Curating custom content and filters


This page explains the method to create categories and filters to curate custom content in the Library. It also includes suggestions for project-based workflows.

Overview

After adding custom content to the Library, you need to make it discoverable.

The Library uses a number of data points for identifying content, for the purposes of filtering it and surfacing in searches. These data points include:

You may organise your Library into categories containing specific filters, and tailor it to your project's needs.
Indeed, custom categories and filters can be project-specific and be saved in Project files (*.sbsprj). These files can then be assembled into Configuration files (*.sbscfg) and distributed to a team so that artists can all use the same curated Library categories for any given project.

This means that with one or more Project files, you can set the folders which content should be added to the Library, as well as the categories and filters which will curate and organise that content.




Graph attributes

Graphs contained in SBS and SBSAR files can be filtered and searched in the Library by using the data set in the Attributes section of the graph's properties. Some of these attributes can also be set on some other Resource types.



Filter creation

Filters are simple boolean (True/False) search parameters that will result in a resource showing up inside the Library when that Filter is selected. Resources can be anything kept inside a package. Keep the following in mind:

  • A Filter will match against all resources, under all watched paths.
  • A Filter can contain multiple conditions, all of them must evaluate to True (AND-condition) for the resource to show up under that filter.
  • A Resource can show up under multiple filters, it is not exclusive to any filter.
  • A Resource from a watched path is still available in the Library even if it is not under any Filter, by using the Search function.

Creating filters and folders

Categories (i.e. Folders) and Filters are created and edited using the following buttons:

  •  Add Folder: Creates an expandable folder in the Library view. You cannot create subfolders.
  •  Add Filter: Adds a new Filter inside the selected folder. You cannot add filters to the existing default folders.
  •  Edit Item: Edits the currently selected Folder or Filter. You cannot edit any of the properties of the default Folders and Filters.

To remove a Folder or Filter, right-click on it and select the Remove option from the contextual menu.

Editing filters and folders

Folders and Filters are identified by the following data:

It is very important to set these up correctly, to ensure you are editing the correct project!

Filters usually need to have conditions set up for achieving their filtering purpose. These conditions are configured using the following criteria:

  • Resource Type: sets a specific Resource type, such as Graphs
  • Attribute to apply condition to – see list above
  • Condition logic: lets the filter include results with positive, negative, partial and whole matches
  • Condition keyword: the string against which the Attribute and Condition logic criteria are tested. When left blank, any resource which matches these two criteria are included

You can add or remove conditions using the '+' and 'x' buttons on the far right of the Condition keyword.

A filter without any conditions set up will result in all Library content being displayed.



Best practices

Recommended guidelines

  • The general rule for the default library is the Folder is listed in the Category attribute, while the Filter name is determined by the Tag attribute
  • Don't create custom nodes that mix with the default Library unless you explicitly want them to. Your nodes will show up under default Filters if they match, so you will have to make sure to use a different tagging/naming system to avoid that
  • Use unique, per-project identifiers. These can be put anywhere you want (such as Description, Category or User Data), as long as you are consistent between all projects. This makes searching and filtering content by project much easier
  • Use the Author attribute to keep track of the person initially responsible for the content, without having to dig through Version Control records
  • An efficient way of creating Icons is either to use the Generate option of the Icon graph attribute, or to create Substance Graph Templates. That way you can ensure consistency and save work on creating them. All default library icons were created within Designer this way!

Managing content of varying scope

  • You can add Resources to existing categories if this makes more sense. It will be less work to manage and maintain filters, and you can use a special icon style to tell them apart.
  • You can define your folders and filters in a global (studio-level) Project Configuration file, and then add content into them merely by adding watched paths from consecutive Project files
  • You can define specific folders and filters for each project to keep them separated
  • You can mix and match and use methods from all three above: use existing filters, define new global ones, and create per-project unique ones