Blender Mega Thread

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  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Curiously I never had that kind of problem. Usually you can do quite some mangling with the node editor data types. I do some vector maths here and there with nodes that usually want a float and stuff like that.
  • Elarionus
    I'm sort of curious, and I wasn't sure if this was the place to post it, or outside of this thread, but I was wondering, what place does Blender have in my workflow? I tend to make game art, but most of what Blender does seems to stay within Blender. Sculpt, Model, Retop, UV, Render, Texture, Materials, etc...it all seems to be done in here.

    My normal workflow is:

    ZBrush (if organic) > 3DS Max > Rizom UV > Marmoset (Bake) > Substance Painter >Marmoset (For a Render) > Unreal Engine.

    If I'm doing a rigged model, I hop into Maya instead.

    I'm going to graduate soon and lose access to Autodesk products. I've never been able to use them commercially anyways. I was wondering, where exactly does Blender fit into my workflow? It would technically be replacing Max, and only Max. It can't compete with Maya yet, and it's missing a ton of stuff that you need for game art. It's good for just basic models, but that's all I've been able to use it for. Am I missing parts of Blender that could help me? I've heard lots about Eevee, but it seems like a hassle, since I'll just be texturing externally anyway.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    I have not used all of the software you listed, but for me that pipeline would shrink down to Blender, Substance Painter and Unreal. That's it.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights greentooth

    I have pretty much same workflow as you, with the exception of Blender replacing both 3ds Max and RizomUV. Since I do all the hard surface HP and LP modeling, or organic LP retopology, and UV unwrapping in Blender.

    "It can't compete with Maya yet, and it's missing a ton of stuff that you need for game art. It's good for just basic models, but that's all I've been able to use it for."

    In my opinion, you got it all wrong, mate. Blender is capable of doing the whole pipeline of creating a game asset. Even sculpting, especially in newly released 2.81, which has very ZBrush-esque sculpting tools built-in. You can do hard surface and organic modeling and/or sculpting, UVs, baking, texturing, rigging, skinning, animating and rendering.

    But as I mentioned I have pretty much same workflow as you, I do baking in Marmoset and texturing in Substance Painter, since those are so exceptionally amazing tools for those purposes. Still, you can do all the modeling and UVs in Blender if you wish to make a switch. Just saying.

  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    @Elarionus it will fit in your 3ds Max place. BUT, Blender is very basic, and it will need a few add-ons, mostly paid add-ons in order to "shine" in modelling like 3ds Max. Give it a try, it's free and you don't lose anything.
  • Michael Knubben
  • SnowInChina
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    SnowInChina polycounter lvl 10
    pro tip : don't go too low on the numbers with the new remesher, it will take long and it will not run smooth

    i really like what blender is doing :)
  • Elarionus

    I have pretty much same workflow as you, with the exception of Blender replacing both 3ds Max and RizomUV. Since I do all the hard surface HP and LP modeling, or organic LP retopology, and UV unwrapping in Blender.

    "It can't compete with Maya yet, and it's missing a ton of stuff that you need for game art. It's good for just basic models, but that's all I've been able to use it for."

    In my opinion, you got it all wrong, mate. Blender is capable of doing the whole pipeline of creating a game asset. Even sculpting, especially in newly released 2.81, which has very ZBrush-esque sculpting tools built-in. You can do hard surface and organic modeling and/or sculpting, UVs, baking, texturing, rigging, skinning, animating and rendering.

    But as I mentioned I have pretty much same workflow as you, I do baking in Marmoset and texturing in Substance Painter, since those are so exceptionally amazing tools for those purposes. Still, you can do all the modeling and UVs in Blender if you wish to make a switch. Just saying.

    The main thing I really need for proper game art is true smoothing groups. The hard edges are not the same thing. And it could really use some real rigging and weighting tools too....
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Not to bash any software or prize one over the other, but why do you need smoothing groups? They are just an abstraction of what hard edges do and more limited while doing so.

    Rigging and weight painting is also there in plain Blender.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa 2.81 is here! Spent a good amount of time today adding the new stuff I liked to my setup. If next updates focus on quality-of-life improvements like what happened with the Outliner, File Browser, Transform Tools and Snapping modes, I'll be a happy guy.
    thomasp said:
    I think you will find that Hair Tool solves that issue and saves you the roundtrip and probably then some. Then again I have never looked at xGen at all, wouldn't know how it compares. In Blender you have orientation and 'scale' on the CV level and at least as a former longtime Max user (does that answer your question @Justo ?)

