3D History in the Baking: NVIDIA RTX Accelerates Texture Design Tools in Substance Painter
Words by Nicole Castro
Surfacing artist Nikie Monteleone brings intricate patterns to 3D designs using new Quadro RTX-powered baking features in Substance Painter, by Adobe.
When it comes to baking 3D textures and materials on designs, NVIDIA RTX gives Substance Painter an extra boost.
Nikie Monteleone, a surfacing artist in the animation industry, creates 3D graphics and images by integrating colours with complex, stylized patterns on all types of surfaces. Part of her design process is sculpting and hand-painting every detail, from a chameleon’s scales to an octopus’s tentacles.
Monteleone uses Substance Painter, a 3D painting program from Substance by Adobe, to create new textures and patterns by baking maps, which she then uses to give realistic appearances to her 3D designs and models.
Texture baking allows artists to transfer details from one model to another — but it can be a time-consuming process, and Monteleone needed a graphics card that could keep up. This is especially important because inspiration hits when she least expects it. With NVIDIA RTX, Monteleone can quickly turn her creative ideas into reality.
More companies are incorporating RTX capabilities into their software, and Substance Painter is one of the creative applications that’s using RTX to speed up certain processes — including baking.
With RTX-powered Substance Painter, Monteleone can bake maps up to 8x faster than before. The speed and performance of the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics card lets Monteleone skip the 2D concept and take her ideas straight to 3D modeling.
“If you’re doing any sort of heavy texturing or GPU rendering, having an NVIDIA RTX card in your machine will pay for itself.” — Nikie Monteleon, surfacing artist.
RTX-tra Features in Substance Painter
The first time Monteleone opened Substance Painter, she was hooked immediately. The interface and navigation in Substance Painter are easy to use, allowing her to create new looks and play around with designs faster than before.
“For an artist who’s constantly iterating, the RTX 6000 is proving to be quite a timesaver and is really fun to use,” said Monteleone. “I’m able to do real-time rendering and get designs approved on the fly, with the ability to perform faster on more 3D asset iterations than before.”
But there’s one place where RTX really shines in Substance Painter: hitting the bakes with the new GPU-accelerated features.
Monteleone relies heavily on baked maps, using them to multiply, overlay or add definition to her designs. As she started to specialize more in surfacing, she upgraded to using the Quadro RTX 6000.
With the new graphics card, Monteleone was seeing massive performance boosts with baking maps, being able to navigate larger scenes and load higher resolution maps on the spot.
Previously, Monteleone would wait up to 78 minutes for a bake to finish. But with the RTX card, that time reduced to seven minutes — barely enough time for a quick coffee break.
With Quadro RTX, Monteleone can spend less time waiting for bakes to finish and more time bringing her characters and designs to life.