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Topics - brentliu131

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Does painter support 16 bit depth normal maps baked from other software?  I baked some from Blender to test a particular workflow only to realize that the 16 bit image I used gives worse result than the 8 bit image when used in Painter with a fill layer.  (16 bit image give the same banding effect compared to 8 bit, this probably is caused by blender's image output code.
 And the colors are all faded out, causing bad normals.)

I just want to make sure substance painter isn't at fault here.  The image I used says it contain 64 bits per pixel, which is correct for a 16 bit depth image.

If Painter does support the use of 16 bit depth normal map from other software, what is the technical image specification I should be looking at?

I have been waiting like forever to create cheats for substance painter, like exporting textures from layers or layer groups, bake a special texture that won't necessarily fit in any of the given slots, you know, like Bake a single black/white mask from floating geometry models.

When will it be accessible for all users?  I can currently click on it and it doesn't do anything.

Could it be that I'm in trial mode all the time even when I subscribed to the Live?  Looking at that 30 days remaining every month is indeed a tough experience.  LOL

When i use my custom shelf without having the default Baked lighting material in the shelf, the saved preset-baked lighting material would function as if the texture is tiled 3x3 in 1 texture space.  After I copied the baked lighting material's base file into my custom shelf's material folder, and restarted Painter, everything worked.

It made a loop and crashes.

Just throwing some ideas.  I don't know why, but I just want to get rid of highpoly models. LOL

btw, the forum font is way too small to read.

3D stecil, Easy symmetry for Everything
put stencil into the 3D space, and place it on the mesh geometry, and saves the location/scale/rotation.  So when it's needed later, it will be easy to access.  (a list for stencil layers can be used to organize it, stand alone from default layer window)

How to use this to achieve Radial symmetry:
Wrap the stencil onto simple primitives like a cylinder, and increase the UV tiling to get radial symmetry for cylindrical object.  You get the idea.   Paint on top of this cylindrical stencil, the paint will go through based on normal projection instead of view projection.  So end up with a perfect radial symmetric texture.

Additive baking, Bake on top of something:

When baking, if there is no highpoly mesh traced on top of the lowpoly, leave the pixel blank with 0 alpha.  (Needs super sampling for alpha to be smoothed out, so there will be some in-between alpha values.  This way the additional bakes can be added onto the same image.

Even without alpha, if every bake can be baked onto a new layer, we can simply blend Add the black/white image on top of each other, or use them as masks, and assign color value to make an Color ID map.

I just particularly like this kind of step by step creation method.  Things can change on the fly.  Lots of variations.

Topological symmetry would be nice.  Having the ability to copy-paste symmetry would be a savior for people who forgot to turn on the symmetry or accidentally turned symmetry off and kept painting for hours.

So this problem has stunned me for days.  I actually went out and tried 3D Coat and Mudbox.  But after a while I realized that sticking with less software packages is a more efficient way to work.

I've just today noticed the Re-Projection function inside Substance Painter, it's brilliant.  But unfortunately it didn't work the way I expected.

What I did is outputing 2 different model for my project.  One is fully unwrapped without any mirroring geometry; The other one is the fully unwrapped one, cuts off one side of the geometry and mirrored.  Why I do this is that I wanted to have one mesh with mirrored two half of geometry using same UVs, to achieve the symmetry for stencil works.  But the ideal result is to have a model with seperated UV for both half, so decals and texts don't have to mess up.

I assumed the reprojection works just like transfer bake in Designer.  But I am wrong.  I tried to paint on the MirrorUV object first, then I load the final mesh, and it automatically starts re-projection.  And what happened is, it only projected one side of the mesh.  I don't know exactly why, but I realized it doesn't work the same way as Transfer Bake.

At least now I know for a fact there is only one other way to solve this problem.  Transfer bake in Designer.

And it just start getting frustrating again.  Because the result I wanted is a symmetry, so I have to not only transfer bake one texture, but all of them.  And a model can have more than 2 or 3 UV sets.

