HOW CAN I CREATE A ROCK MATERIAL USING SUBSTANCE DESIGNER?
George Jones, Bristol
I will break down my process for the creation of a simple rock material using Substance Designer. For this type of material, I selected the Physically Based (Metallic/roughness) Graph Template and deleted the Metallic output since it isn’t necessary for this substance.
The first step is to add the nodes useful for the stone material, so from the Substance Designer library we need: the BNW Spots 2 and Grunge Map 001 noises (these are the base elements of the stone material), the Height to Normal World Units filter (or the Normal filter since they are almost the same), three Levels filters, a Blend filter, a Blur filter and the Gradient Map filter that will give colour to the rock.
Now it’s time to link all of these elements together. First of all, we need to link the BNW Spots 2 noise to the Foreground of the Blend filter, then we have to link the Grunge Map 001 to the Blur filter. This one needs to be linked to the Background and Opacity of the previous Blend filter.
Next, we have to link the Blend filter to the first Levels filter, and then this filter to the Gradient Map, which will in turn be linked to the Base Color output of the material.
Now we need to do a new link between the previous Levels filter and the second Levels filter. This one can be linked to the Roughness output of the material. After that, we have to link the Blur filter to the Height to Normal World Units, or in my case the Normal filter. This one can be linked to the Normal output of the material. The final element we need to link in this substance is the third Levels filter, which will be connected to the Height output.
Now I’ll start to set the essential parameters of this material. First of all, we have to set these parameters for the BNW Spots 2: Scale 2, Roughness between 0.9 and 1.5 (I set 1). For the Grunge Map 001 noise, you can set the value of Cracks that you prefer; for this material I kept the default value. For the second Levels filter (the one linked to the Roughness output) we have to invert the Grayscale, increasing a little bit the shadows of the cracks. For the third Levels filter, I increase the contrast in order to highlight the cracks of the rock in the Height output. For the first Levels filter I leave the default values. In the Normal filter I set a value of 1.6 for the Intensity, and I changed the Normal Format to Opengl. If you are using software like Unreal Engine you can leave the default format Directx. For the Gradient Map I kept the default value since my idea was to create a grey stone. Last but not least I set a value of 0.4 for the Blur filter. Now you can export the textures and use the material!