Author Topic: Some questions and problems  (Read 2552 times)

Hey,

as a happy new Allegorithmic customer, I am taking my first steps with substances and Houdini.

Like many others, I encounter some problems:
- When applying a material directly to an object instead of through a material node, I get the well known Mantra error about it not finding the shader. In another thread, this was raised months ago, acknowledged by the staff and an update promissed?
 
- With larger texture sizes, the time before rendering starts is quite slow, even with just one material in the scene. It seems that the substance shader re-creates the textures way too often, even if nothing in the shader parameters itself changes. I only have one texture in the scene at 2048x2048 and already I encounter up to a minute delay before Mantra starts to render. Doesn't make me confident for more involved setups.

- I had hoped that the plugin would render the materials directly, without baking them down to textures first (similar to how Darktree used to do it in the olden days). I find it a bit sad to have all that procedural goodness and then be back to 2D, resolution dependent materials in the end.

- Wouldn't it may make more sense that when the user actively exports the Texture Maps, that those are actually used for rendering instead of re-creating the same textures in the temp folder again and again?
I personally would prefer a manual mode where I hit the export button whenever I want to export new textures instead of this overeager automatic recreation.

- As far as I can see, the textures in the temp folder aren't deleted. This could fill up a HD quite quickly when I use a lot of substances in high resolution. Again, I would prefer the above mentioned manual mode so I can keep an eye on things in my project directories instead.

- I use a GTX 660 TI for my two 30" monitors and a GTX 980 TI purely for rendering (with Thea Render mostly). It would be great if one could select the GPU to use for texture generation in the Houdini plugin - ATM it seems to default to the first card? (I didn't find such a setting in the other Substance applications either). Or can I set this in a config file somewhere?

- If I try to set an "Export Path" with the browse button, the file dialog does not allow to "Accept" my selection. I can only cancel the dialog.

- The Substance shader does not show up in the Houdini Material Palette. Not a critical feature at all but would be a nice touch to install a .gal file with a nice icon :-)

- Windows 8.1 x64, 32 GB Ram, above mentioned GPUs with current drivers, Houdini 15.5.661 Indie,

Overall I was reluctant to buy into Substance Designer and Painter for a long time, since I found the applications quite convoluted when I demoed them. I finally decided to take the plunge today, but man you guys could use somebody to streamline those tools...
Many things are completely non-intuitive and make very little sense. I do CG for over 20 years and usually can pick up a software rather quickly, but your applications baffle me all the time and have me gnaw at my desk.
I hope I will be able to use them anyway, but it could be much more fun with a more streamlined workflow.

Anyway, thanks for the Black-Friday offer that finally made me jump in and I hope the future will see some good updates of the plugin and the tools.

Cheers,

Tom

Hey,

as a happy new Allegorithmic customer, I am taking my first steps with substances and Houdini.

Like many others, I encounter some problems:
- When applying a material directly to an object instead of through a material node, I get the well known Mantra error about it not finding the shader. In another thread, this was raised months ago, acknowledged by the staff and an update promissed?
 
- With larger texture sizes, the time before rendering starts is quite slow, even with just one material in the scene. It seems that the substance shader re-creates the textures way too often, even if nothing in the shader parameters itself changes. I only have one texture in the scene at 2048x2048 and already I encounter up to a minute delay before Mantra starts to render. Doesn't make me confident for more involved setups.

- I had hoped that the plugin would render the materials directly, without baking them down to textures first (similar to how Darktree used to do it in the olden days). I find it a bit sad to have all that procedural goodness and then be back to 2D, resolution dependent materials in the end.

- Wouldn't it may make more sense that when the user actively exports the Texture Maps, that those are actually used for rendering instead of re-creating the same textures in the temp folder again and again?
I personally would prefer a manual mode where I hit the export button whenever I want to export new textures instead of this overeager automatic recreation.

- As far as I can see, the textures in the temp folder aren't deleted. This could fill up a HD quite quickly when I use a lot of substances in high resolution. Again, I would prefer the above mentioned manual mode so I can keep an eye on things in my project directories instead.

- I use a GTX 660 TI for my two 30" monitors and a GTX 980 TI purely for rendering (with Thea Render mostly). It would be great if one could select the GPU to use for texture generation in the Houdini plugin - ATM it seems to default to the first card? (I didn't find such a setting in the other Substance applications either). Or can I set this in a config file somewhere?

- If I try to set an "Export Path" with the browse button, the file dialog does not allow to "Accept" my selection. I can only cancel the dialog.

- The Substance shader does not show up in the Houdini Material Palette. Not a critical feature at all but would be a nice touch to install a .gal file with a nice icon :-)

- Windows 8.1 x64, 32 GB Ram, above mentioned GPUs with current drivers, Houdini 15.5.661 Indie,

Overall I was reluctant to buy into Substance Designer and Painter for a long time, since I found the applications quite convoluted when I demoed them. I finally decided to take the plunge today, but man you guys could use somebody to streamline those tools...
Many things are completely non-intuitive and make very little sense. I do CG for over 20 years and usually can pick up a software rather quickly, but your applications baffle me all the time and have me gnaw at my desk.
I hope I will be able to use them anyway, but it could be much more fun with a more streamlined workflow.

Anyway, thanks for the Black-Friday offer that finally made me jump in and I hope the future will see some good updates of the plugin and the tools.

Cheers,

Tom

Hi Tom,

Thanks very much for your input. We greatly appreciate it. We will be looking into the points you mentioned about the plugin. This is great info and will help us improve the workflows.

Please let me know if you have any questions about Designer or Painter and I'd be happy to help.

Cheers,
wes
Head of Substance Demo Art Team
the3dninja@adobe.com
Twitter: The3DNinja