Substance Designer 4, with its new features, can definitely claim the title of "the first texturing tool dedicated to Next Gen”. In particular, its new material layering workflow and its PBR shader are in par with what is going on with AAA studios around the globe.
User reviews: Positive (30 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2013
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Recent updates View all (10)

October 10

Substance Designer 4.5.1

A hotfix for 4.5 has just been released:

  • [Mac]Crash when opening graph
  • [Mac] When creating a new Substance
  • [Library] Icons broken when using Aliases
  • [Library] Creating a new filter with a folder selected does not put the filter inside the folder
  • [Library] use "keyword" data in sbsar as "tag" for the library
  • [Preferences] projects files urls are not stored in relative in the configuration file
  • [Preferences] use alias for tangent plugin
  • [Preferences] Can't open a configuration file in readonly mode
  • [3D View] diffuse lighting is black for PBR shaders
  • [3D View] render artefacts on mac using blinn shader
  • [2D View] Flow and Opacity slider do not work
  • [Graph] Exporting graph outputs is extremely long
  • [Graph] Autoplug does not work if outputs have 2 usages
  • Crash when trying to reopen old .sbs

1 comments Read more

October 6

Substance Designer 4.5



This new release comes with an updated baking interface, plugin support for custom tangent basis (mikkt is now available in the preferences) and tons of useful tweaks and fixes!

Main Changes

  • [Bakers] Common Settings
  • [Bakers] custom tangent basis plugins
  • [Bakers] Dilation radius option
  • [Bakers] Multi High poly meshes baking
  • [Bakers] Add an option to change how Ambient Occlusion is attenuated with distance (use Linear to get XNormal like results)
  • [Bakers] Expose the Spread angle for the AO from mesh and Bent normals bakers
  • [Bakers] Set the default bake names in the preference
  • [Bakers] Automaticaly close the dialog box when double clicking on a resource in the resource dialog selection
  • [Bakers] Add possibility to add custom Bake Name macros in preferences
  • [Bakers] Tooltips and parameters order adjustments

  • Add "basecolor" usage. Replaces the Diffuse usage when using the Metalness workflow to fit with UE4 naming convention.
  • [Preferences] Set the default resources path to .exe path
  • [Preferences] version control settings adjustments
  • [Preferences] Split the settings into two files / solution settings
  • [Graph] Use the first plugged or first visible output to generate node thumbnail
  • [Graph] Change the node instance color in case it belongs to a sbsar file
  • [Library] Assign filters to project
  • [Library] Use alias if possible for filter icons
  • [Projects] Store watched Path and Aliases in relative to the project file
  • [Explorer] Display warning in explorer when resource has invalid linked file
  • Auto reload sbsar files
  • Don't use the registry key "installDir" in SD to detect where SD is installed
  • Node Instance 'BaseColor' identifier updater

3 comments Read more

Reviews

"Substance Designer offers a new way of creating textures. If you develop for game engines, it’s a must-buy."
4/5 – 3D World Mag

"I used the program to make higher quality textures for my game than I normally could make."
Indie Game Mag

"An indie development team that needs a lot of natural or urban tileables with quick turnaround would probably find Substance Designer to be a huge time saver, and ultimately worth the investment.
http://3d.about.com/od/Creating-3D-The-CG-Pipeline/tp/Allegorithmic-Substance-Designer-3-5-Software-Review.htm

Feature List

  • Node based texture editor
  • Custom template for creating DotA2 characters.
  • Real-time 3D Preview, with physically based shader
  • Live link with Photoshop
  • Mesh driven map extraction (AO, Normal map, Curvature, Height map, etc.)
  • Library of hundreds of predefined filters and tools
  • Optimized pipeline with UDK, Unity, 3ds Max, Maya and others
  • The Steam version of Substance Designer comes with an exclusive template designed to help artists create textures for Dota 2. See the guide in the Community Hub for more info!
  • Sell your creations on the Steam Workshop-- even with the non-commercial version!

Steam Greenlight

About This Software

Substance Designer 4, with its new features, can definitely claim the title of "the first texturing tool dedicated to Next Gen”. In particular, its new material layering workflow and its PBR shader are in par with what is going on with AAA studios around the globe. And now the tool is here to accommodate this way of working and puts that in everyone’s hands.

Substance Designer is the industry-reference, next gen texture authoring and management tool, already chosen by numerous great studios over the world as a hub in their pipeline. Jump in and join the quickly growing community of Substance Designer users!

