Bioshock Material in Substance Designer

Najim Filali Saksak gave a little talk about his beautiful Bioshock-inspired substance.

Najim Filali Saksak gave a little talk about his beautiful Bioshock-inspired substance. 


Hi! My name is Najim Filali Saksak, I’m a 24 years old Belgian Environment Artist actually working in France at Krysalide on an upcoming Ubisoft Game. I’m also a part of the Quixel staff, and guest speaker at the Aries College and SAE Institute of Genève.

I’ve also worked as Intern Environment Artist at Kylotonn games on WRC6 , and some small project like a short movie named ”DUEL” that was featured on Artella. 

I have a real passion for Environment Art, Sculpting and Texturing particularly.




This passion for textures came to me while playing Dishonored 1, I was really curious on how they achieved to have a stylized yet realistic looking game.


I played a couple of weeks ago the Bioshock Collection , and was really impressed by the rework they did on many textures and models.

The goal of this Substance Texture was to make an Hommage to one of my favorite styles, Art Deco and one of my favorite games Bioshock.

I realy enjoyed working on this Substance, it was for me a way to discover the new nodes of Substance Designer 6 like the Curve node , the text editor or the noise editor. 

Complex Imagery

The most important thing when you start a texture is to breakdown each part of it. In my case, I took a lot of Art Deco references and replayed Bioshock to see how they managed to mix Art Deco with their own art direction.

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References are always the first things to search for. The same was for the golden/brass look of the material, Google was my best friend to inspire myself .

I wanted to use substance designer more like a painting tool without using any kind of pre-made Figurative Mask, here is where the transform 2D, the new Curve node, blends and Slopes came useful.

The clouds, tower and others ornaments are basic shapes that were blended together to form other shapes.

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Presenting Material

I used Marmoset Toolbag 3 for the renders with a simple sky lighting . No postproduction on this one since I wanted to have an as close possible result to the outputed maps , this way we could easily tell if it could work or not inside of a game .

Also, I wanted peoples to see the result directly in 3D, that’s why I exported a Marmoset Viewer link on Artstation.


The fact thatI wanted to achieving something stylized and figurative and yet staying 100 % procedural was one of the challenges. Texturing is all about taking risks and experimenting, this substance was a way to experiment new things for me. I will soon work on a collection of new Substances in some different art direction.

Najim Filali Saksak, Environnement artist at Krysalide Studio

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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