Last time we dropped atlases in Substance Source, we promised that more would come. We weren’t kidding. Today, no less than 860 parametric atlases join the category with complementary vegetation, rocks, pebbles and debris.
Scatter these atlases on the 700+ scan-based materials we released earlier this week, add a pinch of light and a little bit of water, and create basically any environment you can think of.
Chapter 1: More ingredients in the digital kitchen
Just like a chef could specialize in pastries, comfort food, or complex buffets, 3D artists will need to make different things. Environment artists are looking to create complex grounds on demand; archviz experts want to stage their outdoors scenes, gardeners want to plan their gardens.
We’re here to make everyone happy. Take the scans, take the atlases; mix and blend them inside Substance Alchemist for the best final material design.
Empty your pockets now!
For the second time, we have tapped into our primal instincts as gatherers to put together a new selection of organic ingredients. In collaboration with TexturingXYZ, collected foliage and branches that we captured several times in order to deliver assets at different stages of their life cycle.
And if it sounds like we have rows upon rows of slowly rotting tree leaves in our basement, then we’re neither confirming nor denying this.
There is beauty in decay too!
Bio matter isn’t the only thing that changes with time; man-made elements have the same problem. We’ve added all kinds of debris to our atlas collection, because it’s better to have them in digital than laying in our streets.
This will be perfect for adding detail to urban slum scenes. That’s why we’ve explored landfills for you. It was a lot of fun, to be honest! In any case, if it feels dirty and grimy, then we did it right.
We’ve spend quite some time breaking, burning and tearing old things apart in order to bring the perfect look and feel. And to conclude all of this, we rewarded the carnivores with a well-deserved barbecue (and we kept the menu!).
Chapter 2: Growing
Atlases may seem like tiny decorative elements and at small scale, they are suitable for adding detail to materials. For instance, you could distribute them randomly over the surface of a scan patch with Substance Alchemist.
But atlases are powerful tools on a larger scale: they are very useful for breaking up localized repetition effects in environment scenes. Or they can be scattered to provide an additional layer and increase the variation of a terrain.
That’s exactly what we did on this example of the mountainous path where rocks were randomly distributed on the ground.
In addition to adding an extra visual richness, the use of atlases lets artists recreate 3D elements from textures and to save modeling resources as a result. When your scene is large, that’s a definite time saver. This is all the more obvious when w’re adding a vegetation cover in order to bring a realistic volume that ground textures simply wouldn’t provide.
In that case, modeling every single strand of vegetation in 3D isn’t possible.
A representative use case is tree leaves. Creating entire forests of highly detailed trees with thousands of leaves would become a black hole of human time and computing resources, as well as a huge limitation to the size of environment scenes.
Using atlas textures offer the flexibility to limit the 3D objects required to simple planes without compromising on the realism: every visual detail of the leaves, plants, and grass come from the highly detailed maps of the atlas.
The key benefit of parametric atlases lies in the possibility to create an infinity of variation from a single element by changing its color or other attributes, bringing even more diversity and possible subtle variations.
Chapter 3: Seasoning
At-las-t some new content to grow the 628 assets already available on Substance Source!