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Topics - Xathian

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1
WARNING: This is going to be a very longwinded post, sorry, but I have to describe the issue as best I can and I can't really see how cut it down much.

This is a feature I've been waiting on for years, and at first I was extremely excited to see it in the feature showcase, but it seems like a very strange way to handle this feature. Why not just give us a permanent panel list of the mesh subobjects, just like how it gives you a list when you open the Geometry Mask selector:



Except have this always available as a normal panel to hide or show mesh objects without the need for having a layer stack associated with the mesh objects and using that layer as the basis for hiding/showing objects.

An example of why this current system just doesn't work for me in my workflow is as follows. I am currently working with a team I was hired for on a VR project, like many VR games it is a shooting game and I have been doing props and guns. This mesh object hiding was a big deal for me because the game requires most guns be field strippable, meaning they can be partially disassembled so I have to model and texture the interiors. Prior to this it meant I had to basically have my gun "exploded" in the viewport so I could see inside it, similar to how you used to explode your models for baking before baking by mesh names was a thing.

This system of mesh hiding would allow me to have the model in the viewport in a final setup and let me hide parts as I worked, great in theory. However due to this being tied to layers as a sort-of mask, this disrupts my workflow and I can't find an efficient way around it. Normally my workflow would involve a gun needing maybe 4-6 major materials on it with each folder masking masked across several parts. For the primary ones I would have layers in my stack like this:

Wood
BodyMetal (Primarily the gun metal external parts)
InternalMetal (Likely uncoated, more polished steel internal parts)
OtherMetal (Screws, etc)
Plastic
Polymer

And maybe others if the weapon called for it. My first assumption was simple: I will work in my layers on each piece individually. For example I will place a Geometry Mask on the BodyMetal layer and select the Upper Receiver mesh objects, texture it both inside and out, then change the Geometry Mask to the Lower Receiver and texture that part inside and out, etc. Unfortunately this does not work, because of the non-destructive strokes feature mentioned here

https://youtu.be/TGASuIGSUns?t=598

Time code 9:58 if the link fails to skip to it. Painter preserves my brush strokes between changes in the Geometry Mask, meaning if I Geometry Mask 1 part of the object, finishing texturing it and then try to change the Geometry Mask to a different part of the mesh next, it will plaster my stroke history all over the new part when I change mesh objects. Playing around with Painter today my only solution I could think of was to effectively make a base layer folder for every single part of the model and assign each one a Geometry Mask for that mesh part

Grip
UpperRec
LowerRec
Trigger
ChargingHandle
Stock
Magazine
GripBolts
Etc
Etc

The basic model I had tried this on needed 14 folder layers to achieve a workable, hideable geometry mask on everything. However, if I do this workflow to get full control of mesh hiding and I want something like my BodyMetal material layer to be on 6 parts of the model, I now need that layer stack copy pasted inside all 6 folders. This is a great way to end up with 500 layers in your project and a completely unusable calculation time any time you want to update the layers. (I think layer instantiation will make this easier for a UDIM based model but this is for a game, no UDIMs here)

So my thoughts on how to solve this are either:

1) Allow us a separate mesh object hide/show panel that has nothing to do with layer masking to turn objects on or off
2) Allow us the option to disable the "non-destructive strokes" being reapplied to the mesh whenever we change the Geometry Mask to different subobjects (such as I tried doing in the first part I spoke of)

Otherwise I can't think of anything else to what I am trying, if anyone else has any idea please share because I spent the evening screwing around with this and couldn't get it working at all.

2
I was using Designer last week flawlessly, but today I launch it and everything is broken. Every menu comes up very slowly, all the 3D preview meshes are displayed as multiple planes, here's the cube:



Using the colour dropper for any reason locks up my PC entirely (mouse still moves though)

I tried updating and fully reinstalling and nothing fixes it.

3
This is absolutely insanity causing, all your other software packages can have ctrl+z undo your previous change to sliders, in Alchemist it doesn't, if you drop down a filter and change 10 sliders then press ctrl+z (out of habit especially) for a quick before/after check you will instead just undo the entire filter being added and have to redo all the values again.

Also there needs to be a UI indicator that a project is saving/was saved (bottom right of Painter shows this). Get paranoid my ctrl+s wasn't registered during a layer calculation.

4
I got an error today while importing a bunch of Smart Materials into my project, this one here



After receiving this error, it's no longer possible for me to drag files straight into Painter to import them, the mouse just shows that crossed out circle cursor. Restarting Painter, the PC, making a new project, etc have not worked to restore my ability to do this. The only way for me to import now is using the Import Resources option in the File menu.

5
Substance PainterSubstance Painter - Feature Requests - Baker Preview
 on: July 21, 2018, 05:49:13 am 
I'd love to see Painter get a baker preview window like the one in Substance Designer. This is really convenient as it gives you a far better impression of the baking speed, it is much better for estimating how much longer a bake may take and it can even let you see any baking errors (such as bad frontal/rear distances) mid bake and allow you to cancel and correct it rather than waiting until it finishes just to see it was a bad bake and have to redo it.

I currently do all my baking in SD solely because of this feature and it would just be nice to see it in Painter so I can keep all my work in a single program rather than needing to hop back and forth if I end up needing to rebake for some reason.

6
Upon updating to version 2017.4.1, the installer started to spew errors while writing the Environments folder, saying it could not write the exr files. Retrying didn't work so I aborted the install.

