Using Trim Sheets & Decals for Game Artists

Using Trim Sheets & Decals for Game Artists

Become a much more valuable game artist by learning how to use trim sheets and decals in a production. Re-use of assets in games is an incredibly important optimization, at the cost of truly unique pieces and visibly repetitive patterns. Prop decals are an efficient way to alter very common assets in your game for minimal resources, allowing artists to easily break up this repetition and provide virtually infinite combinations of designs for their assets.

No More Hard Edges

All games suffer from sharp edges and visibly low-polygonal corners. However, by using edge normal decals we can effectively remove any trace of these nasty edges. With a bit of simple extra geometry, as well as clever decal unwrapping we can completely revolutionize our edges to give our environmental assets a higher quality look that would be more difficult to capture in traditional texture bakes.

A Purely Modular Workflow

There is an unlimited amount of optimizations an Environment Artist needs to make in order to prepare the game world in a playable way. By harnessing the power of modular textures and meshes together, an artist will be able to enhance the detail of their worlds while simultaneously cutting down on the performance costs of the resources they use. With a purely modular
workflow, artists will have both total control and creativity over their game worlds.

Your Instructor

Charlie “Chunck” Trafagander is a Freelance Game Artist, Indie Dev, Tutorial-Maker and in general a curious mind. Having worked for a few Indie developers, he has been able to touch most roles in game development, which he also likes to breakdown in various formats on his YouTube channel “Get Learnt”. Currently he is working as a Material Artist in the AAA industry.

Skill Level

Because this is an advanced-level course, I expect that you are familiar with 3D modeling, UV unwrapping and simple texture creation in general, as well as knowing how to navigate and use your software. While I use Blender, Substance Designer and Unreal Engine 4 throughout this series, the concepts taught in this course are as software agnostic as possible.

How to Use Trim Sheets and Decals

Using Trim Sheets & Decals for Game Artists focuses on using premade trim sheets and decals to enhance your games workflow. No trim sheets or decals are made during this course – instead you’ll learn how to use provided assets in a professional game pipeline.

If you want to learn how to make trim sheets and decals from scratch, check out these amazing courses:


To maximise your experience with this course, it’s recommended you:

  • Be confident in modeling, UV unwrapping and tileable texture creation
  • Know how to efficiently import/export 3D files with your modeling application of choice
  • Be able to navigate several different software packages

Software Used

  • Blender 2.91
  • Unreal 4.25.4
  • Substance Designer 2019.2.1

Chapter List

1 – Course Overview
2 – Prop Mesh Setup
3 – Prop Mesh Decal Engine
4 – Edge Decals Substance Designer
5 – Edge Decals Setup
6 – Edge Decals Engine
7 – Wall Trim Substance Designer
8 – Wall Decal Substance Designer
9 – Trim Unwrapping
10 – Decal Unwrapping
11 – Trims Decal Engine

Note About Game Engines

Where you may run into issues is your game engine of choice. If you aren’t using UE4, in order to follow along, your game engine must support “deferred decal materials”, as we make use of that for many of the complex “normals-only” materials we create.

More Game Art Training


Average rating: 3.50 out of 5 stars
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  • Short and very rudimentary

    Short and very rudimentary. I was expecting to learn more tricks. Something that can’t be easily found on YT for free. THe price is simply too much for this.

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  • Short and simple

    Short and simple, very to the point and good instructor. More tutorials like this. Only downside was the price. In my opinion 40$ for 2 hour class is a bit much. Otherwise 5/5

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