Author Topic: Temporary Input Nodes?  (Read 191 times)

This may be a really basic question, but I can't seem to find the answer anywhere.

When building a reusable material in Substance Designer, we can set up inputs and name them things like "curvature" and etc. However, it is very difficult to create an effect or material when absolutely nothing is happening in one of these inputs (black image). What is the typical workflow for this?

1. Do we add a bunch of temporary bitmaps to represent the inputs while we work on a material, then switch it back to the input node when we finish? I hope this is not the answer. This would make it a pain to make tweaks to such materials.

2. Create a second material graph that includes a node for the material we are working on, and plug everything into it there? In this case, I wouldn't know how to preview changes in real time. If I'm visualizing this correctly, we wouldn't see any changes until we switched back to the external material.

3. Have some type of automatic default switching mechanism that employs a temporary bitmap when nothing is plugged into the input nodes? This is my favorite solution. I'm hoping I've just been unlucky in not figuring out how to do this.

Is there something better? It would be great if #3 or something like it was built into the app. Sort of the same work flow as Painter, where saving your material automatically disconnects (temporary) mesh maps and associates them as input nodes.

Thanks for any advice!
Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 10:26:06 pm

Update: I did find some information about this here:,915.0.html

I know I'm chatting with myself here, but I wanted to mention one important thing. Using an imported bitmap as a temporary node is great, but it doesn't substitute the ability to temporarily plug a node's output in as another node's input.

For example, if you are creating a complex graph that has several "sub graphs" to filter the data, it is difficult to build the sub-graphs without having the main graph's data being temporarily fed into each sub-graph's input node. Especially since the parent graph's data will be dynamically changing as it passes through each one.

Is there any way to achieve this other than exporting and importing a temporary bitmap?

If I'm understanding you correctly, there's an experimental feature that will help you!
Here I'm testing out a spheriphy node I'm making:

I need to edit my spheriphy node while seeing those cells. I go to the settings and enable "enable graph editing in context". This isn't on by default because Designer's real slow while it's on.

Now I open my spherify filter with the brand new option. You'll notice that it says "referenced by loaded graph" and that the input image is the cells i plugged in previously.

I hope that's the solution you were looking for!
"Better than some, no worse than others."

That's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

Hopefully they can optimize this feature to use static images in between output changes to completely avoid the performance hit.

Thanks a bunch!