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Performance optimization guidelines | Substance 3D Designer

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    7. Graph view
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      3. Graph items
        1. Graph items
        2. Dot node (also Portal)
        3. Frame
        4. Comment
        5. Pin
    8. Library
      1. Library
      2. Managing custom content and filters
    9. Properties
    10. 2D view
    11. 3D view
      1. 3D view
      2. Material properties
      3. GLSLFX shaders
      4. Switching your shaders to OpenGL Core Profile
      5. Iray
    12. Dependency manager
  6. Resources
    1. Resources
    2. Importing, linking and new resources
    3. Bitmap resource
      1. Bitmap resource
      2. Bitmap painting tools
    4. Vector graphics (SVG) resource
      1. Vector graphics (SVG) resource
      2. Vector editing tools
    5. 3D scene resource
    6. AxF (Appearance eXchange Format)
    7. Font resource
    8. Warnings from dependencies
  7. Substance graphs
    1. Substance graphs
    2. Substance graph key concepts
    3. Creating a Substance graph
      1. Creating a Substance graph
      2. Graph instances / Sub-graphs
    4. Exposing a parameter
      1. Exposing a parameter
      2. Parameter presets
      3. Visible if: control visibility of inputs, outputs and parameters
    5. Graph parameters
    6. Inheritance in Substance graphs
    7. Output size
    8. Values in Substance graphs
    9. Publishing Substance 3D asset files (SBSAR)
    10. Exporting bitmaps
    11. Exporting PSD files
    12. Sample Substance graphs
    13. Warnings in Substance graphs
    14. Nodes reference for Substance graphs
      1. Nodes reference for Substance graphs
      2. Atomic nodes
        1. Atomic nodes
        2. Bitmap
        3. Blend
          1. Blend
          2. Blending modes description
        4. Blur
        5. Channel shuffle
        6. Curve
        7. Directional blur
        8. Directional warp
        9. Distance
        10. Emboss
        11. FX-map
        12. Gradient (Dynamic)
        13. Gradient map
        14. Grayscale conversion
        15. HSL
        16. Levels
        17. Normal
        18. Pixel processor
        19. SVG
        20. Sharpen
        21. Text
        22. Transformation 2D
        23. Uniform color
        24. Value processor
        25. Warp
        26. Output
        27. Input
      3. Node library
        1. Node library
        2. Texture generators
          1. Texture generators
          2. Noises
            1. Noises
            2. 3D Perlin noise
            3. 3D Perlin noise fractal
            4. 3D Ridged noise fractal
            5. 3D Simplex noise
            6. 3D Voronoi
            7. 3D Voronoi fractal
            8. 3D Worley noise
            9. Anisotropic noise
            10. Blue noise fast
            11. BnW spots 1
            12. BnW spots 2
            13. BnW spots 3
            14. Cells 1
            15. Cells 2
            16. Cells 3
            17. Cells 4
            18. Clouds 1
            19. Clouds 2
            20. Clouds 3
            21. Creased
            22. Crystal 1
            23. Crystal 2
            24. Directional noise 1
            25. Directional noise 2
            26. Directional noise 3
            27. Directional noise 4
            28. Directional scratches
            29. Dirt 1
            30. Dirt 2
            31. Dirt 3
            32. Dirt 4
            33. Dirt 5
            34. Dirt gradient
            35. Fluid
            36. Fractal sum 1
            37. Fractal sum 2
            38. Fractal sum 3
            39. Fractal sum 4
            40. Fractal sum base
            41. Fur 1
            42. Fur 2
            43. Fur 3
            44. Gaussian noise
            45. Gaussian spots 1
            46. Gaussian spots 2
            47. Grunge concrete
            48. Grunge Damas
            49. Grunge galvanic large
            50. Grunge galvanic small
            51. Grunge leaks
            52. Grunge leaky paint
            53. Grunge map 001
            54. Grunge map 002
            55. Grunge map 003
            56. Grunge map 004
            57. Grunge map 005
            58. Grunge map 006
            59. Grunge map 007
            60. Grunge map 008
            61. Grunge map 009
            62. Grunge map 010
            63. Grunge map 011
            64. Grunge map 012
            65. Grunge map 013
            66. Grunge map 014
            67. Grunge map 015
            68. Grunge rough dirty
            69. Grunge rust fine
            70. Grunge scratches dirty
            71. Grunge scratches fine
            72. Grunge scratches rough
            73. Grunge shavings
            74. Grunge splashes dusty
            75. Grunge spots
            76. Grunge spots dirty
