition, Editing, and more.!how to render high-quality images in blender - 1Image via As a new star in 3D software, blender integrates modeling, sculpting, binding, particles, animation, etc., and is a software that supports commercial creation for free forever. So how do we use blender to output high-quality images?Blender has 2 renderers that can convert a 3D scene into a 2D image.- Eevee is a physics-based real-time renderer.- Cycles is a physically-based ray-tracing renderer.Use plugins to add more third-party rendering engines. Each renderer has its own rendering settings to control rendering quality and performance. And the rendering effect is determined by the camera, lighting,and materials, which also determine the quality of the output images.!how to render high-quality images in blenderImage via blendercn.orgHere is the Cycles renderer that comes with Blender as an example. As a GPU-based rendering engine, rendering effects have become more and more mature, and its speed is much faster than the CPU renderer. So where does it affect the output image quality? SamplingThe sampling method determines how the light is calculated. The light is emitted from the camera into the scene and bounces back and forth until they find a light source, such as a light object, a glowing object, or the ambient background light. Number of light path traces for a single pixel in the final render. The more samples there are, the less noise there will be in the result and the more accurate it will be. Path trackingThe rendering attribute is the amount of light emitted from the camera to each pixel. The view attribute is used for scene rendering in the view. A value of 32 means that each pixel will be tracked by 32 rays.) NoiseNoise in the image will greatly affect the image quality because 32 beams of light per pixel are not enough to produce a high-quality image (To reduce the noise by 50%, double the number of lights, so the rendering time will also double, depending on the computer configuration to set the value, at least 1024 if you want a better effect. Rendering propertiesThe rendering properties greatly affect the rendering quality, try to adjust to the maximum value that the view can reach, and adjust the view back to 32 to maximize the quality. Optical Path Length It refers to the value of the number of bounces to track the path of each beam. The difference between 0 and the maximum will be very large. Camera PropertiesCamera size: It needs a proper ratio and size, and the focal length needs to be adjusted according to the content of the image. The appropriate size can display the details of the Depth of field.Depth of field: The choice of lens will affect the depth of field details. The depth of field determines how far away the object will be displayed clearly.Aperture radius: determines how far the object in the radius is clear, and it will become blurredFocus: Focus needs to be adjusted. Set important objects in the image as axes and adjust the appropriate aperture radius to show the correct object to the viewer.If you want to improve the quality of the images, you can try some of the suggestions above. Improving the quality of images is not something that can be improved by reading an article. Continuous learning and practice is the best way.Cycles is undoubtedly a young renderer. Blender is also constantly improving some of the features of Cycles, and it has a lot of room for development in the future. As a TPN-accredited render farm, Fox Renderfarm supports most mainstream 3D software, renderers, and plugins, including Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Clarisse, and more. So if you want to use a renderer other than cycles, you can also consider Fox Renderfarm, which is undoubtedly a powerful, fast and safe render farm. It can easily help you render high-quality images in Blender. Fox Renderfarm hopes it will be of some help to you. It is well known that Fox Renderfarm is an excellent cloud rendering services provider in the CG world, so if you need to find a render farm, why not try Fox Renderfarm, which is offering a free $25 trial for new users for signing up? Thanks for reading!
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