If it wasn't that I have to manually set up every bake for every texture, I'd be happily doing so without any complaint.  But such usability issues is killing my working efficiency and morale.  I mean, maybe I expected too much from Allegorithmic, but I thought those functions were common sense among this kind of software.

Will there be any improvements or updates to stencil-symmetry support, or multi-texture transfer bake/baker profile in 2015?

So when I press P to pick a material information from the current scene/object, the viewport just go black.  How am I going to pin point the material I want when it's just black!??  Welp?

Before, I used Substance Designer, It's amazing.  Now I'm trying out Painter for 2 days, the most thing I got isn't inspiration or productivity, it's frustration.  To say, both of these software are genius when it comes to make realistic, detailed objects with available highpoly models.  But without highpoly model and those baked textures, the software is incredibly hard to use.  Say I could use the quick masking, I got used to the logic alright, but after that, I can't even see the clear result of my paint stroke because of those checkers.  I made a few stencils to directly paint over my lowpoly model, for detail and such, then I found out Stencil doesn't work with symmetry.  So anyway, I'll just paint each stroke by hand, but quickly realized that even selecting material and picking color can be such a horrible experience, not to say it's hard to draw a straight line on 3D object and impossible to rotate the pen stroke inside the viewport.  There isn't even a pressure curve for tablet pen... 

Ahhhh, I had to get it out.  Can we possibly get these basic features right before adding in newer and more advanced features?  Please.  I don't know what else to say...

So I know that Designer can make filters to be used in Painter, but I couldn't figure out how to expose a parameter that allows me to use Painter's shelf items like alpha and etc as the custom filter's input.  Any help?

And, is there a way to expose a parameter that sets the true/false for Painter's pen pressure in Substance Designer?


I don't want to overlap my UV, and I want to mirror things to the other side.  Due to my lack of craftsmanship, I can't possiblity draw perfectly even with symmetry on.  I like to use stencil, but stencil with symmetry is not supported for now.
Doing a pre-final mirrored model and then transfer bake the texture to the non-overlapping model can work, but would cause more unwanted scenerios like a visible seam on the middle of the model even thought there should be none.

The only way I can think of is to use the Pixel Processor node with Position map baked from the model.  I managed to make it mirror something based on X, Y or Z axis, but the image doesn't represent the original.

Is there any way to mirror the texture based on UV space?

Like the title suggest.  I wanted to save the baked texture from painter's baker, but I am not able find an option to do so.  Can anyone help?

When I use stencil to paint, it does not correctly mirror onto the other side, instead it project the stencil right through it.  Which made it non-symmetric.  Is there any settings I need to tweak?

A node that can inherit parent parameters and display them altogether, and the ability to turn off the display of unused or unwanted parameter.  For example Level node has 5 parameters, I can turn 4 of them off and only work with one.

Option to emerge parameters.  So if I connect 3 level nodes into the input of this Parameter node, there would theoretically be 15 control slides, and it's the same control slide that repeats 3 times.  How about remove the duplicated controls and only display one instead of the three sets if User wants the 3 level node to share exact same settings.  And this way we don't need to expose parameters for all of the nodes.

And if the graph is huge, connect multiple parameter management node into a final parameter management node would give total access to all parameters inside the graph.  (Option to set the exposed setting inside the working graph with ease)

Granted less human error, easier organization & management.

Each project has a different workflow, each model need different settings to bake its textures.

The quote below is my frustration & why I suggest this at all:

I've encountered serious back and forth bake operations with my multi-parted weapon model.  My objective is to get assets consist of multiple parts and they would share texture maps with other in-game assets, to achieve "Borderlands" kind of weapon customization for my game project.  I know Substance supports name matching, but It only solves a part of the problem, and in some case it consumes more time.

#1: The mesh names are quite uneasy to be retained and organized over importing and exporting to multiple software.  And high poly geometry doesn't always come in the same hierarchy as the lowpoly model.  Using name matching to get correct bake result isn't much practical.

