Major updates to the Python API included in latest Substance Designer update for the year.

My practice on VFXScience is not to post a lot of advertising, but for the longest time, Allegorithmic has been collecting massive studio clients, going from strength to strength. Clients these days include: Naughty Dog, Activision, Sony Computer Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Double Negative, MPC, Foster + Partners, Gensler, Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz and IKEA. The CEO and Founder Sebastien DeGuy has been a friend of mine for a long, long time.

I haven’t seen Sebastien for a while, so I thought I’d show you the latest Allegorithmic Substance Designer update, offering even more new features and updates.


The 3D Material Authoring and Scan Processing Tool is designed with help from the Substance community. Former UX bottlenecks are now smoother, creating a more responsive workflow for professional artists and designers, while a new PBR rendering node has been added for increased photorealism in a single map. Performance enhancements also set the stage for future updates and improvements.

Allegorithmic is able to identify and address a handful of ways to improve workflows.

Updates include:
Accessing the Node List Through Tab/Spacebar – A frequently requested addition that allows users to access the node list within a graph, through a single keystroke.
Flow Highlight – After selecting a node, all connected parent nodes can also be revealed and highlighted; “Select parent node” functionality has also been improved.
Badges – In graph mode, artists can now identify which nodes are displayed in 2D, 3D and Properties view; badges can also identify function errors in nodes.
Overhauled Graph Search Tool – Users can now search by labels, tags and function variables, as well as a node’s UID in order to isolate and identify node error messages.
Graph Tabs – Graph tab control buttons are now on the tab itself; graph controls can also be undocked.
Breadcrumbs – All elements, visible and editable, are now visible in a single, smoother system without opening a new tab.
Along with the UX improvements, the new PBR Render node grants users the ability to render PBR materials – including base color, metallic texture and roughness – at a level comparable to Iray. Designers can simply drop in a PBR material and an HDR map, and they will be able to fully simulate all material lighting within a single map.

“As we continue to add new features and improvements to Substance Designer, we rely more and more on our community to help us identify the areas that are costing designers time,” says Sebastien Deguy. “With their help, we’ve made some changes that will improve their overall workflow, and in the process, we also managed to prepare Substance Designer for the future.”

Following the introduction of Python API editing earlier this year, the Substance Designer Fall Update also adds the ability to create and edit data. Designers can now generate limitless iterations of a preselection node and introspect node properties without having to create that node. Additional updates to the Python are coming soon.

Finally, in response to the improvements made to real-time ray tracing highlighted by NVIDIA’s RTX announcement, Allegorithmic made significant changes to the architecture of its bakers in order to accommodate this new technology. RTX users will see an immediate speed boost, with baking times dropping from minutes to seconds. The architectural changes also broaden the range of supported hardware and prepare Substance Designer for future enhancements and speed boosts.

Pricing/Availability
The new update to Substance Designer is available now at no cost to current subscribers. Following the trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Indie or Pro plans. Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost US$19.90/month; Pro plans cost US$99.90/month. Substance Designer is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.

Allegorithmic is the industry leader in 3D texture and material creation technologies. More than 150,000 users in the domains of games and entertainment, film and VFX, architecture, and design rely on Allegorithmic’s award-winning Substance texture and material authoring software for developing the next generation of digital content.

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Written by Paul Hellard

Freelance journalist. Also videographer, photographer, cyclist and lover of all things sustainable, creative and digital.

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