I don’t know why, but lately I’m diving deep into understanding how my 3d programs work. My modeling skills are pitiful, but digital art allows me to see my artwork better in a way my glasses cannot. The side affect seems to be the constant reworking of artwork without much initial progress.

Here’s a list for anyone learning Substance Painter detailing why the program may not be accepting your model (it either opens a blank page or the baked surfaces show up as black or gray):

  1. Your object contains solitary points or shapes with only two vertices.
    In Lightwave modeler, strike the lowercase ‘w’ to pull up the statistics windows and select the offending vertices.
  2. The object contains non-manifold polygons (shapes that are doubled up on top of one another, or where three or more may share a common edge while breaking an otherwise contained volume).
    In Lightwave, press the lowercase ‘m’ key and choose the automatic mode to merge vertices that share the same space. Then press the ‘shift’ and ‘i’ keys to unify any polygons that share the same space or break a volume.
    You can also use the ‘mesh repair’ command under the ‘details’ tab (found under the ‘polygons’ section) to find non-manifold shapes if you want to remodel parts of your object. By itself, this command seems to split random edges, often isolating parts you would like to keep, but it also will highlight problem areas. Beyond my understanding, but maybe this method will work for you.
  3. Your object may have a non-planer polygon.
    In Lightwave, four sided polygons must be perfectly flat no matter on which plane it is aligned. My sloppy way of modeling means that I highlight the non-planar polygons using the statistics window (lower case w) and then triangulate those shapes by hitting ‘shift’ and ‘t’. This can create issues with too many triangles sharing a single point, but it hasn’t caused me problems yet.
A metal heart sports plumber’s shorthand