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Messages - dayveeman

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1
I haven't had much chance to play with Substance Designer 5 yet, but I noticed no batch tools for ver5 on the download page yet.

Are there plans to release batch tools for the new version anytime soon? Will the batch tools from ver4 work in the meantime.

2
Thanks Käy.Vriend, a mobile game is actually exactly what we're using this for.

Even though we are only doing a very simple shadow bake, doing it in Mental Ray was taking us around 5 mins to set up and bake on even the simplest objects.

The pre-processing for this technique might seem time consuming, but it's very easy to automate. Using some simple python scripting and the Substance bake tools, our light bake now takes less then 5 seconds, and is a single button push.

3
You can bake simple shadow maps in Substance.


How?
It does require a bit of pre-processing of your model.
Besides exporting a regular version of your model, you'll need...


An export of your model rotated to align the light direction to the Y-axis. Bake the World Space Normals, extract and adjust the levels on it's Green Channel to get the lighting (without cast shadows) from the light.


Also...
An export of the model with all its Normals pointing straight up.


From this we'll use these Height Map bake settings (use the object itself as its own high definition mesh)...


To get this height map...


Might not look like much, but every surface exposed to the light is 50% grey, every surface blocked from the light is lighter. So, invert and adjust it's levels to get...



Looks a little rough, but multiply with our lighting map and you have the light and shadows from a single directional light...


Not bad, personally I like faking bounce light by adding an inverted Green Channel from the World Space Normal map of the regular version of the export, using an AO bake as a mask.


Much better, you can also add a bit of color using a Gradient Map node.


Substance Graph...


You can only bake a directional light shadow map, no point or area lights. Also, no advance lighting features like global illumination, color bleeding, etc.

I also have yet to find a really good way to fade the shadow intensity as you get further away from the shadow casting object.

Still, very handy for quick light bakes. You can also use the shadow map as a mask to improve the accuracy of things like sun bleaching, or use it on a snow substance for example so areas blocked don't accumulate snow.

A copy of the Substance file and object exports.
http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=31089445671551040308

4
If it helps, I posted a while back a way to get substance AO baker to bake overlapping geo as dark instead of white.

http://forum.allegorithmic.com/index.php/topic,487.msg1877.html#msg1877

Basically, you check "invert normals" when baking, but then plug in a reverse normal for your normal map (invert the blue channel). This kinda forces the bake not to ignore backfaces.
I don't think you can use the trick for the "Ambient Occlusion from Mesh" baker however, just the standard "Ambient Occlusion" baker.

5
Did you guys get anywhere on this?

I'm seeing a similar spike in memory that Unity uses when a scene has substances in it, that I can't explain by the substance archive or generated textures.

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Smart Tiles are textures designed to tile across a large surface without showing repetition. In order for them to work, they need a specific shader.

Neat... is it a Wang Tile shader/generator, or some other trick?

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Are you asking how to make a square stitch border like the attached file, or create a substance that creates a line of stitches and rotates their direction around a shape you feed into it?

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Just a thought, are all your UVs between 0-1 UV space?

It'll only bake using UVs within that range.

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In Substance Designer, in the 3D View window, goto: Materials>Default>Shader>Mesh Info>Vertex Color

If your model in the 3D View looks all black the exported file had the vertex color stripped from it. I use mostly Maya these days, but I'm pretty sure Cyrille is right about the obj exporter not exporting vert colors. FBX format should export vertex color, but you might have to double check your settings to make sure that it's enabled.

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Also, .sbsar file sizes are effected more by embedded images then graph complexity.

But more complex graphs will take more time to compute, and some nodes take more computation then others.

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Well it's hard to tell exactly what's going on in that graph, but it looks like you've got a lot of pairs of nodes/duplicate stuff.

One nice thing about Substance Designer is you can nest instances of graphs as a single node withing another graph.

So, for example, you could create a graph that just takes 2 inputs (decal, and mask) and then gives 2 outputs of the offset decal and mask. Then save out that graph, and drag it into your main graph every-time you need it. Then you're collapsing a few nodes into a single instanced node. If you set up the exposed parameters right you could even control the offsets for both decal, and mask with a single set of sliders, instead of copying values all the time.

Basically, anytime you see yourself using the same cluster of nodes over and over within a graph, see if you can collapse them down into a single node, by saving out that cluster as it's own graph.

12
So, I haven't dealt with multi-material blends too much, but I know you can expose instance parameters to the scene graph, and you can link multiple instance node parameters that way (link all material level and contrast values in the hot rod template for example).

But it sounds like instead of passing a parameter from the scene level down to multiple node levels, you want to pass a parameter from one node into another node.

I think you might be able to do this if each of your materials output a solid matID color texture, then you alter the multi-material blend to add a new input for that matID texture, then set the material color to sample that texture.

I'm just spit-balling. But I can't see any other way to pass something between nodes than through texture outputs/inputs.

13
There's a few nodes for making a texture tile. Make It Tile Patch, and Make It Tile Photo.

They're under Filters, or just search "make" in the Library Search field.

14
I'm using the Substance Designer batch tools to automate some asset creation, and I'm getting some strange results. I've tracked it down to bitmaps being set to 8bit instead of 16bit when I use --connect-image with sbsmutator. Is there a way to set an input image to 16bit when I connect it with sbsmutator? I need my position bake file to be set to 16bit before creating the sbsar file, but manually opening every automated sbs file and setting bitmaps to 16bit isn't really feasible.

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Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Discussions - Re: List of Choices
 on: September 20, 2013, 10:23:35 pm 
You can also have nested graphs. It's a great way to reuse work, and keep graphs from getting too complicated.

You could for instance make and save a substance graph that's just a switch between 10 inputs with an exposed variable. It might take you 30 mins or so to set up, but once you've done it once you never have to do it again. Then you just drag and drop that into any other graph and it'll just be a single node with 10 inputs and 1 output, and an exposed slider. Not as nice as having nodes auto add inputs, but you can easily make things more streamlined then the Cereals example.

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