10 Best Substance Painter Courses and Certifications Online

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookSubstance Painter has emerged as a popular 3D painting software application used by professionals in the gaming and animation industries. The software is known for its robust features which enable artists to create highly detailed textures and materials for their 3D models. As the demand for this skillset increases, many individuals are seeking online courses to master Substance Painter techniques. In this article, we will explore some of the best online courses available for learning Substance Painter, assessing their features, value, and effectiveness in helping learners achieve their goals.

Here’s a look at the Best Substance Painter Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Substance Painter Courses and Certifications Online

1. Blender Stylised 3D Game Model Complete Beginners Guide by 3D Tudor (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

The “Blender Stylised 3D Game Model Complete Beginners Guide” is a new Udemy course by 3D Tudor that offers a complete beginner’s guide to creating a 3D stylised game model. The course teaches how to create a stylised 3D model from scratch to a professional level, following industry pipelines. The course features over 8 hours of content, including modeling, texturing, freebies, lighting, and rendering a game-ready 3D asset. The focus of the course is to show how to make realistic models, to a real-world scale, exclusively in Blender 2.8.

The course is also relevant to those students who are more familiar with 3D creation and modeling using Blender software or those who are transitioning into Blender from another piece of software or from the previous older versions of Blender. By the end of the course, learners will have a comprehensive view of how to model from the ground up, with a super-fast industry-standard workflow, and can be put to use independent of the direction they take in 3D modeling – following the amateur or the professional path.

The course covers modeling using Blender 2.83, where animations will guide learners with modifiers, Blender functions, and key commands, and will include a step-by-step exploration of all the new shortcuts that have come with this new Blender version. The course also covers sculpting techniques in Zbrush, where learners will learn how to optimise their model to make it game-ready. In addition, the course covers texturing using Substance Painter, where learners will learn how to create complex stylised materials from scratch, and how to lay or apply multiple materials to meshes. Finally, the course covers rendering out in Marmoset Toolbag 3, where learners will have the knowledge and confidence to create stylised assets that look like they fell out straight out of a game.

2. Learn the ART of Substance Painter by Kevin Oxland (Udemy)

The Learn the ART of Substance Painter course is designed to teach students how to use the latest Substance Painter and become a professional game environment texture artist. The course has been updated in April 2021 and now features Substance Designer and Substance Alchemist. A whole new section consisting of 12 new Substance Designer tutorials has been added to the Substance Painter course, which will teach students how to use Designer and take materials from Substance Designer into Substance Painter. Another new section consisting of 5 new Substance Alchemist tutorials has also been added to the Substance Painter course, which will teach students how to use Alchemist and take materials from Alchemist into Substance Painter.

In this course, students will learn how to create game-ready textures from scratch by starting with the basics within Substance Painter and moving onto texturing a stunning 3D game environment presented in Unity. The instructor, Kevin Oxland, who has 30 years of game development experience in art and design, will supply all the models for the course to remove any anxiety of modelling the assets first so that students can focus solely on texture creation. The course is perfect for anybody seriously wishing to pursue a career as a texture/environment artist in the games industry.

Creating visuals for video games is not just about the art, it’s also about the ideas and design that spawn the art. The story you can tell through visual interpretation and the emotion your scene can invoke through textures and lighting is also key to creating a successful scene. The instructor will show students techniques on how they can convey this in texture work, lighting, and scene layout.

The course will cover how to create PBR (Physically Based Rendering) textures in Substance Painter and drop them into Unity where students will build the scene using the textures they have created. The instructor will then take students through lighting in Unity and give them a thorough understanding of how it works and how to set it up, and show them how to create stunning portfolio shots from within Unity and Substance Painter.

3. Complete Game Character Workflow 02 Texturing and Rendering by Udemy Instructor (Udemy)

The “Complete Game Character Workflow 02 Texturing and Rendering Course” is an online course offered by Udemy Instructor. The course encompasses the entire workflow of texturing, making materials, lighting, and rendering a complete character after modeling. This course is a continuation of the character modeling series and provides state-of-the-art techniques and tools to bring a character to life.

The course starts with an introduction and baking, followed by body texturing, eye texturing, leather material, knitting material, and finalizing fabrics. It then covers glove and boots, ornamental decoration, stitch brushes, and finalizing texturing. The course also teaches how to prepare animation and import assets, basic lighting and material, eye shader, tips and tricks to enhance graphics, sequencer, and rendering.

