Today, the Substance team announces the first major Substance Designer update of 2019, bringing with it a new Substance Engine that will lay the groundwork for years to come. With Substance Engine v7, Substance Designer can now process both values and textures to simplify the material creation process and take users beyond the PBR format.
Where before textures represented values, Substance Designer can now process these values directly during material creation, ensuring consistency across the pipeline. Using the new “Value Processor” node, users can manipulate values from within the composite graph itself, helping to drive parameters and optimize their workflow with even more creative flexibility. Rather than working with nodes that represented elements like color, users can add the color value directly, simplifying and strengthening the design process.
Users can also pass values from one node to another, and create global variables at the graph level. Over time, nodes/filters will attain the ability to become smarter throughout the graph as they receive additional data. Substance Engine v7 will soon be compatible with all the Substance integrations, so materials can be directly imported into top tools without any extra tweaks.
"With the introduction of Substance Engine v7, Substance Designer takes another step toward becoming the ultimate material authoring tool," said Nicolas Wirrmann, product manager for Substance Designer. "The whole ecosystem has become smarter, and the new engine allows artists to continue to innovate and experiment for years to come."
Along with Substance Engine v7, today’s update brings with it several new filters, including:
New Flood Fill Variants – Two new Flood Fill companion nodes have been released including: “Flood Fill to Index,” which generates user numbers per shape, and “Flood Fill Mapper,” which lets them apply images to each shape.
Atlas Splitter – Users can now divide an Atlas in order to isolate and exploit the separate elements of a scan.
New Directional Warp Filters – The “Non-Uniform Direction Warp” allows the intensity and direction of the warp to be driven by an image input; the “Multi-Directional Warp” applies the directional warp multiple times in opposite directions while the displaced texture stays in place.
Height Extrude – Height maps can now be rendered as 3D depth; users can rotate the resulting shape as a 3D object.
Triplanar Update – More accurate blending formula, random offset, separated inputs for x, y and z projections are now available.
- Improvements to Normal Vector Rotation – Rather than being set by a uniform value, the Normal Vector rotation angle can now be set using the grayscale value of an image input.
Along with the new features, today’s update also introduces several performance upgrades, including a massive boost to the bakers. The integration of Optix for the AO, Bent Normal and Thickness bakers will now produce speeds at least five times faster than CPU ray tracing. The .obj loader has also been optimized and multi-threaded, leading to a significant increase in loading times.
For technical users, the update brings expanded options to the Python Scripting plugin system. Users can now create GUIs for plugins within Substance Designer using the Python API. The plugin system has also been standardized, allowing for plugins to start when the application loads, aiding in the creation of persistent plugins. Additional plugins created by the Substance team are on the way as well, look for those soon.
The new update to Substance Designer is available today. Following the 30-day trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Substance Indie or Pro plans. Substance Designer is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost $19.90/month; Pro plans cost $99.90/month. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.