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I've had this situation a couple of times on this project, but this is the worst.

I have a substance that is used in hundreds of other substances. I've not changed it in months and months. I've not touched it in the top level graphs. It's been there and working forever. Now suddenly whenever I open any of these top level graphs, it's broken. The node reads Ghost Graph. The tooltip says " Represents a graph that cannot be located in any of the packages". It's right there. I can open it individually. I haven't moved it. (it's checked in, in perforce and hasn't moved or changed) and I can drag a new copy of it into a graph and hook it up and it works fine.

But I don't want to have to go through each of the HUNDREDS of top level substances I have and re-hook it up.

Why does this happen? And is there any way to fix it without manually adding it back in hundreds of times. I've reverted the troublesome substance. No difference. I've reverted the top level substance, still get the ghost graph broken reference. There should be no difference to when it was working. I've even got someone else to get latest on the files before my current changes and it works in their Substance Designer just fine. So something I've done in this update has broken them all. But how if it's still broken if I revert the files?

How do dependencies work? There's a long number next to the package path that seems to be the same as another similar but different substance I also use in the top level graphs. Has it got confused? Are these supposed to be a unique id? In which case, why aren't they? And can I change them? And if I do, will that fix the broken links?

I'm using Substance 4.6.2. I'm in the middle of production so can't try upgrading. I can't risk any differences in the results. I already know that using Designer 5 makes my 4k graphs come out at 8k somehow, I can't risk that.

Anything I can do or try?


I've got all my parameters exposed and working quite well, but the order is completely messed up when viewed in Player. The order in Designer is how I want them, but this doesn't come through to Player. How do I set the order? It looks like they're in the order I exposed them. I hope I don't have to un-expose them all, then re-expose them in the order I want them every time I add a new control. Do I?


Hi guys,

I've got a sub-substance with a levels node that I've exposed to the top level. But with only five sliders for level_in_high, level_in_mid, level_in_low, level_out_low and level_out_high, this makes it very tricky to visualise which slider to fiddle with compared to going into the sub-substance and seeing the histogram on the node. Is there a way to expose the histogram control?

I can put the levels node at the top level and feed the output into the sub-substance, but this clutters up the graph. This is what I do when prototyping, but I'd prefer not to do it for the final result.

Any way around this?


Hi guys,

I posted about this a while ago in the discussions forum, but didn't get any response.

Many of my substances have big red S icons instead of thumbnails. Some are ok, but increasingly they don't generate or update. Why is this? Is it something to do with loading them up and saving them as a new substance with different source maps? Or maybe because they use sub-substances? They work fine when first creating the graphs for the most part.

Are they stored in the substance itself or elsewhere? When I check the files into Perforce is there a thumbnail file I should also look for? If so, where?

Is there any way to update them? I've tried the regenerate thumbs option in the prefs, but they just came back as the big red S again. In fact I lost more when I did that. :(

Any idea?


Hi guys,

I've been suffering this on and off since I started using Designer. It often crashes Designer when I export my substance to a psd stack. Sometimes several times on after the other. I'll load the substance and export and it'll be fine. then I'll make a simple change and export again and it will crash on export. Even though I last exported it fine yesterday and all I've done is change some of the source maps, now it crashes. I'm overwriting the existing psd and the file is checked out.

Initially I thought this might be because I had the folder open in XNView as when I closed it and tried again it saved successfully. Then it crashed with a file explorer window open in that folder. So I closed that. And it was fine next time. Now I have nothing open in that folder but Designer is still crashing on export.

I have plenty of RAM. These PSDs are quite big, some of them are near the 2gig limit (partially because they save blank white layer masks I don't want which I have an action to deal with in Photoshop), but they're definitely under 2gig when saving. Maybe 1.6 gig. The temp psd_0 file gets left behind when crashing, which aren't complete psds. I can't rename and open them. So it's crashing during but not at the end of the export.

This is with Designer 4.4.0. I've not seen any update mention psd export issues, so I haven't got IT to update.

Anyone else have problems exporting to psd? I get maybe 1 in 2 files to export. They're basically all the same, but with different source maps and target psds. I can't figure out why some won't export. Any ideas?


Hi guys,

I was wondering if there's any more documentation about the Gradient Editor than the one line in the node list. There's options there that I'm not clear on.

What does Noise do in the eyedropper? I guess because it's in the eye dropper it's not to add noise to the gradient output. What does interpolate do? It changes something when I check it, but I'm not sure what. Is it a non-linear interpolation?

I'm wanting to repeat the gradient outside the input range or map it to a smaller section of the input than the whole 0-1 value range. At the moment I'm heavily clamping the input by feeding an input map and levelling it. This gives me a high density stripes which is what I'm after, but the input map is a small range (because it continues on other objects), and if I feed another one in, the values are all clamped to the top or bottom key of the gradient.

Basically I want to tile the gradient. What's the best way to deal with this?


Hi guys,

I've got a custom particle brush I'm using (rain type). Weirdly it's very very slow the first time I click on a new mesh with it, but every stroke after that is much quicker (still pretty slow as it's thousands of particles and the meshes are pretty big). But annoyingly I'm doing a small amount of work on many objects, so every time I start a new scene, it's slow for the first stroke.

Sometimes all the particles just hang in the air and don't even fall. The view navigation works fine. It's just the particle simulation that seems slow.

Any idea why the first stroke is so much slower than any others?

I'm using version 1.0. The about says version 0.12.1 Build 464, which doesn't seem right. I'm sure it's 1.0.


Hi guys,

I've been using a rain type particle emitter in a custom tool. I have open edged models and this causes a problem. The particles run down the model but linger on the open edges of the model rather than dropping off. That means I get solid lines wherever the edge of the model is.