Blender to Zbrush e.g.: The top subtool's name occasionally gets changed to the save file's name, which will cause Substance Designer's name matching to be problematic.  I'm not professional zbrush user, or artist; my entire workflow of lowpoly, highpoly and texture bakes are always on the line, and it is a lot of Bake&Inspect loops.  It does consume me a lot of time.

#2: Sometimes the baker's frontal and rear ray tracing distance can be tricky to work with.  If it is too low, detail would be lost for some area with greater normal distance towards the highpoly .  If the distance is too high, then there will be artifact faces from the other meshes baked onto some tight areas.

My solution is to bake 3 normal maps each with different ray-tracing distance.  So I get a low, middle and high distance.  Then I use SVG to mask and blend them together for final result.  But then I have to do this again for Ambient Occlusion, because the ray tracing distance takes effect on all "Bake from highpoly" bakers.  It's a lot hustle to keep adding bakers and tweak its settings.

#3: The current baker sometimes can be very frustrating.  It doesn't have Clear All or Enable All option.  So every time I want to bake a different texture, I have to manually check/uncheck the check box.  What if I don't?  For example, I checked all 10 texture bakers to be enabled for baking.  I click OK, then realized, NOOOOO I don't need all 10 of them.  I can't even cancel the baking process.  It is going to continue until it is done.

#4: The current baker loads the highpoly mesh EVERYTIME when it starts a texture bake.  Even when it is set to bake from one single highpoly mesh,  it will load exactly how many times for how many bakers you enabled.  No matter how I don't mind because the OBJ loading is insanely fast.  Repeating it 3 times for 3 normal maps from same highpoly model for different distance setting is exactly 3 times more time consumed.  If it only had to be load once in the begining, the process would be two third faster.

#5:  If my model has 10 parts, I will have to repeat all these process 10 times, because each part of the mesh are using different texture sets.  Guess what else I have to change?  For each setting I overrode, I have to change the highpoly mesh's package path to the co-responding one.  Because there is only ONE common settings for all, ALL bakers that is the same type. It is very, very brain consuming and tiring to work with. <-- the project I'm talking about.  It's really more complex than you think.  Complex geometry + modular asset == struggle.  This kind of complication is basically unavoidable for a complex design/project.  And that is why a profiled or node-based baker graph would be extremely useful, smart and efficient to work with.

Baker profile:
if I have one setting I like, let me profile it, and when I need it for another model, I can simply 2-click to get the exact setting.

Node-based baker:
if I can make a graph that is going to control how my mesh is baked.  I can use it for all my meshes with personalized control over all the baking parameters.   So I plug in the lowpoly, I plug in the highpoly.  I choose to bake these textures with these settings.  And I can add another output or parameter on the fly to further improve the automation of the work.  When I go to my next mesh, use same setting, but all maps are downsized to 512x512.  Off we go.

I will shut up and shall you take my money with my definite permission if you implement these features.

PS: You gotta give some more love to Designer.  Painter is powerful and whatnot, but in its core, it still relies on Designer.

PS2: If it's possible, maybe add a feature to select special faces on the mesh to be treated differently, for example, on the lowpoly mesh, there is a Cut-In slot containing several faces.  If I use general settings for normal baking, it will create trace-through artifact from other side of the mesh.  So, If I select these specific faces, and set a different ray-tracing distance only for them, to avoid the artifact without the need of baking 2 or 3 maps and blend them with SVG map.

PS3: If Allegorithmic would add the feature described in PS2 on top of the node-based baker, I will then pledge my life-time allegiance along with my loyalty (and money) to the great Allegorithmic and Substance franchise.

PS4: If you like it, vote here:

Maybe I'm just lazy, but save 16bit image then go to photoshop, change color mode to 8 bit, just for the dithering effect is too redundant.

It will be super nice if it can be done within SD.


So, the normal map that I baked from a highpoly model inside Substance designer is awesome.  It's flawless, not artifact or anything.  As you can see from the image above.  The raw texture has a bit depth of 64bit.

Perfect normal map

Here is the thing,  immediately after I dragged the texture into the node editor viewport, the quality downgraded.

Why can't the normal map process be non-destructive?   A perfect smooth surface now looked utterly bad.

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