Mud Hut Wall
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Mud Hut Wall

by dagmawi1tsegaye on 22 Nov 2020

Creating a mut hut wall generator using Substance designer. My first ever non experimental organic texture. Renders and workflow here. :)

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Mud Hut Wall

For the last few weeks I've been studying and experimenting on creating textures with organic features. Since I've been creating patterns manipulated artificially, I wanted to have  a smoother transition with more knowledge of integrating man made patterns with the natural patterns as well.

Final Renders

Few damages, this texture can go full clean as well.

Mild damages with different patterns.

No paint layer, with just the mud exposed.

Work breakdown

Creating the wood

Reference for wood amount for vertical aligned wood and for the horizontals as well.

I used a simple tile generator with varying luminance to get the horizontal wood patterns.

You can see from the reference that it's not just wood. After creating the cavities and tiling them up, I blurred them to get the smoother warping on the wood that is influenced by the cavity. I've also used other noises to warp the tiled wood. And finally added the bulbous lip on the cavities by subtracting a higher contrast version of the blur from the blurred one, and used Add blending mode with a slight value.

A close up look of the cavity, splits and noise on the wood that I've added after creating the base look of the wood.

Creating Splinters

As you can see from the above screenshot, there is a wearing off from the wood. I've made that using the tile generator with custom made patterns as you can see below. After tiling them up I've masked them to create variation and to only appear only on the wood.

Creating Mud

References

Creation process

Created a bubbly base to add details on using differenct noises with few micro details such as Clouds 2 (with a different seeding) and later on used a non uniform blur node to get a little bulbing detail form then later slop blurred it slightly to gain a little more deformation. Then proceeded on to the micro details using nosies with a wider variation of values rather than having an overall cloudiness. 

Adding Crack and Circular Dents in the mud

Adding the cracks, references and results in SD, respectively. 

I didnt want to go crazy on the cracks, as this is a material to hold every characteristics of a mud hut wall. So later on I've included it as an exposable attribute so when ever any project insists the inclusion of that property, I can get a quick result from this material.

Nothing that different from any other crack creation methods, but from the references you can see that as the mud dries up and after it cracks, each crack has a slope of it's own before finally breaking off. To include that detail I used the generated crack and had it go through the Flood Fill node to create a random sloping effect. Then used a non uniform blur to create a smoother fall off at the end of each crack as they stop from on area to another. I didn't want to spread them across consistently as that would look off, hence why I created the mask from a contrasted version of the distance node. 

Circular Dents

References

Walkthrough

There isn't much unique method for this, I used tile generator of paraboloid shapes and later on warped them and had them go through the slope blur node for more wearing off look.

I later on exposed the tiling amount and the later to come blend node's opacity channel for flexibility, if at some point I'm required to create the first version from the reference. The opacity controls how deep it'll go (as it amplifies the subtraction from the mud layer), and the amount is for controlling the quantity of holes.

Adding Grasses

Grass is used to increase the duration of mud on the wood. It's mixed along with the mud and later on slapped on to the wood. I've used similar method as the circular dents, except I've tiled a paraboloid that's thinner in the x axis with random positioning and scale. Repeated it 2x and blended them along as the grass can be a little more dense as seen in the references above. 

Creating the paint layer

I used height blend node to combine the mud and wood. I used that node so that I can get a quick and accurate mask for each. Since paint is only done over the muddy area, I used the mud mask to create that layer. Refernce (Creating mud section: second image) you can see an orange layer cracking away and on the "Circular dent" section, you can see a gray paint peeling off the mud. 

I used warp nodes and slope blurs as the mask might create a super curved mask and that could look weird. Later, I added cracks over that paint layer as well using cells node that were warped and slope blurred for different looks.

Creating Painted Patterns

References

The patterns give a hut it's characteristics and makes it look vibrant and colorful. If you ask me that's a must have with variations so this texture I'm making is flexible and charming at the same time.

Some of the patterns I've created are :

After creating the patterns, I've used warp nodes for inconsistent lining and a slope blur for brush warping around the edges.

Exposing Parameters

As I've said, I've exposed few properties of my texture such as:  

When you allow the paint layer ,the characteristics of the paint will pop up, providing options when it's only required. But when it's disabled, the height of the mud and wood, Mud color (desert, black or red) and overlaying dirt will be available. As I increase the height, the more the mud will cover the wood.  And as I enable the paint layer, based on the mud amount, the paint will overlay it's self over the mud since I've used the mask of the height blend node with few mud exposed.

Findings

The hardest part was determining which blend tool to use to get the horizontal and vertical wood aligning with out greyscale value issues. I couldn't get them to overlap with just a blend node even with a non uniform blur node helping me avoid the additional warping that can be caused from the underlying vaalue. So later on I switched to a height blend then leveled the blended map to get darker greyscales back to normal scales. The other challenge was creating the wood cavities. I couldn't breakdown  the structure well, when I started. But later I understood it was just a circular set of rings, warped. I used a splatter circular with rings and with randomly scaled paraboloid shapes to get the variation of values inside each ring. I've also found out that everything doesn't need to be on the height map, the grasses have been added, only, to the normal map instead as they are only laid down with only few grasses poking out. 

I've understood experimenting is the big part of procedural work flow, testing out which step would get you to the next, quicker, is a big part of the process. But as I kept logging my time on Substance Designer I can confidently say that I know more than I knew before. Even if it's a starting point, each session I had with the application helped me discover methods to create a lot of materials quicker and the time spent, abled me to utilize the nodes within quicker.


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