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Substance Designer future

I'm really into SD, and I think about switching positions inside the game dev to be a full time material artist, mostly concentrated on procedural materials authored in SD. But sometimes it's hard for me to push myself an extra mile as I don't know where the future is going to take us in the texture area. There's more and more high-quality textures available online now, studios' libraries keep growing, photo-scanning is more prevalent with high-poly capabilities of UE5 making it easy to put anything into the engine. With all those things happening now, I wonder if there's going to be a demand for Substance artists 10 years from now. Well, no one can know the future, but I think the insiders can see a direction where things are going. I'd really like to know your thoughts on the subject. 


  • killnpc
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    killnpc polycounter
    Resident crazy uncle with a tinfoil hat here,

    In ten years AI generated content will have begun to completely overtake and revolutionize our industry. Built upon a sustainable energy infrastructure, when sufficiently powered, it's the commercialization of quantum computing that will completely break the graph.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    In response to the original question: 

    Designer has been at the core of material pipelines I've built for almost a decade now and I haven't seen any alternative options popping up. 

    If you view it simply as a texture authoring tool then its always been pretty redundant - 99% of people will get better results in photoshop and they'll get there quicker.

    What you can't do (effectively) with photoshop is build a resolution independent material authoring pipeline with automation, testing, asset management and all sorts of other nice stuff while using very little disk space. 
    The need for that sort of thing isn't going away any time soon - it gets more important every year as we continue to ram more and more crap into the games we produce. 

    ergo : it'll probably still be useful in ten years and even if it's not we'll still be using it because there's no viable alternative  (see Maya  as an example)
  • Eric Chadwick
    Yep, proceduralism will not go away.

    Besides, the skills you build in SD will be transferrable to other software as well.
  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    I mean, it's not a safe bet that any digital content creation tool used today is still gonna be widely used in ten years. This is an industry that changes fast. But that's only an issue if you stop learning after landing your first job. The skills you gain in Designer will absolutely be transferable to whatever new pipelines come along.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter
    Are you sure about that moving fast thing? 

    This is how long I have either been using or been adjacent to some commonly used industry tools. 

    Maya:25+ years
    Max 25+ years 
    Photoshop 30+ years
    zbrush 20+years
    Houdini 20+ years
    Substance Designer 4.x ~10years 
    Substance painter 8/9+ years 

    I had Blender running on a Windows phone in about 2005 - which is amusing but not relevant. 

    If it works, it'll keep getting used until there is literally no option but to abandon it (XSI) 

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