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Substance Designer - Master Thread

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  • dtschultz
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    dtschultz polycounter lvl 12
    after the update(and I have reinstalled my pc) none of the icons show up except for the environment presets, anything I have been missing?

    I had the same thing happen to me. Go to your Preferences and under Editor, click "Restore default path." THen restart SD and everything will show back up.
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 11
    dtschultz: Thank you, now it's back to normal :)
  • mpaquin
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    mpaquin polycounter lvl 7
    The learning curve on Substance Designer is kind of annoying. There are so many points of entry. Like Hermit has already said
    You can bake in SD4 (like xnormals...)

    You can extract materials from a diffuse (like CrazyBump)

    You can effortlessly make tileable textures

    A very technical way to create textures with generators, fx-maps, etc.

    You can paint in 2D (including tiling) or make masks (SVG). You can import brushes, etc. (similar to photoshop)

    ...

    Not only you'll be able to create textures and texture setups in SD4, but you'll also be able to create your own tools (fx maps are particularily cool).

    I find myself much more drawn to the latter part in wanting to create my own tools. In particular I'm looking forward to customizing my own Mask Generators which is apparently going to take some time.

    This model was a base for a steampunk boardgame piece. The great thing about 3d printing is no retopo (Dynamesh and ZRemesher take care of it), no UVs, and no texturing. I decided to do all of those things for some portfolio work and practice. So I'm going with an aged bronze petina in the spirit of the steampunk aesthetic.

    warshipFrontAngle-145x145.jpg

    substance_Example03-785x415.jpg
  • arvinmoses
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    arvinmoses polycounter lvl 11
    dtschultz wrote: »
    I'm curious how people are using the new metal edge wear node? It outputs a mask, and I'm curious what's the best practice for using it? Are people creating another substance that can blend that mask with the inputs of another multi input/output node and will output a corresponding diffuse, metallic, etc. output?

    I think there are multiple ways to use it, but I use all of the texture masks similar to how ddo generates noise masks. I made a vid of my workflow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jACTrvHpbSI

    Wherever I use the add detail node, just replace it with the material color blend.

    For people interested btw, I'm starting a series on using substance to create a hand painted look for a game asset.

    The first vid is how to use substance to create an alpha for zbrush. It's pretty cool how many different things you can do with substance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2xLFYInadQ&list=PLkAHloUwGnJcWd3eoYYc5XUvYE-VO2HeY
  • electricsauce
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    electricsauce polycounter lvl 9
    Ice substance test:

    IceTest.jpg
  • rube
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    rube polycounter lvl 14
    It's kinda icy, hard to tell on just a plane, but I think you could be a few tweaks away from a really nice birch bark.
  • electricsauce
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    electricsauce polycounter lvl 9
    rube wrote: »
    It's kinda icy, hard to tell on just a plane, but I think you could be a few tweaks away from a really nice birch bark.

    That's not a bad idea. We don't have those trees down here for reference though.

    It looks a little better when exported out to UE4 where I can set up the fresnel and lighting. I can't seem to get the lights to look right in SD. With the white base, everything washes out really easily.

    I was trying to get a look similar to the normal map at 8 seconds here.

    I'd like to be able to do something like this, but I have no idea how to approach the deep gouges.
  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    Hey guys,

    I've taken some time to do a sample environment texture to show my process to some buddies and I'm making it available to everyone to dig through and mess with it.

    The graph might look a bit like a nightmare but if you start from the heightmap and follow the line, you'll understand. I've added a bunch of frames with notes, some of the frames could've been collapsed into a nested graph but I decided to leave it open like that to make it easier to dissect.

    Here's some samples of what you can get by just messing around with sliders:

    Bruno_Sample_concretewall_preview_00.jpg
    Bruno_Sample_concretewall_preview_01.jpg
    Bruno_Sample_concretewall_preview_02.jpg
    Bruno_Sample_concretewall_preview_03.jpg
    Bruno_Sample_concretewall_preview_04.jpg

    100% procedural!

    Here's the download link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10717062/Bruno_sample_concretewall.7z

    Feel free to ask any questions or give suggestions. I'd love to get some input on how I could improve my process :)
  • luthyn
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    luthyn polycounter lvl 8
    Very cool fonfa! First thing though, your graph is REALLY spaced out. It's just a personal preference but I would bring things closer. Even if I zoom all the way out I can't see your enitre graph. If you are worried about the titles of your frames running over one another, try making the frame titles something short, and then add a more in depth description in the 'Description' section for the frame attributes.

