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Messages - Luca Giarrizzo

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Hello Atilla,

Thank you for your response, and for the detailed additional information you provided. It helped us identify the issue more precisely.

It appears the library we use to run the graphical user interface of Substance Designer (Qt) has problems dealing with multiple monitor configurations that feature displays with different pixel densities (i.e. DPI).

From your log file, it seems to be the case for your system.

We are currently investigating the issue further and will do our best to fix the problem. A fix might also be implemented in Qt in the future.

In the meantime, you can avoid the issue by using displays with matching pixel densities. using the exact same displays would be the safest way to go about this.

To follow up on fixes implemented in the next releases of Substance Designer, you can take a look at the release notes, available here.

Best regards,
Luca Giarrizzo

Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Technical Support - Re: Freezes
 on: May 13, 2019, 02:47:31 pm 
Thank you for your quick response and your log file.

In order to investigate further, please provide the following details:
  • Can you consistently reproduce the freezes?
  • Do you experience the freezes after creating an Empty Graph, or with a specific template?
  • Is the 3D View displayed on a second monitor? If yes, do the freezes occur when the 3D View is docked in the main window?
Best regards,
Luca Giarrizzo

Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Technical Support - Re: Freezes
 on: May 13, 2019, 09:57:31 am 
Hello davidsmith,

Thank you for reaching out.

In order for us to investigate the issue, please attach your Substance Designer log file in a reply to this message.

By default, the log file can be found at this location:
  • [Windows] C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Allegorithmic\Substance Designer
  • [Linux] ~/.local/share/Allegorithmic/Substance Designer/databases/thumbs.sqlite
  • [Mac] Library > Application Support > Allegorithmic > Substance Designer
Additionally, the log file can be manually exported from the 'Help > Export a Log file...' menu in the software main top bar.

We thank you for your time.

Best regards,
Luca Giarrizzo

Hello Atilla,

Thank you for reaching out. In order to investigate this issue further, please provide the following additonal information:

  • Can you identify any significant change on your system that has happened just before the unexpected behaviour started to appear? (updating graphics drivers, updating Substance Designer, connecting a monitor, installing a piece of software, etc.)
  • Does the behaviour appear when the main window and the 3D View are swapped out? (i.e. each on the other monitor)
  • Does the issue appear when the 3D View is in fullscreen on the same monitor as the main window?
  • When the 3D View becomes unresponsive, is there still any activity on the GPU? (you can track it in the 'Performance' tab of the task manager)
  • Can you quit Substance Designer properly when the issue appears, or do you have to force quit with the task manager?
  • Does the issue appear after you roll back your graphics drivers to an earlier version?

We thank you for your time!

Best regards,
Luca Giarrizzo

Hello Cmanzione,

From the screenshot you provided, it appears the Height Scale setting of the 3D View shader is too high (in the 3D View: 'Material > Edit').

The object appears unlit because the Normal Map from your material is currently not applied, which means the object will shade as a plane - which is a flat surface, hence the flat shading.
For your information, when applying a graph to an object, maps will apply appropriately depending on the 'Output' nodes they are connected to, and how these output are configured (specifically, their 'Usage' setting).

At this stage of the tutorial, it appears you currently do not have any outputs in your graph. Therefore, to apply your Normal Map directly to the object, you can right click on the last node processing your Normal Map, and drag its output to the object in the 3D view. In the list that then appears, select 'Normal'.

I hope these first steps will put you back on track to complete the tutorial. Keep up the good work and have fun with Substance Designer!

Best regards,
Luca Giarrizzo

We are happy to help!

Have fun with Substance!

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Thank you for the kind words, we are happy to help!

Have fun with Substance!

Hi Jon,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your graph and assets. Your issue is fortnuately easy to solve.

It appears your image is compressed in a way that the shape is entirely relying on the alpha channel. The RGB channel have been compressed to blocks, as shown below in this channel breakdown:

For your information, the Base Colour sampler only processes the RGB channels - which, in your case, feature those blocks of colour. To see this in effect, you can switch the Alpha channel on and off in the 2D view with the button highlighted in red in the picture below:

Please note you can split the RGB and Alpha channels of an image with the 'Alpha Split' node, as shown below:

To make sure the flame shape is applied in the RGB channels, you can use the Alpha channel as a mask in a 'Blend' node with a white background, as shown below (the Levels nodes are for demonstration purposes only, so you can see the Alpha Split in action):

You can connect the result of this step to the 'Color Input' of the 'Flood Fill to Color' node.

We hope this is helpful, and will further your understanding of how images are processed in the compositing graph.
Feel free to get back to us if you need further assistance.

