Art by Mark Foreman

Materialize Contest: And The Winners Are...

Nicolas Paulhac on December 14 2017 | Community, Substance Designer, Software, Iray, Design, Architecture

The winners of Materialize, the Substance Designer contest, are finally here! Believe us, with entries of such quality, the choice was hard.

Today, we reveal our six winners in the general and MDL categories. And there were so many stunning creations that we couldn’t resist giving special prizes: this brings us to nine designs rewarded today.

Before we get to the winners, a few words to say that we were utterly blown away by the quality of all the entries for the contest. I am truly honored by the interest so many of you showed for the Materialize contest and Substance Designer.
Again, it's a dream come true to see digital materials come to life from Mattershots pictures, and to see you enhancing them with extra dimensions of detail and variations.
For that, I would like to thank you all participants – and for your time and passion in creating top of the line materials.

Thank you to the jury for their involvement, to our sponsors and also to Sebastien Deguy as well as the Allegorithmic team for making all this possible.

Nicolas Paulhac, CMF Designer, Substance Source Product Manager and @Mattershots inspiration channel founder – Allegorithmic

Now without further ado, the winners:

General category

1st Prize - NICK CREECY

Freelance 3D Artist at XS Studio, Newtown, Australia.

Chiselled Wood, a reproduction of Yushiyuki Kato chiseled tray.

"Awesome render. The lighting is really catching the details observed in the reference shot. The shapes are spot on. The subtle parameter changes can create really interesting results." Don Arceta


Personal website

Submission on the Allegorithmic Forum


3D artist, Stavropol, Russia.

A reproduction of Jim Lepage Abstract Painting.

"The color replication in this material is breathtaking and is spot on compared to the source. The flow and energy of the original is also captured extremely well in the rendition, with a little more added flare. Not only is the Substance well made, and simply put together, the additional ability to distort the paint around other graphics is a very welcoming touch!" Scott DeWoody


3rd Prize - QU BIN

Lighting Artist, Shanghai, China

A reproduction of Nikegrip socks textile.

"Great visual result. The only fabric to feel fibrous at a distance, which is very tricky to do! Good controls and structure also." Marc Austin


MDL category

1st Prize - MARK FOREMAN

Senior Environment Artist, Warsaw, Poland

Malachite With Chrysocolla.

"This really captured the properties present in the Mattershot. The illusion of depth and addition of sparkles really bring this to life. The parameters gave a lot of control to get different varying looks. This was very impressive!" Don Arceta

"This is one hell of a Substance! The attention to detail in the rock formation around the Chrysocolla is fantastic. The colors also exceedingly reproduced from the source. Also comparing to the source, I like how more than one was reproduced to create a scene for the rendering. The source was still matched, but the artist does a great job of filling in the gaps. The icing on the cake is taking advantage of MDL for the anisotropic effects, along with the displacement." Scott DeWoody



2nd Prize - JOE LAMBERT

Student, Chichester, United Kingdom

Felt with structure.

"Very nice work. The main shape is built in a very simple and smart way." Nicolas Wirrmann

"Some nice parameters to play around with on this one. I found the side by side a bit off with this one but with a few tweaks with the available parameters I was able to get it even closer to the reference." Don Arceta

"Probably one of the few entries that I prefer the submitted rendering over the original source! And not only that, this is a pretty tricky material to reproduce. I particularly like how the reveals and bevels were reproduced in the Substance. It was a fantastic use of the Ridged Bell Shape being used in conjunction with Curves and Histogram Range. But it’s the Displacement in the MDL that seals the deal with this material!"
Scott DeWoody


3rd Prize - WILL FULLER

Material Artist, Austin, United States of America

High-Performance Exhaust.

"It was fun to learn MDL though, I'll definitely be using it for future projects." Will Fuller

"The roughed up clearcoat works well here. Just looking at the surface without the help of contextualization via model, the surfaces read as what they are supposed to be." Don Arceta

"This is an extremely well-executed MDL. It’s well organized into each of its different base materials and coats, which can only be done with the MDL nodes in Designer. Along with the fact that the graphs are easy to understand and follow, each area also brings a high level of customization that the end-user can tweak to their heart’s desire." Scott DeWoody


Oh, and just one more thing! We received so much quality material for the contest we just decided to create a few more prizes. We are proud to announce that the following 3 participants are rewarded for going the extra mile for best staging, technical mastery and creativity with Substance Designer.