    Do you plan on exposing any of the parameters so that a user could control this graph without having to go into the graph itself? I would be very interested to see what you exposed.

    I really like how you made that graffiti mask in Substance itself, I thought you had just imported a bitmap. Very cool :). It might be cool to add the ability to adjust the lengths of the drips or maybe have a drop down for different shapes that you could use?

    Beware of using too many high cost noises like the 'Grunge Map 013'. Get too many of those and your graph will run realllyyy slow. Though that only matters if you need this to go at run time. On that same note, if you have a node like 'Fluid' already in the graph, don't drag it out a second time. When you can, reuse the same noise node. Just saves on time :).

    Anyway, looking really cool, keep it up! Can't wait to see more!
  • arvinmoses
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    arvinmoses polycounter lvl 11
    @Fonfa Very nice!!! Downloading to check out!

    Finished part 2 of my substance to zbrush alpha vid for those interested. I also included the brush and substance on the link. Thanks!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeVltAPn-T0
  • Teessider
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    Teessider polycounter lvl 7
    hey guys

    I'm having some trouble with Marmoset Toolbag 2 (nothing major). I can't seem to get it to assign automatically to the cavity map output in Marmoset Toolbag 2 (I'm using 2.04)

    I've tried using the curvature output in Substance Designer (I'm using 4.3.1) and I know I can export a curvature (or ambient occlusion map with levels adjustment) as a separate map but that seems clunky.

    I also tried to make my own output but that failed miserably as well lol. The curvature output seemed to override my diffuse (albedo) output in Toolbag2??

    I'm quite stumped by this. Any help would be awesome! Thanks :)



    EDIT: This bit is more feedback/suggestions and I didn't want to double post.

    Using Substance Designer is awesome! And I imagine it will just keep getting better :). However I would like to suggest a couple of things?

    I thought it would be nice to be able to take a screenshot of your full graph at a resolution where you can see what each node is.

    I don't know if this is possible but I think it would nice if you could swap the inputs of nodes like in the image below:
    dNbwEjp.png
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    You should tell the marmoset guys about your problems, it's not Allegorithmic who handles that stuff. I sent them some bugs once and they fixed it.
  • Teessider
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    Teessider polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Xoliul!

    I'll post in the marmoset thread. Wasn't sure which side handled it.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    While we are preparing the next update to Substance Designer -which will bring long-awaited features, PSD export anyone?-, we just put together a short video about what is unique about Substance:

    [ame=" unique about Substance? - YouTube[/ame]
  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    @Jerc: Looking forward to it :)

    @luthyn: Yeah, you're 100% right! If I'd expose something, it'd be the blends at the end of each frame, the tile generator etc. Anything that creates variation without breaking it!
    I didn't reuse many generators but that's to avoid the crazy crisscrossing you see on optimized graphs, just wanted to make it more readable :) But you're super right about this!
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    @Hermit I'd say the perf difference won't be significant. Considering the price of a Titan I would advise to go with the AMD equivalent.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    I'm happy to share the good news with you guys, we just started a partnership with our friends from GameTextures.com!

    announce1GTAlleg_png_650x650_q85.jpg

    What this means is that the next update to Substance Designer will be shipped with 50 high quality PBR materials from the GameTextures database along with our own new PBR base materials library.

    It also means that you will be able to download substance files directly from the GameTextures website for a super fast plug&play experience with SD and SP :)
  • Damian Nachman
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    Damian Nachman polycounter lvl 6
    I've been wondering, is it possible to create a PBR shader that supports Opacity?
    (Just like it is possible to edit in an emissive pbr shader)
  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    Hey guys, I'm having some bake problems:
    sd_baking_issues.jpg

    SD seems to be missing the deepest shapes which xNormal has no problem catching.
    The image on the bottom is my high poly and my low poly. The cage (not pictured) encompasses the whole piece. I'm using the same meshes on both tests.
    What am I doing wrong? Any ideas? :(
  • mikeParker
    I'm pretty new to SD myself but have you tried experimenting with the Front/Rear Distance settings and not using a cage.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    mikeParker wrote: »
    I'm pretty new to SD myself but have you tried experimenting with the Front/Rear Distance settings and not using a cage.

