Interview With Substance Tools

Interview With Substance Tools

Allegorithmic's Substance Designer/Painter has been taking off in a big way these past few years thanks in part to how easy it allows the creation of complex brushes and realistic looking materials for use in video-game development. Its rise in popularity spawned a few notable companies creating tools and content around the software to help artists get even more out of it.

We're excited to be chatting with such a company today - Substance Tools - who, as their name suggests, create awesome tools and assets for the Substance suite of apps.

Read more below to learn all about the great work that they do and make sure you visit their Cubebrush store to have a closer look at all their affordable resources

Q. Firstly, how did Substance Tools come to be?

Early on, we realized that Allegorithmic's Substance tool set would quickly become the game industry standard for texturing assets and creating PBR materials. We quickly became huge fans of their products and began developing our own tools both personally and professionally to help speed up our traditional workflow and increase the quality of our final work.

With this in mind, we created Substance Tools to provide indie developers and industry veterans with innovative and professional quality tool sets that complement Allegorithmic's current functionality, at inexpensive prices.

Q. Could you give the readers a little bit of a background for both of you guys?

Substance Tools is made up of two game industry veterans who, together have over 20 years' experience in the game industry, mostly in the creation of AAA titles. We have a passion for games and a great respect for those who make them.

Through our experience in big productions, we are constantly seeking for new ways of optimizing pipelines while improving the final quality of our work, so being able to contribute with Substance Tools to the community of artists out there is really rewarding for us.

Q. Why Substance? Why do you think this is such a big deal?

As we stated above Allegorithmic's Substance line of products is quickly becoming an industry standard. It is incredibly powerful and allows for unlimited creativity; as artists we love that. Game production in both the AAA and Indy sectors has recently seen a trend toward physically base rendering. The fact that in Substance Painter you can provide your team of artists with a full library of physically accurate base materials and tools, allows them to focus more on the artistic process of texturing, rather than wondering if the look of their asset is "realistic" enough. This is a huge time saver and brings so much coherency that it has become a necessity on large productions. As the industry moves more and more toward this lighting and material method it is likely that the use of Allegorithmic's products will only continue to grow, and we want to be part of that.

Q. What would you say will be the next big thing that doesn't exist yet in the game development industry?

The current generation of consoles still has a lot of potential to be shown, and through the correct use of Physically Based Rendering pipelines, we will see amazingly realistic graphics. Procedurally generated content will also make games virtually endless, with infinite possibilities. All this, combined with what VR will bring to the table, ensures a very exciting near future for video games.

Q. What is one important skill an artist can have that you feel is often ignored/forgotten?

The ability to properly accept and implement criticism is huge for artists these days. Competition is fierce as there are many amazing artists (a quick trip to art station will prove it). Learning from and acting on constructive feedback is the key to improving, while keeping your self hungry for learning new techniques, software and methodologies. Never stop learning!

Q. Perfect pizza?

Well, we would have to get two pizzas. Steve would get a pepperoni, mushroom and green pepper. Tommy comes from Europe and would die for a traditional Italian-style margherita. We both would like a nice glass of red wine with our pizzas, please.

Q. Do you have any big projects this year you'd like to share?

We continue to plan new tools for Allegorithmic's Substance Designer and Substance Painter, however, we also plan on branching into full asset creation. Our tools often reflect our personal interests and the VR world is something we are very interested in. That being said, hopefully you can look forward to seeing VR ready assets of the same professional quality as our other tools in the near future.