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Custom Material Generation with Substance Player

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Our Content Development Team has been churning out new PBR friendly materials over the past few releases. These are materials that include a combination of Normal Maps, AO Maps, Roughness Maps, and Metal Maps. We use a software specifically designed to generate custom materials for 3D Rendering called Substance Designer. The program leverages parametric values to control sizing, colors, pattern, and other elements to generate unique tile-able texture maps along with automatically producing the other relevant maps need to create the effects that you expect to see in PBR and Ray Trace views.

 

Our process includes generating individual materials then importing them into Chief Architect and distributing the catalogs that you download and use. This converts the parametric materials into static images that aren't as flexible as those that are created in the Substance Designer Program.

 

Much like the Client Viewer and 3D Viewer products that are available for use with Chief Architect, Substance offers a product that allows others to leverage the parametric files to create their own custom materials... without needing to be an expert of the full-fledged program. We would like to invite you to try it out and create your own custom materials from the file we've set up for Tile.

 

How does it work?

 

First of all, a healthy understanding of how materials work inside of Chief Architect is a good starting point, and we just happen to have a couple primer videos ready for you here.

 

Advanced Materials

Creating Custom Materials and Colors

 

 

Once you understand how Chief Architect behaves with different properties and maps, you can dig right in and make your own maps using Substance Player (a free download) and these source files we've set up to generate materials.  Just download the Substance player from the link below and use it to open the builder SBSAR files you wish to work with.  To assist, we have a quick video showing how to use Substance Player to get your custom maps into Chief Architect:

 

How to use Substance Player in Chief

 

 

Substance Player (Download)

 

Tile_Builder.sbsar

Wood Builder Beta.sbsar

Single Color Fabric.sbsar

Multi_Color_Fabric.sbsar

 

We'd love to hear what you think. Is this useful? Are there other material types you'd like to try with the Substance Player tool? Voice any requests or questions here, or via e-mail to content@chiefarchitect.com . 

 

Chief Architect is not affiliated in any way with the Substance Designer or Substance Player software programs. Chief Architect will not be able to offer any support for the Substance software products or files. Using the program and files is completely voluntary. Substance compatible files are provided simply as a gesture, with no guarantees, extended to give access to more material options for those who are interested.

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Tile_Builder Parameters

Here are some of the options you can adjust within the Tile_Builder_Beta.

 

Output Size: Drop down lists with resolution sizes.

Random Seed: Click the Randomize button to get different material images and tile layouts.

Shape: Choose the shape of your tile.

Tile Layout: Choose how you want your color and material types laid out.

Offset: Adjust the horizontal offset of your tile.

Tile Edge: Adjust the sharpness and size of your edge profile.

Grout Width: Sets your grout width.

Grout Color: Choose the color of your grout.

Tile Material: Selects different materials for your tile.

Tile Color: Choose the color of your tile.

Tile Color Variation: Randomly adds variation to get non-uniform color.

Tile Finish: Drops down to different finish/glazing options.

Tile Roughness: Controls how shiny or matte your tile looks.

Tile Hue: Changes the hue of your color, good for fine tuning.

Tile Saturation: Changes the amount of color in your tile.

Tile Lightness: Changes how light or dark your tile is.

 

Update 11-26-2019

Tile Builder

-Dropped Beta tag

-Added a resolution drop down "Output Size" for bigger/smaller texture options

  • Higher resolutions will let you get smoother edges on non-square tile patterns and the added pixel count will allow for thinner grout lines.
  • Higher resolutions can also clog up your machine and Chief if you use a lot of them, so unless you aren’t getting the look you need, I’d stick with 512 or 1024 output sizes.  Map responsibly.

 

-Added Picket Tile and Penny tile to the shape drop down

 

-Changed “thin tile” to 4:1 tile

 

-Added a slider for Grout width.  Again, if you need thinner grout then what’s being shown, you’ll need to up your resolution under Output Size.

 

-Added a color selector for tile color, behaves just like the grout color options.  If you want an eyedropper, open the color selector and hit “pick.”

  • Color Hue is still included for fine tune adjustments.  Keep an eye on your hue if you eyedrop to another color and it’s not matching, more times than not your color is being skewed by the hue slider.

