Author Topic: Poll: Are you still using the Substance Plugin?  (Read 782 times)

Personally, I stopped using Substance in Unity when native support was dropped, as I ran into too many issues with the new plugin to tolerate. I keep an eye on these forums to see if it feels like it's time to try the plugin again. But this forum doesn't get much traffic these days. It's not obvious to me whether that's because the plugin itself has stabilized to the point where people don't need as much support, or whether people have just stopped using the Substance plugin in their project.

The forum doesn't allow me to make a poll, so I'll just ask more generally: To current or former users of Substance in Unity, which best describes you right now:
  • I use the Substance plugin in my project, and it works fine. No problems here.
  • I use the Substance plugin in my project, but there are some problems, and I've had to implement some workarounds to deal with it.
  • I used to use Substance in my project, but I'm not using it now due to problems with the plugin.
  • I used to use Substance in my project, but I stopped using it due to some past issues. I haven't tried it again recently to see if it works better now.
  • Something else.

I'm in the 4th group: I had various issues/crashes with the plugin, going back probably a full year now, which perhaps have been resolved. But the fact that the plugin is still officially listed as being in "Beta" really doesn't inspire confidence. I was hoping to come back to Substance when it was stable, but it's not clear when they will be.

Mostly I'm curious whether the plugin has become nice and stable, or whether the long beta period has simply caused people to find other solutions instead of using the Substance plugin.

I'm in the 4th group too. And i'm also wondering when this seemingly never ending beta will be over

4th group here as well

was also 4th option until recently

now I am back to 2nd option as the project relays upon substance a fair amount, which was originally made when substance was built into unity, upgraded unwittingly and after too much work couldn't go back

however with all that said, I have started to notice some improvements, just taking its time

was also 4th option until recently

now I am back to 2nd option as the project relays upon substance a fair amount, which was originally made when substance was built into unity, upgraded unwittingly and after too much work couldn't go back

however with all that said, I have started to notice some improvements, just taking its time

I guess that's somewhat encouraging. The main reason I finally removed Substance from my project (probably about a year ago now) was because Allegorithmic was slow to support current versions of Unity. It was essentially the one thing in my project preventing me from upgrading Unity, or from being able to build my project due to some bug. There are still some things I'd like to be able to use the plugin for (dynamic writing on walls, for example), but I'm still not sure it's worth the risk of introducing a dependency on a still incomplete tool. If they're making progress, though, maybe some day they'll actually have enough confidence in the plugin to remove the "beta" label.

That was my main contention, that the plugin was working well, no issues and then it wnet to in house and support seemed to just drop off the face of the planet.

It looks like the discord channel is actually a decent tool in itself, however the updates still seem slow, minimal support for the different pipelines and platforms at the moment.

I have turned my attention back to substance as part of my project can be used as a tool for others and looking into publishing in the unity asset store.

So the great thing that I can take away from this, the old substance built-in support still works with the newer versions of substance designer, so the sbsar files are backwards compatible.
I have had some issues with just getting the substance plugin working with some versions of unity 2018, however the reason I say it seems to be getting better is the fact that I have not yet had an issue with the plugin with 2 main versions of unity 2019 - however with that said your mileage will most likely vary, so as always backup any work first!

For when the plugin does work the only issue I have had between versions is the way the plugin interacts with each version of unity in the way the shaders pick up the outputs, I have had to re-author the shaders for 2017, 2018 and 2019, except 2018 which I am still having issues getting the plugin running, I have exported unity packages for use in the same years release and have had some success at this point.

To note that I have only tried on windows editor, for the windows platform using the standard render pipeline (which is not officially supported yet!) I am over the next week or so planing on doing extensive testing to see what issues I get and where, if people are interested I can put more information on the findings up here.

Second group here.

The plugin is working a lot better for me than it did when it was first moved out of the Unity engine, but it's still not as seamless -- by far! -- as it was when Substance compatibility was integrated into Unity. At least now I'm able to work around the problems that were show-stoppers a year ago, so Allegorithmic please keep moving in the positive direction. :)

I would really like to see this plugin move to Unity Package Manager. I understand Substance became a plugin to decouple Substance engine versions from Unity engine update cycles, and I think that was a good move long-term, notwithstanding the bumpy road we've had so far. What I would suggest is a partnership between Unity and Allegorithmic/Adobe where Allegorithmic provides the packages but they're distributed by Unity as a standard, supported package.

One advantage of this would be that other packages could declare dependencies on the Substance package, a real boon for asset developers and project teams that need to deploy tools team-wide. In shops using version control systems for Unity projects, it is typical to version control only the JSON manifest file for packages and to allow Unity to automatically download needed packages when a project is added or updated from an upstream repository.

Having something as "infrastructure-ish" as Substance as a manual Asset Store download is problematic for adding new team members to a project. I've found that the first time a new project is opened, because of the fact that Unity's "Library" directory tree is -- by design -- not in the VCS, it's common for the Substance plugin to fail to build early enough to prevent a bunch of failed imports of the SBSAR files, requiring the user to manually reimport those files.