Substance Designer

Substance Designer

Postby BenChang » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:53 am

30 day free trial. We also have Substance Live (Designer, Painter, and Bitmap2Material) installed in VAST and the project space.

Quick Intro
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.29.37 PM.png

A new material using PBR Metallic workflow, with 4 node inputs (or "Maps"). From top to bottom: "Base Color", "Normal", "Roughness", and "Metallic". At the top of the graph, the different colored squares are nodes. Start with the "Uniform Color" node, or "Clr".

To set the color of the material, add a Uniform Color node, set the color, and connect it to the Base Color.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.33.14 PM.png

There are a number of nodes for manipulating the data in the graph (adding, subtracting, multiplying, combining, etc). For example, if you put the grayscale image through the "Invert Grayscale" node you can make the normalmap create indentation instead of raised bumps.

Here's a generator used as a normal map:

[Shape Node] -> [Make It Tile] -> [Normal Node] -> [ Normal map input ]

The shape node and tile generator make a grayscale map of bumps. The "Normal" node converts that grayscale image into a normal map, which you can connect to the Normal input.

Attach another uniform color node to the "Metallic" input.

Set this to a grayscale value between black (non-metallic) through white (completely metallic)

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.35.00 PM.png

Attach another grayscale uniform color node to the Roughness input. Black will make the surface completely smooth, White will make it completely rough. The roughness property doesn't make the surface look bumpy, exactly - that's what the Normal map is for.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.37.30 PM.png

Any of these can have a texture applied to it, either a bitmap texture (e.g. a PNG or TGA file) or a procedural node.

For example, here's a Grunge Noise generator connected to the Roughness map.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.48.17 PM.png

If you attach a generator to the Metallic map, you can vary how metallic the surface is at different points.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 3.08.08 PM.png

To apply a normal map to give the surface a bumpy look, you would connect the normalmap texture to the Normal input. If you have a normal map image file created in another application, like Allegorithmic's Bitmap2Material, or Photoshop, or Gimp, or baked out from Maya, Modo, ZBrush, 3DCoat, etc, you can appy it directly. You can also use a grayscale image as a heightmap and run it through the Normal node in Substance Designer to convert it into a normal map.

The generator nodes in Substance Designer create grayscale textures, so you need to connect first to a Normal node to convert it.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 3.04.22 PM.png

If you want to make the normal map create indentations, instead of bumps, you can Invert the image before converting it to a normal map.

Substance Designer has an immense amount of flexibility in quickly creating complex surfaces through node networks; this is just a taste to get you started.
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.53.51 PM.png
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