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Damian Gerrits | The Rookies 2023

Damian Gerrits | The Rookies 2023

Damian Gerrits
by damiangerrits on 21 Apr 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Welcome to my The Rookies 2023 entry! This entry showcases my work from 2021 to 2023. I hope you enjoy the work as much as I've enjoyed creating it!

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Tales of the Adventurers Inn

During my Graduation project I've taken a mentorship with Peter Tran to develop my skills in lighting Environments. In this project I've been responsible for lighting, a little bit of set dressing and composition of the scene. The set dressing has been primarily changed to improve the overall composition and storytelling of the scene and the lighting is fully dynamic. Project is made in Unreal Engine 5.

I've also added a breakdown of the project so go check that out if you're interested in learning more about my thought process behind creating this!

Stylized Village pack by: MESHINGUN STUDIO and assets by William Tate ( (

Clouds by: DF Productions (

Day lighting Music: Village Ambiance by Alexander Nakarada
Night lighting Music: Fantasy Ambiance by Alexander Nakarada
Eerie lighting Music: Wonderland by Alexander Nakarada


These are the main references that I've used for each lighting scenario.

Tales of the Adventurers Inn | Experience Points Article

Experience Points invited me to talk about my process creating Tales of The Adventurers Inn. Here I went into even more detail about all aspects of this relighting project as well as giving some insight into my experience in following Mentorships and how to get the most out of them. You can check out the full article here:

Designer Doodles

Here is a collection of Substance Materials I've made to practice Substance Designer.

Eroded Sandstone

An Eroded Sandstone material study I've made for the Mayterials challenge. It was nice to tackle something different and I enjoyed playing around with vertical renders for this one.

Vinyl Tarp

A Vinyl Tarp material study I've made for the Mayterials challenge.
I've decided to dive into my endless folder of resources and tutorials and learn a bit more about tackling wrinkles and folds with Josh Lynch his tutorial. Picked up a few new tricks and finally played around with Marmoset Toolbag 4 for this one.

Beach Sand

This beach sand material was made for the summer prompt, during the Mayterials challenge. For this material I wanted the focus to be on convincing detail in the sand, organic distribution of the pebbles/twigs and good breakup in the sand waves.

Beach Sand material made using Substance Designer, big pebbles are from Substance Source, twigs from, and rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 3.

Forest Ground

This is was my first realistic material that I've made during my mentorship with Josh Lynch.

For this material I decided to step out of my comfort zone and tackle something realistic and organic. The main focus of the mentorship was to learn Substance Designer, layer elements properly on top of each other to create a good rhythm and have an organic distribution of these elements.

Forest Ground material made using Substance Designer, leaves are from Substance Source, twigs from, and rendered in Marmoset Toolbag.


After collecting a bunch of references and choosing the Environment conditions, it was time to identify the major points of interest in the material. Analyzing the reference with a Macro to Micro workflow helped to digest the different elements and details in the material. Ultimately this helped to control the amount of noise and to organize every element in Substance Designer as well.


To be able to get a nice distribution between the different elements, it was important to have a lot of control over each element. (Leaves, twigs, pine needles and pebbles)

Pine Needle Generator

Because my reference contained multiple layers of pine needles, I decided to create multiple generators that contained different amounts of needles growing out of the sheath. This way it was much easier to create the variety in the layers of pine needles.

Pebble Generators
Looking at my reference I noticed that the forest grounds contained a lot of different types of pebbles. From more angular rocks to these smoother river rocks. I decided to create two different generators for these pebbles to also get some variety in the layers of rocks.

Base Color

The most challenging of all was getting the base color to feel right. For this I looked a lot at the base color of scanned textures on It's a great resource to see how much color variety there actually is.

To get even more color variety I utilized Ben Wilson his Color Variation node. This gave some subtle variety in the sand and the pebbles, which really helped push it.

Below you can scroll through the big color changes throughout the material.

Wood planks

I had been wanting to tackle wood for quite a while so took this as an opportunity to make some rough wood planks. Special thanks to Josh and Derk for some great tutorials on wood creation in Substance Designer, I learned a lot through both of them.

Wood planks material made using Substance Designer and rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 3.

Stylized Pavement

After playing Borderlands 3, I fell in love with the style of the game. At this time I was just getting into Substance Designer so I thought it would be a nice challenge to create a Borderlands inspired material.

Stylized Pavement material made using Substance Designer, the inking of the material was done in Photoshop, and rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 3.

Stylized Wood Planks

During my graduation project I've been going back to stylized art after doing a lot of realism over the past year and a half. It's been great diving back into it and these planks were a little exercise to explore the style of the materials.


If you’ve made it all the way here I would like to thank you for taking the time to look at my work and read through all of my ramblings about my experience and thought process behind creating all of this. I hope that you’ve learned something or at the very least enjoyed looking at the renders!

My DM’s are always open to anyone who might have a questions.

You can find me here on Artstation:
Here on Linkedin:
and here on Twitter:

- Damian

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