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Hi, material lovers!

This is it. The moment when we follow up on our promise to release a massive amount of materials dedicated to automotive texturing. The team has been busy, and the result is our most substantial material package so far! We thought we’d deliver a bit over 300 materials and that’s what we promised; in fact, it’s going to be almost 500.

This release is also our broadest collection of materials so far, as we cover all the materials needed for the construction of a car: paints, leathers, plastics, textiles, and composites. Each of these materials is a fully tweakable procedural, scan, hybrid or MDL shader. And it’s all on its way to Substance Source.

We know that it’s a lot. So we decided to give you the time to dive into the various categories and material types. This is why we planned a release every week in June. And a few surprises to spice it up, because, why not?

Friends from everywhere: we worked on offering maximum customizability to the materials to ensure you’ll find useful stuff for any texturing project.

And friends from the automotive world, you’ll be pleased to know that for this release we partnered with talented professionals from the automotive industry. We stepped into their shoes to understand the constraints and opportunities in designing useful digital assets for the industry.

In short, the spirit of this release is a blend of universes and usages.

So have fun! Browse more than 1,000 presets or play with endless variations within each material! And why stop there? Get (technically) creative – hack into the SBS and MDL graphs; mix, layer or expose your magic!

Car Prototyping Materials

Today, we introduce the Substance Source automotive release, with a selection of the first 45 materials associated with concept cars prototyping.

Artists and designers can have a photorealistic vision of pre-concepts at the earliest stage of the design process. The materials we offer are those used in the creation of mock-ups.

The production of a car model is a long process. It begins with an extended period of iteration around the shapes and volumes of the car. Once this has been validated, and to get an impression of the final vehicle, modelers build 1:4, then 1:1 scale models.

It is important to note that mock-ups aren’t always created using the same process. In fact, since they anticipate the validation of visual cosmetics, the process varies according to the part of the car constructed. Designers need to use rapid prototyping techniques, automated multi-axis machining and hand modeling of plasticine.

Clay is the reference material in the design process of a car. Its neutral aspect is ideal for the comparison of different concept-car shape proposals.

We created digital clays reproducing the material surface, taking into account the impact of the various tools used to shape, cut and smooth the model. You will get an ultra-realistic look and feel.

Digital artists can now use digital clay textures over 3D speedforms at early stages of design to compare the digital model to the physical clay mock-up.

Full-scale models are created in clay. They usually consist of a wooden or iron frame, which modelers then cover with styrofoam. They then smooth clay over the foam. After this, modelers use various tools and slicks to finalize the shape of the car.

Camouflage Stickers

Later on, the design process prototypes test takes place with the cars wrapped in crazy checkerboard or swirl patterns.

The level of preparation that goes into such seemingly haphazard patterns is considerable. Car makers assign engineers to be in charge of developing bespoke camouflage for each new model. They work in conjunction with the vehicle’s designers to erase character lines almost as soon as they are drawn. Future models must be kept secret.

So today, in Substance Source, we introduce vinyl camouflage materials, with eight completely procedural patterns. This allows artists to adjust patterns directly on the 3D car model – or even to design new patterns with the .sbs graph.


While clay might be the material of choice for the main body of the car, prototypes of additional parts may be produced using composite materials.

The composites have several uses. You can create communication visuals to demonstrate the design process of a show car, for instance, or you could get a glimpse of the component before even launching fabrication of the mock-up.

Artists now have access to materials such as carbon and glass fibers, woven composite textiles, and felt. And each of these materials is completely procedural – and therefore customizable.

Metals and Coatings

Finally, prototyping calls for the creation of metallic structures. They will be used for the reproduction of the surfaces of cast and machined metals, as well as for baked metallic paints used in low-volume manufacturing processes.

That’s it for the first part of our massive Substance Source automotive release! Download the selection of free materials on Substance Source and start experimenting.

See you next week for the next release: we’ll be focusing on exterior materials. In the meantime, drive safely!




Join our free webinar on the 25th of April  2018 (3:00 p.m. CEST) and get an insight into the workflows of four different studios while they highlight their projects.

There is an incredible diversity in architectural rendering styles & techniques. Join our free webinar on the 25th of April (3:00 p.m. CEST) and get an insight into the distinctively creative workflows of four different studios while they highlight their projects.

Learn how visualization professionals use:

  • Cinema 4D to quickly construct previz images
  • Multi-passes to speed up their workflow using either Cinema 4D’s Physical Render engine or Corona, giving them an edge in production speed, adaptability to client wishes and output quality
  • Photoshop to quickly refine their renderings
  • BodyPaint 3D for texturing
  • Sculpting for landscaping
  • MoGraph and third-party plug-ins for asset distribution
  • and much more…

Each studio will introduce their projects during a 15-minute presentation.