    Never do this. Always use a cage for a model like that.
  • DeepSpaceBanana
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    DeepSpaceBanana polycounter
    hello folks started playing around with SD today. I have a really newbie question, so please bare(did i spell that right?) with me.How do you go about blocking out colors on your mesh? do u use an SVG or a bitmap..or do u just do that in photoshop?

    eWt3eQx.png
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    It's definitely the trace distance, Fonfa. Default tends to be quite low.
    Quack! wrote: »
    Never do this. Always use a cage for a model like that.

    I disagree. In most cases this looks fine. I find tweaking cages is an enormous waste of time for the tiny benefits it brings. A cage always starts out inherently broken and takes a bunch of effort to get up to the same level as a (cageless) uniform trace. Only when you fixed all those issues can you start trying to improve it. Never found it worth my time.
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 interpolator
    Xoliul wrote: »
    I disagree. In most cases this looks fine. I find tweaking cages is an enormous waste of time for the tiny benefits it brings. A cage always starts out inherently broken and takes a bunch of effort to get up to the same level as a (cageless) uniform trace. Only when you fixed all those issues can you start trying to improve it. Never found it worth my time.

    This! I never bake with a cage. If you build your low poly properly and breakdown the parts of your bake properly you shouldn't need a cage 90% of the time. It's just not worth the time. The only time I would ever use a cage is if I can't get the bake right without it, which hasn't ever happened.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Xoliul wrote: »
    It's definitely the trace distance, Fonfa. Default tends to be quite low.



    I disagree. In most cases this looks fine. I find tweaking cages is an enormous waste of time for the tiny benefits it brings. A cage always starts out inherently broken and takes a bunch of effort to get up to the same level as a (cageless) uniform trace. Only when you fixed all those issues can you start trying to improve it. Never found it worth my time.

    I guess I just recommend that you do the manual fixup work on your model and then your cage will be manageable. Much more manageable then manually editing a normal map.

    How do you get around ray cast errors?
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    I don't do any 2D-fixing up on the bakes either. Honestly it comes out fine; I don't think I ever managed to get my cage bakes 100% error-free either (if you look at some of my older work, like the Dozer you can probably see small things here and there), and doing things cageless takes a lot less time for the same result. Baking and cage tweaking used to be my biggest time sink you know.
    Most important thing is that the 'ray cast splits on hard edges' problem doesn't happen with proper baking software. If you use some old school method like Max then you have to use a cage of course, but Substance Designer just treats hard edges as soft ones for the raycasting only.

    All of this was baked cageless for example, with no tweaking to normals afterwards; http://www.laurenscorijn.com/portfolio/dirty-bomb. Everybody at Splash Damage bakes cageless.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Xoliul wrote: »
    Substance Designer just treats hard edges as soft ones for the raycasting only.

    You just blew my mind. Thanks for this information, I didn't know that was done!

    That is the reason I always recommended cages, because of the intersection errors. Yay for learning.
  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    Xoliul wrote: »
    It's definitely the trace distance, Fonfa. Default tends to be quite low.

    But I'm using a cage for this one... So perhaps there's something broken with cages in SD?


    I've started using cages not too long ago and I'm starting to agree with Laurens. My bakes are not getting noticeably better and I'm taking longer to get them done.
  • NicolasW
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    NicolasW polycounter lvl 11
    Hi Fonfa,

    Can you send me your assets ?
  • Damian Nachman
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    Damian Nachman polycounter lvl 6
    MeshPotato wrote: »
    I've been wondering, is it possible to create a PBR shader that supports Opacity?
    (Just like it is possible to edit in an emissive pbr shader)

    bump.
  • Michael Knubben
    Oh yeah, I'd like that too. At the very least 1-bit alpha, but preferably just multiple kinds, including alpha-to-coverage.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    We are working on it. We want to make it right and avoid sorting issues etc.
  • DeepSpaceBanana
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    DeepSpaceBanana polycounter
    Hi guys this is really newbie question but...when i usually start substance I can always see the names of the individual inputs on the nodes (like ambient occlusion. curvature/ normal).. but when i opened substance today, i cant see the names of the inputs anymore..anybody know how i can get the names to show up again?
  • cryrid
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    cryrid interpolator
    On 4.3.1, my library window doesn't seem to have a thumbnail panel for me to actually choose anything from. I tried refreshing thumbnails in the preferences and resetting my layout, but no luck. Any ideas?
    sd_library.png
  • luthyn
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    luthyn polycounter lvl 8
    tzydpro wrote: »
    Hi guys this is really newbie question but...when i usually start substance I can always see the names of the individual inputs on the nodes (like ambient occlusion. curvature/ normal).. but when i opened substance today, i cant see the names of the inputs anymore..anybody know how i can get the names to show up again?

