Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Scene and Materials menu, part of Substance Designer 2018 Essential Training.
- A lot of the controls that handle how we view textures in the 3D view, can be found inside its menu system. And whilst we probably aren't going to make extensive use of all of them. It is good to have an idea of just where the tools are. As well as a basic understanding of how they work. To get started then, let's take a look at the first menu in our 3D view. Scene, which if we click to expand. You can see it houses a default set of geometric objects that we can apply our textures to, whilst we work.
As we click through the various options, we see them load to the 3D view with the currently applied texture being added to the geometry automatic lair. If our material output aren't currently applied to the geometry, however, then we can simply right click in the graph here. With no notes selected and choose the view outputs in 3D view option. We could also at this point from our scene menu, click the display UVs in 2D view option. Which gives us a really good idea of just how the current texture will map to the geometry that we're using.
Something that can be especially useful when we have imported mesh of our own into the application. Let's just turn that off for now. Moving onto the next menu. We have some important controls for working with materials in the 3D view. In here, again, if we had imported mesh of our own, we would find the list of various materials that were applied to it in the originating DCC application. As we are using substance designer's default geometry though, we just see a single material called default.
Let's expand that list and look at the edit options available for the material. Here we have the ability to increase the gain of any emissive output. The scale option, lets us increase any height maps applied to the material. And we also gain access to the tiling on the output maps for this particular texture. Along with the need to choose which actual material we are editing, another important element is our using the correct material definition. We can get an idea of just what a material definition is, if we come back to our material menu, expand the fly out for the default material.
And note the definitions control the type of material that we're using in the 3D view. Now this setting is usually taken from the graph template that we chose on creation of the substance package. And because we selected metal rough in this instance you can see that we are in fact using that same material definition here. Which of course ensures that our 3D view, will give us an accurate representation of the outputs found in the graph. If we had selected the speck glass work flow on creation of the graph, then we would want the material definition to be setup to speck glass here as well.
One change that I often make to the display of materials in the 3D view, is to alter how the displacement effect are being shown. By default, if I just expand the fly out for our material definition, substance designer selects the parallax option far displaying height maps. Which is in fact how game engines sometimes fake the look of displacement. As we can see, if we increase the height option for our material. In my case though, I prefer to see actual displaced geometry, in order to help me get a good idea of just how the map it working and to see how it will look should we use actual displacement inside a game engine, such as unreal.
The tessellation method, and if we just click to select it, gives, to my eye, at least a much better representation given that this will subdivide the geometry, so that the vertices can actually be displaced. Do be wanned though that, while this option looks better, linked does demand quite a bit more from our computer. We can set the amount of subdivision for this new method, when we press the edit button for the material, via the tessellation factor. The default use a low tessellation value of four.
And so let's set the height scale to two and then up the tessellation amount to 64. As we rotate around, and focus in on our model now, we can clearly see how the mesh is being nicely displaced. If we were to choose the parallax option though, and simply use the height control like so. Most getting the illusion of depth the results are nowhere near as nice. For the remainder of the course then, I will be using the tessellation method. Though unfortunately, this setting isn't saved with the dot SPS file.
And so I will be reapplying the tessellation method before each video capture begins. Which you will also have to do, should you reopen a saved substance package. Knowing how to adjust the mesh that our substance graphs are applied to. Means that we can make sure that the texture looks good on a number of surfaces. On top of this, knowing where the material controls lie, allows us to be sure that we have tested all area of the material, such as emissive, height, as well as tiling. All of course, inside the 3D view.
- 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