The goal I wanted with this material was to make a pretty complex pattern and have the most efficiency possible.
For my references, I tried different patterns, every time isolating the main pattern by hand, editing it in photoshop to make a rough 2048×2048 image and then importing it to Substance Designer as a reference for my SVG Node.
For the tile material itself, I searched how bath tiles were reflecting the light, since that was the closest to what I was trying to achieve.
Base Tiles Shape
I started by making a base tile setup which helped me to have a clear idea of the base material I wanted to make. I made one tile and I just blended a gradient into the same tile to get a slightly different variation. I then plugged them into a tile generator.
I added some noises to the tiles to give a more grainy look (dirt, clouds 1 or 3, etc.) with a non-uniform blur, then warping into a directional warp with an intensity around 50.
Then, I added some final micro details on the edge, but also on the surface. I did a setup combining a Crystal 2 node and a Shape node. Then splattering it with an EZ Splatter node (you can use any splatter node you want, feel free to experiment, each splatter nodes have different parameters. After blurring the result I used the result in a slope blur grayscale with a very low intensity (around 0.04). The last effect adds some damage to the edge, it’s a little addition but it gives a real addition to the material.
The roughness part was very interesting to build, as I warped and blur many noises, I began with a Clouds 2 node, blending it with a mask from the Base Tile setup explained previously. I often used the Bevel node to blur some steps since roughness isn’t sharp on this kind of surface.
I combined it with Clouds 2 which was sharpened with a Quantize node. Remember to use various steps of your heightmap to Directional wap the result of your roughness, so it’s not uniform, this adds breakups to the tiles’ roughness.
For the Base Color, I started by making a the same Clouds 2, I needed a white base, with some variation, so the quantize and perfect with it, add this with a transform to had even more color variations.
Quick tip to add some storytelling to your material, I made a mask from the final heightmap, level it to make more aged areas on the side on the tiles. I think it give a nice touch to the material, don’t make things too perfect.
For the Patterns, I used an SVG node to optimize my time. It can be done by combining shapes, but it needs a lot of time to get it right, so I advise doing patterns with SVG nodes or external software like photoshop.
For the floral part, I traced half of the pattern with an SVG node, crop it to recenter the shape, then mirror it to get the full shape.
For the color of the pattern, I used a Warp node to break the clean look of the shapes. I did a Histogram Select on the result to get the borders of the pattern to use it as a mask for the color.
For the Base Color, it’s important to have a good variety of colors, this can be just slightly desaturated, but if you add a Clouds 2 as a mask in your blend, the result can be very interesting.
Don’t hesitate to use the Curvature node (with an input Normal node around 10) on your heightmap to to add more details and a new variety of noises.
One final tip about the basecolor, it can have a really simple beginning as I did on the Scales Tiles material. Sometimes, you can even get some opposite colors having a great result together with a gradient mask.
For the rendering, I subdivided a plane in 3ds Max and set up all the rest in Marmoset Toolbag 3.
I added some external meshes from Megascan to have better shadows on the plane, it always helps a lot for storytelling and interest.
The lighting was composed of only 2 lights, added to the environment by clicking directly on the background image in the Sky Light section.
Final pass on the camera effect with the depth of field, don’t forget to add some blur on the image to make the eye focus on some areas.
Thank you for taking the time to read the article. If you have any questions or if you want more explanations on some points, feel free to reach out on Artstation or Twitter.
Thanks to Stan Brown, his tutorial helped me a lot on how to make a complex roughness. You can buy his tutorial below.