Author Topic: Height in Substance Painter is vastly inferior in quality to height in Designer  (Read 907 times)

I've always felt like height in Painter was sorta "low-res" compared to other maps, and have avoided using it for smaller details that would otherwise be nicer with it (small scratches, edge damages, ect.)

One thing I've noticed is that height in Designer doesn't seem to have the same problem when generating normal maps, and in fact it's perfectly usable for microdetails as small as a few pixels. So I tried doing some comparisons, and the difference is quite visible.

These images all come from the same source, and are all taken at the same resolution. One is a 2048px grunge map fed directly into SP's height channel, the other is the same 2048px map fed into SD's normal node, exported as a 2048px normal map, and viewed in the same SP file. The SP height appears significantly blurrier and is unsuitable for finer detail.

I guess my question is, why are normals from height handled differently within Painter and Designer? Since they seem to be doing essentially the same thing (taking a single height map and generating normals from it), couldn't we have an option to use the Designer method within Painter? The Designer method seems a lot better, and as far as I know, it's not extremely performance-heavy.

Indeed Substance Painter uses a sobel algorithm to generate the normal rather than a straight conversion, resulting in smoother results. In the future we may allow user to change the way normals are generated.

That would be nice!