Author Topic: Help me suck less -- Intro, and -- Patterning a shape  (Read 6146 times)

Greetings,

I am finally starting to learn Substance Designer, or at least trying to.

Wow, I really suck at this.  But I'm working on it.

I assume it will be best to use multiple threads so they will be specific to a particular topic and therefore hopefully be more useful to other people.

I have searched the Forum some.  If I miss posts that answer my question(s), please refer to them and accept my apologies.

GOAL:

I'm trying to create a custom woven pattern, like what you might see on a wicker chair.  To do this, I am challenging myself to be as procedural (node-based) as possible, rather than taking a picture and using Bitmap-to-Material, to force myself to learn SD's features.

I've watched a lot of tutorials, and as a noob I find myself constantly thinking, "I saw something like this in one of the last dozen videos, but which one?"  And trying remember which node has which feature is being a challenge.  Figuring out little things like, "What's the difference between Tiles and Bricks?" can take some experimentation.


ONE LITTLE COMPLAINT (MAYBE):

Is there some better documentation I'm missing somewhere?  When I go to the documentation page, I can open SD 5 documentation, but when I SEARCH for something I get results for SD4 and SD3, and many times that of little help as the interface and features have changed.

https://support.allegorithmic.com/documentation/display/SD5/Nodes

Is there something that actually explains the features and controls of the nodes in a useful way without having to search for a tutorial and then watch for 20 minutes to find the information you're looking for?

For example, "This node takes the source image and performs any combination of 2D transformations on it, including simple translations, rotations and scaling" doesn't really tell me much about how to use it, or mention things like Mirror Vertical and Mirror Horizontal.

Anyway... on to today's question...

PATTERNING A SHAPE:

Suppose I have a free-form "wavy pattern", like some sort of swirly line or filigree going across the top of my image.  Then I want this repeated several times so I have, say, 10 "rows" of this pattern.

What's a good way to do that?

Should I somehow apply this as a texture to a tile?  I know how to adjust the tile generator to create "rows" that go all the way across.

For example, if I wanted the pattern in the attached picture to be repeated several times as a background for another image or pattern that would overlay 5 or 6 rows of the background.

See the attached picture to help show what I'm talking about.  What's the best way to duplicate the horizontal strip before overlaying the front image?

I'm finding smudges, grunge, and noises are easier that specific geometric results, at least for me.  I told you I'm a noob.  This takes me 30 seconds in MSPaint or GIMP, but I'm trying to avoid non-SD tools as much as possible, as I mentioned before, to force me to learn SD.
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For the tiling, you can use the transform node, resize the image in height (increasing it), and scale it down on the transform. The tiling should be applied normally. If you have excess white to remove (let's say your image is square sized but you just want the rectangle to be repeated, not the excess white), you could use a transform node to scale it vertically, then use another transform node to scale it down. Hope this helps ;)

Ah, I understand what you're saying.
At least I think I do.  I'll know for sure when I actually try it.  ;)
I look forward to experimenting with it tonight.

That is exactly the sort of tips I was hoping for.

I have been able to accomplish some tasks with what I'm sure is a ridiculously convoluted path through an inefficient number of nodes, and I'm not sure yet when I'm looking for something SD doesn't do (unlikely) or when it's me not being familiar enough with the tool (very likely).

I'll either post my successful results, or ask follow-up questions if needed.
Thanks!   :D
Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 09:59:39 pm
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Ah, I understand what you're saying.
At least I think I do.  I'll know for sure when I actually try it.  ;)
I look forward to experimenting with it tonight.

That is exactly the sort of tips I was hoping for.

I have been able to accomplish some tasks with what I'm sure is a ridiculously convoluted path through an inefficient number of nodes, and I'm not sure yet when I'm looking for something SD doesn't do (unlikely) or when it's me not being familiar enough with the tool (very likely).

I'll either post my successful results, or ask follow-up questions if needed.
Thanks!   :D

To visually show flaw_bil666 method steps.  Hope that helps.

EDIT: Just be aware that when you change the height in step 2. the value displays back as 100% after your 25% input has taken affect.
Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 01:35:49 am

@Artzfx - Oh my, you have revealed another set of options for me to experiment with.  I see you started with a "rectangular" bitmap, which makes sense of course.  I added a little junky SVG graphic from within SD, since eventually I hope to use something procedural.  I wonder how your technique would work then. 

What would you do if you started with a square canvas, but wanted to use just one strip across it?  As I said, something to experiment with.  Thanks again.

@everyone...  This does bring me back to my "complaint" about documentation, but hopefully someone can identify a source of which I was simply unaware.  Where would the behavior and interaction of these settings be documented?

Here is what I did... (my interpretation of what Flaw_bil666 said)...  See the pictures...

I did this both using the "free-form" stretching of the rectangle, and I also did it my typing in numbers in the "Stretch" value.  But, yeah, the numbers go back to 100%, so you don't really know how much you stretched it.

In the second 2D Transform node, I shrunk it back down, and moved the center.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The visual appearance of the first stretch (and second one too, for that matter) is really odd.  At least to me.  I get it, it's just really different and not what I would expect at first.

I'm getting a little bit of "overlap" (bleed) from the edges, as if I scaled the X axis slightly.  Maybe I did it by accident, I wouldn't know now since the values keep going back to 100%.  I will do it over again to check on that, but want to get this reply posted first.
Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 03:05:16 am
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I'm getting a little bit of "overlap" (bleed) from the edges, as if I scaled the X axis slightly.  Maybe I did it by accident, I wouldn't know now since the values keep going back to 100%.  I will do it over again to check on that, but want to get this reply posted first.

I did it again, using numeric inputs (no manual stretching of the box in the display window).  I used 500% (5x) on the first one, and 20% (1/5 x) on the second.  I did not touch the horizontal values.

I still see what appears to be some overlap, but I think it's just a display artifact for that node.  The actual output on the 3D rounded cube looks fine.

You can see the little vertical strips on the left and right sides, circled.  But they're not visible in the 3D viewport.  I think it's a minor display bug in the "Transform 2D node display window."

>>> See first picture <<<

It's as if it's ever-so-slightly scaled down a bit extra in width, such as 99%, but I didn't touch that value (and the 3D window looks clean).

To test further, I scaled the Width 98%, and the stray "overlap" is more visible in the Transform window, and now it also shows up in the 3D view, as it should.

>>> See second picture <<<

Yup, I think I found a teeny-tiny bug.
Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 05:25:11 am
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It's really down to a lot of playing with the Transform2D node.  So many options for different outcomes.