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Messages - TooManyDemons

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Hey that's awesome! It's coming along really nice. It'll be really cool to have a node to automate the process :D

I've been doing some experimenting of my own. I was able to build this one entirely in Substance Designer using the SVG draw tools. It only took about 45 minutes (and I wasn't in a hurry, either).   :)

With your master node, things like this could end up being a 15 minute job.

@Vincent hey I'm subscribed to you on youtube lolol. I went through your grass tutorial, nice stuff :)

It's a curve control/smoothing modifier issue. Also, I drew my masks in Photoshop. I'll have to play around with the SVG draw tools but I don't enjoy having no snapping tools. I was having trouble making circles in there as well.

A snapping tool in the SVG node would be really, really sweet.

This topic became interesting to me from the post in the features section of the forum, on how to create clean and detailed normal maps for hard-surface/sci fi settings and models. Here's an idea:

That map was made in NDO and it only took about half an hour. So the question arose, "Can we duplicate this sort of thing in Substance?" Not only that, but can it match the speed of NDO? This one was made by MorePolys in Substance:

I loved this, but the problem was the pipes and wires didn't look like they were going underneath the metal plates. Also note that the above image was done entirely without curve control. Very impressive.

Here's what i've managed to put together so far as an experiment for overlapping the normals. This proved for me to be the most time-consuming part of making these designs... making the pipes and plates look like they actually overlap:

This topic led to a lot of experimenting with the bevel node and custom curves in an attempt to refine a fast, powerful workflow to produce awesome hard-surface normal effects. Can it be done as fast as NDO? So far, no. Can it be done as clean? Yes, With more options for variation (and NDO has a LOT of options). So I thought this forum topic should be moved out of suggested features and try to get more artists on the case, to expand our knowledge on how to create awesome hard-surface effects in SD.

The main goal of this post is to gather and refine a fast, easy workflow to create these sort of effects, quickly and with really nice detail. One thing NDO has is (easy, ridiculous) speed. SD has a lot of flexibility with its curve control in the bevel node, but is a lot slower, especially for overlapping pieces.

I would really love to hear more about this and hope anyone who has had success will share some of their workflow and tricks. Please post your experiments!

Excellent! I'm gonna start a post in the the discussions section and see how many artist we can get on this :D

Well I've finally learned how to completely remove stair-stepping and ugly angles on a bevel node! :D All you have to do is use both a curve and the smooth slider (duh!) roflmao. Stacking the gradient bevels so the edges look like they're going under each other is still a bit of a trick though.

I had a few ideas that would help speed up workflow significantly. I think building a liberary of custom shapes/nodes for hard surface projects is a real winner. In that light, the workflow might really be able to get as fast as NDO.

This post should be moved or a new post started. I'd like to keep discussing and refining on how to use the system as it is. I really like the curve control feature and with some investigating we could come up with a powerful workflow for this sort of thing.

I'm actually surprised this isn't already there (is it?).

Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Showcase - Re: Attic (UE4)
 on: March 08, 2015, 10:22:53 am 

Oh and let me know when your video is up!!! :D:D I definitely want to see more tuts on hard-surface stuff in SD.

AO maps and all that can be instantly generated with a click in either CrazyBump, Knald, or DDO.

Yea I saw some notable issues but it's still very impressive work. The pipes and tubes don't look like they're going under the metal plating (to achieve this all you'd have to do is plot them separately and stack), and the stair-stepping of the bevel node's angular edges annoys the crap out of me, so I did a lot of experimenting of my own.

If you want your bevel node's diagonal edges to have no ugly stair-stepping, all your angles have to be a perfect 45 degrees. I don't know how to achieve this in the SVG node... I Hold down the shift key when drawing a selection in Photoshop to achieve this. Pretty nice to know! Otherwise, your diagonal edges will look ugly as hell. Unfortunately, this rules out very sharp hard-surface work with circular patterns of any kind. If your machine is covered with edge-wear (which is almost always the case) then you're just fine, so it's not TOO big a deal. Still, knowing 45 degrees is the smoothest angle is good knowledge.

I told my sister about this forum and what we were talking about and she gave me some neat advice. Her reply was, "don't get pigeon-holed into using just one program. A lot of people do that. You're a texture artist, not a Substance Designer artist."

In that light, I think NDO is the best way to go. I'll keep the bevel node around for generating specific edge-wear effects. :D

That's really cool, i'll look into that Vincent. There's apparently a lot I still have to learn about Substance Designer. That texture looks really great. I don't know if it matches the crazy speed of NDO, but i'm willing to give it a go. Having a direct photoshop connection really would help out a lot.

That looks absolutely amazing!!  :o holy cow! Good job man! That looks way better than the one I threw together imo. Tell me about the workflow? How long did it take you? (and once you really started to get a flow going, did it seem as fast as NDO?)

sure! The normal map is on (my gallery, it's right on the front page). If you hover over the image and click, the image will fill your screen and you can get a good idea of the sheer cleanness of its edges.

If you manage to achieve some speed (with good quality) with the bevel nodes, post a tutorial and let me know! I'd really like that. :D

It's not really replication that's the issue. I'm pretty sure Substance can now duplicate NDO to perfection. But speed is a concern, especially for large projects. I'm very curious to know how long it took Wes to make that in SD. I would like to follow along with him as he does one from scratch.

I work with a small indie group. We are constantly looking for shortcuts. I unwrap and stack the UV's for between 5 and 10 models a day, using a ton of plug-ins and the features of various programs. NightShade UV automatically stacks UVs in Maya. And Headus is invaluable. Then I get to normal map them and work on colors.

Overall, quality is top priority. But speed is definitely up there right below it.

For normal mapping a piece of sci fi machinery fresh out of Modo or Max, I don't want to spend four hours (probably longer) drawing all the little hoses and clamps and rivets and bolts as masks, then plugging them into bevel nodes, adjusting a bevel for each, trying to get rid of the jagged bevel's edges using various node-based tricks, then overlapping those grayscale textures on top of eachother, and looking for ways to make the plates look sharp and the hoses look round.

In photoshop, I draw it and go. Half an hour. Watch my little 8 minute video on youtube (third comment from the top)and see if you can make something similar in the same amount of time (or even in the ballpark). It took me approximately 35 minutes including smoke breaks. If you can do something similar in twice that amount of time, I'd be very impressed. You are truly awesome.

I am a big fan of Allegorithmic. I want to use JUST Substance Designer. I'm a one-program guy and I hate switching around, especially since Substance is my absolute favorite program. I really do want to draw normals in SD!! But it's just not logical. NDO is just plain better at it. Comparatively, it's a 'massive SVG node' all by itself and it makes sharp (the sharpest) hard surface normals you will ever get from anything.;)

Furthermore, the program (NDO)looks very simple. I think the kings at Allegorithmic wouldn't even break a sweat programming a tool like NDO, but I could be wrong about that. Direct-draw tools for mapping normals in the SVG node would pretty much destroy all competition in the texture department, and i'd forget about NDO (and Quixel) entirely.

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