Beyond Awesomeness: Introducing the 2018 Substance Designer Insanity Awards!

  • Community

Since we released the first version of Substance Designer more than a decade ago, we’ve been constantly amazed by what artists are able to produce with the software. Version after version, the community is constantly pushing the limits of Substance Designer, sometimes creating artwork that we would never have imagined possible.

But 2018 is different. 2018 is the year of the emergence of a new kind of content. 2018 is the year of Substance Designer insanity!

This kind of content is produced by highly skilled Substance artists, with a crazy mind.

  • Is this content production ready? Not necessarily.
  • Was there an easier way to achieve this result? Sometimes.
  • Is the result absolutely brilliant? Definitely!

Confronted by all this chaotic inventiveness, we had to do something – so we decided to celebrate these creations appropriately, by introducing the 2018 Substance Designer Insanity Awards!

The concept of these awards is simple. We preselected 21 artwork pieces from different artists. We had an internal vote in the Substance team to decide on the top 10 winners. Starting today, each day we will announce a new winner, working our way to the top, and announcing the podium on the last day, Sunday, December 30. We will update this page every day, but you can also follow the Insanity Awards directly on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Winners Top 10

1: Emrecan Cubukcu with Advanced Village Material

Artwork by Emrecan Cubucku

“I was working on a farm material for a project, and I wondered what if I push a little bit harder and do a village material. Well, it happened. And that was the time when I fell in love with Substance Designer!”

2: Jonathan Benainous with Baroque Ceiling

“With this project inspired by the church “Santa Maria in Aracoeli”, I aimed to challenge myself as an artist and develop my technical knowledge and modeling skills in Substance Designer.”

3: Stanislav Mikhailov with Substance Designer Architecture practice

Artwork by Stanislav Mikhailov

“I started just with an ionic capital element and did not have anything super complicated in my mind at the beginning. Then I did some sketches of the facade layout and thought about how the ionic column can fit in there and after that, I felt like I’m ready to create a bigger project than those I did before. Only after finishing the material I came up with this tower type presentation. For me, this project was a conclusion and a good mastering of skills gained during watching DETE (Daniel Thiger) courses and official Allegorithmic videos on youtube.”

4: Eric Wiley with Beach Debris Pile

Artwork by Eric Wiley

“My goal with this material was to create a convincing layered debris pile and do it completely in Substance Designer.”

5: Vincent Dérozier with Sacred Bust

“On this project, I wanted to create something figurative, stylized and that would push me to find new ways to sculpt volumes. It was a challenging piece that pushed me outside my usual use of Substance Designer. Allowing me to discover new recipes like extrude, perspective, inflate and so on that are now common knowledge to the community. It was totally worth it!”

6: Yin Shiuan with Audi Engine

Artwork by Yin Shiuan

“The main goal of this personal project is trying to push my Substance Designer quality bar as high as possible. The key point to achieve this goal is how I dealing with the height and depth volume. So, why not just create the entire car engine by using Substance Designer?”

7: Kento Yamamoto with Variable Ramen Material

Artwork by Kento Yamamoto

“Because this ramen in my eyes is also a kind of picture, I thought there was no way that it cannot be reproduced with Substance Designer. So I have to try!”

8: Daniel Thiger with Substance Designer Watch

Artwork by Daniel Thiger

“A fully procedural Watch Generator created in Substance Designer, where the goal was to create a quick and iterative prototyping tool without any focus on modeling. The secondary goal was to create professional product renders.”

9: Javier Perez with Not the Bees!

Artwork by Javier Perez

“My goal for this project was to create a convincing image that looked to be modeled in 3D but was actually all texture work. The bees were a test for me to see how much I can push what is possible inside of Substance Designer.”

“On Ghost Recon: Wildlands we had to do more than 160 badges, traditionally we sculpt each fiber with the standard brush on Zbrush… So to avoid it I created in Substance Designer a graph that can generate procedurally a badge from a grayscale mask as input, it’s been quite a lot of fun to make it”.


Clark Coots with Parchment Map Substance

Artwork by Clark Coots

“I wanted to push myself and create something outside of the box from my typical use of Substance Designer. I thought I could harness the procedural power in 2 dimensions with a parchment map inspired by the fantasy genre. I also wanted to expand on a faux text generator idea, as well as explore the Shape Extrude node for the mountain shapes.”

