Beginner's Guide to Substance Designer | Prajjwal Poudel | Skillshare

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Beginner's Guide to Substance Designer

teacher avatar Prajjwal Poudel

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Course Overview

    • 2. Getting started

    • 3. PBR Workflow and Navigation

    • 4. Brick Generator

    • 5. Adding Cracks

    • 6. Bumps and Damages

    • 7. Grout and color

    • 8. Exporting and Class Project

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About This Class

Hi everyone, this is a beginner's guide to Substance Designer's procedural texturing techniques. In this course, I will dive in to the fundamentals of creating PBR textures in substance designer from scratch. Along the way, I will also explain the most crucial knowledge while creating high quality textures. Also, at the end, this course will prepare you to create your very own texture as the class project. 

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Prajjwal.  I hope to create awesome 3d and Creative courses for you. So, let's start creating.

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1. Course Overview: Hi there. Welcome to my Skillshare class. This is a beginners guide to substance designer. In this class, I'll take you through the basics of substance designers, procedural texture development process. In each sector are completely focused on a single topic and try to make it as simple as possible. So at the end of relation, assign new and interesting class project, you apply what you have learned throughout the course. So grab a coffee and let's begin. 2. Getting started: So this is the second lesson in which I will familiarize you with the interface of Substance Designer. This is the screen that you are presented with when you open Substance Designer forced. What I'll do is I will create a new substance. Is going to be PBR metallics less roughness. Pvr stands for physically-based rendering and used for most centers that are used all over in three softwares. So once I create a new substance, you can see the graph view over here, the 3D view here, and the 2D view here. So before we continue to create our material, what I want to do eats make these workspace a little more, more simpler and little more convenient for us to use, because right now it seems a little bit complicated. So what I'll do is I'll take these 2D view and then dock it over here. Vd view goes with the explorer. The Explorer goes in the middle and then move it a little to the right so that we see the Explorer two. And the maximum window size is given to the graph view because this is the this is the portion that will be working primarily on so that we maximize the 3D panel two. As you can see, we have created a new graph. And then this is a graph that we are going to operate on. I want to rename it. So I click right there, right-click and rename. Lets call it brick wall graph. You can name it any, anything you want. As you can see, six sandals to eat, namely base color, normal roughness, metallic height, and M in occlusion. And in the next scepter, scepter salary talking about how will we creating, creating a base text so and then connecting it to different channels to give us the desired result. So once you're done setting up the workspace and the graph, it's very important to save it, save the file substance file. Go to File and Save will choose the folder. And for me it's first Skillshare folder in my E Drive. I'm going to name it as it is. And then it said, once you save it, it becomes very easy to continue your last point, the fork, and then show you in the next lesson. 3. PBR Workflow and Navigation: So in this chapter, what we'll talk about its basic navigates. No excuse that would be required in Substance Designer so that you produce your first material and Substance Designer. And the thing to remember is the functions that your three most buttons have. The first one, the leftmost button helps in rotating the 3D view, the object in 3D view. And also it helps in selecting the node that you want to. Profound changes in like you and to make some sensing, sensors in the parameters in your roughness node, you need to double-click on it. And that would be displayed in you to review and parameters and attributes sections would be displayed in the right-hand side. The extreme right. The meal most scroll boron is used to zoom in and out of the different sections. And it can be used in a 2D view as well as the 3D view to and it comes in quite handy when we have graphs get beak and you want to, you want to focus on a particular node. The third is the right-click button. And then you need to use to access properties of different different elements within the workspace. And so these are the basic skills that you require to operate the interface in substance designer. And I'm moving on to the whole concept of PVR texturing and what that really means. I'll try to explain it in a brief and simple manner so that I don't confuse you. The base color is pretty simple. It contains the color information, the color channel of text. So raw material. And since I've heat tends to green, the default in Substance Designer is I think the