Today I've been spending some time looking at reference photos of pufferfish as I use Mudbox and Substance Painter to create my textures. Unlike my previous experiments, I modelled into the sphere since I wanted the spines to be facing downwards (I wasn't sure how I could achieve this with a 2D displacement map). I've brought that model into both Mudbox and Substance Painter to create my height, normal, gloss, specular, and diffuse maps.
I'm finding that I prefer Substance Painter, but I do like the normal map I created using Mudbox so I may play around and combine the maps I am making. I also think that my textures will look better (or at least different) once I bring them into Arnold since they will have subsurface scattering after I apply them to the AiStandardSurface material. I'm trying to not fuss over making it 100% accurate since I'm mostly trying to get it to resemble a pufferfish rather than it being an actual pufferfish. I like how it is turning out so far, but it still needs quite a bit of work...but here is my progress so far.