Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe unveils Project Anorigami

Adobe has previewed some of the upcoming features in Substance Painter, its 3D texture painting tool, including Project Anorigami, a new automated UV unwrapping system.

The firm also demonstrated UDIM support and seamless texture painting across UV tiles.

The functionality was unveiled at Substance Days, the firm’s user event at the start of Siggraph 2019, alongside the upcoming Substance Designer 2019.2 and a new free trial edition of Substance Alchemist.

Project Anorigami: an ‘uncompromising’ built-in UV unwrapping system
A built-in UV unwrapping system for Substance Painter, Project Anorigami is described as automating “all three parts of the UV process: segmentation, unrwapping and packing”.

Adobe describes it as ensuring “uncompromisingly qualitative UV creation”, even on the kind of complex organic models typically painted within the software.

The video shows Substance Painter importing a test FBX model of a lion, unwrapping it in real time and baking its standard range of texture maps, then new materials being applied to it.

The resulting unwrap seems targeted more at ease of texture painting than efficiency of UV packing, generated a single continuous UV pelt rather than a series of smaller, tightly packed UV islands.

Native support for UDIMs, including seamless multichannel painting across UV tiles
Another key upcoming feature announced at Substance Days is native support for the UDIM UV format, used by Foundry’s rival texture painting tool, Mari, and now widely adopted in other DCC software.

While Substance Painter already has basic support for UDIMs, Adobe is working at resolving one of the key stumbling blocks in UDIM workflow, by implementing seamless multichannel texture painting across UV tiles.

There doesn’t seem to be a video demo online yet, but according to Adobe, users will be able both to paint project files imported from Mari and to create new projects with UDIMs from scratch.

Adobe’s round-up of upcoming technologies in its Substance tools. See new features in Substance Alchemist from 00:00 to 00:45, Substance Painter from 00:45 to 01:45 and Substance Designer at the end of the video.

New work on texture streaming to path tracing renderers and texture painting in VR
Adobe has also posted a video showing some of its other 3D R&D projects – although again, they mainly originate from original Substance Painter developer Allegorithmic, which it acquired earlier this year.

You can see more new features in Substance Painter from 00:45 to 1:45, including what is described as “texture streaming to path tracers” like RenderMan.

Updated 16 August 2019: Adobe tells us that the system has also been tested in appleseed, but won’t make it into a shipping version of the software “any time soon” due to knock-on effects of the work on UDIMs.

Used in game engines, texture streaming loads textures in and out of memory dynamically according to whether they are currently visible, rather than simply loading all of the textures present in a scene.

The technique improves the visual quality of rendered output while maintaining frame rate – in this case, presumably ensuring that the rendered preview of the asset being painted updates interactively.

In addition, the video shows work on render denoising – although it doesn’t specify for which render engine – using pixel-based denoising algorithms trained with a convolutional neural network.

Updated 16 August 2019: The denoiser was written for Lantern, Adobe’s internal renderer, which currently ships with Dimension CC.

As well as improving processing speed, the technique is described as “more robust to severe noise levels” – the demo shows it in use on a render in what look to be around half the pixels in the image remain black.

In addition, the video shows support for texturing in virtual reality inside Substance Painter via Oculus’s new Dash user interface. We reported on this when last year, so check out our original story for more details.

Pricing and availability
Adobe hasn’t announced release dates for any of the new features in Substance Painter yet, although painting across UV tiles is currently in closed beta. More details will be announced “later this year”.

The current release of the software, Substance Painter 2019.2, is available for Windows 7+, CentOS 6.6/Ubuntu 16.04 Linux and Mac OS X 10.11+.

New Indie licences, intended for artists and studios earning less than $100,000 per year, cost $149, including 12 months’ maintenance. Further updates cost $75/year. A floating Pro licence costs $990.

Read Adobe’s overview of the new features due in Substance Painter in 2019 on its blog