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Are people actually use Substance Designer for a job?

gnoop
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gnoop polycounter
I see  Substance Designer examples in every resume . Sometimes  it looks like a kind of sport achievements.     But when it comes to actual work   it looks like I only one who really use it for repeating textures.    People use Painter for the purpose or just Photoshop with pattern preview  , or Quixel Mixer.          In a word anything but  SD .     

I see same kind of desert  feel in  forums  about Designer , including Adobe ones    and  a kind of dead end sense   in its development.  They detour to Houdini  field  instead of making  SD somewhat user friendly.    

What's happening.  

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  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    Designer is used on pretty much every AAA game out there and on many movies and TV shows.
    Also used a lot in the fashion, automotive, retail industry.. usage is constantly increasing.
    I don't think many artists use Photoshop to create tileable textures anymore unless you're going for a very stylized look.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Yeah,   i see it in advertisements but got kind of different impression  from  my  experience.  People   have a super cool  substances on their   web pages ,  and looking like really master the soft .  Then  they come to actual work  and nobody really use it.   While do use Painter.
    For doing tileable textures too.    For  quick compositing  something rather Photoshop with all extra normal/ spec map inside smart objects since Pattern preview have surfaced.

    It's pretty obvious even  on this forum  where threads about Designer  almost disappeared .     I recall old Alegorithmic forum  with all the buzz about Designer  maybe 5 years ago and actual discussions .   All gone somewhere.    Facebook mabe ?   Nope , all the SD groups are dead there.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    Designer is like Houdini - Any idiot can pick it up and make something shiny but very few idiots can pick it up and use it effectively in a professional setting.

    The reason most people aren't using it at work is because you don't want 100 people operating it independently, you want a group of trained specialists operating it collaboratively - that's how you get the benefits.


  • oglu
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    oglu polycount lvl 666
    Designer is used really a lot. But in a studio you need only a view Texture Artists they use designer.
    https://substance3d.adobe.com/magazine/forza-horizon-4-creating-seasons-with-substance/


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRu_iWOJ2yg
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Thanks guys .      I've just noticed  a kind of  silence  around Substance Designer lately .    It's started to disappear  from   job requirements .     A couple years ago  "good knowledge of Substance Designer required " was in evry texture artist job posted  now it's  " Substance Designer" is a plus"  .      

    I thought  maybe people  switching to something.    Mari   or Houdini.    I could say  scattering   IMO generally more convenient in  3d soft  .  Masks are more accurate  and   GPU rendering  is swift .  

    BTW.  in the link oglu  posted I see an example of  scattering  chunks of  photogrammerty  scanned  boulders.     I always  have to do it  in 8k   resolution  because Designer tends to turn any piece of bitmap into a crap  comparing to Photoshop.   

    and it makes my substances slow as hell.
      Wonder how  people workaround this. 


  • Jerc
  • dimwalker
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    dimwalker polycounter lvl 15
    Imho biggest thing SD is missing is painting directly on 3D model. I believe this feature would make it much more popular, but probably  also hurt Painter.
    As for using it, I do most of my texturing using SD, with some quick hacks in PS when I'm too lazy to rebake maps just for couple of screws .

    Tried to learn Painter few times and probably will again at some point, but I always end up feeling constrained by linear layering approach and run back to SD where I can wire messy spaghettis graphs.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero interpolator
    dimwalker said:
    Imho biggest thing SD is missing is painting directly on 3D model. I believe this feature would make it much more popular, but probably  also hurt Painter.
    As for using it, I do most of my texturing using SD, with some quick hacks in PS when I'm too lazy to rebake maps just for couple of screws .

    Tried to learn Painter few times and probably will again at some point, but I always end up feeling constrained by linear layering approach and run back to SD where I can wire messy spaghettis graphs.

    The intention is almost definitely to use both in tandem; mats in designer, expose parameters, paint them on and adjust/finalize/apply in painter. You're just meant to use both.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    I do and see people use it for tileables  too since it capable to do perfect height blend  in between layers  ( contrary to Sampler last time i tried) .   But working together with Designer is so much of a pain in your ass there.  You spend most of your time fighting  weird quirks.

