Friday, June 30th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Allegorithmic releases Substance Designer 2017.1

Allegorithmic has released Substance Designer 2017.1, the latest update to its material authoring software, revamping the map baking toolset, and updating the HBAO filter and PBR material converter.

First of a new program of continuous, more even updates
Allegorithmic describes the update as the first in its new “numberless release cycle”, following its decision to switch from major annual updates and smaller intervening releases to a continuous, more even cycle.

However, as with the most recent update to Substance Painter, which came out earlier this month, the release does have a version number, at least internally: the online changelog lists it as 2017.1.

Phase one of a ‘deep revamp’ of baking workflow
The main changes in Substance Designer 2017.1 are to baking workflow. The baking UI has been streamlined, while bake times are now “much, much shorter”, although Allegorithmic doesn’t quantify the speed boost.

There is also a new option to correct skew deformation in bakes by supplying a greyscale correction mask. You can see how it works in the video above: it essentially just means painting over problem areas manually.

Allegorithmic describes the changes as “phase one” in an ongoing “deep revamp” of the baking system.

Updates to HBAO generation and PBR material conversion
The release also updates the Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion (HBAO) filter, which now has the option to choose the number of samples used, and now supports 16-bit and 32-bit float images as inputs.

The Autolevel node also now supports 16-bit and 32-bit float data; and is now “slightly faster”.

The PBR Converter, which converts physically based materials into the default formats used by game engines and other software, also gets new presets for Arnold 4 and 5, RenderMan and Corona Renderer 1.6.

Other changes include workflow improvements to the node view – you can now resize graph frames by dragging corners or borders – and performance improvements. Find a full list in the release notes.

Pricing and availability
Substance Designer 2017.1 is available for Windows 7+, CentOS 6.6+ or Ubuntu 12.4+ and Mac OS X 10.10+.

New Indie licences of the software, intended for artists and studios earning less than $100,000 per year, cost $149, including 12 months’ maintenance. Further updates cost $75/year. Full Pro licences cost $590.

Read more about the new features in Substance Designer 2017.1 on Allegorithmic’s blog