The course covers substance, PBR workflow, and Unreal Engine realtime rendering in detail. Color, composition, and lighting are also introduced to help students achieve good aesthetics. The course also features many other small tricks, including animation, quick rig, and dynamic simulation, to give students more power in their presentation.

Overall, the “Complete Game Character Workflow 02 Texturing and Rendering Course” is an in-depth course that provides students with the necessary skills and tools to create and render a complete game character.

4. NEW! Substance Painter All Levels Volume 1 by Sean Fowler (Udemy)

The “NEW! Substance Painter All Levels Volume 1 Course” is a comprehensive walkthrough designed for individuals interested in 3D texturing using the latest software in game production workflows. The course is instructed by Sean Fowler and includes two low models (beginner and advanced) and two high rez models for download.

This course will cover Substance Painter’s features and expand on workflows from beginner to advanced levels. The course is the first in a series of courses dedicated to assisting those interested in learning and practicing new texturing techniques through this powerful texturing software.

The course consists of six sections, starting with a brief overview of what to expect, followed by a review of the basics and UI. The next four sections cover Sci-Character Chest and Torso, Sci-Character Arms and Legs, Head, and Emissive Effects. The final section includes Exporting to Unity and Iray.

Overall, the course provides a step-by-step approach to learning Substance Painter and is suitable for individuals at all levels of expertise.

5. How to Texture 3D Aircraft Model in Maya & Substance Painter by Animation Hacks (Udemy)

The “How to Texture 3D Aircraft Model in Maya & Substance Painter” course, taught by Animation Hacks, provides an overview of texturing and exporting textures for rendering 3D graphics in the production. The course starts by introducing the interface and generating a ColorID map in Autodesk Maya. After creating a low poly object, students will export it to Substance Painter to generate color and textures. The course also covers creating and modifying basic texture, applying material effect on surfaces, and using smart materials and textures.

Animation Hacks, the instructor of this course, is a visual effect studio with high-quality skill artists who have worked on numerous unannounced projects. They share their knowledge with online students to help them learn 3D.

The course includes an introduction, reference research and analysis, object preparation for texturing workflow, texturing the aircraft, and texture preparation for look development. Additionally, there is a limited time offer bonus section. Students can find the source attachment link for the lesson in Section 1, Lecture 1.

6. Scene Creation with Blender and Substance Painter by Darrin Lile (Udemy)

The “Scene Creation with Blender and Substance Painter” course is designed to teach students how to create realistic environments for animation, games, or architectural visualization. The course instructors are Darrin Lile, an experienced Blender educator, and Substance Painter specialist.

The course covers a wide range of topics, including how to use Blender’s modeling tools and modifiers, UV map 3D objects in Blender, prepare 3D models for export to Substance Painter, create realistic PBR textures for 3D models in Substance Painter, create an Export Template in Substance Painter to be used for Blender, apply PBR textures in Blender, add lights to a scene in Blender, and render a scene using both the Cycles and Eevee render engines in Blender.

The course will focus on Blender’s modeling toolset and the use of blueprints to build up the walls, doors, and windows of the scene. Additionally, reference images will be used to help model each piece of furniture in the various rooms.

Students will learn how to UV map 3D objects and how to prepare them for export to Substance Painter as an FBX file. In Substance Painter, they’ll create realistic PBR textures for their models, and they’ll learn how to set up those textures for use in Blender.

After adding the textures in Blender, the course will move on to working on the lighting. Spot lights and area lights will be added to the scene, and the scene will be rendered out using both Blender’s Cycles render engine and the new Eevee render engine. The differences and benefits of both will be discussed.

All the project files and reference images are available for download, and the course is broken down into six sections: Introduction, Modeling the Rooms, Creating the Furniture, UV Mapping the Scene, Texturing with Substance Painter, Lighting and Rendering the Scene, and Bonus Lectures.

7. Substance Painter 2 for All Levels! by Sean Fowler (Udemy)

This course, entitled “Substance Painter 2 for All Levels!” and instructed by Sean Fowler, provides an in-depth tutorial to 3D texturing through the use of Substance Painter. The course includes a low rez and high rez sci-fi helmet as provided models to develop a strong foundation in texturing.

The course begins by teaching the basics of Substance Painter 2 through a simple low Rez flying saucer model, and demonstrates the basics of baking out maps. The course then covers how to apply base color through fill layers and provides a wide variety of methods for manipulating masks to control how those colors are displayed.

