Quixel 2.0

Blender and Photoshop
perfect combination

yah Quixel is a really cool program. Does anyone know what the requirements are like? Can’t seem to find them on the site. I remember using DDO 1 on my laptop and it was quite slow. I heard they optimized it quite a bit though, can anyone confirm improvements?

kind of sucks if it depends on photoshop =/
Not only is their license expensive, but they also require you to buy another product to use theirs!

Make it work with something open source like krita and i might bite.

As much as Substance Designer had been buggy for a very long time, Quixel’s dependence on Photoshop is the reason i bought SD instead, among other reasons. I’d love to see a standalone version of the Quixel Suite though.

I have a lisence of the Quixel Suite and a monthly subscription of Photoshop. I haven’t updated/tested the new v2 update of Quixel, but from what I can see, the from these videos, the main improvement is being able to paint in the 3D viewer 3DO, which before was only for previews.

To be honest, while the suite is powerful, works as advertised, and is relatively stable, I’ve always found it a bit awkward. It is faster/better than probably most other approaches, but that is because no one, anywhere, has made a really good interface and tool-suite that is ideal for working with the multitude of masks and layers needed for AAA quality shader networks. A new paradigm is really needed. It’s probably the, if not one of the, best approaches we have now, but I still don’t like it.

You need a good system to enjoy working with it as well. It will run fine on medium systems, but you have to wait for loading bars all the time, and on a good system they will fly by fast. On a slower system it’s a huge annoyance.

The core of the entire system relies on automatically generated Mask Maps, so that you can get all that wear and tear detail on the edges when a metal pre-set is applied, for example. The base for these Map Masks are generated via the required map inputs, basically an object space and tangent space normal. Then there are sliders that allow you to interactively grow or shrink the effect the Map Masks (Edge Wear Masks in this case) or add more randomness, etc…

Also, I don’t much care for the Nodal Shading system in Blender or Unreal Engine 4. They are no where near as artistically friendly as my old favorite, Softimage. But, if someone were to include a Map Mask generator + interactive slider/adjustment in one or both of these Shading interfaces, then the only thing left to the DDO side of the kit is a big library of pre-set materials (shaders) and a semi-conveniant way to layer different shaders via a Color Coded mask that says all the areas assigned a flat red are cloth1, orange is cloth2, blue is metal1, etc.

The other part of the Quixel suite is NDO. Honestly, this is what I bought the kit for. It’s quite probably the best 2D system for converting, editing and interactive with Normal Maps, using all of the familiar Photoshop tools. The fact that the new 3DO model viewer allows you to paint in 3D with good performance and the fact that there just isn’t anything else out there that is a superior workflow/platform (except maybe Substance kit) means that this is a worthwhile purchase if you use Photoshop, if not just for NDO on it’s own.

The other reason that I do not quite like DDO, is that it is semi redundant to a proper shader, that would be built in UE4 for example. Here the results are baked across a variety of maps and use a simple shader in UE4 to display the results, and if you add a few extra masks here and there, you can split out coloring from your diffuse, so that can be changed in the Engine, etc… But this, while faster if you don’t have a great library of presets in UE4, isn’t in my opinion an ideal solution. A library of UE4 or (Blender) shader presets with a good, consistant standard for different input map types/names, would be more ideal.

(Substance Designer suite while a different set of tools produces a similar end result, baked maps that plug into a simple shader, rather than a library of a good high quality shaders for your intended platform (cycles, UE4, etc.). Again, it works just fine, but if you want to edit the shader later, you instead have to go load your project in DDO or Substance and edit the shader from there and re-export your maps.

If you had a large project, in UE4, you could just tweak the main shader and every object that was effected by it would be updated, instead of having to tweak each individual asset from an external application.

Been stalking this one obsessively for a while

Partly because one of the promotional artworks is exactly what I’ve been trying to make for the past… 10? 11? 20? days(the Feisar hovercraft)
I strongly suggest you give this guy a like, doesn’t get enough attention in my opinion

The program looks to have a lot of potential, like a semi cheap alternative to 3D Coat

Now with the praise out of the way,

Why is it still using photoshop for gods sake?

Allegorithmic has plugins for the major engines that allow you to tweak your shaders in-engine. You need to expose tweakable parameters beforehand in SD, but it’s quick, easy and very powerful.

DDO has the same ability (not sure how automated it is). In either case, DDO or Substance, you still don’t get a complete clone of the shader network exported to UE4, you just get what ever extra parameters you chose, broken out of your bake set, into additional texture map mask files that can be tweaked in engine.

This approach, I just find it clunky, but it makes sense and has been adopted by the industry because it’s cross-platform (would work accross many game engines/renderers) and because the large library of presets and the suite of tools combined with the ability to paint/edit from the same toolset/plug-in just are not matched by what is available via current game engines.

I just personally don’t like that the middle man approach and the end result that all of the data is baked into a pile of large texture maps. But it does work.

Expensive? In what measure? Pays off on the first day of texturing work.
If it is hobby, then fishing or skating is expensive, too.

After watching of the video I have the feeling Quixel uses the same approach for normal creation I do since years, just in an enhanced form.

well if you combine it’s license fee with photoshop it comes of as more expensive than substance painter. I’d say that given it’s depencency on photoshop and also how young it is as a product, the creators are asking for too much.

So yeah, it is silly expensive compared to it’s competition and doesn’t seem to deliver anything more.

I see then, with the comparison, thanks for clarification. For me PS was - let’s say - essential and it is very well-priced as a cloud product.
Even though I still say that for work it pays off.

No, that’s not how it works for Substance. While the Substance nodes aren’t converted into UE4 nodes (which is a good thing since the shaders would then be extremely heavy), the integration is a full implementation of the Substance engine, allowing you to use and recalculate full Substance node networks inside UE4, at runtime. The textures are then cached and all UE4 sees is a very light, efficient shader. The only thing you can’t do is edit the node tree in UE4. Take a look at this video if you want to see for yourself. (sorry, I couldn’t immediately find anything shorter)


Expensive? Really? Money must be really really tight for you then

because I cannot conceive how 99$ for a fully featured texturing suite is expensive

And for some people, they cannot do without photoshop

A full commercial license of Designer + Painter + B2M is almost a thousand bucks, so Substance is hardly cheaper.

Indie version he means or Substance Live.

I don’t buy into these subscriptions, adobe photoshop’s sub was a pain in the ass to set up on it’s own.

Can you post a screen shot of a UE4 material from Substance after it’s been set up it for parameter over-rides (like for color or damage)? I’ve seen what a default material from Substance looks like in the UE4 editor (it’s as you would expect, a standard UE4 Material with a handful of high res textures plugged into it, nothing more fancy than that) but I haven’t seen a view of a material that has been set up with over-rides.

What you want is probably in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_coeFqMNUP0 at around 3:45.

The node graph in UE4 doesn’t look any different than any other material, the Substance engine just changes the texture inputs, and the Substance parameters are edited elsewhere (via its Substance Graph Instance class).

Ok, I get it now, so it’s using it’s plug-in suite for UE4 to bypass things you would normally just do with a regular UE4 shader and instance shader and it has it’s own instance generator/factory thing.

How is the performance of the plug-in? That has to add some overhead both while editing and while the game is running no?