Creating an Xbox Series X with Substance Designer | Part 1

Creating an Xbox Series X with Substance Designer | Part 1

Substance Designer is known for authoring procedural materials. It can be used for creating tiles, and even to some extent procedural modeling! But is it possible to substitute high poly models by only creating a texture in Designer? Let's find out! In this video series and article, we’ll be taking a look at how to create an Xbox Series X inside Substance Designer. 

Set up

Before we get started, there are a couple of things we have to set up: 

1. Download the node, Auto Chamfer from Artyom Sarkisyan.

Auto Chamfer

This node will be used for adding bevels to the mesh.

2. Set up the mesh

a .Dimensions: 15.1cm x  15.1cm x 30.1cm

b. Evenly spaced edge loops for tesselating:


c. UV Layout:

UV layout

Setting up the Graph in Designer

Import the 3D Mesh by right-clicking on the package > Link > 3D Mesh, then right-click and drag into the 3D view.

3D Mesh

Open the resources folder, right-click on the mesh, then bake model information.

Bake Model Info

Bake out the curvature map and the UV to SVG map.

Convert UV to SVG

Import Auto Chamfer node to the graph.

Drag in the bake maps and connect to the Auto Chamfer node (to add bevels based on the UVs through the bake maps). 

Bake Map

Connect the Auto Chamfer node’s output to the normal output.

Set the Base Color to a darker value and set the Metallic value to white.

Base color

Convert UVs to SVG map to grayscale (grayscale conversion), connect that to a histogram scan (to make everything white), then plug that into a flood fill node to help visualize the UVs and the masking.

UVs to SVG map

Get a Flood Fill to Grayscale Node, Shape node, and Transformation 2D node and plug the shape and transformation 2D into the grayscale input. Then set the Tiling Mode to No Tiling. This will allow us to use the square from the shape node as a selector.

Tiling mode

Tiling mode

Copy and paste those nodes and make a selection for each UV.

Node UV

Making the Top Shroud of the Xbox

Add in a tile generator and set the X and Y amount to 12 (the number of holes on the real Xbox Series X). 

Tile generator

Change the Pattern to Disc then scale it down a bit. 

Pattern disc

Connect that to a transformation 2D node and you can press CTRL + SHIFT and drag on the corners to resize it evenly then set the Tiling Mode to No Tiling. 

Use a Blend Node in order to help us visualize where to place it. Connect our Transformation 2D Node here with the mask we made for the top and set the opacity down so we can see through it. 

Blend node
Blend node

Align our Transform 2D node with the mask. In order for this to work, blend in a uniform color and set it to grayscale, then set the value to 0.5. 

2D node mask

To activate tessellation, go to materials, switch from Parallax Occlusion to Tesselation, then set the tesselation factor to a high number and scale it up a bit. This will eat up performance though so be careful not to set it too high.


Going back to the blend node, just connect the uniform color and set the blending mode to subtract. Gray is our middle value, a darker value extrudes inward, and a lighter value extrudes outward. 

Connect the blend node to the height output, then plug it into a normal node, and then use normal combine to blend it with our auto chamfer. 


Connect the normal combine to our normal output and now we can see it’s working. We can go back to our transform 2d node and CTRL + SHIFT Drag to scale it down a bit. 

Tesselation settings

Plugging in a Blur HQ Grayscale node here can give a more beveled edge on those top holes. Adjust parameters as needed. 

Blur HQ Grayscale

With the holes done, we can now try doing that gentle curve. Add in a shape node, set it to the pyramid, then duplicate the transform 2d we used for the tile generator and connect the pyramid there. 

Use Levels and then click on this icon to invert.

Curve parameter

Blend that with our height map and set it to multiply. 

height map

Using a Blur HQ Grayscale here can help soften those sharp edges. Plug that into our height output and adjust as needed. 

Blur HQ Grayscale
Blur gray scale

We can use the levels node to control the strength of the curve.

Strength curve

Emissive Map

Add in an Output node, set the Usage Type to emissive, then just copy and paste that into our identifier and label. 

Emmisive map

Connect our holes into a gradient map in order to set the color. You can set it to whatever color you want but in this case, I’ll stick to green. This will be the controller for the light inside the Xbox Series X. 

Gradient map
Gradient editor

In part 2 of this series, we’ll be going over the rest of the details of the Xbox Series X such as the logos and buttons and how to set it up inside Blender for rendering on the farm. 

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