Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Allegorithmic releases Substance Designer 6

Allegorithmic has released Substance Designer 6, a big update to its texture and material-creation tool, adding a set of new filters designed for recreating real-world materials using a photogrammetry workflow.

The release also adds support for a full 32-bit floating point compositing workflow, new Text and Curve nodes, and the option to bake 8K and non-square texture maps.

New tools for accurately recreating real-world materials from source photos
The release continues Allegorithmic’s exploration of new games workflows involving scanned real-world materials: a process reflected in the material-blending tools in last year’s Substance Designer 5.6.

This time round, it’s a new set of nodes for generating materials via a photogrammetry-style workflow.

According to Allegorithmic, the toolset can generate albedo, normal and height maps of real-world materials, including shiny surfaces like metals, from “four or eight” photos of a surface lit from varying angles.

The toolset also includes a Smart Auto Tile node for making the resulting material seamlessly tilable.

Full 32-bit floating point compositing workflows for generating HDR textures
Another big addition is support for 32-bit compositing, making it possible to edit and generate HDR textures.

As well as game engines that support HDR lighting, suggested use cases include using the software’s new Panorama Shape node to create synthetic studio lighting set-ups, in a similar manner to HDR Light Studio.

Allegorithmic says that future updates will add support for Fourier transformation and 3D noise operators.

Support for baking 8K and non-square texture maps
The release also overhauls Substance Designer’s texture-baking tools, making it possible to bake 8K maps – even higher resolutions will be supported in future, apparently – and non-square textures.

According to Allegorithmic, the update also makes it possible to bake material or texture sets, as in sister package Substance Painter, and “you can (finally) cancel the baking process before it finishes”

New Text and Curve nodes; other new workflow features
Other features include a long-awaited (and pretty self-explanatory) Text node, including support for Photoshop-style layer effects; and a new Curve node (shown in the video above) for generating a control input curve for tasks ranging from colour correction to creating profiles for heightmaps.

There is also a new Parent toolbar, which enables users to set the output resolution of their textures on the fly, by working in Relative to Parent mode, then choosing texture size via drop-down menus.

Workflow changes are shown in this video, while a full list of features can be found in the release notes.

Pricing and availability
Substance Designer 6 is available for Windows 7+, CentOS 6.6+ or Ubuntu 12.4+ Linux and Mac OS X 10.10+.

New Indie licences, for users with revenues under $100,000/year, cost $149; Pro licences, for revenues up to $100 million/year, cost $590. Allegorithmic also offers Substance Live, a rent-to-own system.

Read a full list of new features in Substance Designer 6 on Allegorithmic’s website