Project Focus – Atlelier Crilo (Cristian Farinella) – Cristian Oteiza House

Project Focus – Slashcube (Thomas Vournazos) – Holocaust Memorial

Project Focus – Vudumotion (Dusan Vukcevic) – Exterior


At the end of the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Curious? Then visit the studios’ websites and browse their incredible galleries:

Cristian Farinella –
Dusan Vukcevic –
Eric de Broche des Combes –
Thomas Vournazos –

Kindly note that the number of participants in this webinar is limited, we therefore strongly recommend registering early.

Please register here!

Substance Painter: Spring Has Come!

Substance Painter: Spring Has Come!

Substance Painter: Spring Has Come!

Jeremie Noguer on March 15 2018 | News, Substance Painter, Software, Content, Tutorials

There is a point in the life of software where you have to take a break from the new and shiny, take a step back and try to figure out how to strengthen the very foundation of your tool, and how to improve the core functionality before you keep on moving forward towards new and exciting features. The Substance Painter Spring 2018 release is the product of this reflection and the hard work of the ever-growing Substance Painter team.

An Improved Look and Feel

New Visual Style

Over the years we’ve frequently received feedback that, while our tools share the Substance name, they are quite different visually. As the Substance ecosystem continues to grow, we felt it was important to develop a common look and feel across all our software. This is the first step in this direction and you will see the other tools follow suit later this year.

Revamped Toolbars, Shortcuts and Layout

When working on a project, Substance Painter’s UI can quickly become cluttered with windows and settings, and navigating through it all can be cumbersome. We’ve added several new elements to help in this regard:

A new Dock Toolbar: Closing a window automatically docks it to the Dock Toolbar. It can then be summoned back temporarily by clicking on its icon. Each window can also be torn away from the toolbar to become persistent again.

New Contextual Toolbar: A new toolbar on top of the viewport displays shortcuts to commonly used settings of the currently selected tool. This bar also contains viewport options as well as shortcuts to the Render mode and the baking interface.

Quick Menu: A right-click in the viewport now summons the current Tool or Fill Layer settings under your cursor, allowing you to easily access all of your tool settings even in full screen mode.

Revamped Viewer and Display Settings: Lighting, Camera and Display settings are now merged into a single tabbed window while shader parameters get their own separate window, cutting down on the clutter these settings were causing together and making shader adjustments and custom shaders much easier to manage.

Drag and Drop Assets Directly in the Viewport: You can now grab any material or smart material from the shelf and drop it onto your mesh directly, bypassing the several steps needed to apply the material manually.

New Painting Experience

Even though we’re talking about Substance Painter here, painting has never been, by our own admission, the tool’s forte. Well, this is about to change, starting now! Improvements in the handling of pen tablets and new performance optimizations mean that you should experience smoother painting and stroke curves in 4k, even on lower-end laptops.

Improved Seam Padding

Seams are now almost invisible even when painting accross badly distorted UVs or very different texel ratios.

Improved Performance

Several areas went through a much needed cleanup, and performance has been improved across the board. Project loading, saving, viewport performance, shelf loading and thumbnail generation all benefit from this spring cleaning resulting in an improved user experience overall.

Improved Stability

We’ve been cutting through bugs to deliver a more stable tool, but as always if you see something, say something! Let us know about any issue you might encounter through the Feedback and Bug Report tools in the Help menu.

New and Updated Content

New 3D noises have been added to the Procedurals section of the shelf while a new 3D Gradient generator allows you to create linear gradients and masks in 3D space easily: switch to the Position map view, pick colors on the start and end points of your gradient on the mesh and voila!

Smart Materials and Smart Masks have also been updated to use the latest mask generators.

Already have a Substance Painter license on maintenance or an active Substance subscription? Download the new version now.

Don’t have either of these? No problem; you can also try Substance Painter free for 30 days.

Also, be sure not to miss the “Substance Painter Spring release: new features and updates” stream presented by superstar Wes McDermott. He will be live at 2 pm EST / 11 am PST tomorrow.

And if you are a new Substance Painter user, check out Wes’ tutorials: Getting started with Substance Painter!

Creating photoreal graphics with Megascans rendered in Redshift

Creating photoreal graphics with Megascans rendered in Redshift

We were really impressed to see the results of the photorealistic textures created by Quixel’s Megascans software rendered in Redshift 2.0.


When we first took a peek at the images, we had trouble identifying the real one! There’s a ton of detail there: make sure to check out the high-res versions in 4K!

With the use of Megascans and Redshift, you too can create similar environments using their extensive scan library.

“As Redshift is the world’s fastest renderer, this 4K render finished in less than an hour with a single GeForce GTX 970 on a mid-tier computer — many times faster than traditional CPU rendering techniques.”