Material Artist, London, United Kingdom

Ceramics and Wood, a reproduction of Ceramics by Omura Tsuyoshi-ten.

"It was a very good exercise and it was really fun to try to get the same result as the picture!" Elouan Harmand

"Perfect visual copy of the ref, indistinguishable to the real world, simple clear network." Marc Austin

"The one thing that always got me about Substance Designer is how accurately it can recreate real world materials. This artist nailed the accuracy of the reference material. I had to do multiple double takes on the final rendering to figure out if I was not mixing it with the reference image. The best part of all of this is the Substance is relatively simple. The graph contains just enough to get the job done, without it being overly complicated. All the techniques used to recreate this can easily be learned by anyone!" Scott DeWoody


Submission on the Allegorithmic Forum

Technical mastery - QUENTIN MARMIER

Generalist supervisor, Vancouver, Canada

MN-Beretta by Marc Newson Materialized.

"Absolute crazy level of complexity and beauty. Executes lighting fast with lots of controls and good use of scene management. Fantastic level of high quality control." Marc Austin

"The first time I looked at this entry, I imagined the ornate detail being imported… but I was wrong. The attention to detail and complexity of the ornate detail is astounding. And with all the complexity, the graph was extremely easy to follow. I learned a thing or two from this artist, and I am still blown away every time I look at this piece." Scott DeWoody


Personal website

Creativity with Substance - JARRED EVERSON

Principal 3d Artist, Lake Forest, United States of America

Reproduced with Substance Designer the dashboard of the Ford 021C.

"Great attention to details, very close to the reference, all shapes are procedurally built." Nicolas Wirrmann


Submission on the Allegorithmic Forum

The Jury

We would like to thank the jury for taking up the incredibly difficult task of ranking their favorites! Here is what they have to say about this experience:

Don Arceta, Lead Artist – Playground Games

"This was an extremely difficult contest to judge. There was just so much stunning work. There were quite a few entries that even though they were amazing I didn’t choose because they didn’t completely meet the criteria, which was the ability to be tweakable. Some were very spot on in the side by side images but due to no customization or broken substances, i just couldn't bring myself to justify their inclusion."

Scott DeWoody, Firmwide Creative Media Manager – Gensler

"All of the entries did not make judging this contest easy. From the overall look and feel of all the materials, to the shear amount of creativity in how to use Substance Designer, everything blew me away. I spent hours digging through everyone’s graphs, and learned a few things that I never thought of doing before. I highly encourage everyone to share the knowledge they learned from this competition, and including these materials inside of their portfolios!"

Pierre Hulot, Digital Design Manager in the French luxury industry

"Without matter art is nothing." "It was a real pleasure to be part of the jury, where I discovered true talents and great artists. Access to the work of the artists was really very simple and effective thanks to the organizers In short, it is a really nice contest ... congratulations to the organizers and artists!."

Nicolas Wirrmann, Substance Designer Product Manager – Allegorithmic

"Judging the work of other people is never easy, picking 5 of them among dozens of excellent work is even harder. I have been quite impressed by very smart and clean graphs but I also saw some brute force techniques implying lots of manual positioning. In the end, I had to be very strict on my criteria to get my final list, the devil is definitely in the details!"


And with our sponsors’ help, winners take away amazing prizes!

GENERAL Category

1st place: 1 HP DreamColor Z32x Professional display monitor, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

2nd place: NVIDIA M5000, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

3rd place: X-Rite 1 Photo Pro 2 ColorChecker, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

MDL Category

1st place: NVIDIA P6000, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

2nd place: NVIDIA P5000, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

3rd place: NVIDIA M5000, 1 year of ArtStation Pro

Special prizes winners get 1 HP Envy 27s Display monitor.

All our winners also receive 1 year of Substance Indie.

Congratulations again to the winners and to all the participants, you have set the bar extremely high! We will, of course, share more of your amazing work, so stay tuned, the honorable mentions are coming soon! We were so impressed with the entries that we are already actively brainstorming our next contest - we hope you will blow our minds again!

On Facebook