    You mean this? Make sure that display connector names is toggled on like below.

    K5LgMHI.png
  • DeepSpaceBanana
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    DeepSpaceBanana polycounter
    luthyn wrote: »
    You mean this? Make sure that display connector names is toggled on like below.

    K5LgMHI.png



    That did the trick. Thanks a Bunch!!
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    cryrid wrote: »
    On 4.3.1, my library window doesn't seem to have a thumbnail panel for me to actually choose anything from. I tried refreshing thumbnails in the preferences and resetting my layout, but no luck. Any ideas?
    sd_library.png

    It is collapsed on the right of the window. Move your mouse there until you see your cursor changing to a handle and drag to the left.
  • cryrid
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    cryrid interpolator
    Ah, thank you good sir.
  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 10
    Hmm just an idea... No idea about the feasibility.

    How possible would some kind of Auto mesh exploding feature be? Maybe something like a simple UI to select corresponding parts of the high and low mesh. It would save having to update multiple fbx updates.

    So far messing around with Substance I'm really loving having a one stop shop for baking through texturing.
  • luthyn
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    luthyn polycounter lvl 8
    To add to random ideas:

    Would it be possible in the future to map hot keys to specific nodes? Beyond just the space bar select of the basic nodes.

    Say if you create a noise node that you like to use a lot and you are making many different graphs at once, and you wanted to map that node to a hot key. Would that be possible / make any sense?

    No idea how feasible that is.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 17
    I was messing with tiling a texture today and never found a way around warping the image to the UV layout without using a mask made in an external program.

    Suggestion would be using a Krita like method do it in Designer itself.
    It uses a series of points you put on this new nodes preview screen that you then can drag those points to warp areas. It also allows the use of laying down splines to have the same effect. I would figure that would work well with the non destructive substance way.

    http://youtu.be/kgTkfebleCE?t=2m21s

    If it already has this ability, I didn't find it.
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    Muzz wrote: »
    Hmm just an idea... No idea about the feasibility.

    How possible would some kind of Auto mesh exploding feature be? Maybe something like a simple UI to select corresponding parts of the high and low mesh. It would save having to update multiple fbx updates.

    So far messing around with Substance I'm really loving having a one stop shop for baking through texturing.

    Trust me that stuff is a total mess to do; the exploding is easy, but matching up low and high so they explode the same way is the hard part. It requires a lot of diligence from the artist to get the system to work even; match up splitting of objects for low and high, make sure naming is similar. That's like 75% of the work for exploding already.

    Much simpler is the system we had at Splash Damage(custom baking app); use materials on the lowpoly to define which parts of the lowpoly will not have intersecting traces, and give each of them a matching chunk of highpoly, but bake to a single texture. You only need 3 materials / chunks per object really. I do this on my Dozer DVD, 3 were all i needed.
    The best part about that system was that it would never get ray intersection issues, but it would still compute the AO as if all pieces were together/unexploded. It was really great.
  • dzibarik
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    dzibarik polycounter lvl 8
    oXYnary wrote: »

    If it already has this ability, I didn't find it.

    nah,it's not possible currently afaik. I wish that was in too.
  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 10
    Xoliul:

    Well damn that sounds awesome. I can see why exploding would be a pain in the ass yeah. but that does sound like a really good idea :).
  • SuperFranky
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    SuperFranky polycounter lvl 9
    Is it possible to turn fx map into a normal? Every time I do that I get a very pixelated result...
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    It really depends on the fxmap you use. You may need to blur it a little if your noise is too pixelated.
  • SuperFranky
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    SuperFranky polycounter lvl 9
    Jerc wrote: »
    It really depends on the fxmap you use. You may need to blur it a little if your noise is too pixelated.
    blur doesn't help at all, strangely.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    Could you post a screenshot of what your fxmap looks like?
  • SuperFranky
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    SuperFranky polycounter lvl 9
    http://imgur.com/a/DJ86Y this is how it all looks. Blurred version is even worse.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    Ok, it looks bad because it is set to color and is treated as a 8bit image.
    You should set your fxnmap to be greyscale and set it to absolute 16 bits in its global parameters.

    Also to transform it into a normal map, you can simply use the Normal filter in the space bar menu instead of that complicated setup.
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