Bungie lead environment artist Daniel Thiger runs us through his techniques for producing realistic, compelling texturing materials with Allegorithmic’s Substance Designer.
Step 01 – Initial shape
To create this lava substance, I started with Perlin Noise 1 to define the mass and density of the material. This noise has a good mix of dark and bright values without too much detail. I then used directional warps and blur nodes to define the direction of the lava flow.
Step 02 – Refined shape
To make the shapes read as thick lava flows, I needed to reduce the dark values of the noise. The method I chose was slope blur. By setting it to ‘blur’ and using positive values, I inflated the shapes. Warping was then applied to break them up and add imperfections.
Step 03 – Detailed shape
The reference used for this project featured lots of banded layers running perpendicular to the flow. By using tiled gradient maps that I warped with my main shape, I made the layers appear tucked in underneath. Additional warping and slope blurs were used to add variation.
Step 04 – Composite
The last steps included blending the refined and detailed shapes together and then warping them for a more integrated look. I used Height Blend to blend the shape with an offset version of itself to create a few more layers. The final touch was to add micro detail noise with fractal sum base.