Author Topic: trouble getting transparency to work  (Read 9668 times)

I'm trying to make glass in SD, but despite setting an output node to opacity I can't get it to work.

http://i.imgur.com/FosxLO7.jpg
Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 04:32:52 am

Try adding some BLACK to your Opacity node.

I haven't tried "translucent" (semi-transparent) yet, so let's start with something more black-and-white, literally.

Try a b/w checkerboard pattern for your opacity.

If you don't see results with that, it's something else, like maybe you need to try a different shader or something.  After getting that to work, we can tackle partial transparency.
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http://i.imgur.com/3mIYCns
still doesn't work. what do you mean by shader?

Ah... Try this...

Right-click in an empty area of your Node Map, and select "View Outputs in 3D View."

That "woke it up" for me.
Then changing the value of my Uniform Color Node allowed me to make it semi-transparent, so that worked fine for me.


Regarding the Shader...

I'm not an expert on this, but across the top of your 3D View window, there are menus for Geometry, Materials, Scene, View, and Display.

Use the menu option:  Materials --> Default --> Shader

You will see several options.  This matters if you are creating "Metalic" materials or other kinds.  Different game development platforms (Unity, Unreal, etc.) use different shaders, and I think they can actually use different ones for different materials (at the same time in the same scene - maybe).

Currently I'm using the Blinn shader.

Not every shader supports every feature.  For example, a "non-metallic shader" does not know what to do with a "Metalic" channel.  Selecting a specific shader allows you to "see" your material so that it looks and behaves the same way in Substance Designer as it does in the system where you'll actually be using your substances.  Other than some very basics like that, I don't know much about them.  Some are very shiny, some don't do anything for me.  You now know as much as I do about them.   ;)
Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 11:42:24 pm
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thats weird, trying your suggestion to show output in 3d view seems to just remove the object so nothing is in the viewport, and no amount of undo-ing/redo-ing brings it back ://

I believe you can also try a right click drag (not a left click drag) over to the 3d view for any output node. When you release the drag on the 3d view it should pop up which part you want it to apply to in the shader (it maps the output node to the shader). If everything went blank as you state you'd probably want to do that again for each output node. When you start a new substance it automatically does the ones it knows about (for PBR it's basecolor, normal, metallic, and roughness) and then if you care about transparency you would just drag on the opacity in addition.

thats weird, trying your suggestion to show output in 3d view seems to just remove the object so nothing is in the viewport, and no amount of undo-ing/redo-ing brings it back ://

Is that because it's transparent now?  If you haven't, try using a checkerboard or similar image for your Opacity channel.  You should see something.

I did my test by starting a new substance.  Added an Output Node and set it to Opacity.  Added a pattern and connected it to the Opacity Output Node.  Then did the "Show Outputs in 3D View."

Remember to right-click on the background (empty area) of your map area, not on a specific output node.

If not that, I'm stuck.    ???
Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 02:48:55 pm
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well this is embarrassing...i was thinking a uniform color in albedo and a black uniform color in roughness and opacity would produce at LEAST a reflection, guess not haha. took the suggestion of using a checkerboard pattern and putting it in both albedo and opacity, i got it. thanks guys for dealing with my dummy question haha, still pretty new to the substance package.



since i have your guys' attention, could any of you point me towards the right direction for rendering a "liquid" layer inside a transparent object? im trying to make a bottle of alcohol haha

Hey, no worries.  Glad I could help.  Sometimes it takes a beginner to think like a beginner.   ;)

I don't have any ideas about a "layered" approach, like the bottle you described.  I was thinking about something similar recently, when someone asked about an office building.  I was wondering if we could make it like the office interior is behind the glass.  I don't think we can layer "height maps" in that way.

You probably need two different objects; an outer one and an inner one.

Meanwhile, I hope to spend time on my special substance project again this weekend, at which time I know I will be the one asking questions again.  :)
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Hey guys,

you can't display something like a glass material in Substance Designer or Painter at the moment, because the Opacity affects all channels. Glass is kinda hard to display and even modern game engines still need a lot of tweaking to make a good looking glass.


Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

Hey guys,

you can't display something like a glass material in Substance Designer or Painter at the moment, because the Opacity affects all channels. Glass is kinda hard to display and even modern game engines still need a lot of tweaking to make a good looking glass.

even with the above suggestion making an outer glass object and an inner liquid object?
Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 12:46:03 am

Hey jatang,

it could work somehow, but you can't display it properly in Substance Designer or Painter.
Creating the maps and getting a glass-like effect, however, can be done. You just need to go back and forth between Substance and your target engine.


Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter