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Messages - Alex Jenyon

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SubstanceSubstance - Discussions - Fabric Engine + Substance
 on: June 03, 2015, 06:32:13 am 
I've just convinced my work (one of the world's biggest VFX studios) to get a license of substance designer.

Substance already allows for some great workflows, but none of them are within the standard pipeline.

Is there any plan to integrate either substance designer, or the substance engine, with Fabric?  Would allow for some pretty impressive workflows, and be considered much more seriously as a pipelined VFX tool.

Thanks for the quick reply, Wes.  Look forward to the updated plugin, and Maya should get the job done in the meantime.



I created an 'ocean foam' substance yesterday in SD5.  Used some of the awesome new features - edge bevel, distance, etc.

I tried to load it using the recently released Substance plugin for Modo 801, but got an error:

'This substance contains features that are not supported'

Is the plugin due to be updated soon?  It would be frustrating not to be able to use the substance because the plugin doesn't load it.

I also have access to Maya - is the Maya substance plugin more up to date in terms of feature support?

Many thanks - I'd prefer to use Modo, but I've got a job to finish.

The Substance engine, at least in the games world, seems to be able to generate textures 'on the fly' (at render time)

If we could do the same in Modo, and use the particle ID attribute from the replicator to drive the random seed of the substance, we could have entire populations of objects with varying textures on every single instance.

It would be ridiculously powerful, and to the best of my knowledge, a unique workflow in any DCC app.

At the moment, the substance plugin looks to update the texture when an attribute is edited by the user, not at render time.

I guess there could be some serious performance issues from the overhead of generating textures per instance at render time - but unless it was a crippling render hit, I'd probably use this technique on every shot.

Happy to provide input / example scenes as well if it would help.

I did not know that.   :o

Thank you!  Always good to learn. 

Was this in the documentation somewhere?

Click your Material blend node and then set it also as Relative to Parent

The node doesn't have that option - however, disabling the 'diffuse' channel seems to have fixed the problem.

What's odd is that if I then activate the diffuse channel again, the node still works as expected.

Not exactly a critical bug, but pretty irritating.

Thanks for the quick response.

Hello all - wonder if anyone could give me a hand.

I'm trying to construct a pretty simple blended material substance for some shoreline rocks.

I've made 4 base substances - sand, rock, shells and algae, each with the size set as 'relative to parent'. 

I'm then trying to use some material masks to blend the four together.  Nothing advanced / complicated... except the material blend node simply won't work.  It just shows up as a 256x256 blank checkerboard.

Any idea what's going on?

Just tried exactly the same thing with the latest 801 BETA plugin.  Same behaviour as before.

Is this going to be possible once the 801 plugin is finished? 

Integration between substance and Modo replicators would allow for some pretty amazing workflows. 

Many thanks


As far as I can see, the colour variation in your example is coming from the 'Variation texture' node in the shader tree, though - not the connections in the schematic.  Do you still see colour variation if you have the variation node ONLY in the schematic, and not in the shader tree?

I'm not able to create variations per replica (or mesh part) by just connecting nodes in the schematic view.  Non-colour connections don't do anything (in the case of something like 'age' of a brick substance).  Colour connections (such as the colour of the bricks) affect ALL replicas identically - and only if I hide, and then unhide the substance in the shader tree.

I tried connecting a 'camera ray' node to the 'sbsRefresh' input, in the hope that the substance to update on render - but this had no effect either.

Am I doing something completely wrong, or trying to push the substance/Modo integration too far?

Many thanks


Hello all;

One of the aspects of Modo that I find most powerful is it's ability to quickly and easily create texture variations across replicated objects.

Here's the most basic example - a 'texture variation' node being used to randomly alter the luminosity of a series of replicated spheres:

This isn't really using the full power of a parametric texture, though - what I would like to be able to do is to sample the particle ID of the replicator, and feed this into one of the attributes of the substance:

(This doesn't actually do anything, but is how I imagine the process would work)

Each replica could then have, for instance, a random amount of dirt or random colour variation generated by the substance at render time.  Even a random amount of chipped plaster added on top of a brick wall, with a unique noise seed applied to each one - thus making a population of identical objects look very different to each other.

Only downside I could potentially see is a performance hit caused by generating a whole series of textures at render time - but I assume Modo is already doing something similar with the 'texture variation' layer in any case, and a procedural texture doesn't necessarily have to be generated all at once.

Is this something that could be possible?  It would be INCREDIBLY powerful if it could be done - tiny file sizes with rich texture variation per replica.

Any thoughts?


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