Best way to make rotting wooden boards?

https://i.redd.it/aghvymkexmf71.jpg I would like to make a building that looks like this. The lower angled roof has a lot of boards which are various sizes, shapes and levels of rotten. It looks very natural and random, and I can’t seem to emulate that very well, or it would take a really long time manually doing all the details. But I’m not sure how to go about it in a better way.

Additionally, the wall above looks nice and solid, but the boards are various lengths, so at the edges of the wall some of them stick out more than others.


I’ve seen some models with nice textures that display that really well, but again I can’t wrap my head around it. My best guess would be to UV unwrap the whole face, see how the texture is displayed, and then modify the mesh without unwrapping it again.

I’m modeling in Blender, and using Substance Painter with UE4 for a game project. So the solution to this needs to be friendly with game engines, I guess. Thank you for the tips in advance.

Fastest way is a subdivide cube :wink: with displace modifier. You may want to displace the left and right side different or model some special edgy boards . With global coord you get some different examples just by moving in space. You have to play with different resoultions and maybe bake some normals…

That is a good way to get the uneven-ness of the boards. Having displacement on them afterwards definitely helps break it up, however, I’d still have to model each individual board. I’m trying to figure out how I could cut down on time spent modeling the boards.

@Okidoki 's technique also works on arrays:

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Check this out. A procedural plank I came up with a couple of months ago. Based on a Royal Skies tutorial, and some of my thoughts.

If you add a subdiv, and array, you can make it random, simple adding the random output into the vector (you will see). Also, you can plug the random into ANY mapping or 4D socket, to provide even more randomness. Also color, etc… If you array, if you duplicate, etc… it will carry on the randomness, only with this one material. I popped in a displacement too, it was not in the original.

When you’re done, you can even bake it all out if you like, you may not even need a lowpoly, just simply bake the textures so you can save them, feel free to tweak it :slight_smile:

PS: I had to zip it up, tell me if the file has any issues. Cheers!!
PS2: if you open up any picture, you can hover over the color ramp slider part, hit E and then go over to your image at another frame, and click and drag all over to copy even more realistic colurs.

plank_example.7z (742.8 KB)

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