Artist Ben Wilson Brings Beauty and Decay to His Substance Source Signature Release

New Collection Brings 15 Original Ready-to-Use Materials, Including Two Free to Download; Substance Source Library Now Contains Nearly 1850 Assets.

May 21, 2019

The Substance Team today announces the second Substance Source Signature Collection of 2019, bringing with it one of the most versatile sets of materials yet. For his collection, material artist Ben Wilson channeled his love of abstract design and decaying architecture in order to create assets that run the spectrum from beauty to decay, with an emphasis on shape language. Wilson’s 15 original materials are available now and are meant to offer artists working on anything from games to VFX to architecture a source of inspiration and original designs.


Wilson’s collection begins with carved layer stacking, meant to convey an abstract and yet simplified expression of beauty. The fully customizable parameters make for a nearly infinite level of variations, and the shapes were designed in a way that encourages experimentation for artists of all skill levels. The designs emphasized in the beauty set are also reflected in the decay materials through the shape language employed. Twisted and distorted features offer a new take on decay beyond the traditional emphasis on factors like death and overgrowth.

“For this collection, I wanted to create something that could act as a starting point for artists that want to go beyond the familiar ideas of what we associate with beauty and decay,” said Wilson. “The designs I looked to in order to inspire these materials are somewhat abstract and hard to clarify as beautiful, while others for decay bordered on chaotic. But ultimately, it’s two sides of the same coin.”


Whether an artist is leaning towards the beauty materials to help design a modern skyscraper or utilizing the decay assets to create a well-worn stone wall, the color variation was designed to be as user-friendly as possible. All materials offer a primary, secondary and tertiary color picker, allowing for easy color control. Each graph was also created with similar visual features in mind to ensure a cohesive set of materials, so objects like debris, for instance, are shared across each material.

To create his collection, Wilson leveraged his years as a Substance Designer user along with nearly a decade of experience creating video games. His resume includes blockbuster franchises including Gears of War and Forza Horizons, as well as work on major releases like The Division. He recently acted as senior environment artist for Machine Games’ Wolfenstein II: New Colossus before joining Ubisoft Stockholm as a material artist to work on the upcoming Avatar game. He has also worked with the Substance Team to present a master class during Substance Days GDC 2018.


To celebrate the release of the new collection, Substance Source subscribers will receive two materials – “Fossilized Streams” and “Concrete Clover” – for free. Both materials are now available to download from the Substance Source library. Wilson will join the Substance Team for a live stream from Stockholm on May 27, offering a deep dive into the creation of both materials and a look at the collection as a whole.


With the release of Wilson’s collection, the Substance Source library continues to grow. Users now have access to nearly 1850 ready-to-use materials, each fully customizable and tweakable for use in anything from gaming to VFX to architecture to design and more. Additional materials will be announced soon, including new collections from artists working in multiple industries.

Pricing & Availability

Access to Substance Source is available through a monthly subscription. Subscribers receive 30 Substance Source material downloads per month, along with Substance Designer, Substance Painter and Substance B2M for $19.90 (Indie) or $99.90 (Pro). Professional users and teams can also buy the entire Substance Source library, along with one year of updates, for $4990. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.