    Non monsieur. I imagine you are doing character work these days, and not just fully committed to making hair. Do you need jumping to Max (or whatever other DCC app) during the creation of your characters nowadays, for any small or big task in particular? (Retopology, UVs...)
  • another caveman
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    another caveman polycounter lvl 6
    Very pleased with all this :)

    Is it going to be a smooth transition, if I want to keep my setup, UI, etc. from 2.80 ? Will all my addons be broken right away or somehow still be compatible.?
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 8
    There shouldn't be any problem upgrading. But if there is, you can always grab the old version again from the archive (they should all be portable and not even require installation).
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    Once installed, in the welcome screen, you have an option to use 2.80 config. I copied all my add-ons to the 2.81 scripts folder (users/roaming) and they work fine.

    Eevee is much better, but i will need to wait for 2.82. Blender is still not an option for subdivision modelling.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    Very pleased with all this :)

    Is it going to be a smooth transition, if I want to keep my setup, UI, etc. from 2.80 ? Will all my addons be broken right away or somehow still be compatible.?

    Like it was said above, you can copy your config from 2.8. However as for keyboard shortcuts, if you were running a custom setup, the newly added features are not automatically added to your keyboard setup, so it seems you need to manually add them one by one in the keyboard shortcut editor, or redo your setup again starting from a 2.81 setup. 

    Best case scenario would be for the shortcut editor to be reworked so as to show overlapping shortcuts & future updates to be able to add newly added features to your old config. This way, hopefully you'd be able to quickly add everything and be able to see any of the new additions that are causing conflict with your keymappings.
  • Anura_Interceptor
    For some reason I can no longer rotate my viewport at all in Blender, doesn't matter which save I load, which is very weird since any setting I screwed up would be save independent. It just shows this "axis snap" icon in the bottom left corner when I try to rotate, the viewport doesn't move at all but it does cancel directional orthographic view like it normally would.

    EDIT:Found the fix, for anyone having the same problem. Somehow the sensitivity in my orbit settings got knocked all the way down to 0. Just change it to a non-zero number and it works again.

  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    Elarionus said:

    The main thing I really need for proper game art is true smoothing groups. The hard edges are not the same thing.

    I mean, Maya, (which I believe has overtaken Max, prevalence-wise in the games industry?) uses a hard-edge system instead of smoothing groups, so.............
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights greentooth
    Joopson said:
    Elarionus said:

    The main thing I really need for proper game art is true smoothing groups. The hard edges are not the same thing.

    I mean, Maya, (which I believe has overtaken Max, prevalence-wise in the games industry?) uses a hard-edge system instead of smoothing groups, so.............
    Yeah. As far as I know, in Max you select a group of polygons and add a smoothing group for them. The shading is broken based on the border of the selection, also known as edges... And yes, Maya and Blender has a similar system for hard/sharp edges.

    "A proper game art" doesn't necessarily need smoothing groups that much. In these days you can use more polygons on low poly models with beveling and leave the mesh smooth all over, or if you wish to fine tune shading, use face weighted vertex normals.
  • Chev
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    Chev polycounter lvl 6
    What's the process for reporting bugs? Is there a forum or do I go straight to developer.blender.org and open a bug report? Basically using vertex color through the attribute node has been busted for the longest time (the color values aren't linearized correctly, and if you try to correct that with an inverse gamma node to linearize the vertex colors then obviously it's the interpolation that's not linear anymore) and I hoped it'd be either fixed in 2.81 or different in the all new vertex color input node but it has the exact same problem still.
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 8
    The short answer is in Blender you can go Help -> Report a Bug.


  • Chev
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    Chev polycounter lvl 6
    Yeah but since that just dumped me on the login page of the developer site I wanted to make sure there wasn't an alternative first.
  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    After a little while using 2.8 and 2.81 there's really one thing that annoys me to no end : there seems to be no way to instantly tell (without scrolling through the outliner) which scene layer (or "collection", whatever the official name is) the currently selected/active object belongs to.

    In 2.79 and earlier it was just a matter of having a quick glance at the layer grid, which clearly showed the scene layers, whether they contained objects or not, and which layer the currently selected object belonged to :



    For instance here I can instantly read that I am using two scene layers (0 and 10 if one counts line by line), both of which have objects in them ; and the currently selected object belongs to 0. Super fast and elegant imho.

    No in 2.8 I feel completely blind in that regard and I am losing a significant amount of time going back and forth between the viewport of the far-from perfect outliner, juggling with collection names, hiding/unhiding and expanding/collapsing them manually, and so on. I was hoping that the Scenes mode (showing the Collections without their objects) would help, but unfortunately the display of collection names is always white/grey there (as in : nothing happens visually there when selecting objects in the scene. I was hoping that at the very least the collection names would turn orange when selecting an object belonging to them).