Muse VFX Creates Explosive Visuals for Teen Wolf

Muse VFX Creates Explosive Visuals for Teen Wolf


​Hollywood-based Muse VFX is no stranger to producing epic visual effects for prestigious clients including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and DreamWorks. They’ve risen to become one of the top VFX houses for episodic television, creating complex sequences for shows that have been a staple for many, including Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Enterprise and Lost. They’ve garnered quite a few loyal clients over the years, largely in part to their ability to continuously evolve their skillset and pipeline, all while maintaining an unwavering passion to deliver quality work with impressively quick turnarounds. As Fred Pienkos, the studio’s founder and VP states, “together, we solve problems and create beautiful imagery under extremely short deadlines and tight budgets. At the end of the day, we still absolutely love what we do.”

VFX pros across the industry understand all too well that their choice of rendering solution can make the final process either efficient or infuriating. As Muse does not shy away from large-scale projects, they are rightfully picky about the software they can rely on to generate high-powered effects. The studio came to a crossroads in their rendering workflow one morning when they were tasked with delivering a large format project consisting of a dozen, 20-second-long sequences, all at 12K and 30 FPS. To raise the stakes even higher, they only had a 2 month turn around, which amounts to a blink of an eye for a project of this scale. As Lead Artist/TD Stefan Bredereck states, “I knew that with the render workflow and the CPU based render engine, we would not be able to finish the project within the proposed schedule.” The scope of the project was simply too large, and the team did not yet have enough render power to rely on. As it was, their CPU rendering pipeline was enough to elicit a “big audible sigh when needing to render legacy assets.”

Not being the type to give up easily, Bredereck began seeking out alternative options. While researching, he happened upon Redshift and was quickly impressed by its GPU rendering capabilities, the first he had seen that produced production-grade results. “I thought the ideas were incredibly smart, and this is the way it should be done,” states Bredereck. After a phone call from Pienkos, it didn’t take long for a relationship to emerge between Redshift and Muse VFX. The project was delivered to satisfaction, as would be many others to come, as the studio integrated Redshift as their main render solution with 100 GPUs replacing most of their former CPU nodes.

Recently, Muse VFX was brought onboard MTV’s hit series Teen Wolf, where the team was tasked with two especially challenging sequences to bring the series to a close. For the first, the goal was to help break the show’s heroes out of stone shells in which they were encased by the show’s villain, the Anuk-ite. This sequence was complex, requiring a combination of rigid body, particle and fluid simulations. It would warrant multiple iterations and client revisions but, to fit with the studio’s running theme, also had to be completed quickly. The second sequence dealt with the defeat of the Anuk-ite, in which a substance called Mountain Ash would surround the villain in a “dark creeping vortex cloud,” and eventually turn him to stone. The shot required expertise in creating a variety of dynamic effects that interacted cohesively. Bredereck knew that Redshift and its recently released Houdini integration would be perfect for the job.


The combination of Redshift and Houdini was especially suited for these difficult sequences because it allowed the team to directly render volumes of fluid simulations at incredible speeds. Using Redshift’s native volume shader, the team was able to render everything in one engine with one lighting setup. Since they knew any completed work would likely need further iteration or art direction, this added a refreshing efficiency to the look development process that allowed them to direct their focus towards the quality of the work, rather than towards worrying if it would be completed on schedule.

The quick turnaround was one of the most significant obstacles facing the team, as they were granted only 2 weeks of post-production per episode. John Gross, the studio’s founder and VFX Supervisor on the show, would address any aesthetic changes with his team on site, and then watch as his requests were implemented right before his eyes, in near real-time. This enabled Gross and the client to choose, without delay, which option would be the best fit for the show. With Redshift, Bredereck states, they could “render 3 different looks overnight, where with our CPU renderer we would have barely finished one version.” The artists were also able to push the boundaries of their own workflows for FX with Redshift’s capacity to handle complex lighting and global illumination along with volume effects. As Bredereck explains “using global illumination in combination with glossy surfaces, frosted reflections and complex volume renders of fluid simulations… and not waiting 5 hours for a frame or getting a super noisy result, that is just amazing.”


The effects industry is ever-evolving, and with this, prominent VFX houses like Muse face increasing requirements for powerful and effective rendering solutions. Studios will need more machines, more render power and more room but will likely be continuing to face the same tight turnaround times. Grabbing more machines might seem like a quick fix, but eventually space will run out and studios will be left facing the same issues, perhaps on an even grander scale. Muse VFX has effectively resolved this issue by switching over to GPU rendering. The studio is currently using quad GPU nodes with 4 Pascal Titans in one render node. They’re finding that Redshift running on a single Titan is still able to outperform as many as 9 dual CPU nodes. According to Bredereck, “the benefit of using any number of large textures and billions of polygons and not being limited to just the GPU memory are the features that get us through the work day and enable us to deliver on time.”


Since the wrap of Teen Wolf, Muse continues to take on high-volume projects with Redshift. The studio has taken the time to shop around for any and all GPU rendering options to make sure that they move forward with the one that is best for them. “At the end of the day,” says Bredereck, “our philosophy is to use the right tool for the job. Based on the project, that may be Maya, 3ds Max or Houdini, but in all cases, it is always with Redshift these days.”

All images in this article are Copyright 2017 MTV.