Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Procedural mapping with a substance map, part of 3ds Max: Advanced Materials.
- [Voiceover] Substance is a procedural texturing tool from a company called Allegorithmic, and it's available within Maya and 3ds Max. You can also design your own substances using substance designer. 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 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 2017, 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 3 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, scene assets, 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 in 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. I'll open up the Material Editor, 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, scene assets, substance and this is going to be inside the textures folder.
The one I want is actually rock_02. Scrolling down, rock_02.sbsar. Select that and click Open. And 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 its 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 roll out, 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 could type in an absolute value if we wanted. Of course, we have a coordinates roll out like almost any map and the substance is designed to tile. So if we change this tiling value to a higher value we will see, for example, let's say this is set to 5 and 5.
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 1 and 1. 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. Double click on that to load it, 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 1 diffuse. If we set this to index 2, 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 map separately. I can double click on that, and that's the diffuse map. But if I wanted to connect, for example, a bump map I might want to see that as a separate swatch here.
So, I'll drag from the bump over to 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 4 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 0. And of course, there are a bunch of over 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 XREFs and materials
- Laying out a scene for material testing
- Using 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 such as ambient occlusion
- Procedural mapping with Substance
- Using relief maps: bump, normal, and displacement