gray. And you should have the Create New SPSS file. You can send it over with. And the next one in our text maps is normal. And normal is really an essential and it's like almost used every time while texturing in any 3D program. The, what normal maps help you to achieve is that kind of three-dimensional look in an object without compromising the number of polygons. So in a way they are like kinda simple hack that, that helps you avoid the complexities that you have with your computer system because of the high number of calculations that detailed objects require. But since those details can be baked into a 2D texture map, which we here you can see the normal map can achieve that. And then when you plug it into the final material, you, you, it becomes easy to recreate that illusion. Next stop is the roughness map. And what it encompasses, the reflective quality of the surface of the object. And what you need to understand Middle East, like if it's white, it goes from the range of 0 to 10 being black in one being white. If it's white, then it's completely off. There's, there's non-reflective quality to it. And if it's 0, that is black, then it completely reflects all the light hitting the surface. An x in the line is the metabolic map. Likewise. Likewise that we saw in roughness map, the black, the constant, the uniform dye color means that it has no metallic property arrow. If it sends that to white, you can see it gets the metallic look. And this is the maximum rents that we can achieve because it's completely white. For now, we're going to set it to black because we won't be needing this because bricks don't have that metallic property in them. The next one is the ambient occlusion. And this one is also pretty cool map because what it helps us keep that depth in those occluded area where light can possibly reach. So the cracks and those inner nukes really get help because of this map and documented reasons give that added dimensionality to the overall 3D field. The next important map, I think this is what we are going to be initially building are based upon is the height map, otherwise known as the displacement map to how is the specimen maps work is bringing interesting. Conceptually how they work is the difference in the white and black values. It's translated into the actual dermis, non-profit process of geometry. Like for example, we see in the reference, the black parts represent resistant while the white parts represent protrusion. So they really come in great use when we try to deform large areas of Geology, which is, which would otherwise be very tedious and time-consuming to set the list, to do do it manually by hand. Since we have already a pre-made decks map. Just plug it in and make sure that we have enough subdivisions. And the magic happens. 4. Brick Generator: So in this separately, lay the foundation, the brick pattern from which we're going to build the rest of the texture. So what you do is press step, then type in brick generator. Now this you connect to the output and normal, right? And you see the immediate changes the 3D view. The one thing you need to know is that we can, since the appearance of the 3D objects from the Scene tab. So I'm going to change it to around a cylinder because this is much more, has much more accurate representation and, and I like it this way. So another thing is that you don't see the actual displacement occurring and geometry here. So for that, what you need to do is go to Materials and then go over and then select desolation. And it won't do Matson that only what you need to do is increase the scale of the height. Now you see that actual geometric deforming. And you can slide it to any value that you like. For me, I think I'll put it to somewhere around here. And then this lesson factor, it's something that helps with interlacing the rough parts of the geometry if you have any. So I like to set it to something like 14 or even 15 works. And then since now I'll tell you another thing is that whenever I work on a tech, so I like to pull up a reference, a good reference, and then I went to, I base my Musharraf on that. So for this particular brick wall, I have I have this wall texture while for us to be precise. And then it has all those elements that give this really good look in my opinion. And I want to copy this style to my texture is also separated. Different surplus for adding the different, you know, different elements to the bricks. So in this one, particularly we'll go over making the brick pattern. In the next one, we'll let we'll add the cracks. And then Todd one will add chips and damages, and then the fourth one will add growth. So in, we'll build up the layers one by one. So that becomes easy and also we can stay. We can linearly progress and helps us recollect our ideas. So I want to make it like the reference. So, so after tweaking some basic settings in the presented and node will achieve the desired look for brick pattern. So what I want to do is I want to totally reduced the better, as we wouldn't need that in our design. And also, I think and if you increase the number of X bricks. Now system, why bricks? And then let's add a little bit of variation to the height so that some