    Does anyone know of some workaround for that ? Either an add-on somehow bringing back an equivalent to the grid view and controls, or maybe something I am missing in the interface showing the collection names as the user clicks on objects.

    (of course I understand that the new paradigm has a lot of value, if only just for the fact that it allows an infinite number of named layers as opposed to only 20 no-name layers. But as far as practically organizing/cleaning up complex scenes, the new paradigm brings a ton of annoying inertia imho).

    - - - - -

    Edit : ok I've found this, which indeed show which Collection the currently selected object belongs to ... but this is buried into the Object tab hence not displayed at all time. Any way to make this into a viewport overlay somehow ?



    And admittedly, this little panel doesn't allow the instant hiding/unhiding of the other layers anyways. This stuff is really frustrating, to a point of considering going back to pre-2.8 for modeling ...
  • SnowInChina
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    SnowInChina polycounter lvl 10
    hey pior,
    under  the n panel there is a collections tab which lists all your collections and shows you to which collections your selected object belongs (bottom left corner in screenshot)


    you can also view and hide collections with 1 2 3 4... and shift  + 1 2 3 4... where each number stands for the position of your collection
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    pior said:
    After a little while using 2.8 and 2.81 there's really one thing that annoys me to no end : there seems to be no way to instantly tell (without scrolling through the outliner) which scene layer (or "collection", whatever the official name is) the currently selected/active object belongs to.
    You can see the icon besides the collections lighting up depending on the selected object, no? That's a pretty evident signal of which collection contains selected stuff?


  • TheFlow
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    TheFlow polycounter lvl 5
    pior said:

    Edit : ok I've found this, which indeed show which Collection the currently selected object belongs to ... but this is buried into the Object tab hence not displayed at all time. Any way to make this into a viewport overlay somehow ?




    Hey pior, you can right click on the 8 little dots and pin it. Or just shift+click. Should stay always in the panel. Could fix it partly.
    An overlay would be really great I think. Probably something for https://blender.community/c/rightclickselect/ ? Could be on there, didn't check yet. 
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    What @Justo said. It should be visible in there in the outliner. Should even show for nested collections.

    Another reason why you could not do it as easily as it was with the layers before: Objects can now be in multiple collections at the same time. I might be remembering wrong, but I think that was not possible with layers.
  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    Hey, thanks for the suggestions y'all.

    @Justo : unfortunately this is *precisely* the problem with this new paradigm. On paper/in theory it sounds great and all, the feature is here since the little triangle icon does get highlighted ... but in practice it doesn't really work (at least for me) because as soon as a collection has many members and is expanded, the objects names and their little highlighted icon will often end up past the visible area, requiring to bring the mouse cursor over there just to scroll up/down, dig into the hierarchy, and so on. Which is why I like the Scenes view better in that regard (but it doesn't have any highlight :/ ).

    To put things differently : what I am looking for is not some way to identify which collection an object belongs to, as there are obviously many ways to do that. I am rather looking for a foolproof way to do so, instantaneously, without having to click/scroll through anything, at any time. This is why the little grid of dots was so great, it was always there sitting right at the edge of peripheral vision, always available and easy to interact with.

    @SnowInChina : this is great ! I wasn't aware of that tab, excellent. It's just a bit of a shame that it doesn't allow for renaming collections by double clicking on them though, so I'll have to use the outliner for that,  but that will do. The 1-2-3-4 keys don't help at all for my issue however, because what I am looking for is a way to instantly check the collection status of the current selection of objects, at any time. Having to poke through collections at random by switching their visibility on and off would be a nightmare in that regard (and as a matter of fact even though I am aware of the functionality I barely ever use these numbered shortcuts as workflow wise they're pretty much worthless imho, too unpredictably because it's impossible to ever now which collection is going to be mapped to which number).

    Also, @TheFlow : I didn't know that the subpanels of the N-panel were pinnable, that's very cool. It strikes me as odd that this seems to be saved not as a user pref but as a scene pref, and it's a bit annoying that it always changes screen location since it flows with the rest of the N panel unless placed at the very top (hence not as "rock solid reliable" as the gird of dots), but that is helping a lot already, thanks. BTW the one panel in the screenshot you quoted is not pinnable however AFAIK (at least in 2.8) - looks like only the N-panel supports pinning.

    @f1r3w4rr10r : 2.79 and earlier definitely allowed for objects to be in multiple layers at once. As a matter of fact doing so was a lot easier/faster to do then compared to now, again thanks to the elegant design/UX of the grid of dots.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah as I said I might be remembering wrong.

