Substance Designer is a great way to create highly realistic and customizable materials. George gives a brief tour of the interface and shows how to create a basic material by connecting nodes in the editor.
- [Instructor] If you can't find a substance material in the standard or online libraries, you can always create your own, so let's take a look at how to create a basic substance material, and then apply it 3ds Max. Now, for this we're going to create this steel trowel stucco that we have here on this wall, so I'm going to open up an empty Substance Designer window, and let's start off from here.
So, we're starting from scratch, so we're going to do a new substance, and when we do that, it asks us what type of substance graph we want. Now, we have a number of options, but for this one I think Physically Based, Metallic/Roughness would be the appropriate one. It works best with V-Ray, and it also has parameters that are more aligned with a stucco material. Now, when we do this we can give the graph a name, so I'm just going to call it 'Stucco_A.' Size Mode, we can do that absolute or relative.
Now, I'm going to make my maps bigger, because we are going to render this fairly big, so I'm going to make a 2048 by 2048, and then let's go ahead and click OK. So, now it's created that material and it's created a basic, blank graph. Now, in this case let's go ahead and start just by defining the color, so we want to make a color that looks like stucco. Now, stucco is basically just kind of a random gray, so we can start by using some of the noise generators we have here in the library, so if we go into the Library window, under Generators you'll see we have Noises.
If I expand this a little bit here you can see we've got all sorts of different noises in different shapes, sizes, and so on. Now, I'm just-- Really just going to scroll down until I find something that looks kind of like concrete, and the one that stands out to me is this Fractal Sum Base, so I'm going to go ahead and just drag that into my Graph window here, and as you can see, it already kind of looks a little bit like concrete, so if we want to, we can affect the Random Seed, and that just basically switches between a bunch of different models.
But we want to add a little bit more to this, so let's go ahead and add a little bit more randomness and variation. So, let's add in something that's a little bit softer here, so I'm going to find maybe one of these cloud nodes, and that looks kind of soft, or maybe one of these back and white spots, so I'm actually going to choose Clouds 2, so I'm going to drag that in as well. So, this node looks like this. The basic Fractal Sum Base looks like that, so we need to combine these, and we can do that by using a blend, and so let's right-click, Add Node, Blend.
Now, this is very similar to the Blend you would find in Photoshop. If I zoom in here, you'll see we have a foreground, and an opacity. So, our background, our main image, is going to be this Fractal Sum Base. When I attach that... You'll see when I turn down the opacity here, that shows up. Now, this opacity really determines how much of this foreground is showing over the background, so I'm going to turn down the opacity to about 50% so we can kind of see how this works, and then I'm going to take Clouds 2 and drag it into the foreground.
Now, as you can see, this kind of multiplies this, and we can actually fade between the two, so in default mode of Copy, it's really just a fader, so we fade between foreground and background, but we can use blending modes very similar to how we use them in Photoshop. So, we can add, subtract, multiply, divide. I'm going to do an overlay. Now, what that does is it basically just overlays that clouds node with my other node, and so what this does, it just adds a little variation there in the scene.
Now, if I want I can change it to Multiply, or really, any one that I want, so we could also do Screen, and so Overlay seems to work the best. Now, if we want to add a little bit more we can certainly do that, so let's go into some more noises, and I want to add a little bit of kind of more of a grungy roughness to it, so let's go down to our grunges.
Here we go, we have Grunge Map 001, 002, and you can see that all of these grunge maps really are a great way to add kind of noise and variation to this. So, I'm just going to take Grunge 001, and you can see that one, and let's mix that with something else, so let's mix it with kind of a more normal noise here. So, I'm going to mix it with, say, Fractal Sum 3. For these two, I'm not going to mix them using a blend. I'm going to mix them using what's called a warp, so I'm going to right-click, and we're going to add a Warp node.
Now, again, this has an input and a gradient input, so I'm going to go ahead and put the grunge into the input, and this noise into the gradient input, and then the intensity-- You can see how we can add in that intensity to kind of fade it out, and it's not quite the same as using a Blend node. So, you can see it gives a little bit more of a grainy, kind of flowy kind of effect, and so we can use that to, again, add to this node, so let's go ahead and add one more Blend node here, and again, we're just going to attach those.
So, in this case let's try blend Overlay. When I do that, you can see I'm starting to get a little bit of that grunge into my image, and that just adds enough randomness and life to make it just look a little bit more realistic. Now, if I want, I can go back to these nodes and adjust them to get the image that I want.
Now, if we want, we can start to take a look at how this will look as a material, simply by clicking on this and dragging it up to this node here, which is our base color node. Now, if we look at this in our 3D view, you can see that we're starting to get that material. Now, we've got a lot of gloss on this, and we'll correct that in just a little bit, but you can see that this is starting to get kind of more of a concrete/stucco kind of look.
Now, the one thing is we can certainly add a lot more noise to this if we want. We can go into some of our other grunge maps here. So, for example, if I take Grunge Map 004, which is kind of a splotchy map, we can affect that and just use it for something like dirt. So, I'm going to add in a node called Levels, and it's very similar to the Levels control, again, in Photoshop, and what we can do is we can basically just change the level so that only a few of those spots show up, and we can use those to create dirt and spots in the scene, so as you can see, if I double-click on this Grunge Map node and change my Random Seed I can double-click on this and we can see how we're adding a bit of noise.
So, we can add that noise using a Blend node, so I'm going to go ahead, and again, select Blend, and we're going to connect the grunge to the foreground node, and our main color to the background node. Now, in this case you can see how when I bring that down I'm getting a bit of that dirt on my image, but I really don't want to do this in Copy mode. Let's go ahead and choose Subtract mode, and what that does is it subtracts the white portions from the scene, and that just adds a little bit of darkening to the image, and so I can dial up my dirt, or dial it down.
I can select my levels and determine how much of that shows through. So, the less it shows through, we can do that, and then we can also, again, add or subtract that. So, I'm going to go ahead and plug that into my base color node, so as you can see, we have the base color, but we still need to work on the roughness of the surface, as well as adding some other effects, but as you can see, creating the base color of a material is really just a matter of finding the nodes that work for you and connecting them together.
- Importing assets from SketchUp
- UV mapping
- Creating V-Ray materials
- Displacement mapping in V-Ray
- Creating Substance materials
- Modifying Substance materials in 3ds Max
- Creating materials with B2M
- Building V-Ray materials with B2M maps