Substance Designer...decorative granite wall

Now that my work on The Last of Us: Part II has drawn to a close, I wanted to dive back in to substance designer on some personal work. Chris Hodgson laid down the gauntlet with this suggested reference as part of a fun challenge series we've been doing at Naughty Dog in our spare time. Chris has taken the time to share some of his valuable tips and tricks and I wanted to cement those into my workflow by working on this material.

This one was particularly challenging due to the the amount of high frequency details contained in the surface of the granite. At first it was tempting to recreate all of this detail in each of the texture inputs. But while textures that are rich with lots of detail might look good when viewed individually, when compiled together in a material often the result can be noisy and difficult to read. I went back and forth a lot on this, removing elements from certain inputs and in the end focused more of the macro detail in the diffuse whilst letting the height and normal inputs handle the slightly larger forms.

At this point and even though I can see lots of areas I'd like to improve, including the size of my graph which was a little ridiculous, i'm happy to put this one to bed and move onto new things. I'd also encourage anyone that likes the look of this reference to give it a try! Or other particularly 'noisy' references, recreating them whilst removing the noise and creating something readable is a great challenge!

Rendered at 2k texture resolution