The Bi-Weekly Substance Challenge (Challenge 3 & 4)

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3DKyle polycounter lvl 4


Hello everyone, welcome to the Bi-Weekly Substance Challenge. 
Like the previous challenge that was ran by Tejay, this is going to be running everyone 2 weeks to give people a little longer to work on the materials.

How it works
  • Every 2 weeks a new reference will be shared to be recreated, you are also encouraged to find your own reference, as long as it still fits the topic for that bi-weekly substance, for example if we share a mud reference, you can gather you own mud reference. 
  • You can be creative with the reference and make it look either realistic, stylized or hand-painted, it is up to you.

Guidelines
  • Try and give constructive criticism, giving and receiving this should help each of us artist grow.
  • This is a Substance Challenge, so stick with that software.
  • You can post Wip's and finished materials here. 
  • Don't share work you've done in the pass, if you done a material before, try it again don't try pass old work off as something you did for this. 
  • Final material renders to be rendered in a real-time engine (Marmoset, UE4, Unity, Cryengine, Stingray, IRay is also accepted).
  • This is a learning experience for all, don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Learn all that you can and do share what you also learn. 
  • Please be respectful to each and everyone. 

Discord
We have a channel in the Allegorithmic Discord group where you can share WIP's and final images as well as discuss the challenge, Click here to go to it.
If you have any other questions in relations to any of the Allegorithmic's software, use the appropriate channels for those questions.

Resources

Previous Challenges

Challenge 3 - Rock on! (Rock) || Time Limit 2nd Mar - 16th Mar.
Click the pictures for bigger resolutions.
 

Challenge 4 - Sewer Drain || Time Limit 17th Mar - 31st Mar.
Click pictures for bigger resolutions. 
   

Replies

  • bobmartien
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    bobmartien polycounter lvl 4
    I'm in ! Good luck everyone :)
  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    @3DKyle: Thank you for taking the time to put this together! My Substance skills have improved drastically since I started participate here! I'll be posting my attempts soon. Good luck to everyone, I'm looking forward to seeing your stuff this time as well!
  • plord
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    plord polycounter lvl 3
    @Kid.in.the.Dark wow! nicely build up! dat height ;d maybe less small details in some areas (something like smoothed with water?) or fewer colors in gradient map? think it making it a bit too noisy.... naaah, don't listen to me I'm a newbie :D


    Some basic shapes today, slowly getting to know what particular nodes do (started to note what are they doing :x). 
  • N4meless
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    N4meless polycounter lvl 4
    let's do this !
  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    WiP:

  • Gruckel
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    Gruckel polycounter lvl 4
    @Kid.in.the.Dark that's a really nice start, only thing I noted was that there seems to be some harsh height map transitions that make the stretching very noticeable in some spots, great stuff none the less!
  • Moist
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    Moist polycounter lvl 5
    just starting to play around with shapes. 


  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @Kid.in.the.Dark ; I would say there's a bit too much high scale detail in there. I'd suggest you to tone it down a bit and be more confident in the big shapes making it work. Could we get your reference?

    I think I'll try to break it down to make it have shapes of varied sizes a little bit more. Probably will drop something during the weekend.
  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 2
    plord said:
    @Kid.in.the.Dark wow! nicely build up! dat height ;d maybe less small details in some areas (something like smoothed with water?) or fewer colors in gradient map? think it making it a bit too noisy.... naaah, don't listen to me I'm a newbie :D


    Some basic shapes today, slowly getting to know what particular nodes do (started to note what are they doing :x). 

    Gruckel said:
    @Kid.in.the.Dark that's a really nice start, only thing I noted was that there seems to be some harsh height map transitions that make the stretching very noticeable in some spots, great stuff none the less!
    ThePowFin said:
    @Kid.in.the.Dark ; I would say there's a bit too much high scale detail in there. I'd suggest you to tone it down a bit and be more confident in the big shapes making it work. Could we get your reference?

    I think I'll try to break it down to make it have shapes of varied sizes a little bit more. Probably will drop something during the weekend.
    Thanks for the feedback guys! 

    Having another look at it today I agree with everything you guys have said... I do feel like my height transition may be a bit too harsh so I'll make sure to have a revisit on making the edges of my initial shape be a little more beveled so get that smoother transition. Sadly I actually toned back the surface noise on some areas so it's somewhat smooth on some parts of the rock surfaces but I guess I did a terrible job at showing that in presentation... either way I'll dial it back much more since what @ThePowFin said is very true... I should let the bigger forms play it's part and put some confidence into that instead :)

    Also, I used a bit of a salad bowl of references that I took bits from.
    I kind of went with the height of the first reference, the micro detail of the second and the flat rigid segmentation of the surfaces from the third. Hopefully that makes sense, haha.





