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Messages - bruce_4

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Substance DesignerSubstance Designer - Discussions - Re: Difficult shape
 on: November 13, 2017, 04:53:26 pm 
I think you are asking 2 questions here.

The first is how to just make the shape.  You should break it down to it's most basic shapes and combine them. I see 2 rectangles and 1 square, and 4 triangles to build the shape.

The 2nd question I think you are asking is how to make it tile seamlessly.  I think there are a few ways to approach this.  First you have to construct the shape so that it can tile.  The 4 corners need to be the same size as the inside cutout.  If when constructing the first shape you should be able to even eyeball the sizes to make them fit.  Then you need to build the most basic tile.  I would use the original pattern, and then a transform node.  If the original pattern is centered, then the transform node would offset the pattern by .5 and .5 on the w and h. 

From there you just need to make sure the spacing is how visually you want it, then you can stylize that output with some bevels or whatever you need, or use it as input in a tiling node to tile it further.

What ultimately you are going to do is blend the two textures together using the blend node.  But how you approach them is going to determine the effect.

The Blend node operates somewhat differently if you are using a greyscale or color input.  Color inputs can have alpha, so think of it like laying down a moss layer in photoshop over a rock layer.

If you are in greyscale you have different blending modes (you have these blending modes also in color) you can use to determine how the two images are blended together.

In the blend node, you can supply 3 inputs.  The top input is the one that will be put on top and you can change how it is blended, the 2nd input is the bottom image, and the 3rd input is a mask.

Without knowing your setup, I would take the rock shape and use that as a mask to determine where to draw my moss.  Because moss does not always perfectly cover rock, I would blend that mask with some kind of noise or pattern to start reducing moss in an organic way.  Then I would use that as my mask for the moss part of the texture and blend them together.

I personally like to work on my Normal Map first.  I figure out the shapes of everything, and once I have the normal map, then then I start building out the other maps.

Ok I'm losing my mind here.  I quit and relaunched SD and it works. 


It works, kind of.  It really makes no sense.

Here's how it is setup.

In the top Iterate node I created a function in the "Iterations" section.

The function has an "Int" going into the bottom of a Sequence node, and a Int going into a Set going into the top of the sequence Node.

At the bottom of my graph in the far right quadrant I created a function in the Input image index section.  There I used a "Get Int" and set it to the output.

I'm feeding in 6 images into the FX map, Inputs 0 - 5.  In the top Iterations section if I set the top most "int" to 0 or 1 nothing draws in the bottom right sequence.  If I set the Int to 2, it' draws the 3rd image, 3 draws the 4th image and so on.  It just will not draw the first or second image (input 0 and input 1).

If I remove the function from the bottom right quadrant and select Input 0 or Input 1, it draws the shape I expect.

What on earth am I doing wrong?

I'll try that next.  I was setting my variable in first Quadrant node.  I guess if that had no shape, maybe it was skipped. 

For my test, I'm just using an Int and setting it directly to a variable and changing the int to see if it changes as it should and nothing was happening.

I have a FX map that has a quadrant node that feeds into 4 quadrant nodes that in turn feeds into 4 quadrant nodes.  Basically each quadrant node is 1/16th of a square.

I have built a complex if Statement that determines which image input each of the 16 quadrant nodes should use.  However I can't seem to actually get the Int Variable I set in the top most node.  Where in the hierarchy should I do my equation so I can access the variables in each quadrant node?

Honestly, I'm not sure they should improve it.  I mean other than the occasional extra task of having to double click a node, it keeps SD rather speedy, if you consider it's easy to wire up a rather dumb thing that can be performance intensive at 4k. 

I'm also running on an old Mac Pro, so performance optimizations are very important to me.

Also if you are seeing like rampant issues with nodes not updating, that could be a bug, I only see it when I'm working on a branch for a while then go back and look at another branch, and even then it's minor.

Edit: I'd love to hear how SD actually works from an engineering perspective.  I'm just making wild guesses on the internet.

From an outsider's point of view, it appears Substance Designer wont' always try to render nodes, especially if they are downstream from where you are working.  Clicking on them forces SD to render them out.  I suspect this is an effort to keep everything running fast and smooth. 

Could you use a Levels node and just bring the black color up to be dark grey?

When you create a new substance by default it's set to Empty, which is what you are seeing in your screenshot.

If you know what kind of substance you want to make, (I'm going to make a PBR using Metallic/Roughness) you can select that in the New window when making the substance.

But it can be useful to start with empty.

What you need to do is create Output nodes and select how they are used.

You can make a substance that outputs to a number of ways, like if you are just making a Mask to be used as a brush in Substance Painter, you might only want a single output.

In either case, select an Output node, (or press Space bar and type Output).

Then in the Attributes for the new Output node, give it a name, such as "Normal" or "Diffuse" then find the "Usage" parameter and click on the "Add item" + button.

It should default to RGBA and diffuse.  You can then select exactly what you want it to be.  For example, I usually start with the normal map, so I would select "normal".

The last thing you want to do once you add a Output node is to then view the Output node in the 3D view.  Right click on the Node and select "View in 3D" then click on what map it should be used on.

This might be a really dumb way to try this.

Convert your image to color with a mask, so you have a nice alpha cutout of it.  Then blend that so it sits on top of a full sized black color but with an alpha set to nearly transparent (like 1% transparency or 0,0,0,1).

Then bring this new image into the tile generator.  As each new shape is drawn ontop of the next, it will dim that behind it.  Place all of that on a black background and convert back to greyscale.

Just adding a "this drives me crazy also."

I'm just one guy and I'd say I'm average at best.  But you can knock out a texture really quickly.  Especially if you are building something that has nodes ready for it.  Like you want a brick wall, you can get one done really fast.  If your materials team is working on several variants of textures Designer is going to really shine for them.

Yeah, there's a few nodes I wish I could set a new default behavior on.

The Tile Generator by default will select a pre-built "Brick" shape instead of the shape you are sending it.  About halfway down you should find the Pattern Type drop down, switch it to Image Input.

Yeah, all that beautiful tesselation can't happen on a Mac.  And don't try to tell me the parallax is just as good. :(

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