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Messages - bruce_4

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These days Blender is what I work in and it would be pretty good at unwrapping something like a house.

You can also kill two birds with one stone.  Make your high poly version in SketchUp as you seem very comfortable in that.  Bring it into Blender, make a low poly version based on it.  You can bake the normal s from your high poly one (since you did model each brick, you can preserve that detail) and unwrap the low polygon mesh in Blender.  Then bring that into painter or designer. 

Having the meshes import into Painter and being 1 layer (actually they are 1 Material, and in Painter you can make layers all day long, they work like Photoshop layers) is fine.

However have you UV'd the objects?  If not, you will need to go back into SketchUp and unwrap it (I'm not sure how SketchUp handles this).  Then you can paint your textures onto the mesh.

If you want to go to a VR exploration, you will want to reduce the meshes into low polygon simple objects.  Again, houses work great for this.

If you wanted to let residents change different attributes you can set that up using Substance Designer (however most likely a game engine would be better suited for it).  There's slew of different approaches, but this is what I would do.

I would create a low polygon of the house, reduce any "flat" surface into a just a few polygons.  Flat means anything relatively flat (a brick wall is flat, but stairs are not flat).  Then I would create a few materials per house.  In this case the materials would match real world building materials.  So all Bricks on a Brick material, all wood trim.  Then I would create in Substance Designer a brick material that has controls to change the color, brick style or other attributes you want to change (weathering, cracks, etc..).  Then repeat for wood trim, window styles and roof shingles. 

I would then use Substance Painter to paint any non-changing attributes, sort of the leftovers and create a texture set.  So each house would be made out of 5 materials.  Bricks, Roofs, Wood and Windows, and a "Everything Else".  In Unity I would assign the Bricks, Roofs, Wood and Windows materials to my Substance Designer materials, and the Everything Else to a texture set exported from Painter.

With exposed controls you could make a UI that would allow anyone running the "Game" to make real time changes. 

I think you have a few different things going on here, so I'd like to start by asking a few questions.  Also a big note: I'm approaching this from my usual workflow which is video game focused, and usually on the low end of fidelity (often headed to mobile).  So I work usually in low polys. 

First, what is the ultimate goal?  I mean, do you want a super accurate almost CAD like representation of the houses?  Or are you building like a virtual street people can explore on their computers?  Is this for the every day man or for an architect? 

What you are correct about is Substance Designer is a great tool to create bricks and shingles and wood.  Also I'd look at Substance Source and Share, for more materials. 

In regards to your path to getting the objects on SketchFab, personally I think Painter is going to be the best path for you.  However, you are going to need to modify your objects. 

The good news is you have super high polygon versions of your houses, which you can use to bake to a lower polygon mesh.  The bad news is you need to make low polygon meshes of your houses.  I'm not familiar with SketchUp, but in general, houses are really ideal to simplify.  Any detail that's as small as a brick can be recreated with the normal and height map. 

If you look at the house at the bottom of your post.  Each Window turns into a rectangle, each brick wall a large rectangle (with hundreds of bricks in it).

So in my opinion your best bet is to go SketchUp -> Painter - SketchFab.  You can then use Designer (or get materials from Substance Source/Share) to use in Painter.

Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Showcase - I made a 9-Slice Node
 on: December 13, 2018, 09:51:25 pm 
I wanted to share a node I've been working on that allows you to create a 9-Slice.

What is 9-Slice?

A 9-Slice, is a set of 9 images that allows you to create a resizable box that will preserve the corners.  These can often be found in User Interface designs, you can freely scale the width and height while keeping the corners square.

Some things you can do with it:
  • Create pill or capsule shapes that won't stretch rounded corners.
  • Create different sized Octogons with 45 degree angles
  • Create ornate corners, such as stylized furniture embellishments

How it works:

You can can input up to 9 images:

Code: [Select]
(Upper Left)   (Top)        (Upper Right)

(Right)        (Center)     (Left)

(Bottom Left)  (Bottom)     (Bottom Right)

You can then uniformly scale the corners, and independently scale the width and height of the shape.

There are two preset shapes, curved corners and straight corners, and a custom input (all 9 images).

You can switch between Nearest Neighbor and Bilinear (Due to the way FX maps scale shapes up and down, Bilinear can show seams in some cases, I recommend Nearest Neighbor). 