    Besides Painter has same issue  as  Designer . It blurs evrything  you need to move slightly  while in SD you have safe transform at least . So recreating  something like in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgSq0jq5DzY&feature=youtu.be    force you to work in  very hi resolution only Mari is really capable of.

    I agree with dimwalker   . Wish it could be just a single soft.




  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Jerc said:

    I  have always worked  for kind of mid size studios  50 employee maybe + contractors    so not sure what really big AAA is doing.      Perhaps they all work in style of  Chaplin in Modern times .  I have always feared to end up in something like that.   
     
     I recall we tried  a sort of deep collaboration style with super specialized people  in one company I formerly work for.   The final result was so-so .     Everybody  was like robot , nobody  had any personal pride or responsibility  in any final result.   Everyone had an excuse  of "it's what assets  you gave me"       Nobody tried to suggest anything or have a slightest new idea.       I recall I told a person  : find a solution  , I can't think of everything.        Got an answer that kind of cough  my attention " I am not a horse.  Horses do have big heads to think  a lot"

    I understand in a big production you probably  have no choice and have to work with what management tell you  to work with   but in work environment  I accustomed   people  rather use  what they consider convenient.  Especially when they work from home.   And nobody use SD really.

  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero interpolator
    gnoop said:

    I do and see people use it for tileables  too since it capable to do perfect height blend  in between layers  ( contrary to Sampler last time i tried) .   But working together with Designer is so much of a pain in your ass there.  You spend most of your time fighting  weird quirks.

    Besides Painter has same issue  as  Designer . It blurs evrything  you need to move slightly  while in SD you have safe transform at least . So recreating  something like in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgSq0jq5DzY&feature=youtu.be    force you to work in  very hi resolution only Mari is really capable of.
    Risking being too blunt here but...

    You spend most of your time fighting weird quirks, and your experiences are not universal. Have you considered this kind of thing might be either user error or a bug? Have you ever just... asked if something is intentional and filed a report? Plenty of people have no issue working with designer, so it's not that "everyone" spends "most of their time fighting weird quirks". People wouldn't use it if it was such a huge pain in the ass consistently, for no reason, regardless of what you think AAA management is capable of doing in terms of forcing everyone to use the software they paid for no exceptions  :/  You yourself said you don't know what AAA is doing.

    In your Height Blend issues thread, since you keep bringing it up: you were kinda vague. Instead of asking what was going on with maybe a touch of humility, you presumed the math itself was wrong, that they designed it this way. Even kind of implied the devs must just be dumb bc maybe you could "fix it yourself". I truly hope that this was some kind of result of language barrier, but it was still rude. I'm not really surprised you didn't get an answer. FWIW, late, but I could not replicate that result with a version of sampler that I believe is fairly recent, if not the newest version since it's not what I typically need to use. There appears to be more options now so perhaps this was just a quirk or bug that got identified and fixed.

    With the Custom Mask Blend w/ options as close to in your picture as I could get it:


    And the regular Height Blend layer:

    Just to clear that bit up. I have to say I'm unsure of which blurring you're talking about regarding substance painter, either. When you complain of these things, it would be nice to know what the actual problem is instead of what you think will fix it.

    "So recreating  something like in this video force you to work in  very hi resolution only Mari is really capable of." = :'(

    "When trying to recreate something like in this video even with a very high resolution it comes out blurred. Am I doing something wrong, or is this impossible to do in Painter?" = ✅ =)


    Which...yes, you're right! One of the answers might be "Oh, this isn't within what Painter can do right now because we don't support [Y]. Maybe try Mari?"
    But one of the answers might ALSO be: "Huh, that's weird. What does your set up look like? It should be able to do this", or "theoretically you could if you set it up right but honestly we haven't tested it" or any number of much more productive conversation avenues than "...well, okay, use Mari then if you can already do it there?". If your intention is to say something more like "I would like it/ it would be useful if substance painter was capable of something like this and it might make it a better competitor to Mari", saying it that way sounds less abrasive than essentially saying "this is stupid, why doesn't it work like mari?". You will get better answers.