Cem Tezcan with CRT TV

Artwork by Cem Tezcan

“As a CAD modeler and product designer, It was very experimental for me to create a model just by 2D height maps using Substance Designer. In many cases, I realized that creating manufactured product surfaces is easier and more controlled with Substance Designer than creating them in a CAD software! After baking that tessellated geometry as mesh and you’re good to go. You just modeled your hard surface object without polygons!”

Alexey Druzhkov with Viking Shield

Artwork by Alexey Druzhkov

“When you use Substance Designer, even sometimes insane things become real. I was inspired by the very possibility of creating in Substance not just material for the surface, but the creation of a whole geometric object. Even complex patterns are not a hindrance to your imagination ;).”

Hanchen Yang with Printed Circuit Board

Artwork by Hanchen Yang

“This work is a personal challenge while I was learning Substance Designer. I think Printed Circuit Board is a charming and mysterious material for me personally, so I tried to realize it in Substance Designer. The whole process lasted about 4 days and full of fun, I’m happy with the result.”

Jay Cummings with Procedural MOLLE Chest Rig

Artwork by Jay Cummings

“My original goal was to see how much I could learn from creating a mix of organic fabric and hard-surface shapes within Substance Designer. I’ve been inspired by the work of Daniel Thiger, Eric Wiley and Jonathan Benainous.”

Vladimir Tsvetkov with Flight Management System

Artwork by Vladimir Tsvetkov

“The inspiration for this work was the idea of experiments on a standard pipeline of models and textures development. I wondered if it was possible to make a game model after receiving production textures, which greatly simplifies the production and any changes. It is really cool! This is how the Flight Management system worked out :-)”

Steve Holt with Rocky Creek

Artwork by Steve Holt

“As an environment artist working in the video games industry, I like the idea of creating fully procedural tiling materials, that can very quickly be tweaked and tuned for the needs of the environment that I am working on. I find working with Substance Designer to be one of the best workflows out there in this regard. It’s out of the box procedural and tiling nature frees me up to focus on creativity. But perhaps the true power lies in the speed at which I can iterate. If the project called for the rocks in my little creek here to be more like smooth eroded river stones, that change can happen in minutes, without me having to start over with my material or remodel anything, thanks to the power of Substance Designer’s procedural workflow!”

Ispais Sedano with Indian Spices

Artwork by Ispais Sedano

“Simple materials are good and necessary but keep in mind that Substance Designer can be used to do more than that. Just need an Idea, creativity, and motivation to make a difference. I truly love food and colors, and this material is born mixing both ideas while preparing a meal inspired by Indian culture. “

Nick Beaufait with Substance Monopoly

Artwork by Nick Beaufait

“The initial idea for this project was to try my hand at something different from what I’d previously made with Substance Designer, but I also wanted to give a small nod to some of the incredible artists that inspire me! Making a themed Monopoly board in Substance Designer seemed like a fun challenge and a good opportunity to accomplish both of those goals.”

Bogodar Havrylyuk with Asiatic Lily

Artwork by Bogodar Havrylyuk

“I work on the procedural foliage for the last two years using Substance Designer. I spend lots of time looking for something interesting to create before I start work, so every my work has his own mood and story. I am a huge fan of the Jeronim Bosch van Aeken works, because of his storytelling in his pictures, so I always try to add some little stories for my works. One of the most interesting parts while I was generating lilies in substance, was to add some buds on the leaves with the different stories. Even flowers have their own stories.”

Serkan Buldan with Roof from Plane

Artwork by Serkan Buldan

“I love to play with ideas in Substance Designer. This one is a result of another experiment. I was trying to create a 2d rooftop after I completed 2d version I realized that a 3d version wouldn’t be too hard and here it is.”

Special mention: Gaetan Lassagne with Voice recognition in Substance Designer (WIP)

“An experiment I did to do things in Substance Designer (nodes creation for example) using voice recognition from microphone input. This was done as a proof of concept, nothing official, small personal project during vacations. That’s definitely not something you’ll use at work in an open space but maybe at home for some functionalities? :)”

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