Win­ners of Al­le­gorith­mic’s lat­est con­test

Al­le­gorith­mic an­nounces the win­ners of the lat­est Sub­stance De­signer con­test and gives honor­able men­tions to run­ners up

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The win­ners of Al­le­gorith­mic’s lat­est con­test have been an­nounced

For the materialize con­test, en­trants chose an im­age from Al­le­gorith­mic’s mat­ter­shots in­sta­gram ac­count as a ref­er­ence and then pro­ceeded to create the ma­te­rial us­ing sub­stance De­signer. “Judg­ing work of other peo­ple is never easy and pick­ing them among dozens of ex­cel­lent work is even harder. in the end, i had to be very strict on my cri­te­ria to get my fi­nal list – the devil is def­i­nitely in the de­tails!” says ni­co­las wirrmann, sub­stance De­signer prod­uct man­ager at Al­le­gorith­mic.

First prize in the MDL cat­e­gory was awarded to mark Fore­man’s mala­chite ma­te­rial. “i chose to en­ter with­out hav­ing more than dab­bled in the MDL side of sub­stance De­signer,” says Fore­man. “i wanted to mimic the nat­u­ral stone flow and do the ut­most in a sin­gle node string to drive the cut and un­cut mala­chite sur­face. the front half of the graph mostly gen­er­ates the sur­face with its Chryso­colla layer, start­ing with large nod­ules that would form cut peaks. on top, i lay­ered small and medium shapes and sur­face noises.

“then i per­formed a slice based on a height value at the graph mid­point to create the cut sur­face. Changes made to the first half au­to­mat­i­cally re­flected in the cut mala­chite sur­faces with­out in­di­vid­u­ally man­ag­ing sep­a­rate node strings. Height map work be­yond this added mi­nor splits in the rings and ra­dial cracks.

“i then cre­ated maps to drive fea­tures in the MDL for the cut sur­face start­ing with a sim­ple rough/spec graph be­fore adding more com­plex fea­tures like an an­iso­tropic di­rec­tion map for the cut sur­face high­lights, and masks for the two sep­a­rate sur­face treat­ments.”

For tech­ni­cal mastery win­ner Quentin marmier, the hand-crafted na­ture of the metal en­grav­ing meant that it was the most chal­leng­ing to re­pro­duce. “i kept pat­terns as pro­ce­dural as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially for the hand-drawn fig­ures, and used svgs for fi­nal de­tails (the head and big­ger flow­ers use SVG nodes on which i copied the orig­i­nal de­sign pat­tern). i then added im­per­fec­tions to lose the CG feel. the dragon body is made up of reg­u­lar shapes and the Carte­siantopo­lar node for bend­ing. us­ing my cod­ing and nuke ex­pe­ri­ence, i cre­ated cus­tom nodes to get read­able pa­ram­e­ters for draw­ing shapes with the dragon body while keep­ing con­trol

i had to be very strict on my cri­te­ria to get my fi­nal list – the devil is def­i­nitely in the de­tails! Ni­co­las Wirrmann, Sub­stance De­signer prod­uct man­ager – Al­le­gorith­mic

of the de­tails. i also mod­i­fied the Carte­siantopo­lar node for anti-aliased, finer re­sults.

“the lit­tle flow­ers use cus­tomised tile sam­ple nodes for spe­cific pa­ram­e­ters re­lated to the en­graved fig­ure. the logo uses reg­u­lar com­posed shapes in a sin­gle el­e­ment, en­abling place­ment and du­pli­ca­tion. i cre­ated in­de­pen­dent sub­stances to pro­duce the en­grav­ing, logo, dragon body, metal and wood; do­ing the fi­nal as­sem­bly as a mas­ter sub­stance en­ables in­de­pen­dent changes or the abil­ity to in­ject dif­fer­ent shapes where pat­terns would be. i also cre­ated a cus­tom remap­ping node for the lay­ered look of veins in the rosewood. Fi­nally, the dif­fer­ent ma­te­rial noises are driven by a main ‘dirty­ness’ at­tribute.”

Gil Damoi­seaux’s Givenchy fabric en­try re­ceived an hon­ourable men­tion. He ex­plained, “the big­gest chal­lenge was re-cre­at­ing the fabric it­self as it has a lot of sub­tleties – mainly in the colours, but also on the re­lief. i spent some time col­lect­ing ref­er­ence pic­tures, es­pe­cially very high-def­i­ni­tion ones, to cor­rectly un­der­stand the un­der­ly­ing struc­ture of the fabric, and also be­cause the ref­er­ence pic­ture was quite low def­i­ni­tion.

“Fi­nally, i made some pho­tos of sim­i­lar clothes i have to help me out. the fabric it­self is a quite repet­i­tive pat­tern and this was some­thing i’ve tried to break in the fi­nal ma­te­rial. For­tu­nately, at that time, Al­le­gorith­mic added a fea­ture that made my day – the flood fill node. Com­bined with the flood fill, the ran­dom colour helps me adding colour vari­a­tion along the yarn quite eas­ily.”

A full list of win­ners and hon­ourable men­tions can be found on­line at­te­ri­al­izewin­ners.

In cre­at­ing a mala­chite ma­te­rial, Fore­man took full ad­van­tage of the pro­ce­dural strength of Sub­stance De­signer

Marmier chose the Beretta ma­te­rial for the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a hand-crafted en­grav­ing in a pro­ce­dural way

Damoi­seaux saw the con­test as an op­por­tu­nity to work with fabric and try to cap­ture the ma­te­ri­als sub­tleties

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