    Maybe I'm going in too hard on you here, and it's not like I'm some Substance Evangelist. Substance is just another tool, I use Clip Studio Paint for edits sometimes so I'm hardly going to judge someone for preferring Photoshop or Mari or any other tool but... man. You come off really unproductive in threads like this.
    I don't even like Adobe and I do have qualms about the state of AAA. But especially when the developers of the software have shown time and again that they're willing to discuss nebulous topics like this with you pretty much personally, I don't know what on earth you're wasting time navelgazing for. If I had that kind of access I wouldn't squander it asking things like "does anyone even actually use this?" without seemingly having a point. Just go to Artstation and filter by "substance 3D designer". You should get an answer fairly quickly.

    (Coincidentally, you can also easily pick out actual professional usage from a quick visual survey here. Back4Blood, The Ascent, Far Cry 6, New World, Endzone, 9 to 5, Age of Darkness, Godfall, Larcenauts, Knockout City-- you may notice a number of these are not in fact AAA games btw)

    As I said before. Your experiences are not universal. Substance Designer is not the best solution for every team. Just because something (and this goes for general collaboration approach, too) isn't the right solution for YOUR team doesn't mean it's one way or the other, in terms of ease of use, approach, or quality overall.

    So "What's Happening", then? People have gotten used to Substance Designer. The new approach shine has worn off, hype has died down, and it's integrated more fully into peoples workflows. It's normal now, so people talk about it less like it's going to save game art like a Make Art button. And that probably means more people are using it, not less.
    Substance updates are still regular for the suite; they're clearly doing fine even if only one person is using the program, so the question is a flawed one anyway. As always; How To Ask Questions The Smart Way applies.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    BagelHero said:

    Risking being too blunt here but...
    Sorry if I seemed rude. it wasn't my intention at all.   Neighter I implied any derogatorily  meaning in my  "whether  people actually use  Designer " question.   Not "even" .        I just see  less  of it  in my work environment  , less in job requirements , less in public forums , absolute silence  in Facebook groups   and  basically wanted to hear opinions.    Because  SD is  my  mayor  field  and I wonder if industry found something more cool and appropriate. 

    You are right , looks like Sampler  fixed that issue I mentioned  , Thanks for informing it.   I  have actually just found  they replied me about that in Adobe forum too .  I am pretty sure  it was 100% a math error for some weird reason nobody cared about.

    Blurring  issue of  SPainter  comes from a simple fact Painter wouldn't snap  to pixels  any "decal"  you  move  , contrary to Photoshop .   It was an issue with Photoshop smart objects too  decade ago  then they fixed it.   Otherwise you could perfectly do same things (to that Mari video)  in Painter with a help of anchors).    Well, scaling and moving such "decals"  is inconvenient as hell  but still perfectly possible , Mari doesn't  do it with much of per pixel precision too  btw  but  having a huge spare resolution  minimizes the problem.       Not sure what your objections to this  are.

    I brought it because seen people started to use Painter for tileables  too   and I personally find that lacking of accurate per pixel snap  is annoying   while in Designer there is safe transform or  transform through pixel processor  that allows  to workaround it to certain extent.    
      Still I perfectly understand why they prefer Painter.     Because after decades of development  SD still lacks  lots of simple  basic conveniences.     Well , they did bypass at least.  A thing i tired to write and ask about  years ago .    I am still super  angry  when have to look for  each missing resource one by one .     Please tell me I don't know something.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    For your blurring issue, you can set your fill layer filtering in Painter. By default it's using bilinear filtering, but you can set it to a sharp bilinear that will preserve details a bit more, or nearest to make sure you don't get any resampling, but you may get some really sharp texels popping out.
    Also make sure you use the UV projection mode and not the default if you want to be able to get no distortion at all and get pixel accurate transform.
  • walter
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    walter polycounter lvl 14
    While speaking Layer Filtering,
    anyone know a script or a method to convert all filtering from a project, from Bilinear Filtering to Bilinear Sharp, or vice-versa ?
    Thanks.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    Unless there's been a fairly dramatic change to the scripting API  then it's not possible. 

    You have no useful access to the layer stack or tools via script
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Jerc said:
    For your blurring issue, you can set your fill layer filtering in Painter. By default it's using bilinear filtering, but you can set it to a sharp bilinear that will preserve details a bit more, or nearest to make sure you don't get any resampling, but you may get some really sharp texels popping out.
    Also make sure you use the UV projection mode and not the default if you want to be able to get no distortion at all and get pixel accurate transform.
    I'm sorry to mention  it    but this  layer filtering is absolutely irrelevant  to the issue I am talking about .    Whatever filter method you chose the "decal" is always re-interpolate it's pixels .    So if you have a crack of two pixels  in the normal map  it would always be  slightly less  perfect.     