    For completeness' sake, you can also hover your mouse over the outliner and press the focus key (Numpad + .) to instantly jump to the active item in the outliner.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    It's not an answer to your no-clicks-wanted problem, but if there was a way to press something when hovering over the outliner to automatically close all the opened collections, i bet that would be cool...

    Edit:

    Yeah as I said I might be remembering wrong.

    For completeness' sake, you can also hover your mouse over the outliner and press the focus key (Numpad + .) to instantly jump to the active item in the outliner.
    Oh, that's nice.
  • Decordova360
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    Decordova360 polycounter lvl 5
    @Elarionus
    I still have access to my student license 
  • thomasp
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    thomasp sublime tool
    I have one object that I can't seem to merge/join with others or else the material/texture coordinates screw up. Tested in 2.79 and 2.81 with identical results.

    Apart from having to have UVmaps with unique names assigned to each of these - what else is there to look out for?
  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    thomasp said:
    I have one object that I can't seem to merge/join with others or else the material/texture coordinates screw up. Tested in 2.79 and 2.81 with identical results.

    Apart from having to have UVmaps with unique names assigned to each of these - what else is there to look out for?
    Never had this issue, can you provide the file?
  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    thomasp said:
    I have one object that I can't seem to merge/join with others or else the material/texture coordinates screw up. Tested in 2.79 and 2.81 with identical results.

    Apart from having to have UVmaps with unique names assigned to each of these - what else is there to look out for?
    This uv-part sounds bit buggy. If you would obj export / re-import the object. Does it then behave normally? The uv-data is just part of the mesh data object and usually there is nothing magical happening when joining with another data block. Indices will get re-ordered..
    How do the UV-s precisely change?
  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    "Apart from having to have UVmaps with unique names assigned to each of these - what else is there to look out for?"
    Well, you actually do want to use the exact same name for the UV sets of the objects to be merged - otherwise the system assumes that you want the UV sets to remain separate ... meaning that you might end up with the UVs you want to keep on a different set than expected.
    In short : make sure that the UV sets of all the objects you want to merge are called the exact same way before performing the merge.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp sublime tool
    Confirmed, I was doing it the wrong way around. Something unrelated must have gone wrong the first try, then I googled how to do it and found hints to the UVmap property. Argh. Thanks guys - this multi-subobject material BS isn't something I usually have to deal with.

  • Prime8
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    Prime8 greentooth
    Not so new news, but maybe interresting for someone here, free tier Octane renderer for Blender 2.8.

    https://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=72241
  • Michael Knubben
    pior said:




    I love the new collections, but do personally hope to find an addon that gives me that little panel back :D

    edit: crucially, Blender _does_ display the collection in the top left of the viewport.

  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 4
    Blender needs the ability to edit properties of multiple objects at once, or I don't know how to do it. If I want to e.g. 'Clear Custom Split Normals Data' from multiple objects at once, I can't. If I have 100 objects I need to clear that data from, I need to select each and every single one of the them, then click the button 100 times. Usability nightmare.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Have you tried just selecting all of them and then just searching for the command and executing it? Other than that, if I understand this correctly, you could also select all, go into edit mode, select all edges and then delete the split normals data.
  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    @Michael Knubben :
    "crucially, Blender _does_ display the collection in the top left of the viewport."
    I would say : close, but not quite !
    It does display the name of the currently active selection (last collection that was proactively clicked on or interacted with in the outliner), but that is different from the collection that the currently selected object belongs to.
    In other words : this top left corner display indicates the collection that the next created objects will go to. Which is useful in and of itself of course (and will probably save me quite a few headaches going forward, as I hate how I often end up with unselectable objects because of the way Blender treats the last edited collection as the active one), but it doesn't give the exhaustive information that the little dots were giving ...
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 8
     
    wilson66 said:
    Blender needs the ability to edit properties of multiple objects at once, or I don't know how to do it. If I want to e.g. 'Clear Custom Split Normals Data' from multiple objects at once, I can't. If I have 100 objects I need to clear that data from, I need to select each and every single one of the them, then click the button 100 times. Usability nightmare.
    You can try selecting all the objects you want, then hold down the Alt key when changing the setting. I don't think it works with every setting, though. But yeah, I'd like to see tedious UX things like that improved.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    so umm, 2.81 here, anyone know the basic transparency setup for eevee materials? Anything that is translucent and would let me see 50-80% of what's behind the glass. I'm playing around with the Alpha Blend options of mats, but nothing seems to get the job done...