NEW: The Indie license lets you use Substance Designer for commercial purpose, as long as your company/entity doesn’t generate more than 10 000$ per year!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows Vista
    • Processor:X86 with SSE2
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DX9 - DX10 - Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:X86 with SSE2
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:OSX 10.6
    • Processor:X86 with SSE2
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:OSX 10.8
    • Processor:X86 with SSE2
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
305.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
[TL:DR]:

Cons:
  • Somewhat steep learning curve.
  • Not an instant solution and slower than a few other options until you've amassed your own substance library and/or skills.
Pros:
  • Great results and awesome-looking textures.
  • Ease of use once acostumed and integrated SD into your workflow.
  • Organized access to your substances, model information, external resources, everything there, all the time.
  • Even though there's a steep learning curve, the community and staff will do anything short of going to your house and strap a jetpack on your back to help you climb that hill.

Having used several programs for texturing over the years, and having come across a few node-based editors in my time, I was impressed by some of the demonstrations and use-cases shown by the staff and users on youtube and other places, I purchased it 50% off some time ago.

To be honest, it wasn't the easiest thing to learn, but I found it much easier than other similar programs... (that are actually way more expensive...)

The sleek interface, the helpfulness and availability of staff and other users, and most of all, the ammount of awesomeness you can create without needing to be an artsy person per se... In other words, great tool, wouldn't go without it now.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Very awsome Program for texturing
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 23 people (30%) found this review helpful
132.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
I've used Substance Designer for a couple of weeks. I followed the tutorials, installed the plugin into UE4 and got it working there. I've built a lot of materials in UDK3 for a year so I'm familiar with the complexities of building a material.

This is an amazing tool. It allows you to bake high definition models onto low definition models creating a normal map that simulates the high definition model. You can also bake object groups into a color mask that can apply different materials based on the mask color. The nodes are more intuitive than UE4 and feel natural to a long term Photoshop user (which I am).

The staff on the forum are very responsive as well. They provide quick and insightful answers to any questions users have.

The main problem is that a substance is not a first class material in UE4. In the end, each instance of a material will produce 4 bitmaps: normal, roughness, metallic and normal. This prevents you from getting any texture reuse. In the long run that is a lot of memory consumption.

There are only 2 ways around this problem:
1. they create materials based on substance designer nodes
2. a substance becomes a first class material that can be applied directly to a mesh

I will continue to use Substance Designer to plan out my materials and produce bakes. These bakes are an amazing addition to my material toolset. but.. I can not recommend this product because I will have to replicate each substance by hand as a UE4 material so that I can reuse textures.
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1 of 28 people (4%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
For me this program doesn't work, i have all the system requirements but whenever creating a new substance it will crash.
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92 of 100 people (92%) found this review helpful
52.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
This is THE tool for texture artistry, period. The power bestowed upon you by this software is nothing short of amazing.

Sure many 3D packages these days have node-based material editors but they are a mere shadow compared to what Substance Designer offers. Couple the vastly increased power (rooted in the FX-Map node and custom functions) with the fact that these substances aren't held hostage by any one piece of software and you have texturing nirvana.

Not only is the software itself great but the customer support from Allegorithmic is fantastic. I made an enquiry about an addon that customers who buy direct from them have access too and within 2 minutes I had a response that outlined what they were going to do to ensure I received the addon too. I have also noticed in the community hub that others have recieved similar great service.

If there is one thing I would complain about it would be that I think their online manual needs more detail on the more advanced features, Function internals for instance, where some important node types are given very vague descriptions. The Sequence node is a good example of this. That said, the video tutorials they provide links to on their site cover pretty much all you need to know and ti didn't really take me that long to figure out how to use it on own.

If you texture, get substance. You will not regret it.
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49 of 52 people (94%) found this review helpful
146.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Short question: why should I purchase Substance Designer?

Short answer: because it'll save you infinite amounts of time in the long run, and time is money.

I'll admit I was hesitant to purchase SD; it looked to me as though I was paying $75 for an edge wear generator, so I held back for many months until it went on sale, but now that I've purchased it, I cannot imagine my production pipeline without it. Creating a substance may take me a few more hours than creating, say, a photoshoped material, but when done, I can alter that substance in so many ways SO incredibly fast that I can create realistically about 20 to 50 completely different materials in the time it'd take me to create three or four non-substance materials from scratch. And remember, these are procedurally generated and entirely seamless materials that take up literally under HALF A MEGABYTE in file size.