    Just try to put a leaf from default library and move it around . You see  the  pixels are flickering .   And try same in Photoshop  for comparison where you could shift something exactly 1 pixel  right or left and everything stays  same pixel art precision quality.         The only fix is working with a huge spare resolution  like  in that Mari example.

              My guess perhaps in games where  people use 10 tex/cm  density it's irrelevant   but for a racing game where textures just can't repeat in evry meter , you would have to deprive them of any  natural look if so  , each pixel is on count.

         


  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    isn't that the nature of projection painting though ? 

    we generally get around that sort of issue by working at a high resolution and downsampling at export. painter's downsampling is pretty decent in general  - you can often do better by picking the right options in photoshop but it depends on the scale you're working at
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    Yes, you can't expect perfect pixel accuracy when projecting images on a 3D surface. Photoshop operates on 2D pixels directly while Painter projects that 2D image on a 3D surface, there is bound to be a resampling process no matter what.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Jerc said:
    you can't expect perfect pixel accuracy

    Could it be some math that turns 0-1 space into integer values depending on texture resolution  so I could move a "decal"   2 pixels exactly  , not 2,5 pixels?      I tried to do something like that  myself in  Designer  using safe transform as a start but  couldn't  accomplish it.    
      Isn't 2d vs 3d just some abstract  division  and the math is same in both cases?

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    poopipe said:
    we generally get around that sort of issue by working at a high resolution and downsampling at export. painter's downsampling is pretty decent in general 
    Yeah, it's what I am doing  and in Designer too.    But it makes my video-card crawl and everything slow as hell.      It's exactly why I said Mari has lesser of such limitation.  


  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    gnoop said:
    Jerc said:
    you can't expect perfect pixel accuracy

    Could it be some math that turns 0-1 space into integer values depending on texture resolution  so I could move a "decal"   2 pixels exactly  , not 2,5 pixels?      I tried to do something like that  myself in  Designer  using safe transform as a start but  couldn't  accomplish it.    
      Isn't 2d vs 3d just some abstract  division  and the math is same in both cases?


    It's a little more than abstract division - you need to go through several matrix transforms to work out where the brush hits on the texture. 

    also..
    By the time you reach the fragment shader the idea of a texture pixel is long gone - which is good because it allows you to do filtering, mips and lots of other cool stuff but it rather scuppers the idea of per pixel placement.
    I suspect that'll lead to a bunch of nasty artefacting inside your projected brush

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    poopipe said:
    gnoop said:
    Jerc said:
    you can't expect perfect pixel accuracy

    Could it be some math that turns 0-1 space into integer values depending on texture resolution  so I could move a "decal"   2 pixels exactly  , not 2,5 pixels?      I tried to do something like that  myself in  Designer  using safe transform as a start but  couldn't  accomplish it.    
      Isn't 2d vs 3d just some abstract  division  and the math is same in both cases?


    It's a little more than abstract division - you need to go through several matrix transforms to work out where the brush hits on the texture. 

    also..
    By the time you reach the fragment shader the idea of a texture pixel is long gone - which is good because it allows you to do filtering, mips and lots of other cool stuff but it rather scuppers the idea of per pixel placement.
    I suspect that'll lead to a bunch of nasty artefacting inside your projected brush


    I  am talking  rather  about more convenient ways to composite  a texture  from ready made resources  , not brush projecting things.      Like importing a rendered  piece.   A grass edge  stripe  or a manhole   and then scale such manhole to say  exactly  255x255 pixels  and move exactly 20 pixels right . 
          I  tried to make a function in Designer  where I could set texture size manually as input an get a shift and scale values  in pixels .  Failed miserably  :(      Still my guess it should be possible.
        
    But I do think it should be there from the very beginning .     Same in Painter.  It so terribly painful to move a "decal"  precisely  there.
  • Forester
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    Forester polycounter lvl 3

    Thank you for the discussion. I had the same initial question - and it is good to see the answers.🙂

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    I was too quick saying that they fixed that custom masks height blend issue . They told me so from Adobe support but I had no chance to actually test it. And now I did.

