Substance 3D education: Footwear design collaboration with Creapole and On

Adobe Substance 3D Education.

In recent years, we have seen a surge in the use of 3D tools in fashion design and product design workflows. Many companies, such as Hugo Boss, Decathlon, and Salomon have made Substance 3D core to their pipelines.

The Substance 3D Collection allows designers to create 3D models, make realistic textures, iterate on their designs and easily generate photorealistic product renders. Today, 3D textured models are developed early in the design process, and these same assets can be used for interactive experiences and e-commerce imagery later in the creative pipeline.

There is an increasing demand for design graduates to be proficient with multiple 3D tools. So, we asked ourselves: how can we involve universities, industry, and students in this transition?

This is how Adobe partnered with Creapole, a top product design school based out of Paris, to bring together professional footwear designers from On and 3D artists from Adobe. The participating product design students were provided with the Substance 3D Collection along with the insights needed to elevate their design. Students were given a base footwear model from On, and then used Substance 3D Painter, Sampler, and Stager to texture and render their models during a 3-day workshop.

We were so amazed by the quality of the work produced by the students that we partnered with Mimaki to make some of the students a 3D print of their shoe design. Check out the video below that captures the experience.

We also had the chance to chat with Adorian, a fourth-year product design student at Creapole, who created a fantastic footwear model. Our short interview is below, lightly edited for clarity.

Tell us your name and what excites you the most about product design?

Hi, I’m Adorian, a fourth-year product design student at Creapole. Since a young age, I have been deeply passionate about drawing and sports. I decided to specialize in product design because it touches many sectors such as sportswear, footwear, electronics, and transportation.

I was a high-level diver and trained at l'INSEP with the French diving team. As an athlete, I can easily understand the necessity of having great gear and accessories before, during, and after training. I believe it's better when you feel concerned about a topic because you can be more innovative and creative.

Shoe model courtesy of On, creative design by Adorian Demon.

Shoe model courtesy of On, creative design by Adorian Demon.

When you do product design, you learn how to create the right product for the right consumer, and I really like this way of thinking. I am passionate about sportswear design because the sportswear and footwear industry are always driven by the fast pace of innovation and performance.

“I had known about Substance 3D in product design and was curious to learn more. [...] Now I am trying to use and practice Substance 3D more to add realism to my projects.”

Infographic of different images of On Runing Shoes.

What did you expect from this workshop?

I didn't have many expectations for this workshop because I'm not a 3D guy — I'm more into sketches. I had known about Substance 3D in product design and was curious to learn more. So, this workshop was a great opportunity to learn some 3D, a new software tool, practice my English, meet new people from Adobe and On, and have a new project in my portfolio.

Sketches of shoes in Photoshop.

Sketches in Photoshop.

While I was intimidated by the prospect of learning these 3D tools, my experience was great. Emily Bisset from the Substance 3D team helped us a lot during the three days of the workshop, and I learned how to use the Adobe Substance 3D toolset. Sometimes it took a few tries, but now I can use them.

It was also incredible to meet the designers from On — they are only about 4-6 years older than me, so it's easy to relate to them. I hope to be in their position one day, maybe even work with them. Who knows? It's nice to feel the young energy, learn from their experiences, share advice, and get motivated. It was so cool!

Texturing in Painter

Tell us about you experience learning Substance 3D

The workshop truly changed my mind because I always thought, "No, I can't do this". Seeing my shoe finished with all the textures was a second to none moment. Now I am trying to use and practice Substance 3D more to add realism to my projects — it provides a lot of realism in the textures you can use and create.

Rendering in Stager with 3D Assets scene template.

For my project, I wanted to create a versatile shoe that you could wear on an outdoor trail or in the city — something that can be used during the week in the city and encourage people to explore trails or take walks on weekends to discover what is around them. I chose Seattle as a theme city because it perfectly blends city life, technology, nature, and mountains.

I used Adobe Photoshop for the sketches, Substance 3D Sampler to create my own textures and materials, Substance 3D Painter to apply materials on my 3D model and Substance 3D Stager for the renders.

Firefly AI-generated backgrounds in Stager (beta)

The Substance 3D tools add a lot of realism when you render your 3D model. Additionally, you can do design explorations by creating new textures and materials, making it a very useful tool that offers new rendering possibilities.

A big thank you to Adobe and On for the opportunity to be a part of this workshop, and thanks to Créapole for making this possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Substance 3D tools for Education, we offer free licenses for students and teachers.

We’d like to thank our partners on this project: Creapole for co-organizing the workshop and kindly welcoming us at their Paris campus — On for working on the creative brief for the students, providing them with a footwear model to texture, and for sharing their valuable design experience with the students — Cycle for producing top quality content around the workshop including the video; Mimaki for providing some of the students with 3D-printed versions of their footwear creations.

And if you’re interested in collaborating on an education project with us, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Physical 3D Model of shoes printed with Mimaki Full Color 3D Printer.

Physical 3D Model printed with Mimaki Full Color 3D Printer.

Augmented Reality 3D model next to physical 3D print viewed on iPhone.