How to Make Amazing PBR Materials

How to Make Amazing PBR Materials

Creating your own new fresh materials for your props, environments and clothing can make all the difference in that final render for your Daz Studio assets. If you make custom made materials that add to the realism and mood, it can make your artwork extra special!

Substance Alchemist is a new application for quickly building tileable full PBR materials. You can create brand new materials from photo input or leverage existing materials by blending and mixing their channels. It's all about making materials in a fast and intuitive way, with the bonus of using new effects such as adding a water layer to make cool enamel or glass type materials.

This tutorial by John Haverkamp shows you how to use Substance Alchemist to create your own "artist's pallet" of a large amount of materials to get just what you need for your design.

Included is a Mega Materials Pack, free to use with your own assets with 80 Materials created by John Haverkamp!

Software required for this tutorial : You'll need Substance Alchemist which comes with Algorithmic Substance Painter and Designer. You can experiment with all three of these applications on a monthly basis using the Indie license

Tutorial Content:

  • 1. Strategies for making materials from scratch-
    • a. Bitmap2material layer
    • b. Delighting layer
  • 2. Making proper tiling materials-
    • a. Make it Tile Advanced layer
    • b. Clone Patch layer
  • 3. Blending and Combining-
    • a. The ins and outs of the different blend modes for mixing existing materials.
    • b. Advanced parameters to add variation or only blend only specific channels
  • 4. Water Layer!-
    • a. How to use it for what it's intended for
    • b. Make cool glass or enamel effects with advanced parameters
  • 5. Pavement Pattern Layer-
    • a. Stone floors, walls : modern to medieval- infinite variation!
    • b. Gain the variations with mixing with your own rock materials
  • 6. Parquet Pattern Layer-
    • a. Wood floors and walls - infinite designs!
  • 7. Fabric Presets-
    • a. Introducing the pre-made fabric materials and how to customize them
  • 8. Variation and refining detail Layers-
    • a. Adjustment layer - for global color, hue, and intensity channel changes
    • b. Dirt layer - who doesn't need dirt?
    • c. Erode layer - works great on stone
    • d. Gravel Generator lay. For those little stones that collect in cracks
    • e. Rust - rust on, rust off
    • f. Textile wear - not everybody's cloths are new
  • 9. Exporting and Utilizing in other programs, such as Daz Studio

About John Haverkamp:

  • John Haverkamp was born in Ohio and then moved to the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at a young age. There he spent a semi-isolated childhood re-enacting the Lord of the Rings and being corrupted by Dungeons and Dragons. Always with the fondness for the fantastical and medieval, Art school drove him deeper into Luddite territory by granting him the skills of a traditional metal-smith. This meant post-college jobs making copper fountains, welding and steel fabricating, casting and finishing bronze sculptures, and working for an architectural blacksmith throughout his twenties.
  • Digitally, John got sucked into cyberspace and the arcane mysteries of 3D studio max. The perfect software match for John was Zbrush discovered six years ago. Now he teaches digital arts part time, and constantly endeavours to improve his craft as a digital-sculptor and visualizer through personal work, illustration and indie game projects.

What's Included and Features

  • How to Make Amazing PBR Materials
  • Tutorial video (.MP4):
    • 00:00 Introduction to Substance applications and where Alchemist fits in the Substance suite
    • 00:05 Gaining a square bitmap image to start with
    • 00:08 Add layer - bitmap material
    • 00:09 Choose a mesh shape
    • 00:11 Bitmap material properties
    • 00:13 Overcome issues to provide seamless tiling including repeating elements
    • 00:16 Clone patching
    • 00:19 Alchemist libraries
    • 00:20 Blending and combining
    • 00:24 Basic and advanced parameters for blending
    • 00:26 Save a blended material
    • 00:27 Using a mask for blending
    • 00:29 Altering the environment lighting for a material
    • 00:29 Using the water node
    • 00:35 Wood carving example
    • 00:37 Using a water node to create glass or enamel effects
    • 00:45 Marble materials
    • 00:48 Pavement pattern layers
    • 00:55 Parquet pattern
    • 00:57 Roughing material up : Dirt added to the parquet pattern
    • 01:00 Metal and rust
    • 01:05 Scratches in metal
    • 01:10 Creating fabric materials
    • 01:12 Showing wear and tear in fabrics
    • 01:15 Exporting to applications including to Daz Studio
    • 01:17 Demonstrating materials in Daz Studio with the Iray shader
    • 01:20 Add metallic effect to textile.
    • 01:23 The Mega Materials Pack. John discusses some of the materials that are in the pack.
    • Running Time = 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Mega Materials Pack (.SBSAR):
    • 80 Materials ready for your use (with their PBR properties), some of which are referred to in this tutorial.

Compatible Software:


Install Types:

Install Manager, Manual Install