Custom Material Generation with Substance Player


Recommended Posts

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 Material Scale: Scales your material to make it larger or smaller.

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.


Update 10-21-2020

-Added some new Shape options

               Changed Large Tile to 1:1 large Tile

               Added a 2:1 large Tile

               Triangle Patter

               Elongated Hex

               Elongated Diamond


-Added image inputs on each material drop down

               You should see a slot to add your image when selecting ~image input in the “Tile X Material” dropdown


-Added a Material Invert for those that want white marble with grey veining instead of Black marble with White veining, etc



Update 1-20-2021

-Added a "Material Scale" slider to each tile type

              Scale can be set anywhere from 0% to 500%


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.  WoodSpecies 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


UPDATE 10-26-2020

-Added Resolution selection

-Added an Orientation selector

-Added "Weathering" effects sliders


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.



  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:


  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.




  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

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


  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

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):





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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    Total Members
    Most Online
    Newest Member
  • Similar Content

    • By Decorationarts
      Does anyone have a 
      A "Slat Wood Wall Panel" or
      "Acoustic Slat Wood Wall Panel? 

    • By rfantclt
      I have a commercial project - historic hotel renovation & addition. My plans are set up with finishes, walls, etc., based on CA library of materials.  I want my Room Finish Schedule to use generic descriptions such as "cpt" for carpet, LVT, PCT, HDWD (hardwood floors), etc.  What is the best way to over-ride the materials I selected in defaults?
      Rebecca Fant, AIA
      Charlotte, NC
    • By Jackstacey
      I'm having issues getting two joining external walls to have different materials and meet on the external corner ( pebble dash and brick) . I've checked my intersections and their mitered correctly and if i select ' through end/start' in structural for the wall it just shifts the issue to the adjoining wall. Please help? 
    • By LeeDrafter
      I need to calculate room square footages to give to our supplier to order flooring. I noticed when room areas are displayed along with the room labels, it is not calculated to the interior of the walls. Walls seem to be included, and some rooms seem to be different than others on how the calculation is done. Is there a way to adjust how these room calculations are done? Or do you have other advice on how to get this information for flooring square footages? The only options I have come up with so far are drawing a bunch of polylines in all the rooms or doing the math with the dimensions, and I was hoping for something easier. 
      Thank you
      Lee- X12
    • By sascea
      Hi Charkitects,
      Does anyone know if there's such a thing as global defaults in this program? For example, I would like to set defaults for cabinet materials and hardware finishes for all my projects, as I build spec. homes for a small company that has a specific style. Or the siding, for example. We're usually using the same standing seam metal on each house. How can I set CA to default to the same material for siding every time I start a new project? I'm probably missing something. Thanks!