 

-Added a color variation slider to get some non-uniform color.  Randomly darkens some tiles to varying degrees.

 

-Added a finish drop down for hand glaze options.

 

Wood_Builder_Beta Parameters

Here are some of the options you can adjust within the Wood_Builder_Beta.

 

Random Seed: Click the Randomize button to get different material images and tile layouts.

Wood_Species: Select the species of wood you’d like to work with.

Cut: Select what kind of pattern you’d like to make.

Hue, Saturation, Lightness: Adjusts the color of your wood.

Board_Color_Variation:  Varies the colors of the wood along cut lines to help show the pattern and ad variety.

Roughness: Controls the roughness or polish level of your floor.

Image_Input: Added a slot to enter your own wood images and slice/adjust them as needed.  Wood_Species needs to be set at "~Image Input" at the top in order for the image to show.

 

UPDATE 4-29-2020

Wood Builder

-Cleaned up a lot of the Knotty/Rustic options.  They were bad, they should now be less bad.

-Added an image input.  Wood_Species needs to be set at "~Image Input" and you can load whatever image you want into the builder.  I recommend using seamless images, otherwise you might get some strange edges in your boards.

-Added a shiplap option in teh "Cut" dropdown

 

Single_Color_Fabric and Multi_Color_Fabric  Parameters

Here are some of the options you can adjust within the Wood_Builder_Beta.

 

Random Seed: Click the Randomize button to get different material images and tile layouts.

Fabric Type: Selects different types of fabric.

Color: Selects your fabrics color

Color Hue: Changes the hue of your color, good for fine tuning.

Color Saturation: Changes the amount of color in your fabric.

Color Lightness: Changes how light or dark your fabric is.

 

 

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I bought substance years ago and never got around to playing with it...looking forward to digging in when time allows...thanks CA team, very cool post.

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Substance Designer is one of the best programs around for making materials. I have been using it for a few years now. 

The materials I have been posting here are all made with this program. 

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4 minutes ago, gelbuilding said:

Substance Designer is one of the best programs around for making materials. I have been using it for a few years now. 

The materials I have been posting here are all made with this program. 

does substance "player" have the ability to load your own textures?

 

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You need substance designer to build the graph and here you create your textures and export as sbsar file to open in the player. 

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16 minutes ago, gelbuilding said:

You need substance designer to build the graph and here you create your textures and export as sbsar file to open in the player. 

Thank you, very helpful- 

another question, will substance designer allow you to tile a texture while randomizing- this is the biggest time sap for me when creating say flooring textures or tile- it seems as if it does just that, which would be worth buying the whole suite for me

btw- not fair that I've been living in the dark ages under a rock all this time :ph34r:

 

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Yeah this was a huge problem when I started.  You need to know how to setup the graph in order to randomize the textures across the tiles. 

The sbsar CA have posted was made in substance designer and when exporting out to sbsar file you can expose parameters to see in substance player. 

You expose parameters to any adjustments that are required. 

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Be good if we could use displacement maps in our materials when rendering. Would give a bit of depth to the renders. 

Would be great to add the slot for displacement or height maps in the program CA. 

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54 minutes ago, gelbuilding said:

Be good if we could use displacement maps in our materials when rendering. Would give a bit of depth to the renders. 

Would be great to add the slot for displacement or height maps in the program CA. 

I try and avoid displacement maps as much as possible, just introduces so many problems, especially with CA geometry. CA would likely get a lot of tech support calls...

Clipping masks and multiple diffuse layers for one material on the other hand would be a big ask for me

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I love the Tile Builder! I got to use this last summer when I went to Chief's training in Coeur d'Alene (Dustin's whole talk was great). I have used it several times since. My favorite outputs have been my cobalt porcelain hex and my copper hex (shiny copper mixed with flat grey slate).

 

I would LOVE more substance players! Particularity one that outputs 'pallet walls' which mix textures of natural and painted woods, like in the attached picture. I'd also love more shapes in the tile one, particularly arabesque tile, mermaid tile, and diamond tile.