            77. Liquid
            78. Messy fibers 1
            79. Messy fibers 2
            80. Messy fibers 3
            81. Microscope view
            82. Moisture noise
            83. Perlin noise
            84. Plasma
            85. Caustics
            86. Voronoi
            87. Voronoi fractal
            88. Waveform 1
            89. White noise
            90. White noise fast
          3. Patterns
            1. Patterns
            2. 3D linear gradient
            3. 3D volume mask
            4. Alveolus
            5. Arc pavement
            6. Brick 1
            7. Brick 2
            8. Brick generator
            9. Checker 1
            10. Cube 3D
            11. Cube 3D GBuffers
            12. Fibers 1
            13. Fibers 2
            14. Gaussian 1
            15. Gaussian 2
            16. Gradient axial
            17. Gradient axial reflected
            18. Gradient circular
            19. Gradient linear 1
            20. Gradient linear 2
            21. Gradient linear 3
            22. Gradient radial
            23. Height extrude
            24. Mesh 1
            25. Mesh 2
            26. Panorama shape
            27. Polygon 1
            28. Polygon 2
            29. Scratches generator
            30. Shape
            31. Shape extrude
            32. Shape mapper
            33. Shape splatter
            34. Shape splatter blend
            35. Shape splatter data extract
            36. Shape splatter to mask
            37. Splatter
            38. Splatter circular
            39. Star
            40. Starburst
            41. Stripes
            42. Tile generator
            43. Tile random
            44. Tile random 2
            45. Tile sampler
            46. Triangle grid
            47. Weave 1
            48. Weave 2
            49. Weave generator
        3. Filters
          1. Filters
          2. Adjustments
            1. Adjustments
            2. Auto levels
            3. Channel mixer
            4. Chrominance extract
            5. Clamp
            6. Color match
            7. Color to mask
            8. Contrast/Luminosity
            9. Convert to linear
            10. Convert to sRGB
            11. Grayscale conversion advanced
            12. Hald CLUT
            13. HDR range viewer
            14. Height map frequencies mapper
            15. Highpass
            16. Histogram range
            17. Histogram scan
            18. Histogram scan non-uniform
            19. Histogram select
            20. Histogram shift
            21. Invert
            22. Lighting cancel high frequencies
            23. Lighting cancel low frequencies
            24. Luminance highpass
            25. Min max
            26. Pow
            27. Quantize
            28. Replace color
            29. Replace color range
            30. Threshold
          3. Blending
            1. Blending
            2. Color (Blend node)
            3. Color burn
            4. Color dodge
            5. Difference
            6. Dissolve
            7. Linear burn
            8. Luminosity (Blend node)
            9. Multi switch
            10. Switch
          4. Blurs
            1. Blurs
            2. Anisotropic blur
            3. Blur HQ
            4. Non uniform blur
            5. Radial blur
            6. Slope blur
          5. Channels
            1. Channels
            2. RGBA merge
            3. RGBA split
            4. Alpha merge
            5. Alpha split
            6. Pre-multiplied to straight
            7. Straight to pre-multiplied
          6. Effects
            1. Effects
            2. 3D texture position
            3. 3D texture SDF
            4. 3D texture surface render
            5. 3D texture volume render
            6. Ambient occlusion (HBAO)
            7. Ambient occlusion (RTAO)
            8. Bevel
            9. Cross section
            10. Curvature
            11. Curvature smooth
            12. Curvature sobel
            13. Diffusion color
            14. Diffusion grayscale
            15. Diffusion UV
            16. Edge detect
            17. Emboss with gloss
            18. Extend shape
            19. Flood fill
            20. Flood fill mapper
            21. Flood fill to Bbox size
            22. Flood Fill to gradient
            23. Flood Fill to grayscale/color
            24. Flood Fill to index
            25. Flood Fill to position
            26. Flood Fill to random color
            27. Flood Fill to random grayscale
            28. FXAA
            29. Glow
            30. Mosaic
            31. Multi directional warp
            32. Non uniform directional warp
            33. Reaction diffusion fast
            34. RT irradiance
            35. RT shadow
            36. Shadows
            37. Shape drop shadow
            38. Shape glow
