Substance Designer is seeing its most significant update in a while this spring with a brand new version of its core Substance Engine (v7) as well as improved scripting API, some impressive new nodes; and an additional performance boost on the bakers side.
What is the Substance Engine v7?
Allowing you to go beyond the texture maps of the PBR format, the Substance Engine v7 allows you to process not just textures, but also values.
How will this work? There are multiple answers: you will be able to use the Substance Engine v7 to add, for instance, some specific magic value that a custom shader in an in-house engine may need. Your Substance material will integrate even better in your workflow.
Also, this will allow Substance creators to enrich their content with additional information. For example, take the scale of a material. Is the width of this concrete tile supposed to be 50 centimeters, 10 inches, or 1 yard? With the new engine, this information can be embedded in the Substance file and can change dynamically as the Substance material is being tweaked!
Another example is how to represent some material properties that can’t, or shouldn’t be, encoded in a texture: the weight or elasticity of a fabric or leather, for example; for manufacturing purposes, the minimum viable thickness of a material destined to be 3D printed.
This new engine opens the door to many new workflows and pipeline improvements.
In Substance Designer, this means that, starting today, you can use uniform values inside the compositing graph. How does that work? Say hello to the all-new ‘Value Processor’ node.