Daniel Swing has shared a quick tutorial on creating cartoony materials with the help of Substance Designer. Most Designer guides are focused on building realistic surfaces, so this one can be really helpful.
Includes a micro-tutorial about the material and on how to use Substance Designer to create hi-poly models and make them into game-ready assets! This is my first real attempt at a cartoony stylized material in Substance Designer. Again, textures 100% made in Substance Designer!
These materials where made for a small group project focused around building modular pieces. Major shout-out and credit to Kim Aava who supervised me and gave me a lot of good input!
I plug in my basic brick pattern to the ‘Flood Fill’ node and convert it to several gradients with different rotations. I then blend all of them together to get a bulging rock result.
The top row is a mask generator for the quartz veins and the bottom row is blended into the height-map to create large chipped shapes into the rocks.
I blend together several different gradients with different color values together to get my full range of color variation. I use a very weak overlay blend between them all, just to feather in some colors here and there and layer them on top of each other.
The different values in the ‘Highpass’ node lets me mask out different levels of highlights in the rocks.
Now on to how you can use your height-map from Substance Designer to create a hi-pol model. There are probably better methods, but this one works fine.
Start with a highly subdivided plane.
1) Go into Animation mode. 2) Expand ‘Deform’. 3) Browse down to ‘Texture’. 4) Make sure it’s set to Normal. 5) Click ‘Apply’. 6) Make sure the a ‘textureDeformerHandle’ object is in the outline. 7) Click the checker in the Attribute Editor. 8) Choose File
The Attribute Editor should allow you to brows to your image by clicking the ‘image name’ folder.
Then select your mesh (the plane in this case) and brows to your ‘textureDeformer’ in the Attribute Editor, there you can increase the strength of the map.
Set your hi-poly plane to ‘Live Surface’ so you can quad-draw on top of it. Then UV-map it by simply using the ‘Planar’ unwrap method with the correct projection axis to fill out the 0-1 UV space.
And there we have a game-ready asset!
With the basic mesh complete, I go ahead and duplicate so that I can make more variants with ‘Modeling -> Deform ->Nonlinear-> Bend’.