Substance Painter tutorial - Blurring Layer Masks with the Blur filter
In this tutorial, I want to show you a simple use of the Blur filter in Substance Painter by applying it, in this case, to a couple of layer masks; in particular, I will use the filter to blur the areas (and therefore the intensity of the application) of two different materials applied to a single geometry.
The 3D model I am using, in fact, is just one OBJECT with a UV layout (ie the unwrap of the entire surface of the model) which shows an evident "cut"; this cut serves to separate, so to speak, the "above" and "below" of the dolphin, with the intention of providing it with different Textures (a lighter tint of the same color, in the lower part).
The result must be stylized, not photorealistic, so we can easily use a "Resin Epoxy" material for both the upper and lower parts; in this case, in particular, I'm using RGB 0.339; 0.328; 0.353 for the upper part and 0.431 RGB; 0.409; 0.431 for the bottom part ... however, there is a rather obvious problem: the separation between the two parts is really too marked!
There are, of course, various ways to solve such a problem, so what I am about to show you is certainly not "the only way" or the "best method" for this type of problem, but it can help us in similar cases; this method consists in blurring the mask of the two layers, so as to overflow on the neighboring geometries of each layer, applying however the effect with a gradient (due, in fact, to the blurring of the mask).
In fact, we know that a layer mask applies its level with 100% intensity in the white points and does not apply it at all in the black areas, thus applying it proportionally in the gray areas; we also know that the masks applied with the UV Chunk Fill method (which I described in a previously published tutorial) will fill the selected UV islands with pure white, so we can act on the neighboring areas (on the geometry) by blurring the edges of these areas.
Ok, let's do it: select the layer mask of the first material, right click on the mask (attention, here: on the mask, not on the material!), then choose "Add Filter" from the menu that will appear on the screen;
then, click on "Filter" in the Properties - Filter tab (which refers to the newly created filter, indicated as "Filter (empty)", as it is still empty) and choose BLUR.
At this point all that remains is to act on the Blur Intensity parameter of the filter to define the intensity of the blurring: to define how much the mask must overflow; attention, however: for a better result, the filter must also be applied to the neighboring material, so as to overflow that too, to obtain a better blending.
The effect of the Blur filter on layer masks can be observed directly by choosing the "Mask" mode from the CHANNEL menu of a 2D or 3D view (after having selected the layer mask of a Material, obviously); take a look, in particular, at how the intensity of the mask changes along the boundaries of the materials as the value of the Blur Intensity parameter changes.
The practical example seen in this tutorial is really very simple, however it could also be useful in other contexts (especially in the definition of organic materials, as in this case).
So, that's it! See you soon!