brick spoke a little more, a little bit more than others. If we could give it a little offset it upset variation. So I think the desirable state where our brick wall looks pretty convincing. The actual Le Baron off the brick wall. Once that is set up, what we need to do each, let me save it first. It's very important to save it. And the circuit for saving it is chondro CCS. So sometimes you may just press Control S and think that you may have saved it, but later on realized that your progress has been lost. So keep in mind that the socket to save the file is controlled and see it also. Looks okay for now. We can always change it later because this is all going to be procedural. So what I'll do next is I'll give you the fluid-filled node. What it does is it calculates it calculates his pattern with gradient. And next, we'll use the node fluid-filled to random color. And since I will let a need for masking purposes and also control to the individual individual box. I'm going to fill it with it with random color and the notice far-field random color. And as you can see, each box has a unique color and connect it to RGBA split. So you have four channels, red, green, blue, and Alpha. And it has completely different pattern of black and white. So they'll come in handy in our latter trick serine procedures. So for now, I think we're done with the Don Briggs generate a node. And Wilms make some modifications in the future. But for now a basic pattern is set up soon. The next step, next scepter. 5. Adding Cracks: So now we move on to the actual process of adding corrects to the surface. And one thing is that first of all, we'll use a tile random node. And then tweak the settings a little bit during the variables, a little bit. Since the pattern to disk. And reduce the scale. Give it some random scale. Give it some random rotation. Offset, position. And set the color ran into one. And we're going to run it through a distance. Plug it in here. And at the same time, histograms cannot. You plug it here? And once you input the maximum distance to 5000, you should have some pattern like this. The distance now is really useful in creating this kind of parents is because what you have is like the ace of the SIP expanse, do the limit that it strikes with another cell. And then it stops there. And we get this really interesting pattern. And we run it through another node as detect. Some kind of this Web can't web kind of pattern, which we'll use as Greg's. I'm going to lower the bit. Also lower the S wrongness. And blended it with height. And set the blending mode to multiply. Load up per city. Something like 0.1012. And you said have something like this. And what I don't like is like the crack pattern is everywhere and it's an every week. So I'm going to use one of these circles as a mask. So the procedure to do that, it's run it through histogram select, and then use that. It's the best city mask. And you still have something like this. Now feed it to the output channels in the height and then also in the normal. And you can see, again see the cracks on the surface. And right now it seems to syrup. So what I'll do it, I'll do eats, I will. I'll run the edge detect to blur grayscale node. And then remembered the quality and decrease the intensity. Something like 0.71 more thing is like once you open the reopen the substance file, you need to adjust the height settings. And over here, you increase the scale, right? Think it looks good enough honestly with signing, so further roughness, I will give it a more brighter value. Saved the file. Handy way to organize your graph is to level it. Drag, select the nodes, and then right-click on it, and then it frame. Yeah, You can name it. Right. And also use this blend output to get into ambient occlusion. So we get more occlusion in x. Another thing that I want to do, it, Use a protein noise. Set the scale to four, run it to sift transform, give it some tiles. And around my brick pattern to a directional word node, right? For the intensity input hook in the safe transfer node. I will do this is you. I do warp the sale of the brick pattern because as I said, it's bricks are not machine made, their handmade, so they'll have some some human dots in them. And they won't look perfect. But they won't have such intense curves. So little tiny hint. The tiny hint of work will do. And I think this is fine. So we'll use this instead of the initial node. Right? So let's save it and see you in the next chapter. 6. Bumps and Damages: Now I'll be adding the surface imperfections. Seek damages and little bumps to the surface to make it a little more chaotic. Right now it seems a little bit too perfect and we're going to break that perfection. So how do you achieve that? Well, it's pretty simple. We drop in B and W spots node. Increase the scale a little bit. Then add in a little bit of disorder, Decrease the roughness a little bit. And then, and then use another blend node and set the mode to subtract. Since we're essentially subtracting the damage is decrease the opacity to desert result is no. You can see the tiny bumps and this surface. So we did settings. The key is not to copy what I do, but to fiddle around and find your own perfect, perfect setting that you feel is right for your material. I think right now. And what do we can also do is run it through another histogram scan and then play with the positioning contrast node. And now I think it looks, it looks a little bit more nicer. So you can really see the patterns and the bumps coming to life. So here it is. Right now, a little bit tress, but we'll fix it up the upcoming chapters. And let's add another frame and call this one the mazes. And then forget to save your progress periodically because it will be a lifesaver. 