Adobe Introduces New Materials to Improve its Architectural Visualization Capabilities
Adobe Introduces New Materials to Improve its Architectural Visualization Capabilities

Many architects find Substance by Adobe a potent tool. While they use it daily to bring their ideas to reality, the tool didn't offer as many opportunities for architects as some others do.

The quality of architectural visualization deliverables depends not only on the 3D engine architects use but also on the library of materials they have access to.

To answer this need, Adobe decided to update the Substance and remove the frictions from the design process. To help you understand the new potential that Substance offers architects, we take a closer look at the recent update.

Let's see exactly what Adobe did and how this change will affect your workflow and help you streamline your daily tasks.

The Substance Source Material Library

The quality of architectural visualizations doesn't only depend on the knowledge and creativity of architects that stand behind them – it also depends on the tools used to create the visualizations. The vital part of these tools is the material library.

Since materials paint give architectural visualizations both the look and the feel, their quality will determine the overall quality of the render to a great extent. To answer the needs of the industry, Adobe has delivered the Substance suite and with it, the Substance Source Material library.

Thanks to the abundance of high-quality digital material, architects can create realistic objects and communicate their design ideas to colleagues, clients, and shareholders.

The Substance Source Material Library contains thousands of high-end digital materials. World-class artists and specialists create these materials. What makes them valuable are modifiable parameters. This means that you can reuse the same material over and over, and always create different results.

The Substance Source Material library is also valuable as it can be ported to all major 3D tools. Thanks to this versatility, it quickly became a valuable resource to professionals in the architectural visualization circles.

But a library is only as valuable as the pieces it contains. Adobe recognized this need in time and decided to keep it updated with new and more stunning digital materials.

The Substance Source Material Library Update

The architectural visualization industry can let out a sigh of relieve. Adobe has decided to update the Substance Source Material library. The software giant has recently expanded the library.

Designers all over the world can now feast their eyes on brand new 2,400 materials. But what's more important, those in the architectural visualization industry now have access to a stunning set of 580 new materials.

These new materials are brought in to help architects improve their deliverables and create realistic-looking architectural visualizations. The Substance Source Material is definitely going to remain the number one go-to resource for specialists in this niche.

Convenient Interior and Exterior Design Categories

To furthermore help architects Adobe has decided to conveniently group the materials that came with the latest update in two categories – Interior and Exterior Design.

Materials in both categories are not set in stone. One might easily say that they are dynamic. To achieve this, Adobe leverages the power of procedural generation.

Materials are no longer manually created. Instead, sophisticated algorithms do all the calculations and rendering in real-time to deliver the custom-tailored look for each material in the library. All you have to do is change parameters, and the material you are editing will change it's look instantly.

We are not talking only about the color and texture here, but also about shape. In a few clicks, architects are going to be able to manipulate all these parameters and see how it complements the other elements of the design.

Saving newly created variations of the materials is straightforward and enables architects to reuse them in future projects. It has massive potential in terms of optimizing workflow without sacrificing any of the creativity.

This is a huge deal for architects and designers in general. With the ability to modify materials in real-time, architects can now explore as many design possibilities as they like, until they settle with the one that resonates the best with them and the project requirements.

Nicolas Paulhac, Head of Content Creation for 3D & Immersive at Adobe, was unable to hide his excitement: "Our goal is to create a toolbox of digital materials dedicated to architectural professionals. Beyond a simple texture, with its derived forms, each material behaves like a mini library of inspiration."

Interior Design Materials

All materials in the Interior Design category have adjustable parameters. To adjust these parameters and custom-tailor the materials, users have to access the Control Panel. The Control Panel features different settings that give users complete control over the materials’ look and feel.

In a few clicks, users can change patterns on the floor, play with the aggregate of elements on different surfaces or change the shape and size of 3D elements on walls, floors, furniture, and accessories.

This creative freedom allows architects to bring to reality their ideas no matter how complex and sophisticated they are. What's more important, the fine-tuning of the materials can be used to make suitable for any of the popular styles in architecture.

When it comes to the type of materials in the library, architects are going to be happy to find out that the common materials are still there, including PVC, terrazzo, and cement tiles. Those interested in creating vintage architectural visualizations will be stunned with new alternatives, including caning, cork, and parquet.

Translucent concrete is one of the brand new materials, and it’s quite stunning. It features optical fiber strands cast into a block of cement. The renders with this material are magic-like.

Thanks to the newly introduced interior design materials and hundreds of settable parameters, architects are only limited by their own inspiration and creativity.

The new interior design materials library is there to support any creative effort, whether it is leaning on the principle of vintage or modern interior design.

Exterior Design Materials

Thanks to the sophisticated algorithms powering the procedural technology, the new materials in the exterior design materials category can be used to design any project despite its scale.

Whether you want to generate a small building render or apply new materials to an entire neighborhood, the procedural technology will make it happen in an instant.

With Adobe's new technology, there are no trade-offs. The quality of the materials is consistent throughout the render, even if you decide to texture an entire city. The procedural technology will help you cut down your production times and add textures with extreme precision and articulation.

New exterior design materials library update features curtain walls, window panels, brick walls, pavements, and paints. Users can play with exterior design material parameters in the same way as with interior design material. Bring up the Control Panel and custom-tailor the textures as you please.

Curtain walls, for instance, feature 25 unique panel system. Users can play with each one of the 25 panel systems to create endless design variations.

You can start by customizing and refinding each panel. Since each panel is made out of tiles, you can also edit the tile layout, change the shape of the tiles, or even add perforations. You can also edit the pattern and how condensed the perforations are. Panels can also be made mat or reflective.

Procedural technology will bring all the changes on the screen as you apply them and allow you to see how it reflects your design as a whole.

When it comes to the streets and the pavements, Adobe didn't disappoint. There are plenty of ways to give context to your architectural projects. Some of the materials featured in the update include tactile brick pavers, cobblestones, and pavement slabs.

The "Seed" parameter in the control panel is particularly useful. This option takes the material and creates thousands of unique variations of it. It's a great feature to help architects enrich their architectural visualizations with unique-looking streets, squares, and plazas.

Adobe's team takes pride in the new Glass material update, as it can be seen in Nicolas's statement: "You can conjure instant glass skyscrapers by tweaking the window size, the floor spacing, the panel shape, and the glass type."

The glass materials are accessible in two categories: glass panel generators and types of glass. The "types of glass" category features glass materials, and lets architects create variations of a glass material. The parameters for glass are color, surface finish, and transparency.

"Glass panel generators" are very convenient to use. Architects can use the materials in this category to create a window layout, define the window distribution system, and create amazing exteriors.

The new materials Adobe introduced to the Substance Source Material library in the latest update are quite powerful.

With procedural technology, dozens of parameters to play with, and high-quality interior and exterior design materials, the new Substance Source Library has better architectural visualization capabilities.