Blender Cycles Procedural vs Substance Painter/Keyshot

This is regarding metals/stones/marbles, anything that could be on a statue or sculpture including wear/tear/dirt/, etc…

Ideally, I would like to use already created (free or purchased) procedural Cycles materials and then pose/light/render in Cycles, after sculpting/UV-ing in ZBrush. Procedural-wise, so far I’ve seen the “hammered gold”(image below) for sale, which I like but, to me, most Cycles procedural don’t look as real as a Cycles textured/procedural combos or Substance Painter textures.

The collage below shows some of the looks I’m going for except for my lower right bodybuilder sculpt which I just added a procedural gold, which isn’t the real-ish look I am going for. I also like the marble, below which was rendered in vray, though, and I don’t know how it was “materialed”(map or texture).

I want to concentrate on the sculpting the model and try to automate, as much as possible, the materials, as long as I’m getting the look I want. Therefore, I’d like to go procedurally if possible, instead of applying textures.

Any recommended sites for free or $ procedural materials for cycles? The Hammered Gold is part of a 9 material group for $35 but I mainly like the gold.

Also, would I be better off using Substance Designer(maybe Keyshot) for what I want? I’m not that familiar with Substance Designer(or Keyshot). Are all those layered dirt/grime on metal, or whatever, procedural or is there some hand texturing involved in SD?


you can make these copper/patina materials very easy for your own.(procedural)

look this tut start at 4 : 28 min

here a quick setup, with same method like in the video,and colorpicking from your pic

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Pixelgrip, WOW! Thanks for posting the video and the setup image. That is definitely along the lines of what I was looking for. I will watch the vid and try out those nodes. Cheers!

Edit: Is that dragon a photo, or a model you rendered using the video’s method? It read your post like you sampled colors from one of the images I posted and applied it to a model but that looks so real I’m not 100% clear.

haha thanks,thats a model with the material i made on the left side.

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I’m going to give it a try later today on a model. In cycles, I usually don’t see those dark, black shadows like you have on the under belly and some of the undercuts on the face. Right now, I don’t know if that’s your lighting or the material but I like that look a lot. I don’t like the look of light bouncing back and lighting every nook and cranny, it’s overkill and unrealistic. Your material and lighting are what I’m going for.

lighting is just one HDRI as lightsource,and FILMIC with high contrast look ,in the colormanagment.

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Edit: I think Blender was mainly acting quirky when I added an image texture. It was rendering the model solid white. Even when I unplugged all nodes except for Principled set to a base color of blue, the model still rendered white. Later, everything started to work as expected but there is no apparent reason why I was getting strange results earlier.

Pixelgrip, I’ve been using the basic node setup that you posted above, with minor changes. Where would I plug in an image texture? I’ve uploaded a screencap of the nodes I’m using.

If you look at the zombie at the beginning of this video, it’s using almost the same nodes as in my node screencap. I like the way it looks but it’s all one solid color and I want to start adding UV textures that have rust or dirt in crevices. I like the blackness in the zombies shadows and also in the one you rendered above, which has something to do with the nodes(although the hdri environment has a some effect), but just add a UV texture instead of procedural colors.


to add a image texture,it is very basic.the question is what look/material you want to archive?you can mix the image texture color output into a new mix color rgb node for example (you can place it between the last rgb color mix node and the base color input) and use the factor to mix your image vs the grunge (or the nodes you have made before…) for example.make sure you have your model UV unwraped.then use the texture coordinate UV output into the vector from the image texture,to make sure the image get the place where it should be on the model.

maybe you can post a picture what material you want,and then i can make a quick material

Thanks, Pixelgrip. I was going for an oxidized or patina bronze look. I’m new to using HDRIs as well as Blender and the massive effect each different HDRI has on the lighting and even the look of the texture is an added variable that I’m just getting accustomed to. I’m trying separate in my mind what effect the HDRI is having vs what the UV map I used or any mixture of nodes is contributing to the end result.

I didn’t use reference for this one below because this whole project was basically a quick sketch, but for the colors, in retrospect, I was going for something along the lines of the 3 images included. It’s going to change from sculpt to sculpt but I’m thinking along the lines of realistic sculptures so they will always be stone, metal, etc…with degrees of weathering, etc… I think I’m going to have to use UVs more, like I did on this one, but also combining procedurals, if it looks good.

Below is the patina green I was going for and the end of the video turnaround(see below) has the final result. Also, the nodes that were used in the below video is the screencap. I’m still using 2.79 and the more optioned ambient occlusion node is in 2.8. Plus, I ended up unplugging the ambient occlusion nodes. There are so many different node variables that I’m going to have to experiment a lot more. There’s too much trial and error/guess work at this stage for me that I’ll have to overcome.

if you work with HDRI based lighting,make sure to use FILMIC in the colormanagment tab,this helps with lightings that have a high value/dynamic range output,to not clipping the whole render.

for the material,i think you dont need a texture for this,the procedural should work fine here.the setup is the same as in my first setup post with the dragon only need to understand and play with the factor for the distribution of the patina/AO what ever color you want.

in your last setup screenshot,you have a patina colorramp into a color mix rgb node.that is fine so far,but the colorramp needs to be driven with something like AO or noise or a imagetexture ect into the fac from the colorramp,otherwise with out ,you get only one color ,at with the fac slider is set,at the time.

if you understand this method then you can easy mix all colors like patina,dirt ect to your own.

if you want to use a image texture then your coordinate into the image vector is right.thecolor output in color mix with the white color looks not like what you want for this material.the AO noodle with the orange selected frame,that output should be used as masking factor into the fac of the last colormix node,and the fac of the patina color ramp(to drive the ramp as sayed before).
you can delete the multiply node that is at the image color output for now,and connect it to the last upper colorinput from the mix rgb,and the AO noodle to the fac and the fac of the colorramp.

edit,if you look at your greenish setup post, there you have not driven the colorramps fac too,this is the reason you have only one color and no gradient.

if you look at my dragon post setup,then you see how the AO output goes into the blackish colorramp fac,which is used for masking the disburtion of the patina,and another AO output to the patina fac input for drive the patina gradient (the patina color itself).

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Thanks, for your reply, Pixelgrip. I’m still studying what you wrote, re-watching the related part of video you posted, and trying things out. I do use Filmic.

I just have 2 quick questions.

  1. What is the node in your original screencap at the top where the node-noodle is cut off at the top?

  2. Also, have you experienced any file corruption or other problems with 2.8 beta? I’m still using 2.79. I want to use 2.8 mainly for the enhanced AO node but Blender warns of file corruption or potential data loss with the new beta version.

this is just another brighter copper color that i mixed with a darker colorpicked (from your pic) copper,to find a good basic dark old copper look.

no file corruption so far with 2.8.if you use render with cycles then the latest 2.79 is still fine.the main difference in 2.8 from the render engine is if you want to use Eevee,cycles should work and look the same in both versions.

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Thanks again, Pixelgrip.

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