Evolution & initial growth of Mattershots

Hi, I’m Nicolas Paulhac, product manager of Substance 3D Assets and colors and material designer. A few months ago we created Mattershots, an Instagram account that I feed every day with a selection of images of materials, colors, and manufacturing processes to inspire material lovers in their creation of textures with Substance.

Today, just a few months after its creation, Mattershots has more than 550 images and an ever-growing community.

Vision for Mattershots

Mattershots was born rather informally when I joined the team and started regularly posting images of my personal database on our internal Allegorithmic Slack.

Coming from the world of industrial design, I wanted to share with the artists and developers the sources of inspiration that I have accumulated during my previous projects at Acer, Nokia and Microsoft as a color and material designer. The idea is to combine the opposing visions between the image and the actual production of materials.

My work as a specialist in materials and production processes is intimately linked to the understanding of matter, its physical behavior, the means to transform it and the impact that these different processes have, whether structural or cosmetic, on its visual aspect.

Convergence between universes of digital material users

Using a process driven approach to the creation of digital materials, including understanding how things are made (whether for a manufactured material or natural effects such as oxidation or erosion), is often key in recreating a realistic effect.

We decided to make the Instagram Mattershots public as we see a strong convergence between several universes of digital material users: the game design and the VFX universes, as well as the architecture and design industries. We have noticed that although the goals are different, the creative processes are very similar especially in the upstream phases where it is not uncommon to observe mutual inspirations between these universes.


The reason for Mattershots lies precisely at this point: we believe in cross-pollination so that everyone can feed on what is done in “neighbor universes”, whether you are an environment artist, surface artist, architect, CMF designer or color and trim designer. We select images every day from matter-oriented content that we find inspiring in order to form a basis in which everyone can pick up elements to make mood boards and other documents of definition of style, artistic direction or simply, we hope, references for the realization of digital textures.

We’d love to see all these materials become Substance materials, so do not hesitate to send us your creations or post them on Substance 3D Community Assets.

We hope that you will find inspiration with Mattershots as well as the official channel where we gather images of artist creations made with Substance.