Tile_Builder_BETA_Base_Color.png

Tile_Builder_BETA_Base_Color.png

IMG_0937.jpg

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Hi Dustin Cruz,

with help of your video i made one floor tile , tile size is 32" x 32". when i'm resizing the tile in chief, tile join are so big see attach pic.

how can we control it. ..explain me please

floor tile.jpg

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CreativeHomes - Glad you used it!  Wood flooring/paneling is on deck here shortly, I don't know about colored walls though but I'll keep it in mind.  For future tile, I think the plan was to offer more catalogs that house the more custom/exotic tile options.  This first one was just the basics.  If people end up using them I'll spend more time publishing more of the creative ones that we do in house.  Keep posting requests with pictures in this thread for me to use as reference.  

 

Faruk - The gap/grout to tile ratio is currently static, so for a large tile like a 32" your gap will unfortunately also scale up in size.  When I get back in the office, I'll see about updating the Tile_builder_beta with something that will handle a large tile style correctly. Check back here next week.  Great request!

 

 

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Here is a file I have been working on, Please note it's not perfect. If you export the maps in jpeg you will notice a few artifacts on the tile around the tile joint, best results in PNG

Maybe I'm trying to pack too much in one graph, lol

When first opening the file you will see the tile pattern is the french pattern. There are many adjustments you can make to the pattern, all self-explanatory.

 

There is the ability to import an image and the graph is set up to randomize the texture. You click on the Marble image where it states "none" and it will open up your file explorer to insert an image. If you need only colour there is a Tile colour Tab. Please Note there is a SWITCH to jump between the two.

The is quite a few adjustments, Grout Colour, joint width and bevel size of joint.

The next step is to add another switch and add the variation of tile patterns.

Comments and criticism welcome.

Tile Input Randomize texture or Coloured Tile Input.sbsar

Controls.JPG

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Downloaded substance designer and took a swing at an old golden oak floor similar to gelbuilding's...its in my symbols and content thread in my sig

1197906527_ABSROUGHGOLDENOAKFLOOR.thumb.png.70a570b3e42ea4d4cc89d9deed91c839.png

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Faruk - Try the "Large Tile" drop down under "Shape" and see if that works out better for you.  You'll have to re-download Tile_Builder_Beta to see the changes.

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I'll try to add Grout Thickness next time I tinker with it.   The Large Tile addition was just a short term band-aid.

 

 

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I've downloaded the trial of Substance Designer and played along with the tutorial for creating a first material. I've been using Genetica (no longer developed or supported) which is node-based, but SD is a significant step up in complexity and power. I took a stab at creating a Nichiha fiber cement material (Dimension Series, Ribbed Panel):

nichiha_ribbed_panel.sbs

Nichiha.calibz

 

321706927_Nichiha-DimensionSeries-RibbedPanel-Gunsmoke.thumb.jpg.3d4322adbfb6a7d550fc453cbe764d47.jpg1012329684_Nichiha-DimensionSeries-RibbedPanel-MotherofPearl.thumb.jpg.57f93fc542721eac3bc232a502329902.jpg

 

The first lesson I learned is that the Substance Designer PBR workflows don't exactly match the CA material definition, so it's necessary to tweak the SD outputs and CA inputs for best results. The second lesson is that improved materials are much more computationally expensive - optimizing the material maps is critical to improving raytrace performance and the performance of the material preview within the Material Definition dbx. Regardless, I welcome anything CA does that provides greater control over materials.

 

Dustin - can we assume that a Substance plugin is coming to Chief Architect? Is this possibility more than a pipe dream?

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Hey gang, we just added the Wood_Builder_Beta.sbsar for you to be able to generate your own wood and wood flooring materials.

 

Parameter definitions have been added above and the file itself can be found in the original post (with the tile builder).  If you have any questions or issues, let me know and I'll make fixes/changes as needed.

 

Robert, we're always looking into ways to improve the user experience and a substance plug in would be just that.  Currently though, I have no news one way or another on a third party plug in.

 

Wood Builder Beta Example.PNG

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This is all fabulous stuff Dustin.  Thank you so much.  I do have one quick question though.  My spare time these days is pretty limited, but I do want to invest a bit more time in this.  Do you suspect this thread and the linked resources will be available indefinitely, or should I try to schedule some time sooner than later to download and install everything I need to.  I have a new computer coming here in the near future as well and don't want to have download and install things any more than I really have to.

 

Thanks again for your time!

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I doubt its going anywhere but If we ever move it, we'll be sure to link to where we put it for future reference.  

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