Substance in Maya tutorial – part 1 (update)

Hi there,

This is a short step by step tutorial for Allegorithmic’s Substance plug-in.

Part 1 – Basics (Classic Workflow – for Render Engines)

You have to update the plug-in (Maya line, the big blue buttons to the right 🙂 ).

Activate the Substance plug-in (Windows->Settings/Preferences->Plug-in Manager).

  1. Create a Substance node in the Hypershade editor.
  2. Turn on the Automatic connections (Automatic Baking section).
  3. Load a Substance file. Sometimes the loaded substance doesn’t show in the Attribute Editor. Deselect and reselect the Substance node. 🙂
  4. Click the little play buttons in the list. Substance procedural textures and the connected file nodes are created, also a Phong E shader with the possible connections.
  5. Connect the generated file nodes to your render specific material and forget the Phong E.
  6. Change the Substance Parameters. The textures update automatically.
  7. If you choose higher resolution the texture generation may take a while. Be patient. 🙂



Color management in general:

Always use Maya’s Color Management System.
Color Space settings for file nodes:

  • Use sRGB (aka gamma 2.2 – roughly) if the texture directly defines the color of the surface (Diffuse, Base Color, Albedo, Specular etc.).
  • Use Raw (aka Linear, aka gamma 1.0) if the texture contains data that does not define color (Roughness, Smoothness [aka Glossiness], Metalness, IOR, Normal, Height, Displacement, etc.).
  • If you convert your textures to Raw (linear space) – like with Arnold’s .tx converter – you have to use Raw of course.

Important Displacement map information:

Use the generated Height maps instead of Displacement maps, because it works with Normal maps default settings (Substance Parameters)! The height map automatically connects to the Phong E shader’s Shading Group node.

Exporting textures:

  • The automatically generated textures are created in a Temp folder. When you are satisfied with the results it is usually a good thing to bake the final versions into a specific folder.
  • Use the Export images to Disk button.
  • Set the path, the format and the resolution.

Part 2 will be a short tutorial about Diffuse/Specular/Glossiness and Albedo/Metallic/Smoothness materials and Substances.

Cheers, D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.