Mars Running Hat - Rhino+Blender+Substance

Hi all! Finally sharing this project. Rhino/GH was only a small part of the equation here but there has been a lot of interest in Blender and Substance on the forum recently so I figured I’d share!

In this project, I played around with how the panels of a hat get segmented. Both to create visual interest and hopefully reduce the amount of material used (didn’t validate this!). I also used this project as a learning experience for Blender and Substance.

The segmentation of the hat in Grasshopper, mainly using Ivy.
This is the very rough flowchart for the GH portion.

I then imported the segmented mesh into Blender. I sculpted a lot of the wrinkle details there and prepared the rendering scenes. The statue isn’t mine, I found it as a 3D scan from a museum.

This was one of my first times using Substance Painter for the texturing. The main fabric came from the material library. It’s a really good material library. It might be slightly lacking compared to Keyshot for realistic pristine ID style metals and plastics but it’s growing and the amount of materials for soft goods and archiviz is crazy. I did the stitching procedurally in Substance based on the edge of the panels. Nice and easy!

The rendering was done in Blender using Cycles (also available in Rhino!). Lighting setup is an HDRI turned way down to get a small amount of fill and color variation and a few large physical lights.

Especially with the addition of SubD in Rhino 7, Rhino is becoming even easier to integrate in the huge landscape of VFX/CGI tools like Blender and Substance. I now regularly go between Blender and Rhino. I find Blender faster to do to broad strokes when modeling in SubD. Then it’s easy to bring back into Rhino for final accurate modifications or for Grasshopper workflows. Then it can be exported back out to Blender for rendering purposes. While Cycles is a huge improvement for Rhino, Blender gives a lot more control. Especially with procedural materials. Of course, it also opens up possibilities with sculpting workflows and even animation!

Hope you enjoy! The project is also on Behance .


awesome project! thanks for sharing!

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Nice work, good idea!!

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Cool hat, @Louis_Leblanc
I’d love to get started on Substance, but it’s just too damn expensive for a “just for fun”-subscription. I’ll have to get my boss interested somehow :laughing:
PS In the front shot I totally see an elephant holding a yellow towel with its trunk! :rofl:

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Now that you mention it, I can’t unsee the elephant!

I agree a Substance subscription is hard to justify for most ID work. You could use the monthly subscription to your advantage and only pay for months when you have a personal project at the texturing stage. You could also snag a bunch of materials and use them in Rhino or Blender without using Painter afterwards.

As I mentioned in my first post, I could see it being especially useful for soft goods because of the great material library, the ability to layer materials and the fact that soft good 3D models should be easy to UV unwrap by their very nature. With that said, for most metal and plastic materials you wouldn’t need to UV unwrap before going into Substance Painter anyways.

I could see it also being useful for folks doing early concept type work. Especially with large complex products or spaces. You could keep the geometry fairly simple and then use the materials as a means of creating a lot of the details and material breaks. Of course this can all be done outside of Substance but there’s very little friction when doing it all in Substance.

With that said, I’m hoping Rhino 8 brings procedural materials to the Cycle engine. For example, in this project I used procedural materials for everything in Blender. Only the logo decals and logo displacement maps were done in Photoshop.

It’s very quick to model everything in a SubD workflow especially since changes are very easy to do while they are the bane of NURBS modeling. I think there’s value in fleshing out ideas with SubD and then using the SubD model as an underlay for a clean production ready NURBS file.

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