HOW Do I create a Desert sand material using substance Designer?
Heida Tomlinson, London
Today I will show you my simple process for the creation of the desert sand material using Substance Designer. For this type of substance, I selected the Physically Based (Metallic/ Roughness) Graph Template and deleted the Metallic output since it isn’t necessary for this substance.
At this point we can start to add the nodes useful for this material, so from the Substance Designer library we need: the Grunge Map 006 and Dirt 1 noises (these are the main elements of the sand material), the Height to Normal World Units filter, two Levels filters, a Warp filter, a Blur filter and the Gradient Map filter which will give colour to the sand.
Now it’s time to link all of these elements together. First of all, we need to link the Grunge Map 006 noise to the Input of the Warp filter, then we have to link the Dirt 1 to the Gradient Input of the previous filter. Then we have to link the Warp filter to the Gradient Map which will be linked to the Base Color output of the material.
Next we have to link the Warp filter to the first Levels filter, and consequently this filter can be linked to the Roughness output of the material. At this time, we have to link the Warp filter to the Blur filter (this filter will help us to simplify the height map creation). At this point we can link the Blur to the second Levels filter and consequently link the element to the Height output. The last connection that we need to do is between the Warp filter and the Height to Normal World Units filter. This one must be linked to the Normal output.
Now it’s time to set some parameters. First of all, we have to decrease the Contrast value of the Grunge Map 006 from 0.5 to 0.4. For the Dirt 1 noise, I suggest you set the Scale value to 1 or 2. For the first Levels filter (the one linked to the Roughness output) I decreased the dark tones in order to decrease the reflection of the sand. For the second Levels filter I decreased considerably the contrast since I was looking for a flat ground. In the Height to Normal World Units filter I set a value of 1,000cm for the Surface Size and 5cm for the Height Depth. For the Blur filter I set a value of 1.7 while for the Warp filter I set an intensity of 0.2.
Lastly, in the Gradient Map I created a shade of yellow, decreasing the saturation of the gradient.
I created this simple scene in blender 2.8 in order to test the material; for the render I used the Cycles engine