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Material Art and Graduation Project

Material Art and Graduation Project

by AllanMAGAGNOSC on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Hi, I'm Allan MAGAGNOSC and I'm freshly graduated from ArtFX as a Material Artist. Here is my entry for the Rookies 2022, I present the materials I've made for 2 years and my work on our graduation game Shutter. I hope you'll enjoy it!

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The Rookies 2022

Here is my entry for The Rookies 2022, I've been using and learning Substance Designer on my own since 2 years and I really love this software. 

For this entry, I present some of the materials I've made this past 2 years and also the work done on my graduation project, Shutter, as an environment artist. 

Solidifying Lava 

As I a passionate about volcanoes, one of the materials I really wanted to work on was Lava. So I decided to take some references of solidifying lava and create a realistic material based on those. 

This material was also a way for me to train on organic and flowing shapes in Substance Designer. 

While working on this, I also created a flowing lava material based on References, I will explain more below in the post.


We continue in volcanic type materials with obsidian.

This is the latest material I produced and the first of a set of volcanic rock materials. 

I really wanted to have a convincing realistic effect, the biggest challenge was to balance the roughness of the material and to understand the details that make up the obsidian

Pine Bark Material 

This material was created last year for a challenge I gave myself. As I had never really worked on wood before, I wanted to practice and learn the techniques in Substance Designer to create this kind of material. The challenge was to produce several types of bark.

The Pine bark is the one I'm most proud of but I also worked on sequoia and acacia bark. 

Here are the sequoia and acacia barks

Damaged Road

For a workshop on Substance Designer with Anthony Carmona, I produced a damaged road material and decided to make a small diorama to present it.

The purpose of this workshop, for me, was to train my skills on an industrial material and to work on destruction effects (cracks, honeycombing, etc..). 

The props were an opportunity for me to focus on 3D mesh production and texturing in Substance Painter

I also produced a cement material that I used to texture the concrete barricade.

Other Materials 

Here are some other materials I have produced:

- Cooling Lava: After watching Daniel Thigers' talk at GDC, I decided to take a photoscan reference from and reproduce it.

- Obsidian Dragon Scale: I created this texture for the mayterial prompt:  FairyTale

- Cave Rock Material: I just wanted to play around with one of my graphs to create rocks, I ended up with shapes that I liked and it reminded me of a cave, so I went ahead and finished the material.

- Mine Rail Road:  After making the Cave Rock Material, I decided to create a texture of mine rails. 

Shutter - Trailer

SHUTTER - What Did I do ?

Shutter is the graduation project I worked on this year. 

In Shutter you play as Keith, a new employee that has arrived at the mysterious research center L.I.E. (Learn, Investigate and Exploit). Explore and solve puzzles with a camera that modifies objects using perspective. All in a space-age inspired setting.

I was in charge of all the environments of the game so my main missions were :

- Create  and do the LookDev of the materials according to the rules defined by our art director

- Work closely with the level designers to establish the principal rules we need to take care of

- Shaders production in UE4

- Create a set of modular meshes 

- Level Building and set dressing with the help of all the artists in the team

- Lighting with the help of our Art Director 

Shutter - Environment Creation

Because Shutter is a puzzle game, Level Design is meant to change quite often during the production. Therefore, I created a first set of modular meshes so that we could iterate quickly and easily. And then, I started to produce more specific modules in order to give each room an original aspect. 

We finished by doing all the set dressing and the final lighting for the environment. The lighting is a mix between baked, movable and stationary lights to optimize the game but still have the dynamic shadows that are very important for the gameplay mechanic

Shutter - Material Creation

The architecture of the environment is a mix of Brutalism and Space Age (70's). Therefore, the environment is mainly composed of concrete and Coat/Plastic.

The overall look of the materials was established during the preproduction of the game, we wanted to have a strong artistic aspect in our materials. 

To make the environment more colorful, we decided to have purple patches on the textures and a reduced amount of high-frequency details. Also, we used the purple patches in the roughness with a decreased amount of white on the map to properly catch the light in the engine. Our Artistic direction is mainly inspired by Valorant and Dishonored (Only for the material part).

Those rules were established by Vincent Medeiros (our Art Director) and then, I did the lookdev of the materials until we got the result we have now. I created a Substance designer graph that allows me to change concrete type quickly, the purple patches adapt according to the changes I make.

The Plastic and Coat were done directly in the engine as shaders with some noise mask to add some details.

Here is the full playthrough of the game but you can check out the Rookies entry for the Game of the Year category : Shutter

A huge thanks to the whole team, this was an amazing year, I had a lot of fun working on this project  :

Clément Ciranna - Programmer

Joris Doucet - Character Artist

Thomas Le Roux - Game Designer & Level Designer

Clara Lopez - Game Designer & UX/UI Designer

Julian Macias - Technical Artist & Programmer

Vincent Medeiros - Art Director & Concept Artist

Samuel Hoareau - VFX Artist

Guilhem Perez - 3D Animator

Corentin Zimmermann - Props Artist

Thomas Bruyneel - Props Artist 


You can also checkout my 2022 demoreel here :

I hope you enjoyed my entry !

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