For anyone who uses non-Substance enabled programs (like me [goooOOO BLENDER!]), don't let that stop you from purchasing SD. Yes, you will have export out your substance's bitmaps and reapply them every time you want to change it, but that takes three minutes max; if you had to create a new material every time you wanted something different without SD, I guarantee you it's going to take longer than three minutes.

Whether I'm using SD to create procedural materials or using it to fine tune my models' bitmaps, I have found the enitire experience worth every cent I spent on it. For those of you who are interested in creating seamless, tileable materials, I "highly" recommend SD as this is, in my opinion, it's strongest front.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
81.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
Highly recommend it - it will save you a lot of time creating materials. Moreover, you don't have to. You just map existing materials to your objects and simply tweak parameters.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
While it might seem daunting at first, it becomes a very quick and efficient tool for texturing. After a few days of working on it it's become an important tool in my pipeline.

The procedural maps offer the complete and unique control that has become expected of Substances, Substance is also widely supported from game engines to 3ds max and Maya, Also it is supported by the Vray engine so it's not only limited to game assets.

As far as I can see it supports higher poly meshes than the previous editions, it's also more stable and more streamlined.

There are some downsides, it may seem confusing at first, and there are still some bugs and irregular crashes here and there.

All in all i'd completely recommend this to anyone who wants to texture, be it for game engines or showreel pieces, at this time it's hard to imagine not using Substance Designer 4 in my own work.

Good luck, Have fun.
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17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2013
Fantasstic bit of kit! Brialliant for fast easy texturing on top of great substance creation tools. The UI is easy to get use too and the many nodes make for an effective and fast workflow.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
it is game and animation industry standard. i use it with Unity, Modo and Fuse.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
173.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Spent many hours so far tinkering with textures.

A very easy and intuitive program to make textures and Substance files for use in realtime (and offline) rendering.

Allows you to make fast iterations and once set up you can just change the random seed and get a whole new tiling texture set in the same style (Diffuse, Specular, normal, etc).

Once I save up enough for Substance Painter the combination will be incredably useful.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
193.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
I <3 Substance Designer!

This is not just a tool but a texturing workflow. On top of that, it's a lot of fun to use. The ability to non-destructively edit, preview and output all your map channels simultaneously is brilliant. I highly recommend SD to any aspiring or professional 3D artist.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
368.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
A fantasit piece of software that will help you create reusable materials (substances) and save you a lot of time on texturing.
As more and more games switch to a physically based lighning system and artists get accustomed to working with albedo, roughness and metalness instead of the classical diffuse and specular, Substance Designer will become more and more popular.
For level designers and art directors, the ability to tweak materials on the fly is priceless and has the potential to reduce feedback times and speed up workflow.
All in all a great program!
Here's what I got after one day of playing around with it:
http://imgur.com/a/QFJ6n#2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2013
Amazing program! I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to texture custom 3D models or even just to learn how it all works.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
170.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
Very good texturing tool, it helped me alot. Once you manage to learn how it works, it will definitely improve your workflow.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
54.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
this sw is wonderful! extremely powerful, you will require some learning, but once mastered the possibilities are endless.
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
77.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Extremely powerful texture tool, which does not require the user to be talented in drawing.

Especially useful for tileable textures.
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6 of 13 people (46%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2013
Great in consort with Unity... like a professional game studio.
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6 of 16 people (38%) found this review helpful
50.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2013
This is the all time best software out on the market to make textures for your t 3D models be it for games or for somethings else.
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15 of 39 people (38%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
Just cannot recommend you buy this at the moment. The app is just tooooo unstable. You will find yourself just staring at crash screen after crash screen. It has a mind of its own, and will only work when it wants. Hell, I just wanted to get the work I had done it out .... after 9 attempts and 2 reboots to get it out, it still refuses to fire up and just crashes as soon as its open.

Whilst this is the reality, Allergrorithmic continues to beat the, "will imrove your workflow drum" ... ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, fustration and baldness is all it delivers.

Whish I had never updated from the old version, which was if nothing else stable.
__________________________________________________________________________

OMG, not one other review in here, but the moment a negtive review goes up, automatically up pops a postive one .... and what does it say, let me get the drum out "will improve your workflow" and can you see his profile, hell no. FFS you must think your client base consists of nothing but fools.
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