Author Topic: .mdl files  (Read 10566 times)

Will Substance Designer output .mdl files to be used in IRay environments outside of the Allegorithmic environment?

Yes, you can already export mdl files from SD.
In the Materials menu while using IRay, select the material you want to export and choose "Export Preset"

Thank you, that is helpful to know. Some programs like DAZ Studio use IRay now as a primary render engine and content creators will find this very useful.

This brings up another question. What are the limitations on features in Substance Designer that will translate into an .mdl file? Will procedural textures translate without hiccups or are there limitations? For instance, does procedural noise get exported as an algorithm that IRay will use directly? And, are there any particulars one should be aware of when exporting to a .mdl format? In summary I (and others who would use this for content creation for places like the DAZ Studio marketplace) would like to know if the substances created would accurately represent what could be expected by an exported .mdl file for use directly in IRay.
Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 03:12:57 am

Someone asked in the DAZ forums if Substance Painter is or will use IRay and on a related note, export to .mdl format.

Another question... can we expose parameters as public in the exported .mdl file (with a default value?)

Right now everything is flattened in the exported mdl, so no control over the substance procedurals.
Substance Painter will feature IRay rendering sometime next year.

I am having some issues exporting the .mdl.

1) iRay only seems responsive to the Default Material. Creating a new material seems to have no effect.
2) Going to Materials > Default > Export Preset yields nothing. It gives me a place to export the material, but I cannot alter it by clicking "..." But I can alter it by manually typing where to save the MDL. But when I click "save" nothing happens.

I feel like I'm missing a checkbox somewhere. Is this correct?

Indeed there is an issue that we are fixing for 5.3.1. Sorry for the trouble!

I am having some issues exporting the .mdl.

1) iRay only seems responsive to the Default Material. Creating a new material seems to have no effect.
2) Going to Materials > Default > Export Preset yields nothing. It gives me a place to export the material, but I cannot alter it by clicking "..." But I can alter it by manually typing where to save the MDL. But when I click "save" nothing happens.

I feel like I'm missing a checkbox somewhere. Is this correct?

Hi Scott,

Clicking the "..." should open a dialog to select the location to save. When you click "..." you don't get the dialog?

Cheers,
Wes
Integrations Product Manager / Training
wes.mcdermott@allegorithmic.com
Twitter: The3DNinja


Hi Scott,

Clicking the "..." should open a dialog to select the location to save. When you click "..." you don't get the dialog?

Cheers,
Wes

Wes, that is correct. Clicking the "..." does not open a dialog to select the location. I can manually paste in a location though.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy! I'm looking forward to 5.3.1!

Another question... can we expose parameters as public in the exported .mdl file (with a default value?)

If you edit your material, you can tweak mdl parameters. When you export an mdl file, it will be a preset with by default the values you defined.
You can't expose new parameters. What will be exposed in the end is all the parameters already exposed in the mdl minus the substance channels you have eventually plugged (it will now appear as a texture input instead of a value if you open it in another software)

So in Substance Designer 5.3.1 the issue with saving MDLs has been resolved on my end. When I click the "..." I can specify a location with the Windows dialog, which I could not do before. And I can save the MDL to the location, and have had some success with this in 3ds Max 2016.

I did learn something to note when saving the MDL. If the name of the MDL Preset contains a " - " character, it will not save the MDL. If you replace the " - " character with a " _ " character, it will save it. For instance:

  • Concrete-Floor-Polished-001.mdl will not save
  • Concrete_Floor_Polished_001.mdl will save

The only other issue I have run into is loading the MDL into 3ds Max 2016 with MentalRay/IRay. The MDL loads into the material editor, but none of the bitmaps are referenced. This results in the MDL being black. Not sure which side the issue is, but I'm leaning towards: I need to do something on the 3ds Max side. I was successfully able to load the MDL into other versions of IRay, and got a 1:1 result when rendered!

Note: To load the MDL into 3ds Max 2016 with MentalRay/IRay, the shader in Substance Designer needs to be set to blinn. Loading it into other versions of IRay (that I was testing) the shader needed to be set to PBR-Metallic/Roughness.

Success! The MDLs look almost 1:1! There seem to be a few small discrepancies, but that could be either A) Tone Mapping B) The Mental Ray flavor of IRay inside of 3ds Max 2016. Either way, it's an awesome to be able to get MDLs from Substance Designer into 3ds Max!


Flo


Hi Scott,

would You be so kind as to share how You managed to get the maps to Show up ? I am stuck at the same Point as You were before, I can get IRAY or IRAY+ to Show the mdl file, but no maps are loaded and when I open the mdl file in an Editor, apparently no location for the maps has been written into the file (it Looks like this: baseColor: ::base::file_texture(texture_2d("" /* tag 3374, version 0 */, ::tex::gamma_default))

Best regards
Florian