Now the Painter install folder has an empty Environments folder that I cannot open or delete, it has stripped all permissions from my Windows users (including Admin apparently). I cannot add ownership back to my account through the standard file onwership flags in an admin elevated command prompt, nor User Permissions tool. Access Denied always. It is now an irremovable folder preventing installs with 0 listed owners.


7
Now I understand the purpose of compute tangent space per fragment in the Project Configuration, but my question involves "universal" assets.

I aim to create assets available to both UE4 and Unity, but how exactly do I deal with the compute tangent space per fragment option without basically retexturing every asset twice? It needs to be On for UE4 and Off for Unity, but the project configuration chooses it at the start. How can I create both a Unity and UE4 asset with this option being On/Off for each one?

8
Sorry the title is a bit butchered since my question was too long to fit into the subject field.

Are there any good learning resources/tutorials for the thought processes and techniques behind creation of Smart Materials?

I've noticed a lot of very nicely detailed Smart Materials out there and see the value and control and better results you can get by working from scratch to create a material. I've recently gotten into trying to create smart materials (Until now I've heavily relied on premade Materials) and I'm having a hard to going from a flat colour base layer through all those filters and generators, grunges, procedural, etc to get a nice, realistic result.

I am more of a "Learn by example" type person than a "learn by figuring it out brute force" and I've gotten some Smart Materials with Painter, bought some on Gumroad, etc and looked into all their layers in Painter to understand how it works, but I'd love to find a tutorial (Paid on Gumroad, free on Youtube, anything really) where some experienced artists can give detailed reasoning behind techniques, methodology, etc.

I've tried searching around but all I can ever find is either very short videos that explain the basics of what a Smart Material is, or videos that are just Material creation in Substance Designer

9
So long story short I was asked to port on of my older models to Unity, the problem comes from the fact that I do not currently have access to original Substance project as I have unfortunately lost the file so I cannot just export it as a Unity texture. I do have my original exported textures as

Albedo
Normal
Metallic
Roughness
Ambient Occlusion

The AO, Albedo and Normal port to Unity just fine but I see that Unity uses a "Metallic Smoothness" map that treats Roughness differently and is used as a single combined file. I was wondering if it was possible to somehow mix my Roughness and Metallic maps manually, with designer or photoshop or something and create one of these Metallic Smoothness maps from it.

10
I would like to add some normal map based engraved font to my model, and for simplicity I would like to do this directly within my "Normal Painting" layer rather than making and using a stencil with a fill layer.

The problem is that I can't see if it's even possible for the Font tool (Listed as an Alpha) to paint normal map information. I have set up the brush and made sure the Normal channel is enabled, but this doesn't paint any detail. Enabling the Height channel works just fine on the Height map, but the normal channel remains blank when checking it with the B hotkey to see individual channel and my model will be getting used without a height map, so it needs to be normal detail.

Is this possible to do?

11
I've been working on a project in Unity and I have created several models so far which have looked perfect when imported into Unity, nearly 1:1 matching the texture within Substance Painter.

But my latest model just isn't working properly. Using the same settings and workflow as worked before, the result within Unity is very dull, the metal isn't properly reflective, one metal part is pure black, etc. Here is a Painter vs Unity viewport shot.



It went from looking like the intended brushed stainless steel and now looks like a cheap injection mold plastic. Also note the exposed portion of the metal within the chamber area went from a dark silver to nearly pitch black. Also the plastic grips look off as well.

This same workflow and methodology has worked flawlessly with several other models until now. Also this texture looks perfectly normal in everything but Unity. Marmoset, UE4, Sketchfab, etc.

12
Being a piece of professional software I was hoping to see Substance might good use of available CPU power. Doing a 4K bake right now, Substance is utilizing a grand total 23% of an 8 core CPU. Only pinging 1 single thread to 100% and the rest very little.



Is this intended to be so wasteful of system resources? If so I hope your programmers are looking into using hardware better in the future as this scales very poorly in a workstation oriented professional environment.

13
I've just built a new PC and with it installed the new 2017.2 version of Painter and I was trying to move my massive collection of materials into the shelf of my new install as I have done many times over the past year and for some reason Painter just won't see them now.

I put them into the shelf folder as I always have in the past and it worked, but now I start Painter and all it can see are the base Painter materials and the 20 I've downloaded from Substance Source. All the free ones I've gotten from around the internet and ones I've made myself are not showing up in the Material shelf.

I even tried making a whole new shelf folder and adding the files there then adding that as a shelf to Painter but that didn't do anything either.

14
I have been using Painter for a while and I have managed to get it looking nearly identical in Max renders using VRay and Corona, but I cannot get it looking even remotely similar with Redshift, it seems I am missing something here.

Does anyone have advice or a guide to setting up the materials? The official FAQ only has a guide for Redshift for Maya, which uses a drastically different material setup than Max.

15
I have been working on a gun project, and I am very far along the texturing process when a huge mistake has shown itself. During the modeling process I mirrored several parts of the gun and dragged their UVs up 1 full map so that they would simply just get a mirrored texture from their original source.

The problem came when I just now realised I accidentally mirrored a UV for a small part of the gun which has writing on it. The end result is that writing is now mirrored, backwards, on the other side of the gun.

Can I go back to Max and drag that UV down into the regular map (NOTE: I have a little bit of spare space in the UV for it, I will not need to move any other the other parts of the UV) and reimport the model (fixing any mask problems on my layers) but keep all my texturing progress?

I am quite new to this and extremely slow at texturing, it would be days of set back if I had to start over.

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