Author Topic: Understanding Presets (Settings across multiple applications)  (Read 3040 times)

Quick question - trying to understand how presets work, but the main question I have involves finding a way to update parameters in one tool, and have a quick workflow for carrying across to other software.

IE: I have my model in 3ds Max with substance, I tweak some settings that I need to then be reflected in Unreal4 or Unity. I tried this when I was briefly testing Substance last year but the settings in max kept resetting themselves (so I had to kick them to Bitmap and give up on the parameter editing in max).

What should I look at when it comes to that type of thing?

Hey rebaker,

Substance Designer is for generating substances and author them to work as you like.
The plugins for Maya/Max are there to tweak the substances inside this specific software and the substances can only be used there. It's just for rendering or fast-preview purposes.

For Unity and unreal it behaves very similar. Inside the engine you can change parameters you described in Substance Designer.

Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

So just to help me understand - I have a substance, like bricks, with certain parameters like row/column/color/etc. Rows and columns having one of the most important physical-look modifications.

If I import the substance into 3ds Max, tweak say rows and color. There's not a way to carry that information into Unreal 4? Right now I've been screenshotting it. Can you import presets into max generated elsewhere? Some type of dynamic link would be outstanding for modifying parameters (even if it's just saving out a preset from max that I can update in Unreal or Unity). What about the Substance Player? Can the 3ds Max plugin import presets?

Hopefully it's not a redundant question, just wanting to make sure I'm explaining what I'm hoping to figure out clearly in case there is a way. The reason this is important is because there are things I do in Max that are entirely separate from Unreal with the same scenes - for a large project late last year I had to resolve a unified and linked texture workflow between Max and Unreal was the most critical component (heck the entire reason I use Unreal4 is they have a much more effective material management system then Unity3D).

This is also important to know how to frame the creation of custom substances in Designer. Anything that has a recognizable pattern (like bricks or wood or whatever) will need to have a limit to it's scalability so you're not creating too much work if you over modify parameters in any software that can recognize a substance and then needlessly alter UVs.
Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 11:01:18 pm

Hey rebaker,

this is, I have to admit, a quite nice feature to think about. There is no such a feature at the moment. To make sure this feature is considered, you can make a Uservoice here:

Best regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

There may be a way through maxscript and UE4 scripting language (if any ? : I am not an Unreal user).

what you can do is create a script that will store the 3dsmax substance values into custom attributes embed in your objects, then in UE4 there should be a way to grab these custom attributes and apply them back in the engine.

That said, this are only suppositions as I don't even know (yet) if the substance values are accessible through maxscript...

I will take a look.

Actually, we have defined a file format (sbsprs) for exchanging presets although at the moment it is barely used. We only implemented reading/writing sbsprs files in the Substance Player/B2M standalone application, and some plugin integrations (Max and Maya I think).

Interesting :-)
And this format is easily readable/writable (like xml or something else) ?

Interesting :-)
And this format is easily readable/writable (like xml or something else) ?

HI Vincent,

Yes, its an XML format. A lot of studios using Substance are using the presets. We've seen some great usage of the format in pipeline situations. For example, at GDC, Certain Affinity showcased their workflow on Halo 2 anniversary where they utilize presets and Substance Player for their solution. Currently UE4 and Unity don't support the presets, but the DCC apps do such as Maya, Max and MODO.


Head of Substance Demo Art Team
Twitter: The3DNinja

Thx for the info (i will have to have a look at this :-))