Substance Designer -Simple dirt texture

So, I’m messing around with Substance Designer some more from doing some tutorials through CGMA class. Can’t believe how easy and intuitive this program is.

I’m just doing a simple dirt ground texture. Let’s fire up Substance.substance1

Here you get an initial prompt on what type of PBR material you want to create. Then you just name the graph for what the material is, select the output size and bit format. Substance will create default map place holders like baseColor, Normal, Roughness, and Metallic based on the template we picked (you can add more later).


Here you can see the generic setup, cube with 4 placeholders for the maps. On the right of the cube the checkered box is a represenation of our 2d texture inputted into the material on the cube to it’s left.


On the bottom left you see a Library tab that has a whole vast list of nodes at your disposal to use in creating your maps, like generators/functions/3d/etc. Above 3d cube and 2d texture preview, you have the node layout. Here you will organize, add nodes, and create complex arrangements for each map. All of which will give you live previews in 3d (where you can orbit around the cube to see materials dynamically change) and all nodes are fully editable.


In this window if you hit the spacebar you’ll get a pop-up window, here I’ve added the uniform color node to my base color and made it green.


Now, I’m changing the normal map. I’ve added a cloud noise generator and you can see it’s influence on the cube.


I’ve added a blend node to the normal map. This works as a combiner or merge node. You can change it’s blending mode to similiar modes like in Photoshop or Nuke.


I’ve changed it to Screen mode, so that the upper node is screened over the cloud node. The effect on the material is now there is pebble like noise on the surface of the cube.


You can add a mask as well to this Blend node in order to shape the influence. This allows for subtle dialing of how the elements work together.


The tile sampler is one of a host of many awesome nodes that allow you to generate random noise that can then be directly applied thru mutliple maps to create unique breakup along the material.


Here you can see it’s creating a pebble like rock  protrusion to the ground texture.


It’s been subtly blended into the surface. Giving some randomness and breakup to the material.


Here is the working node network for this dirt ground material. You can see in the node graph there are several nodes, but many of the nodes are utilizing some of the same ones I created. All of these is changeable and non-destructive.


Here you can see the end result of a basic dirt ground texture from various angles.


Once you are ready, you just simply export the outputs, click the gear sprocket above the node graph. They are saveable to any file format you’d like.


Now just go to your 3d package of choice and test out the materials.


It’s that simple. Wow, I was really blown away at how intuitive and user friendly this package is. Can’t wait to dig deeper.  This was just a simple introduction to it.

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