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Topics - dgoyette

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Some time ago, I made a "Grunge" picker SBS. The input is an integer, and the output is a grayscale image. You can see an image of this attached.

Basically, it just uses a big switch to return a different grunge image depending on the integer given to it. This seemed to work pretty well, but what I've found is that this SBS can easily crash Substance Designer in a couple of ways. The most noticeable is that when generating thumbnails for any SBSs that use this generator, it seems that loading this SBS forces all of those grunge textures to load, one for every thumbnail. My system immediately runs out of memory.

I was looking for an alternative approach to using dynamic grunge maps in this way, if one exists. Is there a way I can "lazy load" the grunge textures, so that they don't all load every time something tries to generate a single grunge image?

It's worth mentioning that the image below shows the generator using a combination of "Grunge Map" nodes, and "Grunge Map Bitmap" nodes. I thought maybe it was the bitmap nodes causing the problems, and removed them. But, the same memory issues apply even when the graph contains only the generator nodes, and no bitmap nodes.

I've been noticing this for a month or two now. While working in Substance Designer, suddenly my system will seem to start locking up. Sometimes I'm able to open Task Manager and see what's going on, and it will show me that multiple sbscooker processes are running, each using somewhere around 8 GB of RAM. This cripples the system, since it starts swapping to disk.

This has occurred sometimes within 30 seconds of just starting a new, empty substance, and it doesn't seem correlated to any particular SBS I'm working on. It just seems to happen at random while I'm using Substance Designer.

I'm on 2020.1.3, and I don't see anyone else complaining about this on the forums. How can I provide some useful information so you can figure out what's happening here? Again, this can happen on a brand new file, which I haven't even saved yet, but it's not something I can reliably reproduce. Is there a log file I can look at the next time this happens, which I could provide? Or is this perhaps already a known issue?

A while back, I thought I understood this problem, and discussed it here:

However, I clearly still don't understand what's going on, and it seems like such a simple thing. All I'm trying to do is paint a model exported from Blender, which has a Mirror Modifier on it. The result is that the model comes into Substance Painter mostly correctly, except that there are very visible seams along the mirror lines. I'd mostly like to know if it's truly possible to export a model from Blender with a Mirror Model on it, and have it look correct in Substance Painter.

The simplest example I can think of is a cube, which I cut in half, and then mirror in Blender:

It's UV unwrapped:

However, this is the result when I bring it into Substance Painter:

The seam line between the two halves is clearly visible.

The point of using a Mirror Modifier in Blender is to avoid duplicating work, and to keep the texture density high. If I apply the modifier, and then unwrap the model again, I can get rid of the seam, but then I've lost the ability to mirror the object, and the texture won't be mirrored.

Does anyone else use Blender, mirror an object, and then paint it in SP? I've tried several things so far, none of which has helped:
  • Offsetting the UVs by 1 unit
  • Flipping the UVs
  • Applying the Mirror Modifier manually before exporting. In that case, it's identical to letting the FBX Export apply modifiers on export.
  • Removing doubles, making sure nothing is marked sharp, making sure everything is marked sharp, nothing changes.

Personally, I stopped using Substance in Unity when native support was dropped, as I ran into too many issues with the new plugin to tolerate. I keep an eye on these forums to see if it feels like it's time to try the plugin again. But this forum doesn't get much traffic these days. It's not obvious to me whether that's because the plugin itself has stabilized to the point where people don't need as much support, or whether people have just stopped using the Substance plugin in their project.

The forum doesn't allow me to make a poll, so I'll just ask more generally: To current or former users of Substance in Unity, which best describes you right now:
  • I use the Substance plugin in my project, and it works fine. No problems here.
  • I use the Substance plugin in my project, but there are some problems, and I've had to implement some workarounds to deal with it.
  • I used to use Substance in my project, but I'm not using it now due to problems with the plugin.
  • I used to use Substance in my project, but I stopped using it due to some past issues. I haven't tried it again recently to see if it works better now.
  • Something else.

I'm in the 4th group: I had various issues/crashes with the plugin, going back probably a full year now, which perhaps have been resolved. But the fact that the plugin is still officially listed as being in "Beta" really doesn't inspire confidence. I was hoping to come back to Substance when it was stable, but it's not clear when they will be.

Mostly I'm curious whether the plugin has become nice and stable, or whether the long beta period has simply caused people to find other solutions instead of using the Substance plugin.

