Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving out the package file, part of Up and Running with Substance Designer.
- At this point in the substance creation process you may be tempted to dive straight into Substance Designer and start making use of the many tools it provides that can help us create absolutely amazing textures. Now, while this level of enthusiasm is certainly something that I would encourage you to keep, it would be good for us to slow down just a little, as one of the important things that we will need to get into the habit of doing at this stage of substance creation, is to go ahead and save the package that we have created.
Now, "Exactly what is a package?" You may well be asking. Well, essentially it can be thought of as a container for all of the different parts of the substance that we are wanting to create. This package can hold a number of different substance graphs meaning we could have a few variations of a substance inside a package, or even different material graphs that could be blended together to form a unique top-level material as well as being able to hold resources from external sources such as image files and object meshes.
Is there a reason that I say we need to get into the habit of saving our package at this point? Well, at this moment in time, the Substance Designer application is clearly telling us that we currently have an unsaved package, meaning that if I were to suffer a crash, or somehow quit Substance Designer without paying attention to the Save Package prompt that would appear, we could lose all of the work that we have done up to this point in terms of setting up our graph template.
We can easily avoid such a setback by simply clicking to select the package in the UI and then, use the Save icon. We could also right-click on the package name and use either the Save or Save As options found there. In my case I want to navigate to the Exercise_Files folder that I have placed on my desktop and then jump into the Substance sub-folder. Now you'll notice here that the Aged_Concrete title has already been propagated to the naming field, being pulled of course from the title of our initial graph.
As I'm quite happy with this, I can simply click the Save button. Now, if we jump into the Exercise_Files Substance sub-folder you can see that we have indeed saved our Aged_Concrete.sbs file to disk. It is important to note here that all we have currently done is saved a substance package. We haven't actually published a substance file here. In other words, we haven't produced anything that we can take into a host application and begin texturing with.
The .sbs file that we have created is simply Substance Designer's own native file type. Another helpful bit of UI functionality in connection with substance packages can be seen if I just come back into Substance Designer and click to change one of the outputs here. Straight away, over in the Resource Explorer UI, we see that we now have a little * that has appeared at the end of our package name. This is Substance Designer's way of telling us that changes have been made to the package and that we now need to go ahead and save if we want to keep the changes that have been applied.
And if I just set out Output usage back to baseColor and then use the CTRL+S keyboard shortcut, we see that our Aged_Concrete title is no longer italicized and that we also no longer have the * at the end of the package name. Well, now that we understand why it is important that we keep our package up to date in terms of saving the file once we have made changes that we know we want to keep, time to move on and explore some of the other areas found in the Substance Designer application's UI.
- 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