Substance Source Highlights: Crossroads

  • Design
  • Interview

The Substance Source highlights are back, this time with a new color and material exploration: “Crossroads”.

This new video is a direct follow up of Dark Wonder, published here a few months ago. Just like its big sister, it aims to inspire creatives from all backgrounds to play with parametric materials. Crossroads is the new collaboration between 3D artist and Unreal Engine expert Ronan Mahon, and color and material designer Anaïs Lamellière. 

The team worked on a deceivingly simple principle: create and illustrate 3 different themes using only 4 Substance Source materials. You’d think it would look repetitive. But no: once we began to experiment with the infinity of possible parameters for each material, we could easily create a vast range of variations.

It wasn’t enough: still, Ronan and Anaïs had to figure out a way to connect these infinite possibilities with a meaningful creative theme inspired by actual design trends.

Take a look behind the curtain; Learn more about the the 3 stories they created.

While discussions tend to lean towards closed borders and raised walls, our video explores the cultural wealth of border spaces. Crossroads loves mixing things up. It weaves visual relationships among diverse cultures and genres across time, seeking to discover vibrant patterns and colors with a special focus on crossing from one space to another. 

Crossroads conjures images of crossbreeding different aesthetic, marrying contrasting styles or trends. It can also be used to describe a product or object that combines contrasting elements. The fluidity is highlighted when spaces are able to join one another instantly, even when they are at opposite ends of the world.

We regularly witness hybridization, be it in the combination of manufacturing techniques and the association of unexpected materials. The combination of foreign elements can create something unique.

Chapter 1: Afrofuturism

The powerful imagery of Afrofuturism suggests what could be possible if the sci-fiction and technology merge black history.

Duality is a defining feature of this palette with natural color. Rust complements Marble Green, while highlights such as Neon Yellow or Magnetic Blue herald a futuristic vision.

Focus on slow process and dedicated craftsmanship sees copper, bronze, wood and wicker are prominent. Between molten and hardened, the different states of materials explore the contrast between the archaic and the sleek that have a hard, futuristic finish.

Chapter 2: Play with lines

The blurring of boundaries and blending of lines create a porous surface. This is the unifying theme of Asian inspiration. 

“Play with lines” is a harmonious palette, where a range of deeper tones such as Brown Patina and Brown Granite work as inviting, natural colors, punctuated with red.

The graphic pattern is created with woven wood and textured weaves, to channel new architectural combinations.

Chapter 3: Southern geometries

Southern geometries highlight the richness of color in the geometric and abstract shapes of the art of Latin America. Intense blue and vibrant emerald green add contrast to this palette of clay colors.

Southern geometries is inspired by cut-out volumes, like a patchwork of simple geometric shapes. Handmade materials are freed from superfluous process and details to focus on simplicity in form.

Get inspired. Play with digital materials: create moodboards and communicate your creative ideas.

And if you want to give a go yourself with these four specific materials, we made them free to download.

And have fun checking out the rest of the collection!

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