My normal SP process is to use Fill layers with a layer mask to control where each layer is used. In that sense, it seems I spend the majority of my time editing layer masks. As such, I feel like the current tooling for editing 2D layer masks feels very limited. I figured I'd ask if anyone knows of some clever ways to use the tool to edit layer masks that I don't yet know about, or if there are possibly any future plans to improve the experience.

Right now, there are four main ways to edit a layer mask:
  • Paint
  • Erase
  • Polygon Fill
  • Smudge

My current process generally involves using Polygon Fill for the big pieces, then switching to Erase or Paint for the fine details. I feel like I'm constantly painting/erasing, then undoing if it's not quite right, over and over again. Very often I want fairly simple behaviors, as far as an algorithm would be concerned, which are difficult to perform by hand. These include:
  • Growing/Shrinking a selection - Lets say I've painted a rectangle into the layer mask, I often want to just make that shape larger or smaller. In a 2D editing tool, this would be a simple select and scale operation, but in SP I just have to draw/erase by hand.
  • Drawing straight lines - Currently, I can draw a point, then hold Shift and click somewhere else, and it will draw a line between the first and second points. I use that all the time. But it has two really frustrating issues: First, if I draw a line like that, and it's not correct, I'll Undo to get rid of the line, and I'll try again. But now the "first" point has changed to the most recently point, so I can't keep trying to get the line just right. I draw from A to B, undo, now the start point is B, and I need to draw from B to A. I wish that when I undo a draw, it also returns the line start point to where it was when I started. Second, if I click somewhere, then move/zoom the UV Map or model at all, the point moves with it, instead of staying on the original position on the model/map. This means any time I want to draw a line like this, I have to make sure I don't zoom. This makes it much harder to draw long lines.
  • No lasso/shape tools - I constantly wish I could outline a region, like with a selection tool, and only fill it when I've got it the way I want. I want something as simple as drawing a rectangle with an arbitrary height/width. I know I can assign an alpha to the paint tool, but that's not the same as dragging a selection/shape rectangle.

Anyway, the big question is whether there's anything I'm missing about editing layer masks, to make it feel more like editing an image in photoshop?

I'm trying to use the same base material across a couple of texture sets. I've created the fill on one texture set, and then used "Instantiate across Texture Sets" to use it on the others. However, it seems that if I have a mask on the layer, then nothing gets copied to the other texture sets.

Is this a bug? Or is this not supported?

For any material with "preset" options, I have to be extremely careful when scrolling up and down in the Properties window. The problem is that the dropdown for "Select Preset", for some reason, changes selection when scrolling via the mousewheel. If, while I'm scrolling in the inspector, the mouse cursor happens to land on this field, the next scrollwheel movement will be applied to the preset dropdown, completely changing the material.

This makes for a bad experience. When scrolling up and down in a window, I should be worried that I'm going to accidentally change some values. It's also unexpected because other dropdowns in SP don't behave this way. For example, the dropdown to choose "Normal Format" (DirectX or OpenGL) doesn't change its value when the scrollwheel used while hovered over it.

Here's a GIF of this happening. All I'm doing is scrolling down with the mouse wheel. At the point that the scrolling moves the Preset dropdown under my mouse, the next time I scroll is changes the value of the preset.

As much as I'd like to use the drag selection to fill faces, it seems completely unreliable. I would expect the tool to apply only to the faces of the mesh I can actually see. But instead, it seems to project infinitely far through the model, selecting/painting any faces it encounters, even if it hits a backface.

Please see the attached GIF. Starting from a model with no texture, I drag select to fill some polygons on the top of the model. But you can see that this actually fills all sorts of faces on the other side of the model.

Am I using this tool wrong? Is this a bug?

Edit: The GIF is here:   Apparently trying to attach a GIF, or at least this GIF, results in a error trying to post the message.

I'm trying to figure out how to address what is hopefully a simple issue.

I have a model, created in Blender, which has several "Mirror" modifiers on it. When exporting the FBX, I tell it to apply the modifier, but the object is UV unwrapped in Blender prior to applying the modifier. I never manually apply the modifier; that's just part of the export to FBX process.

The problem is, the mirrored portion of the model has really weird normals in Substance Painter. Light reflects off those parts almost as though the normals were inverted.

I've attached a couple of images. One just shows the Model in blender. You can see it's just 1/4 of a cylinder. The other image shows what this looks like in Substance Painter. You can see the sharp seem down the middle where the environment reflections look completely different.

