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Texturing Lord Ramiel for Ubisoft's For Honor Video Game

Senior Texture Artist at Ubisoft Montreal Aiden has shared the texturing workflow behind Lord Ramiel from the studio's For Honor game, talked about becoming a Texture Artist, and shared an important piece of advice for aspiring artists.


Hello, I am Aiden, a Texture Artist at Ubisoft Montreal. I have been working at Ubi for 8 years and it’s been a pleasure to work on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor. Now I am solely working on For Honor as a Texture Artist. I joined Ubisoft when I graduated from college in my hometown, Chengdu, China. After several years I moved to Montreal to continue my journey in making art for our games and players.

Becoming a Texture Artist

When I joined Ubisoft, I was a 3D Modeler and worked on Rainbow Six Siege designing firearms. Half a year later, I jumped into For Honor to make weapons and textures, but I was still a 3D modeler at that time. At that moment, I was reflecting on what inspired me to work on the project and the answer was texturing. I always liked colorful things and I loved to draw so much, and I also wanted to express my creativity by making characters and environments feel realistic and alive. So I spent a lot of time improving my skills, including drawing and learning some texturing software. Especially for drawing, as an artist, it’s very important to make sure you develop your craft throughout your whole career.

Then several years later, my first career opportunity came. I was hired to model characters first, which is always a good exercise to get more knowledge. Texture artists still need to know how to make a good model. It is very important for your work because the model is the first stage before texturing. Then as you can see, I became a texture artist and now mainly work on characters.

Joining Ubisoft

I joined Ubisoft as an intern modeler when I graduated from college. Now I am very honored to be a part of the team since we have many professional people doing exceptional work. Our goal is always to make our game look amazing and attain the highest quality possible. I enjoy working with the team and there are always lessons you can learn from each other. 

My current role is working on textures for the characters, creating materials, and some texture tools for our artists to make their work efficient. The materials library is important as well, which is like a treasure trove for textures. So I’m also responsible for building and maintaining it.

Texturing Lord Ramiel

Lord Ramiel is the first Hero Skin in our game, so the mission is to introduce him to players and impress them. All the team members worked to make the Skin the best they could. On my side, I tried my best to improve the quality of the materials for this character, especially metal parts. In order to make the texture realistic, I needed to do some research to find good references and talk with our Concept Artist and our Art Director. 

The key is having the same direction and knowing each other's intentions. As a texture artist, your experience will help you a lot, but we always need to have some good references especially since this is a realistic-materials character. Once I had some references, I started to texture them. The first step is creating some materials recipes to apply to the characters to test which ones we want. In this case, we needed to balance how to deal with dirt and damage. We finally achieved that balance, and the metal has good detail and at the same time it looks realistic, and the engraving is shiny to visible.

The Workflow

I used the regular workflow. As Texture Artists know, we use Substance 3D Painter as the primary software to create materials and textures for our characters, but we use Substance 3D Designer to create base materials and tools for painters as well. In order to have efficient and high-quality results, we created lots of smart materials in our library, which is crucial to achieving the same level of quality as the rest of the game.

In Substance, I always choose a metal material that looks similar to the request and apply it to all the texture sets. In this step, you don’t have to dive into too much detail. Then I will focus on one part of the model, such as the helmet or shoulder to polish the materials according to the mesh data. Once it has a good result, it’s time to copy it to other areas.

The references and your experience will help you a lot with detail polish; the easiest way to make the material realistic is to put the reference on one side because you will find all the real detail on the reference. But you need to have patience and pay attention not to add too much detail because we need to stay within budget. So the priority is making the materials readable, then you need to check your materials by zooming out sometimes.

In general, the default generator and filters are good enough to use, such as Dirt, Edge metal wear, warp, slope blur, etc. But we still need to create ones that fit our needs, which always makes artists' lives easier.

The workflow for leather and fabric is similar to the metal process. In our workflow, the difference is that we will create some base recipes in Substance 3D Designer, and then it can be very easy and efficient to be used in Painter.

Tips For Beginners

For someone who wants to master texturing, I think the most important thing is learning to observe life because all the materials are based on real-life, even the stylized materials. And from the start, we need to make our work simple and readable, and the detail is always placed at the end. Also keep in mind, never stop learning because there are always opportunities to learn something new. 

As for developing texturing skills, remember that when you run into problems with materials, you can find lots of good references and courses on the web, including materials that others have made. That’s always a good way to learn. For specific challenges, I usually try to search for the right references and courses to be efficient.

QiYu Dai (Aiden), Senior Texture Artist at Ubisoft Montreal

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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Comments 3

  • Anonymous user



    Anonymous user

    ·2 years ago·
  • Marlow Adam

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing!


    Marlow Adam

    ·2 years ago·
  • Hang Ye



    Hang Ye

    ·2 years ago·

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