Erosion as an Iterative Node
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Erosion as an Iterative Node
26 April, 2018

Tom Jacobs has published a new post on his experiments with erosion as an iterative node in Substance Designer. The artist found a way to deal with fake erosion when playing with FX nodes. The described method allows Tom to generate numerous iterations very quickly. 

I have been experimenting with translating a particle-based approach into Substance Designer to get a more accurate and organic looking erosion. I tried a lot of things but ended up doing the bulk work inside FX nodes, because they allow me to quickly add a few 1000 iterations. 

So what is particle based erosion?

If you do a google, you quickly find some research papers, as well as code snippets and my node, is based upon that.  The idea is that we generate a few 10000 ‘drops’ across the mountain and let them flow downwards. On the way, they erode the surface and carry sediment. There is a certain threshold that this drop can hold and when this threshold is reached it drops this sediment as a deposit. A lot of parameters all have an influence on how this drop is handling sediment transport, speed etc such as velocity, gravity, slope angle and so on. 


Well, it took me quite a few tries before I finally got something. At first, I tried to chain a lot of pixel processors together but although the results looked promising, the problem is that the drops are getting warped way to heavy and secondly, I wasn’t able to sample a new direction each time a drop moves. (Basically, the tile sampler is doing the same, you can vector warp patterns, but they just sample one direction at the origin instead of a new direction each time a pattern moves, resulting in straight lines) 

Then I switched to FX nodes because it is easy to add an iterative node and set the settings. They also can be resolution independent and the patterns maintain their shape while moving around. 

Tom Jacobs 

Make sure to study the full article here

Source: ArtStation

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