Anchor Points: New Feature in Substance Painter
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Anchor Points: New Feature in Substance Painter
27 July, 2017
News

New Substance Painter introduces the concept of Anchor Points, adds new scripting options, filters and boosts performance.

Allegorithmic has released another huge update for Substance Painter 2017. A very neat update indeed. This time the developers introduced a whole new concept called of Anchor Points. It’s a way to expose any resource or element in the layer stack and reference it in different areas of your project for different purposes and with a different set of adjustments.

It’s a new way to effectively link layers or masks together. Basically having a single Anchor Point affect multiple aspects of your project, transforming the way you work with Substance Painter. In the official blog, Allegorithmic showed a couple of examples how Anchor Points could be used in Substance Painter 2017.2. Because of this change, you can now rename effects.

Paint on Substance Inputs

One very common issue with the core workflow of Substance Painter is how to use painted normal and height details to drive filters and generator to create tear and wear and various other effects. We updated all the default generators to allow them to take advantage of the new Anchor Points. Each generator now features 2 new inputs: Micro Normal and Micro Height as well as a set of settings to control how these inputs blend with the baked information. By adding an Anchor Point on the layer or set of layers where the details are painted, we are now able to drive the generators with these details and see the tear and wear applied and updated in real time.

Use a material’s height map as a mask

If you remember, at last year’s Substance Days we showed an early vision of what scan blending could be in Substance Painter. Anchor Points allow us to realize this vision and you can now use the height or displacement channel of a material as its own mask, making blending organic and natural materials much easier. 
Substance Painter 2017.2 comes with a new Height Blend filter and a Height Blend Smart Material that can be used as a template for your own material blending.

Create complex multi-layered materials

Pushing these concepts, we can now build truly smart multi-layered materials in ways never seen in any creation software to date. This sample smart material allows you to paint damage on a spaceship hull, first adding burn marks then ripping the outer shell of the ship. Pushing the opacity of the stroke will break through the hull and reach the inner part of the spaceship where the circuitry become visible and fire starts to break out. This can be achieved by driving multiple materials, masks, and filter with a single Anchored mask.

Another important thing is the performance boost. Whole parts of the engine were rewritten. Loading and texture-set switching times are up to 4 times faster and performance on painting-heavy projects have been improved as well. In the upcoming months, Allegorithmic is going to release new updates.

Another cool thing is the updated scripting API. Now Substance Painter is allowed transmitting data continuously to a 3rd party application. Allegorithmic is already experimenting with Unity plugin, creating a Live Link between the engine and Substance Painter. This means that you can see the results of your texturing process in-game, in real-time. You can find the plugin over at Substance Share.

Here’s a video from the recent Unite, showcasing this particular workflow improvement.

More details here. Pretty cool stuff will be shown during Substance Days, so join the streams!

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