            39. Shape stroke
            40. Summed area table
            41. Swirl
            42. Uber emboss
            43. Vector morph
            44. Vector warp
          7. Normal map
            1. Normal Map
            2. Bent Normal
            3. Facing Normal
            4. Height Normal Blender
            5. Height to Normal World Units
            6. Normal Blend
            7. Normal Combine
            8. Normal Invert
            9. Normal Normalize
            10. Normal Sobel
            11. Normal to Height
            12. Normal To Height HQ
            13. Normal Transform
            14. Normal Vector Rotation
          8. Tiling
            1. Tiling
            2. Make It Tile Patch
            3. Make It Tile Photo
          9. Transforms
            1. Transforms
            2. 3D Texture Offset
            3. Auto Crop
            4. Cartesian To Polar
            5. Clone (Filter Node)
            6. Mirror (Filter Node)
            7. Noise Upscale 1
            8. Noise Upscale 2
            9. Noise Upscale 3
            10. Non-Square Transform
            11. Non-Uniform Rotation
            12. Polar to Cartesian
            13. Quad Transform
            14. Safe Transform
            15. Skew
            16. Symmetry
            17. Symmetry Slice
            18. Trapezoid Transform
        4. Material filters
          1. Material filters
          2. 1-click
            1. 1-Click
            2. Bitmap to Material Light
          3. Effects (Material)
            1. Effects (Material)
            2. Height Blend
            3. Material Height Blend
            4. Season Filter
            5. Snow Cover
            6. Water Level
          4. Transforms (Material)
            1. Transforms (Material)
            2. Material Transform
          5. Blending (Material)
            1. Blending (Material)
            2. Material Adjustment Blend
            3. Material Blend
            4. Material Color Blend
            5. Material Switch
            6. Multi-Material Blend
          6. PBR utilities
            1. PBR Utilities
            2. BaseColor / Metallic / Roughness converter
            3. Base Material
            4. PBR Albedo Safe Color
            5. PBR BaseColor / Metallic Validate
            6. PBR Dielectric F0
            7. PBR Metal Reflectance
            8. PBR Render
            9. PBR Render Mapping
          7. Scan processing
            1. Scan Processing
            2. AO Cancellation
            3. Atlas Scatter
            4. Atlas Splitter
            5. Clone Patch
            6. Color Equalizer
            7. Crop
            8. Material Clone Patch
            9. Material Crop
            10. Multi-Angle to Albedo
            11. Multi-Angle to Normal
            12. Multi Clone Patch
            13. Multi Color Equalizer
            14. Multi Crop
            15. Smart Auto Tile
        5. Mesh-based generators
          1. Mesh-based generators
          2. Mask generators
            1. Mask Generators
            2. Bottom To Top
            3. Cloth Wear
            4. Dirt
            5. Dripping Rust
            6. Dust
            7. Edge Blur
            8. Edge Damages
            9. Edge Dirt
            10. Edge Notch
            11. Edge Select
            12. Edge Speckle
            13. Edge Wear
            14. Fiber Glass Edge Wear
            15. Grease
            16. Ground Dirt
            17. Leaks
            18. Leather Wear
            19. Light
            20. Mask Builder
            21. Metal Edge Wear
            22. Paint Wear
            23. Selective Dirt
            24. Sun Bleach
            25. Surface Brush
          3. Weathering
            1. Weathering
            2. Cracks Weathering
            3. Fabric Weathering
            4. Leather Weathering
            5. Metal Weathering
            6. Moss Weathering
            7. Rock Weathering
            8. Rust Weathering
          4. Utilities (Mesh-based generators)
            1. Utilities (Mesh Based Generators)
            2. 3D Planar Projection
            3. Material Mesh Data Blender
            4. Material Selector
            5. Mesh Data Combiner
            6. Tri Planar
        6. Spline & Path tools
          1. Spline & Path tools
          2. Working with Path & Spline tools
          3. Path tools
            1. Path Tools
            2. Paths Format Specifications
            3. Paths 2D Transform
            4. Mask to Paths
            5. Paths to Spline
            6. Paths Polygon
            7. Preview Paths
            8. Paths Warp
            9. Quad Transform on Path
            10. Paths Select
            11. Paths Vertex Processor
            12. Paths Vertex Processor Simple
          4. Spline tools
            1. Spline Tools
            2. Paths to Spline
            3. Point List
