Author Topic: First impressions  (Read 1564 times)


I just have been starting to play with Substance Designer just a few days ago (I haven't played with other Allegorithmic products yet), and here are my initial reactions.

First of all, i'm impressed by this tool. Well designed, preset noises and filters are done with taste. Kudos, guys, for this super exciting package.
The workflow, however, seems a little wonky at times. Take for example the resolution problem: you don't know your final resolution, therefore you need to export with "parent". No problem here. But as you work, you need to switch to 1k, 2k, etc., but you still need to revert to parent before exporting? Why isn't there a "preview" resolution?

Another example is with regard to plugging nodes. You can't select one side of a connection and reconnect it to another node. That's a shame because it means that you need to see both output and input at the same time. But if one of the connected nodes is far in your graph, you need to zoom right out. We need to work faster than that.

One surprising thing I've learned from one of the excellent tutorials I've found on Youtube is that you better force the output res of a uniform color node to be 16x16 (because you should waste time on computing the same color for a larger image), then put a subsequent Level node set to Parent. Whaaaat?!? Doesn't the "Uniform Color" know it's uniform, therefore not computing the same color for each pixel? This seems, workflow-wise, cumbersome to do.

Lastly, I've already come up with a reproducible crash, but it seems like the crash reporting isn't working here (OSX). Do you guys post that type of stuff on the forums?

Don't think I'm whining here, if I didn't feel enthusiastic enough, I wouldn't bother writing on this forum. Be assured that my desire to pursue the learning of Designer isn't impacted by the few things that I think could be improved.


Designer can definitely be finicky at first and definitely has a few issues, but luckily there is an answer to most of yours.

Why isn't there a "preview" resolution?
They added this in SD6, as you can see below. If you're using 5 I'm afraid you're out of luck.

You can't select one side of a connection and reconnect it to another node.
You can hold shift, click on an input or output and move all connected lines to a different in/output. You can also hold ctrl on inputs to copy the incoming line.

Also, if you connect a node, you don't have to drag it: Click on an output, navigate to the input you want to connect it to, and click again on that. This way you don't have to have both nodes on screen.

Uniform color: I fully agree with you on that one

Crashes are often reported in the product support page. Someone from allegorithmic usually replies in a day or 2.

Thanks for your answers, Eggfruit.

Another question: the blur node has a single uniform parameter for the blur size. Is there a way to plug in a map to get a varying blur size?

There's a Non-Uniform Blur tool that can do that! It's in the Blurs category of the library, or can be found with spacebar.

Glad that was helpful :)
Non-uniform blur is indeed what you're looking for. Also give warp and slope blur a try, depending on what exact end result you're looking for.