Procedural Surfacing

Texture generation through Substance Designer


For this challenge I set myself up with finding an asset over at Turbosquid that was fairly complex; One like this one which consisted of about 11k different parts overall 

The goal was re-topologize, create uv's, texture, light and render an asset that I wouldn't have had the chance to create from scratch but that would be needed to be used in production for either VR or an offline renderer like Mantra, Arnold, or Redshift through a PBR workflow.

One of the main challenges with this kind of asset is the sheer amount of things that need to be retouched, so I used Houdini for the task of figuring out how to do that in a high quality and speedy way. I re-topologize and created the UVs all inside of Houdini.

Houdini in combination with Substance Designer allows for a quick iteration and a fantastic speed for working through something like this. 

Exploded view: clay render. 

Exploded view: clay render. 

Exploded view: textured render.

Exploded view: textured render.

VR outputs

Laying out UVs in thisway is really helpful when porting over assets over to Unreal Engine or Unity. It makes updating textures a lot easier, and I can tweak the load on the system almost immediately by knowing how much I'm going over or under budget with each asset. 

I created all of the textures with Substance Designer and the max resolution for maps were 2K. Everything is procedural and can be tweaked, changed and iterated on the fly. 

Rendered with Redshift inside Houdini

breaking stuff

These workflows allow me to iterate with a certain ease that I could not before. It allows the freedom to create effects like fractures without worrying about the stage of surfacing. Obviously, once I finished surfacing this one I decided to destroy it.

I created the destruction fx with Houdini and rendered the sequence with Redshift. 


Procedural Rocks

Intuitive rock generation system


One of my favorite things to work on are environments, and depending on the objective they can be fairly simple, but sometimes they require lots of assets and variations in order to make them richer and not so repetitive. 

An asset type that I've kept having to make a lot has always been rocks, so I figured I would create a system that could give me the most flexibility I could ask for, and be very easy to art direct and at the same time not have me re-do a lot of work each time I wanted to change something.


virtual reality Challenges

Working with Virtual Reality is really fun, and some of the challenges you encounter are a bit different from a traditional cg commercial workflow, but one the many advantages of procedural systems like this one is that I can make it do things I might've not needed before and develop new solutions in a timely manner.

One of the issues is always about its polycount and the ability to set up LOD's.

This system allows me to procedurally set up different LODs on the fly while maintaining their UV information. 

Density: 48k polygons

Density: 11k polygons

Density: 700 polygons

Click to enlarge!


A system like this one allows me to get a jump start environment creation and infinite amount of variations. It can be applied to specific styles so long as one decides on some key rules to follow, but what you end up with is at the end a good engine for variation that can be applied to several different kinds of props and the flexibility to adapt it to either real-time projects or offline rendering objectives.

From a single texture that kind either be generated on Mari, Substance, Photoshop or procedurally you can end up in short amount of time with plenty of options to choose from.