7. Grout and color: So in this chapter, what I'll be doing is are we adding the column map as well as growth? So let's start off with the color first. Since we have already the four channels, I'm going to use one of them and use the gradient map. A cool feature of this gradient map is that once you go to the Gradient Editor, let me bring up the reference first. So what we can do ease. Use this reference and use big gradient. And I have it on my second screen. I'm going to we can maybe cascade windows and then use the gradient, the gradient. And then so once you drag that, you can maximize the Substance Designer. We know. And as you can see, the colors from the wall is applied on its brick. So what I'll do now is do is I remove the overtly dark poisons in this, slide them up like this. And also this white persons. So once you're done and satisfy the color, or you can do is hook it into the base color. And now you get the colors. Look for the Greeks. And 11 is less growth. To finish off, to look for that, we're using moisten noise, run it through histograms, scan a little bit contrast. And then this particular setup will be using the blend node. Really good node to blend two different heights. So this one, maybe plug it in here. And then plug. The good thing about this is that had been noted is it gives you the the mask separately, the height mask. So do come handy when coloring the grout person. So use this over here. And let's use uniform color. Maybe pull up the brick wall once again, use the Eyedropper. And growth, Koller, founder. And what we'll do is blend it with our base color, but then use the height mask is the mask here. And the actual growth can. And the height blend. You can use the height offset to really make the growth more pronounced. Maybe crank the contrast a little bit. So decrease the grout. I think it's fine for now. I'll add a frame to eat and call it out. So the proper labeling the graph doesn't look that messy and come to the conclusion. The only thing that I don't like, I don't like maybe increase the value of sucrose and also decrease its saturation. Knows I don't like some of the colors for the break. So I'll go to the Gradient Map, once again to the gradient editor and last panel. And get rid of use that I don't want. Trying to get rid of the more darker hues. For instance, this one thing it looks good for now. And get the desired look. Don't forget to save it. I think we've all those almost come to the end of our material. As I said, the roughness will need no separate map roughness because since almost all of the paths of the brick exhibit the same roughness level and we'll go into detail on that. But if it was a wet brick, then maybe we could add another noise. If we wanted the wait look only in the growth part. Then we reuse the we will use the mask and then make it black, then plug it into the roughness channel and that will make it more senior. So what I'm trying to say is like, for instance, let me save it first. For instance, if we have the mask over here, right? And then maybe use it to invert grayscale and then use that is roughness channel. And I don't know if you noticed it or not. Again, see how the graph has this kind of look to it. If you wanted more pronounced, you can run it through another histograms, can crank up the contrast. Now really the Concrete feels more SINR. These are the tricks and techniques. You can always adjust the values and then make something completely unique or give it a direction S for your vision. For now, I'll just plug in the uniform color to the roughness channel. I don't want any size, any cement. I think it's I plot the initial blend to the ambient occlusion map because I think the ambient occlusion after this was too strong, so this works fine for me. That's it. This is the final look for my material. And you want to see the photorealistic version of it. What you can do is go to the renderer and select IRI, right? Red. Now it looks cute. What you can do is go to Edit. And then since a method to parametric, then increase the number of subdivisions, maybe decrease the length a little bit. Slow. Processing intensive, so you may experience some lag. What I'll do is represent this. If you want to maximize it, insist on ducky. And then just a little bit. See how it looks. Yeah, that's it. That's it for this, for this lesson in the next chapter, I will discuss about the project and what to expect the project to look like. And if you have any questions or doubts related to this course, please ask me so I can clear the dots. Wanting I'm not liking liking while this particular material is, the groceries looks little inconsistent right now. So