Is there a way to tell the particles to just run off rather than linger like this?


Hi guys,

I'm hitting the max size for saved psds. 2 gig. They're pretty big files (4k) and have lots of layers (mostly because I can't save the layer masks in the form I want so there's lots of blank white layer masks and a huge stack of masks I need to manipulate at the bottom).

I was trying to work out what to do to reduce the size when I noticed that they're saved as 16bit. There's no need for that, but I can't find any way to force them to export as 8 bit. If I double click in the root of a graph and uncheck the output format and set it to 8bit, the graph is switched to 8 bit (which I don't want really for accuracy sake, but would put up with if it worked) but the saved psd is still 16bit.

There doesn't seem to be an output format control on output nodes.

If I load them into Photoshop and switch to 8bit and save them I can halve the size, but the problem is, they're bigger than 2gig when exported from Designer so save corrupted.

Is there any way to tell Designer to save psds as 8bit?

It's looking more likely that I'll have to ditch the psd export and just save a huge number of tifs and reassemble the doc from scratch in Photoshop with an action. I can do that, but it'll make my graphs much more complex as I'll need lots more outputs. This is a pity as the psd export option looked really useful. But it's not really working out.


I'm a bit disappointed that there's no fix for the issue of saving layer masks incorrectly in 4.5 (it saves layer masks and layer opacity which I don't want as it's unrecoverable). So I'm back to trying to write a Photoshop action to copy layers into layer masks myself.

Unfortunately this doesn't work on psds saved directly from Designer. Every time I run an action that selects a layer I get the error message "The object "layername" is not currently available" requiring a press of continue and the action copies the current layer instead of the named one then stops on the next one. So it's unable to find the layer name even when run on the same image I recorded the action for.

This works just fine on a brand new document made in Photoshop. It works regardless of the currently selected layer or the position of the named layer in the stack. It works if the layer is in a layer group and has a layer mask filled white (like the ones saved from Designer). Everything seems to work. It also works on documents loaded as psds and saved as tifs.

But it doesn't work on psd documents saved from Designer. I think it must be saving some data slightly wrong. Not wrong enough for Photoshop to complain under normal circumstances, but wrong enough that actions don't work.

This is with Photoshop CS6 64bit. I've read up on the error and there's lots of posts about it, but they're generally talking about the background layer being locked (I'm not working on the background) or about selecting documents when the interface isn't tabbed (it makes no difference here).

Has anyone else had this sort of problem? Did you find a solution? The only one that might work I've found is saving the document as a tif first, closing it, reopening it, then running the action on it. Which is quite slow as these are huge documents.


Hi guys,

I've run into a silly problem. When I first make my substances they get thumbnails automatically rendered for them that roughly match the output. Good. But then over time, after I've checked them into Perforce and out again and edited them, the thumbnails sometimes stop updating. Sometimes I've used saveas to change what they're for, but the thumbnails still look like the original graph.

I've now got several that look the same in the thumbnail view, but are completely different colours when loaded. And some that are just black. And some have S icons. These S ones might be broken by saving dependencies as new packages. Sometimes those end up pointing to the new files when I don't want them to.

How do I force the thumbnails to update? And are they embedded in the substance file? Or are they stored on disk somewhere and I need to find them and check them into perforce with my substances?

I don't really want to have to manually save out icons and reassign them. The output should be fine and the automatic thumbs did work to start with.


As in this discussion thread:;topicseen#new

The problem with the position map baker is that it needs normalisation. It takes this from the model's bounds, which for most purposes is fine. But in my case I want to render maps that match up across multiple models with different min and max heights.

I could do that if I could set a manual min and max value for the baker.


Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Discussions - Vertical Streaks
 on: September 01, 2014, 06:36:31 pm 
Hi guys,

I'm trying to come up with a way to map vertical streaks on my models. I'm having a hard time even working out what I'd need to do. I have world space normals and a streaky substance graph. But how would I apply that to streak down the surfaces of the model, however the UVs are aligned?

I don't really see any documentation about the weathering examples. There's a couple that look like they have streaks, but I'm not sure what they're doing. In fact I don't really see a list of what all the nodes do at all. There's a slope blur. Is that what I'm after? If so, what inputs does it need?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


I have multiple objects I want to make maps for. They all match up at the edges, so I need the resulting substance maps to flow from one to the others. For the most part they do. However I do want some large scale variation. The sort of thing that is visible across multiple objects, but doesn't tile.

For this I thought using a position map as an input might work well. Unfortunately the position map needs to be normalised by something. Either Bounding Box for the mesh or bounding sphere. These meshes aren't all going to be the same height, so the range for each position map varies, so they don't match up across boundaries.

I want to be able to set fixed values for the max and min range of the map so I can have the range the same for all meshes, regardless of their dimensions.

Is there any way to do this?

At the moment I'm rendering world space gradients in Max, which is an additional step I'd prefer to do away with.


I have some substances that I need to be seamless across multiple objects. For that I need the edges to match up (at least as well as possible).

One of the things that's causing me problems is that part of the graph is relying on a blur. The blur wraps and doesn't seem to have any option to prevent that. In Photoshop the blurs don't wrap which is usually a pain. But in this case is actually what I need.

Is there any way to enable blur to clamp instead of wrap at the edges of UV space?

I tried looking for the node to see what it's doing, but blur doesn't appear in the node library, only under the right click menu. I don't know where those nodes live in the installation so I can't open them. Searching didn't show up anything. I've opened up blur HQ and found it's doing a load of directional blurs at different angles. But I can't find that node either. Again it's under the right click menu, not in the library.

I've always wondered why some nodes aren't in the library. I spent ages looking for Levels when first starting because of that. :)

Any ideas? Thanks

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