The course builds off of these basics and applies the same concepts to more advanced subjects, such as materials and smart materials utilizing smart masks and generators. Students will learn how to build their own unique Smart Materials from scratch and combine them in with existing smart materials.

The course also covers opacity and emissive texture maps and how they plug into Unity and Iray. Additionally, the course includes instruction on the export texturing process and bringing a model into Unity 5, with a demonstration of how to plug in all the materials generated from Substance Painter.

Finally, the course includes a crash course into Substance Painters built-in renderer Iray and demonstrates how students can generate a high-quality render in a short amount of time. The course content is divided into sections, including an Introduction to Substance Painter and Basics, Sci-Fi Helmet, Creating Cybernetic Eye, and Iray.

8. Video Game Weapon Course : Modeling / Substance Painter 2 by Bradley Wascher (Udemy)

The Video Game Weapon Course: Modeling/Substance Painter 2 is a course designed to teach the skills necessary to model, unwrap, and texture weapons for games. This course is intended to provide a thorough walkthrough of the process to create a first-person knife using Maya and Substance Painter 2. The course is taught by Bradley Wascher, a game industry professional, who will provide detailed instruction to help students create high-quality models.

The course is designed to address the various challenges that arise when creating weapons for games. Following multiple tutorials may result in confusion and produce substandard work. This course offers a comprehensive approach with detailed instruction and narration to ensure that students have a thorough understanding of the process.

This course is structured to provide students with all the necessary skills to create beautiful weapons for games. The steps are explained in detail, starting with setting up the reference in Maya, creating a block model, high and low poly modeling, unwrapping, exporting, material creation, and rendering. By the end of the course, students will have the skills to create stunning weapons and models for games.

The Video Game Weapon Course is an opportunity for students to enhance their art ability and produce high-quality art for their portfolio or video game. The course content is divided into 10 sections, including an Introduction, Reference, Block Out Model, High Poly Modeling, Low Poly Modeling, Unwrapping, Exporting/Clean Up, Material Creation, Renders/Exporting, and Conclusion. The course is intended to provide students with the confidence to create beautiful weapons and models for games.

9. Understanding Substance Painter Volume 2 All Levels! by Sean Fowler (Udemy)

Course Title: Understanding Substance Painter Volume 2 All Levels!

Course Instructors: Sean Fowler

Course Short Description: This course provides an intensive focus on learning and practicing Substance Painter, with an included 3D model.

Course Long Description: The second volume of Substance Painter course starts with a review of the basics and expands on the concepts in new texturing techniques such as stenciling and decaling through our library shelf. The course provides a new model to practice the concepts taught and to showcase how to innovate on your texturing techniques.

This course is a series of courses aimed at assisting individuals interested in learning, practicing, and exploring new texturing techniques through this powerful texturing software.

Course Content and Sections:

1. Introduction
2. Quick Overview of the Basics
3. Legs and Arms
4. Lower Body
5. Chest Head

10. 3DSMax 2016 & Substance Painter for Videogame Production by Tim Bergholz (Udemy)

The 3DSMax 2016 & Substance Painter for Videogame Production course is designed to help individuals kickstart their careers as 3D artists in the video game industry. The course is taught by Tim Bergholz, a senior 3D artist, who will guide students through all the aspects of creating high-quality game art.

The Basics & Beyond chapter covers the fundamentals of 3Ds Max and the following hours focus on efficient 3D modeling and unwrapping techniques, featuring the AKM. Students will learn how to create photo-realistic textures using Substance Painter and showcase their work using Marmoset Toolbag 2. The course also includes tips for post-processing renders in Photoshop to add extra polish.

The software used throughout the course includes 3Ds Max 2016, Photoshop, Substance Painter, and Marmoset Toolbag 2. It is important to note that the modeling portion of the tutorial heavily relies on the “chamfer” modifier, which is only available in 3Ds Max 2015 and 2016. Individuals with older versions of 3Ds Max can use a third-party modifier called “quad chamfer” instead.

The course is divided into five sections: Basics & Beyond for 3Ds Max 2016, Modeling with the AKM, Unwrapping with the AKM, Texturing with Substance Painter, and Rendering with Marmoset Toolbag 2. With a focus on high-quality game art creation, this course has everything individuals need to start their journey as a 3D artist.