Out of the box, I find this incredibly useful just for making pill shapes (which is why I made it) or any rounded corner box. 

Yes, what bruce said is exactly what I meant. I'm glad that worked out.

Sorry to hijack but:

Could you use that to set custom inputs based on iteration number?  Like "If $number = 0 then Input Image 0, else Input Image 1"?

Then chain a ton of these to pick random shapes?  I've been having draw layer issues, this seems like a quick way around it (Can't try it right now).

I'm not entirely sure, but I think it will still draw all of 1 shape first before moving on to the next. I think the fx map does multiple 'passes' when you have multiple shapes. So it first runs through each iteration with shape 1, than again with shape 2 etc.

I've been running into an issue where it seems FX Map draws inputs based on the Input order, so if I have like 4 inputs, Input 4 always is drawn onto of everything no matter what. I"ve been trying to figure out where in the stack I could adjust the input to draw.

For the main graph, you need to go all the way out (so outside of the FX map).  If you double click on the background with no node selected, it will select the main graph parameters.  Go to the very bottom and add a new input parameter and give it a name and set it up to match the kind of variable you want.  (Probably a Float 1).  Then back inside your FX map in whichever section you are building your equation, use the Get Float and type in the new variable you created.  That will let you then set it's value when using the node.

Sorry to hijack but:

Could you use that to set custom inputs based on iteration number?  Like "If $number = 0 then Input Image 0, else Input Image 1"?

Then chain a ton of these to pick random shapes?  I've been having draw layer issues, this seems like a quick way around it (Can't try it right now).

In your top graph, if you take the float 8 and plug it into both the division node and the multiply node do you get the correct effect?

I suspect $number is 1 in both graphs.  In your FX map setup with Quadrant and Iterate, is Iterate your set to root?  (I'm not sure if you can get the Iterate variable from the iterate node into the Quadrant node).

You might need to create a top level variable in the entire graph that then both the iterate node and the quadrant node reference.  Also I'm not sure if you should use $number.  Clearly I'm not entirely sure what I"m doing, but I always create new variables and not the ones that are built into SD.

You could also create an opacity output and in painter add an opacity layer and use a shader that supports opacity. 

Normally I'd agree, but I'm doing a bunch of scaling and position work within FX maps and blending the results, but they are to align next to each other (it's this node here: ).  So if you happen to hit a size or positing that would make some sub pixels, you can see the seams. 

Here's Bilinear:

And Nearest Neighbor:

Right now I added a switch right before the blends and duplicated all my FX nodes, I set the top one to Bilinear, and the Bottom to Nearest Neighbor and just exposed the switch.  This seems to work.

Does it just make the most sense to set the FX maps to "Nearest" as there's a lot of edges showing up with probably sub pixels (especially noticeable at 512x512 and lower sizes).

Or should I use like a switch and duplicate all my nodes and have the drawing go down path 1 or path 2 depending on the switch?

I created a 9-Slice node that allows you to input 9 images (corners, top, bottom, sides and center) and freely adjust the width, height and size of the corners to preserve the shape.

I make heavy use of FX maps, and I created a variable that lets you pick between the different filtering options for FX-Maps, :

Bilinear + Mipmaps

I have an Integer 1 variable and a pull down with the 3 options.

If I drag my Node into a new Substance Designer package, I get all the controls I expect.  If I add the .SBAR file to my Substance Designer Library the Image Filter variables I exposed don't show up.

Is there some additional trick to making this option visible when exporting as a .SBAR? 

Sorry for going a bit off-topic... but is there some "magic button" to create images like the one at the start of this thread?

I see images like that in various posts in the "show your work" area and some of the "contest" threads.  I think they're really great, but the idea of manually creating a composite image like that seems like a bit of a bother.  Not technically difficult, but annoying.

I'd love to see an entire post on how to do those great showoff shots of a material.  I'm so bad at staging renders.

You could make a Diffuse Output (or probably any output that supports RGBA) and then blend each of your maps one at a time using a mask to hide/show different parts. 

Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Discussions - Re: Cropping a bitmap
 on: November 30, 2017, 10:52:33 pm 
You could add a stroke to the mask image to give it some natural padding.

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