Author Topic: Organic/Alien Growth  (Read 4088 times)

I wanted to share a new material I'm working on.  I wanted to make something organic and gross, after playing a bunch of SOMA and the new Resident Evil.  I didn't want to make just a formless blob, I wanted some symmetry like you find in nature.

Rendered in Substance Painter using some awesome materials from Substance Share and Substance Source.

My ultimate goal is to use this on a Decal in Unity using ProBuilder's ProDecals.  This way I can place these on walls, floors, etc...

Also, I'd love to hear suggestions on how to improve the performance of the substance.  Granted I'm on an older computer, but generating the 2 grunge maps I use and the 2 bevel operations are really time consuming at 2k.  For the Bevel I'm just using it to extend the shape so I can get a larger mask to to draw/hide the webbing.  Is there another node that performs better?  I exposed a ton of parameters for this, that allows you to really configure it.  I'd like to improve the performance before submitting it to Substance Share.  Should I host this locally for people to checkout in the meantime?  I've not posted or shared anything before.

Lastly, is there a way to set a node to have a specific blending setting in Substance Painter?  The Normal and Height really should use a "Normal" blending mode, otherwise you get some of the normal map behind it bleeding through (you can see that in the first render before I realized what it was doing).

That looks gross as hell. I love it! certainly does have a very resident evil 6 7 feeling to it, especially that second image.

As for performance: try using a distance node instead of a bevel. It's not much better, but might help a bit. Also, if fine detail isn't important in this mask, try turning down the resolution of this node.

For the grunge maps: right click them and click 'open reference'. Copy everything out of there, paste it in your own graph, or a new graph, and remove what you don't need. You can probably also drop the resolution of a lot of nodes in there without losing to much detail.

Also check out this comment I just made to someone else about performance:,15534.msg66170.html#msg66170

Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 07:03:53 pm

Thank you!  I've looked over your comments about performance.  I've found several problems with how I'm building this.  I want to start over.  I'm not dealing with the normal maps properly and it's acting up.

I've learned a lot since building this, and I want to do it justice.  Also I wish I had a machine that could do the Tessellation, I'd love to see it with some actual height.

Have you tried using parralax occlusion? Looks pretty similar to tesselation, except for the edges of your mesh, but it's much cheaper to render (although still somewhat taxing when used in game).

Looks brilliant! can't wait to see your next version, I've always found doing a substance from scratch again you always find easier/better ways of making it so hope it all goes well for you!

As a small bit of crit if you don't mind, I would add a little more random breakup to the small veins, as you can see the shape they follow quite clearly (not sure if that is intentional). Good work!

Joel B.

I appreciate all the feedback. 

I'm going to try some parallax occlusion and see how it looks, part of it is just me being curious.  I see these amazing renders people do where you can bare recognize the sphere or rounded edge cube with all the extruded geometry from the shader.

I'm trying to figure out how to make the veins more random.  I take the core shape and build a mask using a stroke to extend it.  I also tried with a bevel (but it was so expensive).  I might be able to use a warp to build it out more organically (ha!) and not have it follow the shape of the core object. 

Here's a question I have that is probably due to my un-understanding of the standard shader.  The normal map and base color support Alpha as this is meant to fit on top of another texture (I'm using a decal system for this so it can be placed on top of any 3D surface).  But I'm also using a height map, roughness map and a metallic map.  Those appear to NOT support alpha.  Does this mean I'll get some weird square shape due to it adding a height and roughness and metallic maps?  I can post a picture if needed of what it looks like in Substance Painter when applied as a layer on top of another layer.