Art by Emrecan Cubukcu

Dot Node, HDR Maps & Massive Optimizations: This is Substance Designer Summer 2019

Nicolas Wirrmann on August 28 2019 | Technology, Substance Designer, News, Release

Friends: today, in Substance Designer, we are happy and proud to deliver a large number of features you’ve requested.

We tried to go above and beyond the call of material experts, starting with the much anticipated Dot node.

UX Improvements

This was one of your top features requests. It is now a reality: the Dot node! Reroute your connexions, clean up your graph. It’s small but it’s powerful, and it will help you get an uncluttered view of what is going on in your workspace.

You know the gesture: click on spacebar, a menu appears with Substance Designer’s atomic nodes. For those who want to go a step further and customize this quick access to content, you can now add your favorites in the spacebar menu.

And if you click on a node output and let go anywhere, a menu appears and lets you access all compatible nodes. This should be extremely helpful when learning - or when trying to navigate through the making of a very complex graph!

Our real-time OpenGL renderer also gets a few new features to open new creative possibilities. You can now view anisotropy, coating and subsurface scattering:

Coated car paint
Coated carbon fiber
Coated anisotropy disc
Sub surface scattering

Massive Optimizations: Faster Library and Smoother Sliders

With each release, you often get a better version of Substance Designer. Worry not, this time isn’t any different, as the team worked hard to deliver on 2 pain points user wanted us to solve:

Your library is 2 to 8 times faster. This means that the materials in the shelf now upload visibly faster.

Are your graphs big? Like, really big? Well then, our cooking optimization is just the thing you need. We added a cache to your graph compilations, so it takes a lot less time to view how your tweaks impact your final results. Feel how smooth the sliders have become!

High-quality and customizable HDR maps

Bring light to your scenes with a new toolbox of content dedicated to creating high-quality and customizable HDR maps.

HDR Merge

Bring together several LDR (Low Dynamic Range) photos to create one HDR image:

Nadir Patch

Getting rid of the tripod (and possibly its shadow) is a tedious task considering the spherical deformation. This node allows you to clone/patch the ground part of your HDRI while taking the deformation into account. In short, it’s a lifesaver!

Nadir Extract

This node is particularly useful for extracting a texture out of an HDRI to map a ground texture in your 3D scene.

Color Temperature Adjustment

As the name implies, adjust the color temperature of your input image. The good news: it handles HDR values very well.

Straighten Horizon

As the name implies, rotate the latitude/longitude environment map. Depending on the shooting conditions, the resulting 360° panorama might not be straight. Using this node you can easily correct the rotation. You can also use a horizon line to automatically correct the rotation.

Physical Sun&Sky

This node is an implementation of the Hosek-Wilkie Skylight model. Simply set the sun position and it will generate a physically accurate sky panorama.

Plane Light

Generate a rectangular light as if it was a 3D shape. You can change its position in the 2D view, apply a texture, set the color using a temperature or RGB value.

Line Light

Generate a line-shaped light, and change its position in the 2D view. It has similar options to the Plane light except that it is designed for thin long shapes like neon lights

Sphere Light

Generate a sphere-shaped light, and change its position using the 2D View gizmo. You can also apply a spherical texture to create distant planets.

Bonus: Python and MDL updates

Today’s Substance Designer release also includes a pretty exciting update for scripting adepts: the Python packaging system now lets you convert your archive into a repertoire. You can now easily exchange your Python plugins!

There is also a significant IRay update: it now supports RTX GPUs, it means faster renders when using compatible hardware. Also with the integration of the latest Iray SDK (2019.1), which supports MDL 1.5, you can export MDL graphs towards a .mdle file.

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