Making a Texture in Substance Designer

Happy Monday! I’m Evan, and I’ve been working a lot on texturing the 3D models our other artists have been making. Texturing is the process of adding color, material,  and details to what is oftentimes a very flat or simple 3D model. Most of our textures are painted in a program called Substance Painter, but sometimes we need a texture that would be very difficult to make in Substance Painter or a texture that has to tile very well with itself (which means to repeat without any visible seams). Creating these more complicated textures can be accomplished by using another program called Substance Designer!


Substance Designer works by using nodes with different functions that all connect to one another; the graphs that get made in Designer tend to look very complicated, but they can be simpler than they seem. Each node controls an aspect of the texture.

An example of a Substance Designer node tree for a single material

A lot of the nodes go into getting the proper shapes that will be used to make the needed textures.

This graph is a pretty simple one; most of the complexity of the final product comes from getting the simple shape to repeat randomly.

FX map
If it doesn’t repeat randomly, the grass texture won’t feel organic

This was a very complicated part to put together; I had to get some help on it since the setup felt closer to coding (this particular random generator was created by Vincent Gault). Once it was done, I could use it to turn my single grass blade into a field of grass that can tile together with itself, and then other artists can paint the grass texture onto the surfaces of 3D models however they like.

grass process
Even though it’s completely flat, there’s some height information in the texture that makes the grass look 3D

After the texture was made, all was left was color, which was just some additional nodes on the graph.

grass color

And that’s a simple grass texture! Then other artists can take this texture and apply it in-game however they like!

The grass texture painted onto the level

Have a good one,




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