    They haven't fixed anything at all. In fact it's quite obvious from your screens too if look closely . You just used blur in the dirt/snow edges the way they would never look so in real life to hide the issue. I mean your top screen vs regular height blend where it's all ok but not editable.

    Same issue witch clone brush . it doesn't make a seamless height blend without blurring the edge unrealistically.

    It's all weird since in both Painter and Designer you could do it proper way without any problem except it's a bit more calculations.

    Perhaps it's a design choice in favor of more responsive work on low end pc or something but it makes the whole idea of height blend somewhat useless since for many subjects a tiny height variations is what you need for realistic effects and blurring the mask edge just doesn't make it.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to bring your own height blend done in Designer into Sampler? I am trying to use advantages of its AI but the rest of the soft is so inconvenient it's useless basically .

  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero interpolator

    The top one used a stylised texture I'd made in designer as a mask, so the blur is from the nature of that texture iirc, not (as far as I understand) something inherent to sampler. Granted, I still don't quite get your problem and it'd be nice to get an updated comparison vs what you'd expect it to look like (eg a ref you can't match, or manually made texture you think looks better).

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    BagelHero . I am referring to "custom mask blend" and its "use height information" option which works with the heights kind of wrong. It produces sadden height ridges when you paint manually. Same with the clone tool which is no surprise since it works same way in clone and auto tile nodes in Substance Designer too.

    But I figured out what they have fixed . it's their "height adjustment" filter. It works just right together with regular height blend mask so provides a working solution . Still kind of less convenient than what's in Painter or Designer but works sort of. Allowing to edit the mix manually by brush input. Except a complex cases where one material height is laying over another , not just flat intersecting . I

    It's pitty IMO they do several separate programs instead of having one layers + nodes + AI hybrid . The price the same anyway

  • Mechaq43
    I may be a little late to the party, but I have a question.  I'm a recent grad, so can anyone tell me what jobs/job titles, use substance painter?  Or the substance suite? 

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  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Mechaq43 said:
    I may be a little late to the party, but I have a question.  I'm a recent grad, so can anyone tell me what jobs/job titles, use substance painter?  Or the substance suite?

    Substance Painter is by fact a default  texturing software in gamedev industry now.  An industry standard.      Substance Designer is an extra bonus in your resume    but by my  observation nobody really using it .    Mostly to do some custom filters for Painter or some pattern looking structures and scattering brushes .   I seem only one in a whole company and nobody use sbs files I upload.     There is also Sampler but nobody use it either  because  it's just a few AI extra options  over Painter that never work right   and its slow and inconvenient as hell.
    The art of creating custom textures  is slowly fading  away  because of available  texture sources  and everybody is expecting AI will do it entirely  soon .    Thus you  can see same 2x2 m megascan textures  in games mostly  with naive and repeating  looking edges/borders  on everything.  



  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    Everyone uses painter

    Job titles such as material artist, texture artist are what you want to be searching for if you're interested in surfacing rather than modelling 
  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing ngon master
    I'd like to offer the opinion that most industry roles aren't as rigid as they first may seem. While a lot of companies will try to hire you to be a machine, you are in fact supposed to be an artist.

    While many AAA-studios may have a fixed pipelines they want artist to fit into, anything smaller (and some AAA) can be able to (not necessarily will, though) adjust to each individual artists' skill set (preference of modeling software, texturing software, workflow, etc).

    Substance Designer is a great tool even if you don't author any tile-able materials: there is a huge amount of custom tools you can make for a team to use in Substance Painter (which is much more commonly used among artists) to speed up their workflow (remove repetitive tasks, reduce time needed on each individual asset, etc).
    These tools are often very specific to the product you're working on, since the art direction, game genera, game engine and other technicalities will dictate a lot of the requirements from these tools. You can't find a 1:1 solution for a lot of things online to buy a license for.

    But just like how Houdini isn't industry standard among all artists, Substance Designer isn't something everyone needs to know. Or rather, it's not an absolute requirement to know, because most artists don't know it. And even though most workflows and pipelines would benefit from it greatly... well... people don't know what they don't know.

