This is my submission for Allegorithmic's Materialize Contest. The goal of the contest was to re-create a material found on Allegorithmic's Mattershots Instagram account. I've been following Mattershots for a while now and was planning on replicating one of the materials anyway, so it was convenient that I stumbled upon the contest. I decided on creating this material: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYQFu0qFfzo/

One requirement of the contest was to use the Iray renderer built into Substance Designer. I followed all contest directions but for my "extra" renders I opted to use Renderman since I found it much more controllable. I found Iray to be quite unstable for me but I blame it on the fact that I develop on an Apple with a non-NVIDIA graphics card. My renders are the ones with the "Materialize" watermark on them:

It seems like a pretty straight-forward pattern to replicate but it was actually quite difficult to mach the look of the photograph; I had to make a lot of assumptions about the composition of the material. While it looks like the material is composed of many tiny beads, I concluded that the subject was quite large since the caption said it was taken from the Ritz-Carlton in Miami. I decided it was probably some piece of art hanging behind the check-in counter of the hotel and would probably be on the order of meters in length.

One of the main challenges was to get the cloth-like rolls and pleats of the material. I got a version of it working in Substance Designer using some low-frequency noise patterns but for fun I ended up going into Houdini and using the cloth solver to generate some "real" cloth patterns.

The heightfield in Substance Designer. This was used the in second render above.

The heightfield in Substance Designer. This was used the in second render above.

A cloth simulation in Houdini. This was used in all other renders.

A cloth simulation in Houdini. This was used in all other renders.

Another fun takeaway from this project was using Houdini's COPs for the compositing and final rendering of my images. Up until now I've been using Nuke for compositing and post-processing, but I ran into the resolution limitation of the non-commercial version of Nuke when I was trying to export the required 4096x4096 renders for the contest. I decided to do all compositing in Houdini and, while it took a moment to wrap my head around the nodes, it ended up being quite powerful. I did the watermarking of the contest logos and some simple color correction and depth-of-field effects.

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