then we try to get a good result. Increasing the skill just a little bit also. I think now it looks good or better than the previous iteration. Let's run it through the GPU renderer. That looks pretty good. Still, I don't like that. I'm not fond of the color. So what I'll try to do is go to my Gradient Map editor. Once again, select a color from this wall. This is much better, but I still don't like this. Saturated red. It's very good to it. Those rid of those dark values too. And I think this one's much more better than anyone. Still. One thing that I find here is the cracks are not that prominent, solid and try to crank up the next level. And with special tricky, the real benefit is now because you have so much control over each and every factor, it becomes really easy to give it that that ultimate level of control that you want one or your senior from you. So we have, we have, we are here. Maybe increase the opacity a little bit. Now, a little more permanent. And also give that extra depth to our material. Let's save it. I think now we have come to a good would come at a good level where this can be used as a proper texts in other 3D softwares to and about the process of exporting. It is exploiting the textures as texts maps. Is MS files altered. Worry in the next chapter. Stay tuned. 8. Exporting and Class Project: So yeah, this is the final material that I came up with him. I'm quite satisfied with it. Obviously, you can make other modifications to make it perfect. But for the scope of our course, I think this this level of fog is satisfactory and we can use it quite conveniently. Adds texture in all the three softwares too. So now I'll be talking about the actual method of exploring textures. So Axial method of exploring textures. It's quite simple. And do. So, we'll be exporting the it's the base color, the normal, the roughness, ambient occlusion, and the height. Output, it's texts maps. We will need nonmetallic because big sound quite a metallic. In your graph. What do you need to do is right-click on your graph and then export output is bitmaps. So unsafe metabolic. And choose the folder where you want to set them textures in for me. And take some maps so I'll select it. And now I want to save the text maps is PNG files because they are quite robust. You obviously have other options too. If you want to do more tweaking in Photoshop and other image manipulation software sizes is to use EXE file. They have higher quality information. So once you are setup, what I just did now is I use the output of the bend to hook it up to Ambient Occlusion. Now it looks quite good thing I'm not liking now. I think there's two modes. So I went to 3D sheet. Yeah, I think this is quite satisfactory. So the same dream. And also select the Fallujah intercept, the x maps in, then hit Export outputs. So I think it was quick. And it has already, the task has already been completed. So a 100 texts maps, you can see the addition of all the maps. This is a base color, otherwise known as albedo diffuse. This is height, sometimes known as the specimen 2. This is a normal map which is a uniform color. And finally, the ambient occlusion. To give that edit three-dimensional look. So it is textures, Textures. What you can do for the class project is you can download a 3D model from internet or use a model of it on maybe small heart. And then texts. It's wall with the material that we are created just now. And then in a set of a simple still seen or also you can also make an MC simple animation and then post it as a class project. For my own demonstration purposes, what I'll be doing is making a simple animation clip to be the scene where the setting sun will pass its golden light onto my brick wall texture. And then on the foreground there will be the wind when the bending the needle on grass stems in certain manner. So that's my concept. Let's see how my second one I want. And also like, you don't have to be confined to the idea of using it in a small huts are small houses. You can also use. I mean, like for instance, you see here, what I have got in mind is that you can use it as a brick wall to maybe add some pulley system over the top and then use your imagination. You can really be creative with it and then come off with your own original project. And also another thing is like if you find that the whole process of opening another 3D software and then creating a CNN, if that seems too tedious for you, what you can do is just export. Export and I re-render as images file. And then I suppose you can post the simple 2D flat picture of your final material. I suggest that you emit, mix some changes, some tweaks, maybe add a little nuances to give you your flavor. And then that also suffices the class project. So yeah, that was it. It was really nice experience going to creating a material is substantive, was obviously a basic or a beginner's level course. And I did not talk most advanced thing about it. But I think this will be kind of a foundational lessons. And from this you can really move on from here and create more complex materials. And also stay tuned to my channel here in Skillshare is I'll be sharing more courses related to 3D and creative arts. Thank you.