    I'll have an update with the adjustments soon... likely sometime next week since my weekend is booked up atm... Either way, excited to see the rest of the entries!
  • Darkmirth
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    Darkmirth triangle
    Started working...

  • plord
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    plord polycounter lvl 3
    Today's another height pass and learned new node: auto-levels xd (soooo awesome). With this, also noticed that I have no idea what some nodes doing. Awesome that this challenge pushing me to mess around with the 'unknown' ;d



    @Moist Looking nice! So much potential for modeling.. Can You share how to create such shapes? 
    @Darkmirth Very nice! Looking forward for progress :D 
  • Luxap
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    Luxap polycounter lvl 3
    Decided to join in on this one as well as I recently started using substance again.

    Love to see all of you guys one here an pushing yourself!

    @Brygelsmack this is looking sweet so far!
    @plord Love the look of it so far, looks great for tileable rocks!

    Here we go for my start, still working on the base shapes and refining them. Going from a more layered rock.
    It's really hard to get the good shapes going, but ill keep pushing!



    Cheers guys! 
  • Darkmirth
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    Darkmirth triangle
    Here's an update... not too happy though... gonna go and give it another shot for a bit more sharp rocks look...


    @Daniel_Swing  Nice and subtle details. Looks promising!

    @Moist  Interesting approach. Adding more small details should give it spot on look!

    @plord  Nice, though maybe try getting rid of big cracks, they span accros ridges instead of forming them. Small ones are cool.

    @Brygelsmack  Beautiful!

  • Soph=)
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    Soph=) polycounter lvl 8
    @Darkmirth Nice shapes! It might help to mask some of the detail noises so you get certain types of detail in the crevices and different types on the outer rock. It also seems a bit shiny for rock, unless you are going for wet rock. I would also push color variations in your diffuse more :)

    @Luxap nice start, you could try randomizing the shapes more so they look less uniform.

    @plord Great start!

    @Brygelsmack Nice! The large chips in the surface of the rock are a little too random and maybe too deep?



    Made a start on #3, going to try and make some sandstone rock :) still working with height and normals, no roughness or diff yet



    ref:


    C&C welcome!


  • plord
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    plord polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks guys for help! @Darkmirth, yeah, decreasing big cracks helped a lot! Here's progress, added more medium shapes to height, did some passes for rough and base color.
    Also had an issue with steps on height caused by 'low' setting on auto-levels, didn't know that it make so much difference. <- maybe it will help someone :) Now I keep everything on 'high' :D

    @Luxap thanks for kind words! You have really nice shapes there, can You roughly share how to achieve something like this?
    @Darkmirth It looking cool, maybe some lower tiling on those shapes? I have feeling, that because of it (or maybe the accumulation of details), it looks more like a micro surface of the rock. But man, still nice shapes!


    edit: managed to switch some noises for small detail



  • KevMcG
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    KevMcG null

    Messing around with a few ideas using this as reference


  • Luxap
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    Luxap polycounter lvl 3
    This rock is really busting my stuff, but did some improvements but could use some feedback tho! (Only mind the height for now, colors are just a temp)
    I am going to add some smaller cracks, and add some smaller detail on top of the shapes I have now and get rid of the larger gaps between the rocks.

    @plord I will share some stuff at the end when I am happy with it, because at the moment I am going back on forth destroying large parts of my graph to get new results hahah
    @Soph=) Thanks! I tried to get some random shapes in there, and it works a lot better, but still not good enough!



    @KevMcG Try to keep the smaller details more subtle then you have now, I think that could really help you push this one, but good job so far!

    Keep it up guys! Love seeing all of your progress


  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    I got a bit de-railed and ended up with this. Decided to pull down the roughness to make it look like some wet sea-side rock.

    I will make another attempt later on at some sharper rocks.
  • flaviat
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    flaviat polycounter lvl 2
    Hi ! I pick Rock perforated for this challenge. 

    My Substance for this moment with render in Unity !





  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    Ben Wilson made a similar material and posted a very thorough breakdown on gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/WCWFn
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 5
    @Soph=) - That's looking nice. Any chance of a larger image? 

