New Substance Source Collection Makes Creating Digital Characters Easier Than Ever

Drag-and-Drop Skin Materials Offer Realistic Imperfections with Infinite Customizable Options; Two Materials Available for Free

May 14, 2019

The Substance team today announces a new Substance Source material collection designed to aid in the rapid creation and customization of 3D characters. Developed with the help of veteran character modelers from film and games, the “Substance Source Skin Micro Details Collection” introduces 32 original materials, each offering artists a way to quickly customize the little imperfections needed to bring a fully realized character to life.

Today’s release is the second of two parts and features materials created with the input of character designer Pablo Muñoz Gomez. His work joins that of 3D modeler Magdalena Dadela, whose contributions debuted on May 2. For this dermatological collection, the veterans worked with the Source team every step of the way, from the design of the materials for use in a variety of character designs to determining the parametric levels of each asset. Each downloadable offering can be endlessly modified to help create a photorealistic digital human or tweaked and exaggerated to produce anything from a cartoon character to a sci-fi monster.

“When it comes to character creation, perfection can actually be a negative,” said Nicolas Paulhac, product manager of Substance Source. “The best looking 3D characters are the ones that use major or minor differences to show history and uniqueness. That can make a huge difference, but it can also be time and resource heavy. That’s where this collection comes in.”

Working from dermatology publications and reference images, the team was able to recreate some of the most common skin imperfections, including natural blemishes, freckles, open wounds and even the effects of diseases. Shape, size, colors and more are all adaptable, customizable and ready-to-use, whether you want to create a realistic digital human or a zombie with rotting flesh.

The new collection is the latest step towards helping Substance users create a digital character that fits any genre, offering adjustable levels of realism based on the needs of the project. Earlier this year, the Substance team released a collection of materials made in collaboration with Texturing XYZ featuring scans of human skin. Those customizable materials feature everything from pores to individual hairs, and can be used as the first level of a character’s skin. When paired with advancements to Substance Painter – including the introduction of Subsurface Scattering – artists now have even more ways to produce film-grade characters faster and with more flexibility.

To help bring the Substance Source Skin Micro Details Collection to users, the Substance team sought out character design professionals with years of experience. That led them to Dadela and Gomez. Dadela is a long-time Substance user and character modeler for Framestore’s Montreal location. Her resume includes game franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Tomb Raider, while her VFX history features Warcraft: The Beginning, Predators, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and more.

Based in Melbourne, Gomez has spent years as a professional modeler and teacher, helping to create character models for a wide variety of industries, including education, healthcare, corporate videos and the film and game industries. He recently turned that passion for creation and sharing knowledge into a resource for artists when he founded ZBrushGuides.

The collection launches with two free materials for Substance Live subscribers to experiment with. Both the “Arch Fingerprint” and the “Skin Freckles” can be downloaded directly through the Substance Source library.

For additional tips on using the micro skin materials, look for live tutorials from Dadela and Gomez on the Substance YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

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.