I am very impressed! It is easy to see you are on your way to a well-deserved wonderful future.
An absolutely great read, thank you for this. Really lays a foundation on how to go about the learning process.
Hi Matthew and Mr VFX, I’m currently researching this topic of decomposing images into shading and reflectance layers. I would love to learn about what you are trying to use this for to learn more about applications for this technology.
Have a look at a free set of smart materials for Substance Painter by Aleksey Kudryavtsev. The pack features four different surfaces that you can use for all kinds of projects.
Substance Painter smart materials pack:
Wood, Antique Nielloed Silver (added few alphas in ZBrush just for better representation), Ivory and Ice (faked by Emission channel).
Check out another pack of 20 materials from the artist for $5 here.