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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Substance Designer and Painter is only gaining influence here and it's not tech that pushing it but the artists themselves. I don't think there is a way back now and question is only how we can improve its usage with pipeline work.

Houdini has a lot to learn from Substance's success. Especially how Painter helped bridge the gap between the non-procedural artists and Designer.
B.Henriksson, DICE
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Rocks !

Substance reminds me of how Zbrush 3 changed the landscape for organic modeling.

@Kahuna031: I agree with you somewhat though I suppose 3d is an added dimension of complexity. Anyway, I wish to see Substance + Houdini get even more integrated out of the box.
Edited by nisachar - Jan. 28, 2018 17:11:30
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Love the Substance suite - here's something that I did in houdini/Substance Designer awhile ago:
Edited by stu - Jan. 29, 2018 11:06:21

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I would really like SideFX to acknowledge the demand for this technology and implement more of that in Houdini nativly.
I was rather shocked when I read here [www.sidefx.com] that SideFX dropped the shader view because
Doudini
…I guess almost nobody will use houdini for look dev in the state it is.

I think that procedural texture development is on of the last big topics Houdini is missing and it would be SOOOOO GREEEEEAAAAAT if it was available in Houdini but instead of developing it, they cut it. Which leaves you with another expensive license to purchase and keep updated although Houdini has all the potential to deliver right that nativly.
Seriously, absolutely nobody needs a compositor in Houdini where procedural texture development tools are much more demanded.
Edited by Korny Klown2 - Feb. 9, 2018 12:18:13
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Hi korny Klown2 it is good to see another user in the forum share thinking that will make Houdini more robust
About what you said did you have watched it?
https://vimeo.com/247302953 [vimeo.com]
OK the SideFX can improve Houdini but the world is big… and COPS is great and if you go around you will see that Houdini have a lot of good improvements I think one step for each time is good thing for a company
But kill some important area is not good.
Let's go procedural.
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harryabreu
About what you said did you have watched it?
https://vimeo.com/247302953 [vimeo.com]
…kill some important area is not good.
So i watched now almost the entire video but still I find the compositor a rather dispensable feature in Houdini. It might be nice to color correct some textures directly in Houdini but other than that I don't see much value in it.
If tomorrow SideFX would announce that they would cut support for the compositor in favour for a well integrated procedural texture/material tool toolset, I doubt that there will be much grievance.
I don't know when this compositor was introduced and I think back then it was a great and well intended idea but today we have tools like Fusion and Natron for free, which do a lot better job in compositing (Natron not quit yet but it's on the best way). Compositing is generally a 2D task and has not much to do in a 3D software. Procedural texturing and material development however is commonly a 3D task and it's almost embarassing for such a big player 3D software to support it so little.
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Seriously, absolutely nobody needs a compositor in Houdini where procedural texture development tools are much more demanded
So i watched now almost the entire video but still I find the compositor a rather dispensable feature in Houdini.

It's all in ones own preference of how one likes their workflow.

I find creating textures and working with them in Houdini more than adequate.

Had a look at substance recently because I saw it brought up here in the fourms.

Personally, I could do without Substance or “…a well integrated procedural texture/material tool toolset…” ( whatever that is suppose to mean, since to me Houdini is already that).

I however, do have much use for Houdinis compositing tools and would have ‘much grievance’ if support were cut.

Again, I believe it's all about personal preference - So no criticism for anyone desiring to make RFEs in the ‘texture/material tool toolset’ area of Houdini.
Edited by BabaJ - Feb. 11, 2018 13:11:13
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BabaJ
I find creating textures and working with them in Houdini more than adequate.

Well if you have some workflows to share or tutorials to reference I'd be happy to learn about them, I don't even see myself capable of generating a generic brick texture, let alone some fancy multi layer metal-rust-paint-scratches-reflection robot material.
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…Well if you have some workflows to share or tutorials to reference I'd be happy to learn about them,…

I don't believe my workflows would work for you…as yours for myself.

Probably best way is to actually attempt to do it in Houdini and post your hip if you find the process too laborious or difficult to accomplish.