    Appreciate your crits! I was actually going for that. I'm using this as reference and it has some large cuts here and there that I like. 

    Here's a second iteration. Not so happy with cracks yet. Will try to get the small scale shard/rocky detail in next. Colors also need tweaks.


  • plord
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    plord polycounter lvl 3
    Tried out adding some simple moss on top, but had some rough time with masking it nicely :x Need to start some new rocks, I got the feel that I'm starting to spend too much time on these.

    @Soph=)  Whoa, these are awesome shapes! Looking forward for more :D
    @Daniel_Swing I think it looks nice, think it just need some work on colors 

  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    @plord : Really like your shapes too! But I think I'm dropping my stones, though, in pursue of something more like the given references. Blocky sandstone or something that is less of a ground material and more like a cliff side.
    EDIT: I lied, I just went back and adjusted some things. Will upload tomorrow when I've worked on them a bit more.

    @Darkmirth : I really liked your un-colored substance. But with the brown colors it looses some sharpness - Do you use AO? I found that it made my rocks pop immensely more than when I didn't. Otherwise, I think a higher variety in color (and perhaps a lighter tone as well) would do it really good.
  • Luxap
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    Luxap polycounter lvl 3
    Finally feel like I am getting somewhere with these rocks, spend an evening tweaking, rebuilding and testing. Also looking at Ben Wilson's material. Which basically had me thinking that in order to push it more in terms of believeability, I needed to go less random.

    So I adjusted the stuff that I had in my graph and ended up with this. 

    Im definitly getting somewhere now, getting more into the finer details now!
    (but first sleeptime, Sleeptight!)
  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    Here we go! Four alternations within the same substance.

  • JoachimC
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    JoachimC polycounter lvl 4
    Alright, some very cool stuff here already!

    @Daniel_Swing Very cool. If I could say one thing is personally I would cluster the moss together a bit more.

    @Luxap Good start! Clear what type of ref / cliff you are looking at and where it's going.

    @plord Cool stuff! Maybe the moss is a little bit too noisy in contrast with the rock?

    @Brygelsmack Hot damn. That looked like a photo to me. How are you doing those nice short horizontal cuts?

    @flaviat Original choice for a rock material, looks good. :)

    And here's my first go at it, still very rough and early WIP. I'm finding this quite a bit harder than the last two challenges to be honest, but I'm slowly moving towards something that I kind of like. CC very welcome. ;)


  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @flaviat wow, looks nice and original. Any specific reference you're going for?

    @Daniel_Swing Starting to look nice. I might personally try to go for thinner cracks that are not quite that strong, but I wouldn't say that's wrong.

    @Luxap Definitely some interesting forms there. You might want to step back a little and define the bigger shapes first, though, and then start cutting and adding mid level detail and fine detail.

    @plord The rock is shaping out quite nicely. Keep pushing the moss if you want, but I'd maybe concentrate on the rock a bit further. Some finer, smaller cutout holes and such might add another layer of detail to it. Also, the small sharper slope blurs might feel a little distracting compared to more rounded edges of other things. :)

    @brygelsmack Looks nice. Maybe a tad too artificial; you could try adding a few warps to break the procedural/handcut feeling. Slope blur can also do the trick with bigger shapes.

    @KevMcG You might want to add another addsubbed or subtracted shape to the bigger shapes. The detail looks nice already though.

    @Soph=)  Looks very nice. Me diggs. Looking at the reference, I think say you could add a bit stronger idea of layeredness to your work, if you want.



    Here's my first attempt. Still messing around with the bigger shapes here mostly. Going to also add some crack and and another layer of rock to go by the shapes.
    I'm following mostly the image 7 of the first reference picture posted.
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks @JoachimC! I cover some of it here. I like your shapes so far! What value do you have on your normal node? I think you can crank it higher to get a sharper look. Colors also need more variety. Find a good photo of a rock and use the gradient node to get all the nice values. I've noticed that adding a bit of noise (Bnw spots 2 or 3), sharpening that and then use Copy as blend mode with low opacity over your main basecolor does wonders for the realism of the material. 

    I took a closer look on the photo ref I was using and realized the colors were all messed up. Everything has a strong yellow tint. So I did a color adjustment to what it probably looks like in real life. Here it is.

    That being said here is my latest version. No heightmap changes since last time. And colors will still be tweaked... not quite there yet.



  • Luxap
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    Luxap polycounter lvl 3
    @ThePowFin Cheers for the feedback man! Altough I just read it and ploughed straight on haha, but I do feel like I am getting somewhere now.