  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 8
    I haven't played with it much, but I turned on transmission and enabled Screen Space Refraction (refraction depth controls the distortion). Over on the rendering tab I also checked Refraction in the Screen Space Reflections. Seems like you need both for it to work. Then the roughness controls the blurriness

    Edit: You could also possibly just mix a transparent shader if you just want semi-transparency.





  • another caveman
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    another caveman polycounter lvl 6
    Would you have an option to recommend me, I'd like something like zSpheres? :)  What I just found after quick google seemed quite old. Thanks
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 8
    Closest to Zspheres in Blender is probably the Skin modifier or Metaballs.




  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 4
    Each time I re-import an OBJ into Blender, it attaches the name of the object to the name of the mesh, and the name of the mesh to each object.
    Meaning, when I export the OBJ from Blender, an object is e.g. named 'object.001', and the mesh (child) named 'part.001_low'.
    When I close the file, then re-import the OBJ, the same object is named 'object.001_part.001_low', and the corresponding mesh is named 'object.001_part.001_low'.
    What gives? I have to rename all objects each time I re-import that OBJ because I have to edit something. 
    How do I make Blender keep the original object + mesh names?
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    @wilson66 We discussed the same thing just recently. That is nothing Blender can do anything about, that is a limitation of the OBJ file format. In OBJ there is no concept for what Blender calls an Object. OBJ only knows about mesh data. So I wager that this concatenated name is already created, when you export it. You can even check that yourself, since OBJ is a plain text format. Just open it with a text editor and search for the name.

    In general, OBJ is a really simple format. It can literally only do vertices and faces. Most applications should also handle UV and vertex color data, but not all do. Anything beyond that is not possible with OBJ. There are no bones, not animations, nothing.
  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 4
    It seems to have to do with the fact that Blender distinguishes between objects and meshes then, ok. This seems to be a concept unique to Blender though (?), e.g. Modo does not have such a problem. It just imports/ exports the OBJ with exactly the names you have defined. 
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    @wilson66 It depends on how Modo implements an OBJ importer/exporter. I might as well be, that they write their names into comments in the file, so they can extract those back out later. I don't think Blender does that. Also here is a reference of what can be in an OBJ file: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavefront_.obj_file#File_format

    I suggest you save a simple scene with just a cube object and test-names for both the object and the mesh and have a look in the file with a text editor. And then do the same with a similar setup in Modo and have a look into the file that Modo exports.

    I realize, that not everyone is a programmer or wants to be one, but this would be the first step I would do, to see if we can get the Blender devs to implement a functionality similar to what Modo does. Just be aware, that there is most likely no standard way to do this and thus it will likely not be implemented, just to understand Modo specific OBJ files. If anything my money would be that people are willing to implement name saving so that Blender can re-import the same names it also exported.

    But as an overall comment: I really suggest you try FBX instead. It will not be pain free, but you will definitely have less problems with it than with OBJ.
  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 4
    I just noticed Blender does something strange with FBX files as well. It does not save objects or meshes with the same names as in the Blender file, but attaches some numbers to the name of the objects. When I have named objects 'object.001', object.002' ect. in Blender, export it as FBX, then open in Maya, the objects are named 'objectFBXASC046001' ect. and I get a 'nodes with illegal names were detected' message.
    Something is arwy here.
    Blender needs to export object/mesh names exactly as I have defined them, or the objects I need to texture/ bake in Substance Painter will not be usable, as it all depends on exact mesh names with specific suffixes.
    EDIT: noticed it seems to be something Maya specific. Modo imports FBX with correct names.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    wilson66 said:
    EDIT: noticed it seems to be something Maya specific. Modo imports FBX with correct names.
    I was about to say, keep in mind that Blender's FBX importer/exporter is reverse engineered. Might as well be that Autodesk changed something in the file format again, which is backwards compatible, if you know how, but isn't implemented in Blender. So Autodesk software doesn't accept it, but software using older versions of the official SDK still do.

    But what can you do, those are the joys of closed software/standards/file formats.
    EDIT: Another reason why people should use more open formats like Alembic, so the whole industry isn't held in a grip by one player, even if they do not have anything to do with that one player.
    EDIT 2: Having said that, you should actually try using Alembic, if you just go Blender <-> Autodesk software. They both support it. Substance does not yet, as it seems.
    EDIT 3: I just had another look, and it seems Substance Painter 2018.2 and higher can import Alembic. https://docs.substance3d.com/spdoc/version-2018-2-172818907.html
    You should definitely try that one instead. It's an open, standardized format in active development and it should be capable of everything you need.

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