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Topics - thomas_17

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as a happy new Allegorithmic customer, I am taking my first steps with substances and Houdini.

Like many others, I encounter some problems:
- When applying a material directly to an object instead of through a material node, I get the well known Mantra error about it not finding the shader. In another thread, this was raised months ago, acknowledged by the staff and an update promissed?
- With larger texture sizes, the time before rendering starts is quite slow, even with just one material in the scene. It seems that the substance shader re-creates the textures way too often, even if nothing in the shader parameters itself changes. I only have one texture in the scene at 2048x2048 and already I encounter up to a minute delay before Mantra starts to render. Doesn't make me confident for more involved setups.

- I had hoped that the plugin would render the materials directly, without baking them down to textures first (similar to how Darktree used to do it in the olden days). I find it a bit sad to have all that procedural goodness and then be back to 2D, resolution dependent materials in the end.

- Wouldn't it may make more sense that when the user actively exports the Texture Maps, that those are actually used for rendering instead of re-creating the same textures in the temp folder again and again?
I personally would prefer a manual mode where I hit the export button whenever I want to export new textures instead of this overeager automatic recreation.

- As far as I can see, the textures in the temp folder aren't deleted. This could fill up a HD quite quickly when I use a lot of substances in high resolution. Again, I would prefer the above mentioned manual mode so I can keep an eye on things in my project directories instead.

- I use a GTX 660 TI for my two 30" monitors and a GTX 980 TI purely for rendering (with Thea Render mostly). It would be great if one could select the GPU to use for texture generation in the Houdini plugin - ATM it seems to default to the first card? (I didn't find such a setting in the other Substance applications either). Or can I set this in a config file somewhere?

- If I try to set an "Export Path" with the browse button, the file dialog does not allow to "Accept" my selection. I can only cancel the dialog.

- The Substance shader does not show up in the Houdini Material Palette. Not a critical feature at all but would be a nice touch to install a .gal file with a nice icon :-)

- Windows 8.1 x64, 32 GB Ram, above mentioned GPUs with current drivers, Houdini 15.5.661 Indie,

Overall I was reluctant to buy into Substance Designer and Painter for a long time, since I found the applications quite convoluted when I demoed them. I finally decided to take the plunge today, but man you guys could use somebody to streamline those tools...
Many things are completely non-intuitive and make very little sense. I do CG for over 20 years and usually can pick up a software rather quickly, but your applications baffle me all the time and have me gnaw at my desk.
I hope I will be able to use them anyway, but it could be much more fun with a more streamlined workflow.

Anyway, thanks for the Black-Friday offer that finally made me jump in and I hope the future will see some good updates of the plugin and the tools.



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