            4. Scatter on Spline Color
            5. Scatter on Spline Grayscale
            6. Spline 2D Transform
            7. Spline (Cubic)
            8. Spline (Poly Quadratic)
            9. Spline Append
            10. Spline Bridge (2 Splines)
            11. Spline Bridge (List)
            12. Spline Bridge Mapper Color
            13. Spline Bridge Mapper Grayscale
            14. Spline Circle
            15. Spline Fill
            16. Spline Flow Mapper
            17. Spline Mapper Color
            18. Spline Mapper Grayscale
            19. Spline Merge List
            20. Spline Render
            21. Spline Sample Height
            22. Spline Sample Thickness
            23. Spline Select
            24. Spline Warp
            25. UV Mapper Color
            26. UV Mapper Grayscale
        7. 3D view (Library)
          1. 3D view (Library)
          2. HDRI tools
            1. HDRI Tools
            2. Blackbody
            3. Color Temperature Adjustment
            4. Exposure
            5. Exposure Preview
            6. HDR Merge
            7. Nadir Extract
            8. Nadir Patch
            9. Panorama 3D Position
            10. Panorama Rotation
            11. Gradient 2 Points
            12. Gradient Linear (HDRI)
            13. Line Light
            14. Physical Sun/Sky
            15. Plane Light
            16. Shape Light
            17. Sphere Light
            18. Straighten Horizon
  8. Substance function graphs
    1. Substance function graphs
    2. What is a Substance function graph?
    3. Create and edit a Substance function graph
    4. The Substance function graph
    5. Variables
      1. Variables
      2. Built-in variables
      3. Get a variable value
      4. Create a variable
    6. FX-maps
      1. FX-Maps
      2. How it works
      3. The Iterate node
      4. The Quadrant node
      5. Using Substance function graphs in FX-Maps
        1. Using Substance function graphs
          in FX-Maps
        2. Iterate and $number variable
        3. Using the Sampler nodes
        4. Using the Set/Sequence nodes
    7. Warnings in Substance function graphs
    8. Sample Substance function graphs
    9. Nodes reference for Substance function graphs
      1. Nodes reference for Substance function graphs
      2. Function nodes overview
      3. Constant nodes
      4. Vector and Swizzle nodes
      5. Get nodes
      6. Sampler nodes
      7. Cast nodes
      8. Operator nodes
      9. Logical nodes
      10. Comparison nodes
      11. Function nodes
      12. Control nodes
  9. MDL graphs
    1. MDL graphs
    2. Main MDL graph concepts
    3. Creating an MDL graph
    4. MDL library
    5. Exposing parameters in MDL graphs
    6. Substance graphs and MDL materials
    7. Exporting MDL content
    8. Warnings in MDL graphs
    9. MDL learning resources
  10. Bakers
    1. Bakers
    2. Bakers legacy interface
  11. Best practices
    1. Best practices
    2. Filesize reduction guidelines
    3. Graph creation etiquette
    4. Performance optimization guidelines
  12. Pipeline and project configuration
    1. Pipeline and project configuration
    2. Project configuration files - SBSPRJ
    3. Configuration list - SBSCFG
    4. User preferences - Automating setup
    5. Retrieving the installation path
    6. Environment variables
  13. Color management
    1. Color management
    2. Spot colors (Pantone)
  14. Package metadata
  15. Scripting
    1. Scripting
    2. Plugin basics
    3. Plugin search paths
    4. Plugins packages
    5. Plugin manager
    6. Python editor
    7. Accessing graphs and selections
    8. Nodes and properties
    9. Undo and redo
    10. Application callbacks
    11. Creating user interface elements
    12. Adding actions to the Explorer toolbar
    13. Using color management
    14. Using spot colors
    15. Logging
    16. Using threads
    17. Debugging plugins using Visual Studio Code
    18. Porting previous plugins
    19. Packaging plugins
    20. Scripting API reference
  16. Technical issues
    1. Technical issues
    2. Warnings and errors
    3. Cannot create/load a project
    4. Application does not start
    5. Crash when rendering graphs
    6. Parameters not working as expected
    7. Incorrect image output
    8. 3D View issues
    9. User interface issues
    10. Python issues
    11. Substance model graph feature is missing
  17. Release notes
    1. Release notes
    2. All changes
    3. Version 13.1
    4. Version 13.0
    5. Version 12.4
    6. Version 12.3
    7. Version 12.2
    8. Version 12.1
    9. Version 11.3
    10. Version 11.2
    11. Version 2021.1 (11.1)
    12. Old versions
      1. Old versions
      2. Version 2020.2 (10.2)
      3. Version 2020.1 (10.1)
      4. Version 2019.3 (9.3)
      5. Version 2019.2 (9.2)
      6. Version 2019.1 (9.1)