    @JoachimC Thanks man! It defenitly is harder than the first couple of challenges, its good to have the challenge! :D
    Maybe a bit to soon to say something about your rocks, but I like where the layering is going :D

    @Brygelsmack Love the shapes you got going on there, and also had a look at your layered rocks on Artstation, love all the details you got on there!

    Did some more work! Getting in sort of a good place now, now the detail stuff can begin!


  • Nathan3D
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    Nathan3D polycounter lvl 2
    some good looking rock guys, wasnt able to go back and do more marble hopefully ill get a chance to work more on the rock as I found this actually pretty hard to look right what do yous think?

  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
    Thanks for the feed-back, guys! improvements will be made!
  • flaviat
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    flaviat polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks guys, i try add details on my substance.

    My Ref 

  • acealmighty13
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    acealmighty13 polycounter lvl 3
    I've never attempted a rock/stone material so any critique or tips for building the height information would be helpful.  I think I have a good start but any node set ups that work for you, I'd appreciate the input.


  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing keyframe
  • Nathan3D
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    Nathan3D polycounter lvl 2
    @acealmighty13 as Daniel_swing suggested wes' tutorial would help you there is also a alright tutorial from sharpstance I think is the name that you could look at. 

    For a simple base get two tiler nodes of your choice plug in some shapes make them a bit different then blend them with max mode then just experiment :) 
  • Orangeman220
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    Orangeman220 polycounter lvl 2

    First Substance challenge.  Trying for a sandstone cliff material.  Just a height map with AO so far.  Any feedback is very welcome.  May start another graph after the lessons learned on this one.
  • Nathan3D
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    Nathan3D polycounter lvl 2
    @Orangeman220 looking good don't know about the continuous crack down the middle is it in your ref? And some of the smaller debris placement looks a bit weird as if it would just fall away if you get me? 
  • Orangeman220
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    Orangeman220 polycounter lvl 2
    I get you.  Perhaps isolating the crack to specific levels to get the segmented chunks coming out will get a better result.  And I see what your saying about the debris.  Feels like some of it would be loose enough to fall away.  Thank you.
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2

    This is where I'm now. Still needs sharp cracks and some variations to smaller cliffing before going for the colors.
  • JoachimC
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    JoachimC polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks @JoachimC! I cover some of it here. I like your shapes so far! What value do you have on your normal node? I think you can crank it higher to get a sharper look. Colors also need more variety. Find a good photo of a rock and use the gradient node to get all the nice values. I've noticed that adding a bit of noise (Bnw spots 2 or 3), sharpening that and then use Copy as blend mode with low opacity over your main basecolor does wonders for the realism of the material. 
    Thanks for the tips @Brygelsmack ! Will definitely have a look and try to tinker with this to make it look realistic.
    My normal is currently at 10 which I thought was quite high already. What's a sort of acceptable range to have your normal in?
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2

    Next iteration. Still not quite satisfied with the results. Added some colors and found out 'divide' blending mode can be rather useful for fuller color splatters.
  • Mr_Derk
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    Mr_Derk polycounter lvl 2
    Really enjoyed learning about noises and how I can get shapes to interact and create some nice rock faces.

    These challenges are really getting me into this program!
  • sZXZ
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    sZXZ triangle
    I think I have "evil" slider.
  • Daniel_Swing
    @Adelphia : Super sweet! Could you upload that to Substance Share? I would really like to take a close look at your graph.

  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 2
    Adelphia said:
    @ThePowFin Looking good, the thinner parts look a lot better now.
    @Kazperstan looking really good already some nice realistic shapes in there.

    I finished mine tonight here it is, any comments would be appreciated
     
    Really cool @Adelphia !! I was wondering whether you'd be generous enough to share your approach on the layering moss? I've always wondered what would be the best way to generate a mask which gives off the effect of moss growing on the top face of rocks and nothing on the bottom? Kind of taking the information from the Y-Axis of a normal map. Is there a efficient way of doing it in a substance without baked information? it looks like that's what you have there haha. I'd like to try apply that to the substance I've got right now :)
    I've done a revamp on my previous Substance... I went back and as I was adjusting the old one I got really sick of how it looked... so I recreated this one by changing a few major shapes and recolouring it.

    C&C Welcome, still working on it :)


  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 5
    @Kid.in.the.Dark There's a bottom to top node you can use for a mask that does exactly that.
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