I have begun work on an entry for Allegorithmic's Procedural Material Contest. There are multiple categories for the competition, including Urban, Nature, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Stylized. According to the rules, entries must be entirely procedural, utilizing no bitmaps to enhance the end result. All of the entries are to be rendered using the new IRAY renderer that was released in the latest update of Substance Designer. As such, all of these work in progress images were rendered using IRAY, which has a lot more controls and produces very satisfying results.
I decided to start with the Urban Category. Tokyo is an amazingly detailed city, so I retrieved a lot of inspiration there. In particular, the sidewalks have a wide variety of concrete tile patterns, often intersected by vision impaired rubber tiles to guide the blind. The many patterns and combination of concrete and rubber materials are the perfect subject for an Urban Procedural Material category, which will really showcase the power of Substance Designer.
So to begin, I have created a concrete brick generator, that can produce an infinite variety of concrete tiles in different pattern sets. Richard Piper's guidance on this subject was extremely helpful to get things rolling. The power of Substance Designer is in how any parameter can be exposed and controlled outside of that particular graph and altered using a random seed. In this case, the tile patterns, edge damages, grout pebbles, erosion and cracks, and the color of all of these things can be controlled to produce infinite variations, all of which are seamless tiling physically based materials.
This GIF illustrates how the intensity of the dirt on the concrete can be controlled. Likewise, every crack, grout grain and pebbles, dints, or eroded concrete grain or color, can all be controlled in their intensity and randomized using the Random Seed controller.
Here are a few more examples of possible variations:
Going forward, I will continue to refine the base concrete texture, and add in more details derived from the many reference images I have taken on walkabouts in Tokyo, including old dried up gum, cigarette butts, and other kinds of debris. I will also try to create different patterns to be able to control the color variations of the tiles. From there I will finish things up by adding the Vision Impaired Rubber tiles Material, and create a controlling mechanism that allows for the generation and placement of the rubber tiles to be placed seamlessly within the concrete tiles material.