Thoughts on Substance Designer?

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With the current sale going on, I decided to give it a spin and seems quite appealing. Goes well along the Houdini mindset of paying a higer price for an asset that can be changed as well as with the compositing I've been exploring recently.

My question to users of it.
- Is how essential, irreplaceable is it for you?
Is it a specialized tool that will be a gimmick for most users or something that has become the go to app for you?

- How well do you think it plays with Houdini?
I noticed the Houdini plugin in the Downloads section works with 16.0 but not with 16.5 for example (tried to change the folder destination). It's also not clear to me with the plugin living in SHOPs how well it plays with the current material paradigm. I wasn't able also to drive any SBSAR with variables; with something as time, for example.

Cheers
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I was playing with substance painter, as i need to have more control, but designer should work fine, as it's possible to load substances directly. do not hesitate it's very nice software and I went for a license too amazing bargain from substance(Allegorithmic)!
Edited by NRDPXL - Nov. 27, 2017 08:09:53
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They now have an update for 16.5.
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The key to me is portability to game engines, that alone justifies using Substance Designer and Painter as the transfer is pretty much direct and scalable between various delivery platforms.

I would love better support for Substance but at the same time I must confess we will need to train more artists using it as right now is only on the hands of a handful.
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