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Hello JEOcasio,

Thank you for reaching out to us. The problem is connected to the library we use for Substance Designer's graphical user interface.

This issue has been fixed in the next release of Substance Designer. Follow our releases to get it as soon as it is available!

As a workaround, you can switch the screens positions. The problem does not appear when the second screen is on the left.

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Hello Jon,

Thank you for reaching out to us. In order to help you address this issue, we need the following:
  • The exact version and build number you are running of Substance Designer (see 'Help > About Substance Designer...' in the top menu bar);
  • Your SBS file, which you can send to me as attachment to a direct message. Note: If you are using any specific dependencies in your graph (imported images, instances of external graphs, etc.), please make sure to use the 'Export with dependencies...' option when right-clicking on your package.
Thank you for your time!

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

I am glad this was helpful!

The height scale will determine the maximum amount of displacement that will be applied to the vertices along their normal vector. In all cases, the height map will be mapped in 0-1 space by default, as a multiplier relative to this maximum amount.

You can find more information about how height is processed in the 3D View, in the 'GLSLFX Shaders' item of Substance Designer's documentation. More specifically, in order to understand how vertex are moved in tessellation displacement, please refer to the 'Tessellation Evaluation Shader File' part in the item.

This line is involved in determining the new position of the vertices:

newPos += newNormal * heightTexSample * heightMapScale;

'newNormal' is normalised (which means its magnitude is 1, it only provides a direction) and 'heightTexSample' is the value of the heightmap for the corresponding texel.

From this, we can extrapolate that for a heightmap value of 1, 'heightMapScale' will be exclusively driving the distance of displacement.
Because these vectors coordinates are in world space - which is orthonormal - and Substance Designer's base distance scale is centimeters, a height scale value of 100 will drive a maximum displacement distance of 1 meter.

Finally, please note that the heightmap value can be greater than 1 if its output format is floating point (16F or 32F).

I hope this is clear and helps further your understanding of displacement in Substance Designer.

We look forward to seeing what you will come up with using this technique!

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Hello sebastian123,

Thank you for reaching out. In order to assist you, we need further information about your system:
  • What is the exact GPU model you are running Substance Designer on? Are the drivers for it up to date?
  • Are there other GPU-intensive programs that are running at the same time?
  • Is the lag happening while working on an open graph, or as soon as Substance Designer is launched?
  • What is the CPU and GPU activity like while working in Substance Designer? (press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard, then select the 'Performance' tab and check the activity percentages)
  • Please link the post with the solution that you tried.
Thank you for your time.

Luca Giarrizzo

Hello ANormal Artist,

Indeed, the resources already mentioned by michael_11 and Colkaih are the go-to materials to get up and running with Substance Designer.

When you are comfortable with the fundamentals, a good way to go further is to open the nodes that are built into the library by default, and understanding how they are put together.

This is the graph that produces the 'Grunge Map 001' node.

Have fun with Substance Designer, we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Hello C3rr3,

Unfortunately, it is not possible to retain the current value of an exposed parameter when resetting a parameter.

Since you mention copying and pasting nodes across several graphs, have you considered using node instances?
You can create a graph that carries the functionality that you need, and plug this node into your other graphs as required.  Just drag and drop a graph into another one!
Additionally, if you need to copy and paste parameters, you are able to import and export presets.

In the example below, a simple node floods the material with water, with some exposed parameters:

The 'LG Water Flood' graph. Several parameters have been exposed.

The 'LG Water Flood' node in use.

We hope this is helpful. Feel free to get back to us if you need further assistance.

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

Hi virtualreality,

In Substance Designer, displacement can be applied in two ways:
  • Parallax displacement, which is a way to create an illusion of displacement through texture offset;
  • Tessellation displacement, which is a deformation of a tessellated mesh, i.e. the vertices actually change position.
Both methods are taxing on hardware resources, though the second is significantly more costly. Furthermore, only the second method is supported in Substance Designer's Iray renderer, and will produce self-shadows.

These features are available in the 'Materials' menu of the 3D View, as shown below:

As a first step, we suggest you make sure your material 'Height Scale' uniform parameter value is higher than 0.
Additionally, we recommend using a mesh with a high polygon count if using tessellated displacement. In the 'Scene' menu of the 3D View, 'Rounded cylinder', 'Rounded cube' and 'Sphere 2 Tiles' are good choices., 'Plane (hi-res)' will provide great results.

We hope this is helpful. Please get back to us if you need further assistance.

Best regards,

Luca Giarrizzo

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