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An Update on Substance Format Support in Unity

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by ans_unity, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. wesm

    wesm

    Allegorithmic Community Manager

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Posts:
    151
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm very sorry for my silence on the development. The team has been working diligently and focused on the feature set. I wanted to wait to reply until I had more information. I want to share some answers for questions I've been seeing.

    1. What can asset store creators do if they want to include substance in their content?

    This answer is coming from Unity but I wanted to include it here as well.

    Asset store creators could write and link in the asset description that their product requires the Substance plugin to work (like they do for the required Unity version). This is easy to do and clear for the user.

    We kind of auto-detect the missing plugin by showing this error message: "Built-in support for Substance Designer materials has been removed from Unity. To continue using Substance Designer materials, you will need to install Allegorithmic's external importer from the Asset Store." but we have no way of auto-installing the plugin at the moment.

    The substance plugin will not be available in the package manager, this is our new way to package our "native" code. The Asset Store and Package Manager are two different entities. Because of the possibilities offered by the new Hub (https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/01/24/streamline-your-workflow-introducing-unity-hub-beta/) it might be possible in the future to create templates that will automatically setup your plugins for a project but this might take a while before being operational.

    2. In regards to Live Link and Source in same package as then engine, will these features be separate DLLs? Will an editor feature like Painter Live Link inflate the build size of projects where SBSAR files are included in the build?

    Yes, they will be separate. Livelink and Source are editor only and will not build out with the game.

    3. How is ProceduralMaterial class going to be handled?

    You will be able to manipulate Substances through Scripts, but the API will change. There is not a ScriptedMaterial type available in Unity, so the Substance will be made available as a ScriptedObject that the developer can execute Script functions on, which will then relay those commands to the Unity Textures (which would be reflected in a regular Unity Material)

    4. Will the official 2018.1 + the new substance plugin pack be able to correctly upgrade a 2017.3 project with all sbsar, their materials (currently saved in the sbsar.meta file) and their applications within a project?

    It’s one of our major feature concerns. We will be investigating this aggressively before release, but the upgrade path may not be as straightforward since we are talking about different “objects” entirely in a technical sense. We may be able to read the .meta files though and interpret what we need.

    5. Will Substance plugin support 4k-8k textures, GPU processing and 16 bit per color channel?

    It’s on our roadmap but not for initial release. Our focus now is building the new plugin to have the same feature set but be more robust and at a high level quality for release.

    6. Will the new Substance plugin be free?

    Yes! The plugin will be free. It will be available on the Unity Asset Store and contain the Engine, LiveLink and Source in the same package.

    7. When will the plugin be available and will there be a beta?

    The new plugin will be available at the launch of Unity 2018.1 on the Unity Asset Store. We have plans to release a beta but we don't have an ETA to share just yet.

    We know this is a lot of change for Substance users. Please rest assured we take all of your concerns very serious. We are working hard to make this change as smooth as possible with the least amount of disruptions in workflow. In the end, we will be releasing a much better Substance product for Unity users with the ability to expand and grow with new features.

    Cheers,
    wes
     
    ans_unity, Ostwind, Rowlan and 2 others like this.
  2. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Posts:
    1,472
    Thanks for the detailed update, very much clears up the transition.
    I also know that the decision was on the side of unity.

    Unity decided to strip down the engine and substance materials was one of the things taken out.
    Nothing you can control as a plugin developer.
     
  3. ans_unity

    ans_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Posts:
    33
    No, as Wes mentioned in his post, the Substance plugin will be available thru the Asset Store like all third party / partner products. The Package Manager is reserved for made by Unity features.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  4. AFrisby

    AFrisby

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Posts:
    197
    Thanks for this, I have one really big concern still;

    Will projects with Substance Materials in them upgrade smoothly - will the materials be restored correctly?
     
  5. Carterryan1990

    Carterryan1990

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Posts:
    25
    Support for Substance assets has been deprecated and in no loguer available: Assets/_FREE/ground1/Ground/wood_planks.sbsar ...... You misspelled "longer" and the sentence barely makes any sense XD LMAO Thats to bad. Just got 2 gb's worth of sbar's but upgraded to 2k18 yesterday. Sigh!! Headaches all around....
     
  6. ans_unity

    ans_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Posts:
    33
    This is indeed an important question! I will let Wes from Allegorithmic answer but that was the goal of the plugin.
     
  7. wesm

    wesm

    Allegorithmic Community Manager

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Posts:
    151
    Hi,

    This is a major focus for us and we are investigating this aggressively before release. We can't guarantee there won't be issues as we will be working with different objects, but we want to make sure this works as smoothly as possible.

    Cheers,
    wes
     
  8. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    2,382

    Well, in my case, the substance code still exists for versions of Unity previous to the version in which they started throwing warnings about it. The substance code actually works on 2017.3 too, but if you let Unity throw warnings when your asset is installed, Unity users will complain and give you asset low ratings for it, so it's much better for authors of assets to treat warnings as if they are errors and simply remove substance support earlier than 2018.
     
  9. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Posts:
    1,472
    sorry to say but i feel this is the death of widespread substance support in assets.
     
  10. xCyborg

    xCyborg

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Posts:
    437
    That's good news, provided the plugin comes in a package format or something.
    I'd really hate to clutter the Assets folder.
     
  11. ans_unity

    ans_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Posts:
    33
    Hi everyone,

    Allegorithmic has just published a free plugin in the Asset Store for Substance Source and the Substance Painter live link. It will only work with Unity 2017.3 at the moment but soon (March) the Substance engine support will be added to this package and make it compatible with 2017.3+.
     
    Rowlan, orb and JacobSmaga like this.