Substance Designer for Pixel Art

I love Allegorithmic’s tools. Substance Designer is a godsend. The focus of the tool is to create high-end procedural materials for realtime rendering, but I wondered if I could use it to create some old school-style art?

This is just a prototype of the filtering method I’m using in the node graph. The brick generator node is fed into the tree and out comes pixel art coolness. All of this is generated inside Unity (or Unreal if you prefer) in realtime, so you can see the potential here.

Surfaces are no problem, but what about items? I thought a little bit about how a sword might be able to be done in Substance Designer and came up with this prototype:

This was actually a ton of fun to create. If you divide up the image into sections and item features, it’s easier to think it through. This sword construction prototype was whipped up in 2 hours and has a lot of control for blade and guard width, color, even magic effects! The variation on the guard was a complete accident. The guard is a gradient rectangle, then warped by a tiling set of guassians. The different guard types are generated from increasing and decreasing the amount of tiling in that warp pattern.

The video is shown running the substance player which is free to download. From there, you can export individual textures based on what is generated in the preview.

I can probably crank out an axe, wands, staves, armor sets, and potions. Working at this low resolution is very forgiving 😉