Performance optimization guidelines

Substance graphs

The more complex your Substance graphs are, the more processing power you need to render them. You should try to strike a balance between complexity and rendering speed.
This is especially important if you will use them in real-time graphics applications, such as games.

Generally speaking, nodes exposing custom parameters - that can be modified at run-time - should be placed as close to the end of the graph as possible.

This is because the output of each node is cached wherever possible. Therefore, the further up the graph your tweakable node is, the more outputs will need to be processed whenever one of those exposed parameters is modified. If your exposed node is close to the end of the graph, only the few nodes between it and the output nodes will need to be recomputed.

For example, if tweaking a uniform color at the beginning of your graph, all the following nodes will be recomputed. If you tweak a HSL node placed right before the output, only this node will be recomputed, greatly improving the performance of the graph.

Please make a good note of the following guidelines:

GENERAL PERFORMANCE-RELATED SETTINGS

Unless you have an unsupported (integrated) graphics card, use the GPU substance engine (change with Hotkey F9).

It recomputes graph, cache and all thumbnails. It's better to use the Batch tab of the export dialog as it avoids extensive, unneeded recalculation (for example when exporting to 8192 resolution).

The application limits the amount of RAM that can be used for the image cache, but you can override and increase this (with care).

GRAPH OPTIMIZATION

High values will seriously affect performance, so consider how the material is likely to be used and whether you can reduce the data sizes involved.

We recommend you learn more about node resolution (Output size) and inheritance in Substance graphs.

Color operations take four times longer than grayscale operations. Also try to minimize type conversions between color and grayscale.

The CPU version of the Substance Engine (SSE2) does not actually support 16-bit color or 8-bit greyscale. The GPU engine supports all 4 combinations of 8/16 bits and greyscale/color. Currently, only the CPU engine is used in Unity and Unreal Engine plugins.

Sometimes, downsizing some nodes doesn't affect the final result, but will affect performance. For example, using a Uniform Color node set to the same output size as the document is pointless: The Uniform Color should be set to Absolute [16px x 16px] and the subsequent node to Relative to Parent. Generally this trick works well for low-frequency images, such as Perlin noise.

This slows rendering performance.

For instance, the Tile Generator node will get slower to process the more patterns you add to it.

This factor will in fact draw more patterns. Affected nodes include noises, Cells patterns, etc. If you need a white noise pattern, don't use a noise with a very high scale value and use the White Noise or White Noise Fast nodes instead.

Functions are executed on CPU engine, except in Pixel Processors. If you are doing a lot of heavy image sampling (changing $pos coordinates) in Value Processors or FXmaps, there would be a lot of swapping between VRAM and CPU RAM, causing performance delays.

OPTIMIZATIONS FOR MOBILE USAGE

They are very performance costly.

Use downscale transformations instead.

Switch to color mode at the end of the graph.

SIZE OPTIMIZATIONS FOR EMBEDDED BITMAPS

Bitmaps have their Output Size set to 'Absolute' by default. This means that if the bitmap is connected through the node chain to an output, it will then force the final output to be the size of the embedded bitmap.
A node you insert after the bitmap will have its Output Size set to 'Relative to Input'. This means that the node will also inherent the size of the bitmap and carry this size down the node chain to the outputs. To correct this, you need to set the node after the bitmap to have its Output Size set to 'Relative to Parent'.

If the graph is set to have a dynamic resolution, you can change the Output Size on the embedded bitmap to be Relative To Parent.
This way, the bitmap size will change based on the parent graph and you won't get into a situation where the graph is processing higher resolution in the bitmap than what is needed.

Alert:

Setting a Bitmap node to "Relative to parent" and publishing the graph to a Substance 3D asset (SBSAR) will save the bitmap at a resolution of 256x256 instead of its original size. It is advised instead to keep the inheritance method of Bitmap nodes' Output Size as 'Absolute' and use a Transformation 2D node set to 'Relative to parent' just after the Bitmap node.

Embedded bitmaps optimisation 1

Embedded bitmaps optimisation 2

Also, it is advised to set the format of Bitmap resources to Jpeg for minimising the size of published Substance 3D assets (SBSAR).

Embedded bitmaps optimisation 3

 Adobe

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