Author Topic: Duplicate files, export presets, different software workflow & more.  (Read 1875 times)

Hello everybody, this is my first post here.

When I started working with Substance Painter, the export textures window was a bit confusing to me. I accidentally edited one of the default presets. I looked in various folders in search of a preset file that I could restore. There are some points I'd like to make:

1. It seems there is some redundancy in the file structure after installation, in [installation folder]\resources and in [Windows Documents folder]\Substance Painter. The Hans.spp sample file (143 MB) is present in both locations, for example.

2. Making the default export presets read only may not be the best idea, but how about a simple "restore defaults" button? The original files seem to sit in the [installation folder]\resources\shelf\allegorithmic\export-presets folder anyway.

3. Perhaps the Configuration tab in the export textures window could be called "Edit presets", and the text "Config:" in the first tab could be replaced with "Preset:" to incidate clearly what all those tabs and drop-downs are actually about, and to ensure some naming consistency (it says "Presets:" in the second tab, above the list, not "Configs:"; and the export textures window is actually called not that, but "Export document").

4. How about creating a Marmoset Toolbag preset? I know you can't include each and every software there is out there, but SP -> Toolbag seems to be a pretty common workflow. You still have to know where to put each texture in Marmoset, and I know it's not your responsibility to educate anybody about other software, but still making sure that at least you've got the right textures would be a nice start.

5. Generally, the workflow between different software in this industry is really confusing. The tangent space mess is the worst. I have computer science background and only start to dig into the more artistic world, but I actually really appreciate the new era of more intuitive software like SP where you no longer have to have technical knowledge to create stuff. It's a shame for all the innovativeness of SP to be lost in this technical mess. I'm still not sure if my 3ds Max -> SP -> Toolbag workflow is 100% correct. Export this, tick this, untick this, invert that... Cage here means something else than cage there... All this uncertainty lead me to read a lot technical stuff, which in itself is a good thing, because I'll be starting in this industry with a solid understanding of the fundamentals, but I feel like this should be an option, not a necessity.

6. Which leads me to the next point, documentation. Say what you want about Autodesk, but their 3ds Max documentation is perfect. I know you have video tutorials, but you can't always search through hours of video to find a simple answer.

7. Unrelated to any of this: is there any way to preview a baked texture, let's say a normal map, inside SP? The popup preview in the Shelf/Textures tab is too small. And a way to quickly tick and untick a map would be great, if I want to compare a model with and without a normal map, for example.

I know this is a lot of different issues, but I wanted to write them fresh while I can still point this out as a new user, and I didn't want to spam with many different topics. Besides, none of these really require any discussion or an answer from you guys (except nr. 7) so I hope it's OK :)

Hi there ! :)

1 - That's intended. The folder structure in My Documents is the default working directory of the shelf, while the copy in the installation folder is here as backup when we need to restore the shelf.

2 - That's a good suggestion, and something I would like to see too. Development constraints unfortunately make it hard to implement yet.

3 - That's a good suggestion.

4 - That's planned, but it will not differ much from the "PBR SpecGloss" export preset. So you can use this one meanwhile.

5 - Unfortunately, even if things changed and are a bit better with PBR and the latest Unity/Unreal Engine versions, a lot of software use their own standard and we do our best to accommodate with them in order to support a wide range of users. That means a bit more complexity regarding the settings. Bonus : https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png

6 - We have a documentation in addition to our video tutorials. Still lacking some pages, but we are working in improving it each day : https://support.allegorithmic.com/documentation/

7 - You can preview the additional maps by switching the view mode in the viewer settings. Switch from Material to Additional maps (see my attachement).

Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
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Fabrice Piquet aka Froyok. Product Manager, Technical Artist and Documentation at Adobe.

5. Haha, love the bonus. Yeah, I realize that. But apart from you supporting a wide range of users by providing additional settings, I mostly meant guiding those users through the process. Like little popup tooltips in the menu itself (right now I see this functionality only in very few places, and also the question mark, like in the top right corner of the New project window, is not working, at least in my case), and of course in documentation.

6. I've seen the documentation, but in the Project creation page for example, the info about tangent space is pretty vague. You say for Unity do this, for UE do that, but a bit more explanation WHY would be nice, and also tips for other software, not only the ones you use after SP but also before (export FBX settings and so on). The project window is where you start your journey with Painter, so I think it should be well documented.

I know SP is still young and constantly changing, but you often have to explain this stuff on te forums anyway, so you can add it to the documentation just as well.

Edit:
Quote
By default Substance Painter will use the tangent and binormals (also called bitangent) stored inside the mesh that was imported in the project.
If this information is not available (for example a file format like OBJ doesn't support it) then this information will be recomputed based on the Mikktspace tangent basis (aka Mikkt).
(https://support.allegorithmic.com/documentation/display/SPDOC/Normal)

I feel like this should be included earlier, in the Getting started section. This is really important stuff.

7. In combination with the 2D view this is perfect, thanks! :)
Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 02:30:20 pm

Indeed, I will edit the documentation with your suggestion. :)
Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
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Fabrice Piquet aka Froyok. Product Manager, Technical Artist and Documentation at Adobe.