    As an "Environment Artist", I've used Substance Designer (professionally) to peal away weeks and months of work from my team, which we instead spent on producing more assets (increasing scope as we go, rather than cutting down) and going home earlier.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    Designer can be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands in my experience. 

    It's not at all uncommon for improperly trained users to leave source data unusable for the next person and equally common for them to break something that is used by several other people- understanding dependencies seemingly isn't something that comes naturally to the majority. 

    That said - I agree with your general point..  the more people who understand what Designer can do and what it's actually for, the more likely it is I won't be asking an art team why they spent 10k manually rebaking and processing a load of textures instead of getting a TA to spend half a day writing them a script. 

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    The main issue with Designer  it's monstrously  inconvenient in its default state   and you have to  re-do  almost  everything  to be actually  useful.    

     You have to master FX -node    because it's almost only way to do  scale  independent  anything  . Where you could code scale  features independent of  non-square factor of your textures . The default one scale down  features of your default noises when you switch to non square image.  

    Then you need to do pixel processors for any  sort of 2d transforms  to work in actual pixel grid of your texture  so you can scale or move something in exact  pixels  if you want  pixelart quality and precision.   Pixel interpolation is terrible in Designer.

    Then you have to do redo all the tools and noises  using  your  scale independent FX maps and  pixelgrid precise pixel processors.  

    Then you have to do your own slope blur   based on loop node   or at least doing a bit more than 32 steps  which is useless basically .

    And so on and on.         All up to  next update  when  your tools stops to work properly  and you have to re-edit everything again .

    Even  height to normal node  needs  correcting to kill that notorious  zero coordinate pixel.  https://community.adobe.com/t5/substance-3d-designer-discussions/height-to-normals-node-creates-thin-outline-around-the-edges/m-p/14230070#M3327
        
    Then with all that  custom tools you did through years   any next person  just doesn't understand  what they are  until  he/she would learn  into what's actually happening deep inside.    Designer is like house of cards.  Any  wrong tweak  in wrong place and nothing works as expected.
    Basically same  as me myself when switching to Painter and  not understand a thing in all those  mask generators   until I do my owns  in Designer   skipping hoops of sbsar  export quirks   and different height storage format .
    Wish  they would just add  nodes to Painter  like in Mari.   or  rather 3d painting in Designer .







  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing ngon master
    I disagree, the vast majority of Designer users don't need the FX or PP node. And most people don't need to obsess over single pixels here and there (and if you for some reason very much need to, then I agree that Designer isn't the right tool. I see very little point in using Designer, or Painter if you're making pixel art).

    Most of the time, writing documentation for other users is enough for them to get everything they need to use the tools.

    and... no offense, but a designer graph is only as robust as you make it. If you couple everything together, don't account for errors by limiting users' parameter options and inputs, then I do see how it can feel like a house of cards.

    But yes, the .sbsar export and painter library refresh could be much better.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    I assume  it may differ  for  different genres.   Especially where people use tiny small texel size .   

    It  dictates you certain  visual "style" although  .   You do smaller texel size  and could care less about  per pixel precision for sure  but   because of that  your textures  turn to be  super even  and flat . You can't allow any repetitive detail , any  repeating looking  seam  or material borders .   To compensate it you have to use gazillion of decals  and your eyes instantly notice it .  

    I work for a racing game . It just can't have so many decals  and if texel size  is too small  your textures  are flat even and  uninspiring . In  actual driving   they mix into just  flat color  because there is no space for anything  distinctive or not perfectly straight,   not even a proper asphalt seam.       So thanks god   Designer have  ability to do proper pixel precision with PP.    It's main reason I prefer it  over Painter  where I have to work in 4k  format and downscale  at export . 
    Not that great of downscale  actually vs Photoshop or Affinity Photo with lanczos3 option. 

    As of doing your own noises with your own fx map  that are form factor independent . Yeah , you could live without it  but again  it dictates you certain visual style  too.    There are lots of non square textures in racing genre .   Walls ,  grass edges , curb stones  , painted lines   and so on and on .   People usually  do it on square images , crop stripes  after and  combine into longer  final image  .    It's doable but indeed dictates you certain visual  style  because inconvenient and slow to tweak as hell.    Hardly working at all when you export this  construction in Painter.    


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