Learn how to generate and visualize Substance maps.
- [Instructor] Substance is a procedural texturing tool from a company called Alogarithmic, and it's available within Maya and 3ds Max. Let's take a look at the samples that are included with 3ds Max. If we just go to the 3ds Max help and search for substance samples, we'll find a page that shows visual example of all the different procedural patterns that are available with Substance released in 3ds Max.
Now, these are going to refer to a special Substance file, and that file is included with the installation of 3ds Max. As we saw earlier in the course, when dealing with texture libraries, et cetera, it's a good idea to back up all of that stuff into your project, just in case the library changes in the future. Let's take a look at just transferring those Substance files over. I've got two file browsers open on my desktop. On the left, we have program files, Autodesk, 3ds Max, and inside of maps, we will find there's a folder called Substance.
I'll right click on that and just get its properties. It's only about three megabytes in size. If we go inside there, there are a couple of folders, and all of these Substance files inside, and each one is very small, so we might as well just copy all of them over. I'll select that Substance folder and then copy it, Right click and copy, and then go into my current project exercise files, Sceneassets, and we can go ahead and paste this in, just here, right click and paste.
And now I've backed up those Substances to my current project, and if 3ds Max changes in the future, it won't break my scene. Alright, let's open up 3ds Max and apply a Substance as a texture. Here's the body physical material that's applied onto the main body of the sculpture here. We'll create a new substance map. It's found in the material map browser. Under maps, general, Substance. Drag that over. And double click that node to load it into the parameter editor.
And here we can see that we need to load a Substance file in before we can do anything. Click on the load Substance button, and it does take us into our program files folder. I do want to link to the version that's inside my current project. I can go to the desktop. Exercise files, sceneassets, Substance, and this is going to be inside the textures folder. The one I want is actually Rock_02 Scrolling down.
Rock_02.svsar. Select that and click open. Right now we have a bunch of new parameters here at the bottom of the material editor. And they're labeled Rock_02. Let's expand the size of this substance, just double click on the thumbnail. And we can see a preview of what it's going to look like. And it's got a bunch of outputs here. Diffuse, specular, and so on. If we change these parameters, we can see an update in the thumbnail there. For example I can change the random seed to a different value and that'll give us a different pattern there.
Up here in the texture size rollout we can open that up and we've got a default resolution for the texture of 1024 by 1024, but we could double that or half that or we can type in an absolute value if we wanted. Of course we have a coordinates rollout like almost any map. And the Substance is designed to tile, so if we change this tiling value to higher value we will see for example, let's say this is set to five and five. We have seamless tiling here.
But that doesn't mean that we won't see any pattern. We'll see some repeating pattern no matter what. I'll set the tiling back to one and one. Now let's connect the Substance to the base color. We can drag from the diffuse output of the Substance map to the base color map of the physical material. And we get a new node inserted between the two. And it's called a map output selector. I'm seeing these because previously in the course, I went into the slate material editor options and disabled the option to hide map output selectors.
So I recommend you do that as well, if you haven't already. Double click the map output selector node to load its parameters. And all it does is choose one of the outputs of the substance. And it automatically knows when we're connected to diffuse to choose index one diffuse. If we set this to index two for example, it would switch it to the specular output. And we can see some result of that here. Okay so of course we do want it to be diffuse.
This is helpful because we can now visualize the different components of the Substance maps separately. I can double click on that and that's the diffuse map. But if I wanted to connect for example, the bump map, I might want to see that as a separate swatch here. So drag from the bump, over to the bump map on the physical material. And another map output node is created. And we can double click on its thumbnail to see it better.
And that's the bump map that we're applying. And if we double click on that then we can see in its parameters, we're using channel index four which is channel name bump. Going back to the main substance node, double click on that and we can change some of the parameters here. For example, there's an emboss parameter. And that's causing a shading effect on the diffuse color. I'll set that to a value of zero. And of course there are a bunch of other controls down here such as saturation and luminosity.
These will vary depending upon which substance you've loaded so each one might have different parameters. That's the basics of applying Substance as a multi-output procedural map.
- Streamlining material editor workflow
- Managing assets
- Referencing materials with XRefs
- Rendering the Physical Material
- Controlling highlights with Roughness
- Directing reflections and refractions
- Simulating translucency and scattering
- Building a shading network
- Combining and color correcting maps
- Baking maps with Render to Texture
- Procedural mapping
- Using relief maps: bump, normal, and displacement