Scans ❤️ Substance Designer

Marine Caillault on February 14 2018 | Technology, Substance Designer, Substance Source

Today is Valentine’s Day, and we want to tell you a love story. It begins with the real world, nature, stones, snow - or man-made objects, a wall, a doll, a lollipop, red lace. Let’s focus on the red lace. Remember it; we’re going to go back to it.

“On top of being a state-of-the-art noise and pattern generation engine, Substance Designer is a procedural image processing tool”, said Sébastien Deguy, Founder and CEO at Allegorithmic.

“This means that it uses a succession of functions and techniques to create changes in the input images. When these functions and procedures are smart and properly arranged, they are extremely efficient at dealing with scans. Since version 6 of Substance Designer released exactly a year ago, and its many nodes and presets dedicated to scan processing, I am delighted to witness the ever-growing romance between the best scanning specialists and Substance Designer.”

“This program is unstoppable!” - Art by Rens

But let’s go back to our red lace now. Maybe it’s a glove. Maybe the hem of a skirt. Let’s capture it and bring it into our scan processing tool of choice: Substance Designer.


We can now process the scan in Substance Designer, we tile the material, sometimes even going as far as creating a hybrid material out of it. This means that, even though the material is coming from a real-life source, you can make it your own: increase relief, combine with another material, change the color of the lace. Want to wear purple? Here you go. You’re wearing purple.

Substance Designer’s scan processing techniques are now part of the daily workflow of specialists and artists such as Hugh Trombley, Grzegorz Baran, Dave Riganelli (here on 80.lv), Scott DeWoody, Andreas Barden, and Esteban Diacono.

For the past two years, these artists’ many views of scan workflows have helped us augment the capacity and magnitude of Substance Designer’s scan processing techniques. Their feedback has proven invaluable and continues to guide us in constantly improving our products. And, for us, 2018 is also the year of the scan.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Find more info on how the scanning and processing work in these articles:

Here, we explain how we go from 8K scan maps to the high-quality tileable and tweakable materials featured in Substance Source

Here is a walkthrough: scan production pipeline, all the way from capture to the post-processing of scans with Substance Designer.

Here and Here are scan-based materials, with different levels of variability. You can find all these and many more on Substance Source, our ever-growing online material platform.

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