Anyway, I've tried flipping the UVs on the mirror modifier, but that's doesn't do anything. The only way I can get the seam not to show up is if I manually apply the mirror modifier, and UV Unwrapp the fully-modified model. But I obviously don't want to do that, as it's destructive.

Is this a common issue? Is there some step I'm missing in my process to get the normals to look correct on the mirrored part of the model?

Usually the splash screen images feature some interesting art, either a scene or a cool looking model. However, I have to complain about the image chosen for 2019.2, from the simple perspective of professionalism. This version's splash screen image has two fairly NSFW aspects to it, especially when viewed only at a glance by passing co-workers:
  • Appears to be a picture of a "young anime girl", raising questions from others about what I'm looking at.
  • Said Anime Girl appears to be wearing a helmet with the number "69" on it, raising further questions about what kind of girl I'm looking at. (It actually has "169", but the "1" is wrapped around the side of the helmet, and not obvious.)

Add to this the fact that Painter's splash screen can't be minimized or hidden by another window (only the Task Manager, when set to Always On Top, can cover it), and you have a potentially embarrassing event happening every time I open this program.

I hesitate to ask "What were you thinking?" with respect to this art, but at the very least, please consider this for future splash screen art? And I'd really appreciate some way to disable the splash screen just for cases like this.

It seems once a month, Substance Designer informs me that my license has expired, and prompts me to update it. I choose to update it via the third option, to use It then pops up a login dialog, which has prefilled my email and password. But if I click OK, it will tell me there was a problem.

It seems this dialog just has the wrong password stored. If I manually enter my password, it works fine. So I was wondering how to get this dialog to fill the correct password, or clear what it has stored? Where is the password being saved?

Something I find frustrating is that if my mouse is over a combobox/dropdown element, using the scrollwheel cycles through selections in the combobox. The reason this is so annoying is because if I'm scroll down a the Properties window using the scrollwheel, often by random the scrolling will result in my mouse now being over a combobox, and continued mouse scrollwheel usage will stop scrolling the properties window, and will instead start scrolling through the combobox values. Often this is the case with material presets, which then cause all of the values in the material to be changed.

Could you please either remove this behavior, or give us the option to prevent scrolling from cycling through hovered comboboxes? It's fine that scrolling should do something to a combobox if I've already dropped it down, but the hover behavior is difficult to deal with.

I'd like to know how people go about painting things with recurring, regular repetitions. Let's say, for example, I want a row of screws along the edge of a surface. I want them evenly spaced. Other than eyeballing it, are there any tools I can use to snap or align things?

The only technique I know of is to set the Spacing of a brush, and to fiddle with it until I get something that's kind of correct. But this involves eyeballing the spacing, and eyeballing the starting point so that it starts and ends at the right spot. This feels really sloppy.

A specific example I'm working with now feels like it should be really simple: A 1-meter long panel, where I want 4 bolts, evenly spaced, at the .125, .375, .625 and .875 marks. (So, it's like dividing the panel into quarters, and putting a bolt in the middle of each quarter.) I've tried using a stencil, but that's more eyeballing. What can I do better?


I'd be happy if someone could suggest a workaround to an issue I feel like I'm constantly dealing with: Changing things I didn't want to change, without the ability to undo it. A particularly frustrating example is setting up a stencil. Most of the time I get it positioned just how I want, then I make some tiny change to the view (by rotating/zooming/translate, etc), and now the stencil has moved and is no longer where I want it. The thing that's so frustrating is that I can't use Undo to get back to how it looked, because Undo doesn't track changes to the viewport transform.

Another example is when I accidentally rotate the brush when I was trying to zoom the viewport. I can't undo to revert the brush size to what it had been previously.

I find that a lot of Substance Painter involves making very precise changes to the viewport, and then being frustrated that I've accidentally changed something with no ability to get back to the way it was.

Again, maybe there's just a better workflow.

I want to use the same material in within multiple texture sets within my project. I see that I can right-click on a fill layer and Copy Content, and paste that into another another layer's content, but that's a lot of manual work when I'm making frequent changes to the material. I'm assuming there's some way to create a new material which I can include in my project, and use that same material in multiple layers/texture sets? I haven't found a way to do this. The intent is that after assigning that material to some number of layers, I can adjust the material once and have it affect all of the layers. Is this possible?

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