Then if no one can help you…submit an RFE.
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BabaJ
I believe it's all about personal preference
I must disagree with this. There is a reason why Substance is enjoying their success in changing the texturing workflow world wide, doing to texturing what Side FX has done to FX, and that doesn't happen by chance. If you've ever generated a brick render in Substance and Houdini you would know it takes a percentage of the time and training to do it in the first. I've posted RFE's and bugs on Houdinis baking and COPs and even if they were to be given maximum priority they would only help to fill the basics of a good texture workflow. Houdini could do well to give this area to Substance but I believe it should learn from its example, particularly in how to present itself to the newcomer.
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BabaJ
Probably best way is to actually attempt to do it in Houdini and post your hip if you find the process too laborious or difficult to accomplish.

That would mean I'm uploading a blank hip file.
I want to create a brick texture…..well….no generic brick texture pattern available in cops, attempt over.
And yes, I'm aware of this [vimeo.com] tutorial but to generate a simple brick texture he has to set up a 3D scene, render that and bring that into cops. It's a great tutorial and max respect that he managed to pull that off but doing something in such a roundabout way is nothing I would consider to be a workflow that is “more than adequate”. I wouldn't even call it a workFLOW because it missis all the attributes of a flow. It has more of an obstacle course to overcome than a vital creek that umimpededly flows.
Kidding aside, if it's only one texture like in this tutorial this might be a compromise to live with but when it comes to scenes various different textures like various brick textures, street pebbles, rooftiles, wood panelings, parquete floorings and stuf alike….wow, that becomes quite cumbersome quite fast, I guess.
Edited by Korny Klown2 - Feb. 12, 2018 04:30:35
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Korny Klown2
If tomorrow SideFX would announce that they would cut support for the compositor in favour for a well integrated procedural texture/material tool toolset, I doubt that there will be much grievance.

Much grievance. Its like a prodigal child growing up in a crackhouse… Super advanced and powerful, but crippled from years of neglect and occasional abuse (like COPS2).
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cpb
Its like a prodigal child growing up in a crackhouse… Super advanced and powerful, but crippled from years of neglect and occasional abuse (like COPS2).
Very graphic but it's not clear to me tho…
…is COPS2 now “Super advanced and powerful” or “crippled from years of neglect and occasional abuse”, or both?
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Korny Klown2
is COPS2 now “Super advanced and powerful” or “crippled from years of neglect and occasional abuse”, or both?
The latter. COPs main feature is being inside Houdini, piggybacking on its tools like vops, ROPs and data transfer. But it doesn't have the same development as other contexts resulting in both lacking features and stability issues (try looping for example and don't get me started on file load node). That said, it fills an important role in being able to perform simple image based tasks like merging baked textures and automatically attach this to other Houdini tasks. The advantage of doing the modeling, rendering and pipeline work in one single app is strong and only something Houdini could pull off.
Edited by kahuna031 - Feb. 12, 2018 05:47:14
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I would also like to see more tools for procedural texture generation. But I prefer to do it in COPS, so it is render agnostic.
Alexander Weide has made a video about Procedural Texturing in COPS:
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…is COPS2 now “Super advanced and powerful” or “crippled from years of neglect and occasional abuse”, or both?

both.

advanced features:
  • Vops.
  • Easy in-situ expressions in parameters.
  • Excellent animation editor.
  • Excellent deformation filter.
  • Straightforward transform, scale and crop.
  • Great time offset tools.
  • ROPs (with pre/post script fields).
  • Works with wedge.
  • Interoperability with the rest of Houdini.

however:
  • Slow… like VB-prototype-slow in some cases.
  • Crashes way more often than any other part of Houdini.
  • Memory leaks.
  • Some half-assed tools (like color-curve or shape controls).
  • Lacks tracking.
  • Keying is unforgiving.
  • File COP is unforgiving (more a Mantra-lacks-save-retries issue).
  • Lacks movie i/o, though you can post-render an FFMPEG cmd if you're keen.
  • Can't do multiple viewer panes with their own settings anymore (can do floating panes tho).
  • Will sometimes mess with bit-depth on its own.
  • Can't network-render for free if you bought HoudiniFX (unlike Mantra).

One benefit of these problems is that its forced my to keep comps as simple as possible, which I was notorious for not doing with Fusion… Sometimes I'll actually get it right in 3D via IPR, then just slap A over B.
Edited by cpb - Feb. 12, 2018 07:43:51
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