Monday, May 27th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Learn to create complex patterns in Substance Designer

The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating Complex Designs and Patterns, a guide to creating hard-surface decorations by Nate Stephens, principal artist at AAA game developer Santa Monica Studio.

The tutorial showcases Substance Designer and ZBrush workflows currently used in production to detail environment assets for videogames.

Discover how to create decorative surface patterns for environment assets
Over the course of two hours of video training, Stephens walks through the process of creating a decorative medallion with an intricate incised pattern.

Beginning in Substance Designer, he demonstrates how to take advantage of its flexible, iterative workflow to explore complex shapes, ultimately creating a template and heightmap for the design.

Stephens then switches to ZBrush to finalise the model, using multiple techniques to sculpt and retopologise the asset, before exporting it to Maya for additional retopology and UV work.

Finally, he importes the medallion into Marmoset Toolbag to set up a lighting rig.

During the tutorial, Stephens discusses the benefits of this modular workflow, how to reuse Substance Designer networks between projects, and technical issues like texel density and lighting theory.

About the artist
Nate Stephens is currently principal artist at Santa Monica Studio, where he leads the environment art, lighting and breakables teams, and where he worked on the latest God of War.

A true generalist, he previously worked at studios including Cryptic Studios, Blizzard Entertainment and Respawn Entertainment, on titles including City of Heroes and Titanfall.

He has also recorded a number of other training videos for The Gnomon Workshop, covering environment modelling for games in Maya and ZBrush.

Pricing and availability
Creating Complex Designs and Patterns is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, giving you access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $499/year.

Read more about Creating Complex Designs and Patterns on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.