Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a new substance graph, part of Up and Running with Substance Designer.
- When we launch Substance Designer for the very first time, we should be greeted by the Welcome to Substance Designer dialog, which by default places us inside the Learn tab. From here, we have a number of options available that can be extremely useful in terms of getting to grips with just what Substance Designer is and how we can go about using it. As learning the basics of Substance Designer is really what this particular course is all about, though, we can skip over these options and jump straight into the Create tab where we are given the ability to create a new substance, open an existing substance graph, and we even have this handy Open recent document section populated with substance packages that we may already have been working on.
Now it may well be that you, like me, are the kind of person who really doesn't like to have these dialog boxes popping up each and every time you open up the application, and so you may have put a check in the Do not display again option found here. If that is the case, then you can gain access to all of the same functionality that we have seen by simply opening up the File menu where those same New, Open, and Recent Packages functions all reside.
As we are wanting to go ahead and do that right now, though, let's click on the New Substance command. We could, of course, used the keyboard shortcut of Control plus N if we wanted to, and we should be confronted by the New Graph dialog. The first thing that we are going to want to do here is pick a graph template simply because all of the other options that we can alter here will actually reset should we explore a different template option after setting them up. The template type that we decide to make use of here is going to depend very much on the host application that we are taking our substance texture into, and, of course, the material type that we want to make use of in there.
In this instance, as I know that later on in the course we are going to be making use of the Unreal 4 Engine, I will want to choose the Physically Based Metallic/Roughness option given that this is the approach to PBR materials that UE4 uses. Before we take a look at the graph outputs available, we see that we have a Base Color along with Normal, Roughness, and Metallic outputs, all of which, as we say, are used by the Unreal 4 PBR material.
Once we've chosen a template that will work nicely with our host application's available material options, the next thing that we're going to want to do is set a name for our graph. Now, don't be tempted to skip over this part of the process in your rush to dive in and start creating the substance that you want. If at some point in the future we ourselves or maybe even another artist has to come and make use of our substances, and all they can find are are bunch of files named graph one through to 67, well, you can imagine how difficult it is going to be to just quickly get on with our work.
In this instance, we are going to name our graph Aged Concrete simply because that is the surface type that we are looking to create as we work through this Up and Running with Substance Designer course. The next option that we want to give attention to is the Size Mode dropdown. Here, we have just two options, Absolute and Relative to Parent. What these options do and how they affect the substances that we create is a topic that we are going to be discussing a little later on in the course, and so for now, we can just go ahead and choose the Absolute option.
The Width and Height options we want to set to a value of 1024 by 1024, leaving the format a bit depth for the substance set at Relative to Parent again at least for now. If for some reason we feel that we've made a bit of a mess in terms of setting up our options here, we can easily get back to all of the new graph defaults by simply clicking on the Reset button. As I am quite confident, though, that everything is now set up just as I wanted, I'm going to go ahead and click OK.
If we take a look over in the resource explorer part of the UI now, we can see that we have indeed created a new substance graph entitled Aged_Concrete.
- Creating a new substance graph
- Importing resources
- Setting up lighting
- Generating maps
- Creating material outputs
- Using generator nodes to create surface detail
- Using filters to create amps
- Publishing a substance
- Importing substances
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 05/04/2016. What changed?
A: We added 10 new tutorials covering the changes in the most recent versions of Substance Designer. Check out the videos in the new chapter, "5.1 to 5.3.4 Update Highlights."