- [Instructor] Given that we will be needing to overwrite the Substance package that we have open here, as we work through this chapter, to ensure that we are able to get back to this point, should we have the need, we may want to quickly use the Save as command in Substance Designer in order to save a different version of the package, perhaps calling it something like flow_relief_wip, for work in progress. The first of the atomic nodes that we are going to be looking at in this chapter will be the bitmap node.
Now, there are, as you would probably expect, multiple ways in which we can add a bitmap to our material set up, the first of which is to come to the Explorer window and right click on the name of the package into which we wish to import the map. We will, of course, then need to decide whether we want to import it and so literally bring the file into the package or if we would prefer to link to it and so maybe keep all of our texture files on a separate server or drive. Another option would be to come over to the graph area and with no nodes selected, as we don't want to accidentally hook our node up to anything yet, press the spacebar key and then search for the word bitmap.
As you can see, the bitmap node is the first in the list and so let's left click just like that and we should instantly be greeted with the choice that we need to make, namely, do we want to locate an existing file or do we want to create a new bitmap of our own. Let's choose the From file option, then navigate to the Exercise Files folder where we have a bitmap waiting for us inside the Substances folder. Let's click to import that into our current package, after which we should be greeted with yet another choice, which is the same, in fact, as the one that we came across in the Explorer section of the UI.
I'm going to choose to import here, we can see right away that the bitmap note is loaded and then automatically hooked up to the new resource. Let's double click the bitmap node, to not only open it's parameters, which only requires a single click, but to also load it's output into our 2D view, we're going double click. As you can see in the parameters section now, we can choose between using RGB or grayscale outputs from our map, which is because some nodes in Substance Designer work in grayscale, using the luminance data in a map to effect changes, whereas others use color information to do the same thing.
Having this switching option available then, gives us greater flexibility without us constantly having to add a grayscale conversion node to a color bitmap. Indeed, we can see the output circle on the node change from yellow, denoting a color output, to gray as we use the switch, which as you would expect, now denotes that the node is using a grayscale output. If we come across to the resource path, and click the Display Resource properties button, we gain access to the controls for the bitmap itself, which could, of course, also be done via the Explorer menu by simply clicking on the bitmap in that section of the UI.
We can choose between raw and JPEG bitmap formats, which is good to know, should we want to use raw data in our graph, which typically produces a higher visual quality, something that we may want, should we be going to an offline renderer, such as V-ray or Arnold. There is also a compression slider available, should we want to squeeze a little more space out of our bitmap. To make use of the bitmap node, all we need do is click and drag from the nodes output and then pipe it into any section of the graph where we may want to use it.
After making sure that it is outputting in color then let's click and drag to the diffuse output node in the graph in order to see the bitmap in the 3D view. Obviously, we don't really want a bark texture being used for the stones here, and so let's delete the bitmap node, hook up the original diffuse and then press the F2 key to step forward or Shift and F2 to step backwards through the pins that I have set up. We want to make sure that we are at the pin labeled zero two blur, so that we can then Save and move on to our next lesson where we will look at the Blur Node.
- Choosing the correct graph template
- Importing meshes and maps
- Adjusting the UI layout
- Working with the Graph, 3D, and 2D views
- Using the atomic nodes
- Creating and combining normals
- Blending shapes together
- Creating MDL materials
- Building an FX-Map
- Publishing a substance
- Using a substance in Unreal