Allegorithmic announced Substance Painter’s third update of 2018, including a complete overhaul of the engine that has helped make the texturing tool an industry leader. From large-scale VFX scenes to high-quality mobile projects, the Substance Painter Fall Update improves performance across the board while simultaneously lowering the hardware requirements for all users.
In order to handle large amounts of data without a drop in performance — an increasingly common requirement for VFX professionals and anyone working with massive scenes — the Substance Painter engine has been rewritten to incorporate Sparse Virtual Textures (SVT), a method of simulating large textures using less texture memory. The new memory and management system will allow for up to 300 tiles running at once, moving Substance Painter one step closer to its inevitable goal of unlimited UV tiles support. And while the new engine can easily handle massive scenes, projects of all sizes will benefit from an immediate increase in speed and ease of use.
The Fall Update also brings with it new tools for mobile users, including a 2D viewport exporter designed to increase the possibilities for mobile games. High-quality PBR shaders can now be baked into a single high-resolution texture, before final exportation into an artist’s game engine of choice. Using dithering, artists will also be able to remove artifact or banding issues in their 8-bit exports, ensuring solid normal maps up and down the creation process.
“Our goal isn’t just to have the best features, it’s to make sure our users have the best experience – even if that means completely rewriting an engine that has served us well for years,” said Allegorithmic founder and CEO Sebastien Deguy. “Hardware should never be a limiting factor, so Substance Painter helps them do more with less.”
The Substance Painter Fall Update also introduces a host of user-requested additions, beginning with an updated Baked Lighting filter, capable of presenting environment maps that are near-perfect copies of a PBR shader. Environmental maps can now be rotated horizontally and vertically, and artists no longer have to manually account for painted details on the normal and height channels. New anisotropic patterns have also been added to help create anisotropic patterns.
Additional feature sets include:
Mipmapping – Textures now use mip-maps to avoid flickering on noisy surfaces.
New Anisotropic Shader – New anisotropic highlights can help create realistic hair, satin, brushed metal, and glossy reflections using native Iray support.
New Temporal Anti-Aliasing – New anti-aliasing methods ensure smooth edges at all times; automatic smoothing of dithering effects caused by sub-surface scattering or transparency shaders.
Updated Clearcoat Shader – Adds control over coating thickness and roughness; Iray parity with new MDL shader automatically applied when selected.
Symmetry and Layer Stack Improvements
Deactivating Multiple Layers – Multiple layers can be clicked and dragged vertically through a stack; blending modes can be scrolled through by hand or mouse.
Enhanced Symmetry Tool – Introduces ability to move the axis freely using a 3D Gizmo or within the Symmetry panel; Symmetry plane now displays as an intersection.
Layer Stack UI and UX – New color swatch system allows for easy assignment and differentiation of folders and layers.
Allegorithmic will also be participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with a sale aimed at new users. Beginning on Friday, November 23, first-time Substance users will receive a 33% discount on annual subscriptions, which includes Substance Painter, Substance Designer, the Substance Source material library and the upcoming AI-powered Substance Alchemist. The discount will last until November 26, making it an ideal gift for friends and family interested in digital design.
The new update to Substance Painter is available today. Following the 30-day trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Substance Indie or Pro plans. Substance Painter is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Excluding the Black Friday deal, Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost $19.90/month; Pro plans cost $99.90/month. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.