First of all, and I know how cheesy this may sound to you, but I'd still like to thank Adobe for making this amazing software available for purchase on Steam, thus with a perpetual license. Buy once, use as long as you want. I discovered this last week and treated myself to a Substance Painter & Designer license because I was convinced that this would enhance my 3D setup tremendously. Now I dare say that this was actually a bit of an understatement! 😁 The combination of these two still, well, amazes me.
But enough rambling. Sorry, I had to share because trust me when I say that I am extremely satisfied & excited about all the new possibilities I now got. And I've only been using this for a week!
Question for you guys...
I see a lot of YouTube videos where people want to build a material preset and then start off with one of the "Metallic roughness" templates. To be honest I never liked any of those templates because you start off with a severely cluttered working environment, in my opinion of course. I've done some studying and from what I can tell these templates don't add anything which the 'Base Material' node doesn't provide. I mean, in the end it's all basically output nodes that got a specific usage assigned to them after which then got associated with the 3D view. This is also something you could do yourself for the specific channel(s) you want to use.
My question: am I jumping to conclusions here and is there something I am overlooking, or does the whole thing indeed boil down to force of habbit and personal preference?
I've experimented with 'Base
Node Material' (sorry, typoe!), I also checked the actual graph behind it (love that nesting feature!) and then compared this to simply adding 3 output nodes, assigning those to 'ambientOcclusion', 'normal' and 'height' and making the 3D link and I don't notice any specific differences. But being still rather new to all this I do wonder if I'm not being a bit too hasty.
Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Copy link to clipboard
First, thank you for the very kind words! This level of excitement definitely pushes us to make our tools the best they can be. We also love using them, which is core to how we approach things.
Regarding the graph templates, they are there to provide preconfigured output nodes – and input nodes depending on the template – which ensure the graph is correctly set up to be used in Designer and other applications in the Substance 3D toolset.
As you correctly described, when applying a graph in the 3D View, the graph's Output nodes are connected to the 3D View shader based on matching usages. This makes it so the graph is automatically displayed in the 3D View when loaded (this can be disabled in the Preferences), for instance, or that users can display all its outputs with a single View outputs in 3D View action.
On the other hand, using a Base Material node without Output nodes means several things:
Note: input and/or output nodes can be created automatically out of a node, and will inherit the way the node's own inputs and outputs are configured, including usages.
See attached video template-vs-base-material.mov for a demonstration.
That being said; the Base Material node is very convenient for quick previews:
I hope this addresses your question, let me know if you need further information.
Thank you very much for your detailed answer! Not only did it address my issue, it also taught me something new for me to look into!
I am glad this was helpful, happy learning!