14 October 2021

Gas Mask – Material Breakdown – Mikhail Kondratovich



Hi, my name is Mikhail Kondratovich. I am from Ukraine, I am 36 years old.

Currently, I am working as a Material Artist at Spherical Horse.



The idea for creating the material came up when I saw this image:



This photo was taken in the school premises, on the territory of the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Substance Designer

In this article, I will cover the main points of creating a material. If you want to know more, you can download the original (SBS file) for free from the Artstation Store.


To create the outline of the gas mask, I used SVG Node. Then I used the Non Uniform Blur and Blur HQ nodes to create the volume.


The basic shape of the valve tubes is created in a separate graph. To create a smooth transition, I pre-extruded the main shape using Directional Warp. After that I added the valve tubes using the Blend node in Max (Lighten) mode and blurred the result using a combination of Non Uniform Blur and Blur HQ nodes.


To prevent the masks from looking the same, the clips and holes on the cover of the exhalation valve tube change when the Random Seed parameter is changed.

This is because the Ring Rotation Random parameter in the Splatter Circular nodes is set to 1. These nodes are responsible for the shape of the objects that cut air holes and clips.


The eyepiece glass has three options: whole, cracked and with a hole. The cracks are based on the Voronoi texture created with the Tile Sampler.

I also added the ability to change the position of the gas mask eyepiece.


To make the masks look more realistic, I made several versions of the inscriptions on the exhalation valve tube and at the bottom of the main form.


A variety of gas masks are also added by belts.


The lower part of the straps has almost the same position and brightness. This is done so that the belts do not protrude beyond the metal buckles and do not cross them in height.


Each section of the gas mask has its own mask, its own channel. It is labeled Material and will come in handy when we divide areas by color to create a BaseColor map and Roughness map.

If a piece of material has a unique texture, it is passed through the Color channel.


To make the channels to coincide during blending, they are combined into one node using the RGB Merge node.

Accordingly, the Tile Sampler Color node is used to distribute gas masks.


The created layer of gas masks and the hoses added to them is duplicated and applied first over, then under the bottom with an offset.

To fill in the voids, I created a scattered strap layer and placed it underneath.


To create hoses, a generator has been made in a separate graph.


Base Color and Roughness


To set the desired color for different areas, I used the previously created Material channel as a mask.


It was also used to set the desired values for the Roughness map.


After setting the desired values, the textures were modified through the masks the Dirt and Dust generators.

I also used Grunge Map 001 (as a mask) to change the brightness and saturation of various areas.

Overlaying the Curvature Sobel in the Overlay mode (with lowered brightness) allowed to emphasize the volume.

At the very end, I added a small noise (Fractal Sum Base) to the places where dust accumulates.


This is how the modified Height, Normal and Ambient Occlusion maps look:


Marmoset Toolbag


I render my materials in Marmoset Toolbag.


For this kind of material, I decided to make the scene a little dark.


The environment map, which acted as a fill light source, mainly illuminated the sides of the sphere. The central part remained in the shade.

To convey the volume, a soft light source was added above the object.

At the bottom left and in the upper right corner, I placed several backlight sources. They separated the subject from the background and nicely emphasized the relief.

Due to the lack of lighting, the glass of the gas mask looked dull. Adding point lights directly above them brought the image to life.


               The background and sphere were added in separate layers in Photoshop.

I added vignetting in several steps.

To separate the object and add depth, I brightened the background in the area of the sphere outline. I really liked the vertical lines of different widths, which were slightly readable, I decided not to smooth them completely.


One layer of adjustment curves was used to refine the sphere.


Subsequent correction affected the entire image.

I added two textures through masks in Screen and Overlay modes.

Then I slightly raised the saturation and added sharpness.


Tips for beginners


For those who are just at the beginning of their journey, I would advise to clearly define the goal of what you want to achieve in a few years. Look at the artists whose work you like. Think about what needs to be learned, what needs to be practiced to reach their level. Imagine your portfolio in a few years. Create for yourself a program on how to make your desire materialize.

Do not stray from the chosen path and you will succeed.


Thanks for reading all of this and I hope it’s been useful to you!


If you have any questions, you can write to me on Artstation or Instagram.


I appreciate GamesArtist for the opportunity to write about my work!