Quixel Mixer beta for free

Hey guys,

I wanted to share some news with you. Although I'm a beginner in 3D, I wanted to start to learn how to create textures. A few weeks ago I was thinking about getting a substance designer subscription, but then – as most of you already know – allegorithmic was acquired by Adobe and that kept me away to buy a substance designer subscription. 

Now Quixel is offering 'Quixel Mixer' for free and I'm thinking about to learn Quixel Mixer. My question is: Should I wait until Blender has it's own procedural texturing tool? You should know that I'm currently doing a vocational training as a media designer (Digital & Print), and our main software is the creative Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator). Our main focus is more in the print sector (so no 3D at all). 

However I'm strongly interested in 3D (generally) and I'm serious about it. I just don't know how to approach the broad subject about textures. I'm in a phase where I want to choose my software wisely for longer terms. What do you think about Quixel Mixer? Is anyone of you using Quixel Mixer and what is you experience so far? Are there also books about Textures/Materials you could recommend me?

  • I looked into Quixel Mixer just now. Seems like a nice and easy to use software (I'll definitely download it in the coming weeks) but from what I've seen, it relies on external textures a lot. In comparison, you can pretty much create everything from scratch with Substance Designer without relying on any external files. 

    I'm thinking mixer can be great if you need to be quick, keep things photorealistic and can afford to buy external files (unless they come free which sounds too good to be true :D) or scan stuff yourself. Procedural texturing is possible Blender too (you can check the Shader Forge course, or this short video ) Even though you can do incredible stuff with it, it doesn't have the same node capability and there's a steep learning curve. I don't see either software replacing Designer in the immediate future.

    Adobe's acquisition is indeed worrying but I doubt that things are going to change overnight. I'd suggest to you to at least give Designer a try. As a start, Allegorithmic has lots of videos that teach how to use Designer and texturing in general on YouTube. There's a considerable amount of material on texturing here on CG Cookie too.

    And let's say, in a year or two things go sideways for Allegorthmic and there's a definite alternative for Designer, you'll only need to learn a new software and adjust your workflow. I'm guessing that would be easier than learning how to create proper textures. 

    If you don't like subscriptions, you can get perpetual licenses for Allegorthmic software for cheap whenever there's a major sale on Steam (I hope that doesn't change because Adobe is in charge now :D)

  • Why is everyone panicking that Adobe bought Allegorithmic?  I'm still going to buy Substance Painter despite everyone else's grudges against Adobe.

  • williamatics Maybe its because adobe can now make a decision to include substance software in a creative cloud. For me its ok to pay about 20€ each month for substance. If adobe offers  for example photoshop and illustrator for 50€ / month and substance will be included only in higher value packs lets call it PRO pack (with after effects, premiere and so on) adobe can ask a lot more for it. If  you then want susbtance you have to buy PRO pack and you have to pay a lot more. I guess thats what everybody is afraid of.

  • williamatics I wouldn't call it panicking. It is easy to understand why so many are upset about it. And there are several reasons for that. Just a "small" opinion of mine:

    I find it ridiculous that Adobe is doubtfully trying to dominate the entire creative industry. This  will never work  (as you can see there are already good alternatives  out there), but I understand why they did it (economically). There are reasons why companies should only offer services in which they are specialized in (and clients obvioulsy trust in that most). 10 years ago (more or less) for example, when Photoshop offered 3D-function, that was the first time I thought how ridiulous that move was: Why would they offer 3D-functions if there were already enough 3D-softwares out there? The 3D-industry was already a oversaturated market, and I was pissed off, because there were many bugs to be solved (there are still decade old bugs!).  I think  Adobe should have  worked with heir primary softwares (make the software faster, less  bugs, more, etc.). Everyone  knows that companies, that are holding a monopoly status, are the ones that get lazy! And no, it does not count as productive, if adobe release new products every few years, just to let it die the following years.  And  then there are companies that are offering alternatives and  Adobe is reacting the last several years with a strategy exactly what apple was and is doing the last decade: Trying to force their clients in their ecosystems, demand ridiculous prices for terrible services (let us be honest; I work everyday with PS, IL, ID....and there is no week without some crashes or really became buggy the last need to find workarounds to make it work for you, horrible update services, etc...the list goes on).

    Yes, Adobe is a leader in what PS & Co.can  do. And yes there are some exception that really worked out for Adobe and customers. You can really get your work done in a relatively short amount of time (no question about that - for now). The point is: being creative or work creative should mean, that artists should not be forced what tools to choose for. I mean we should respect, that there are artists that are just simply rejecting specific operation systems or strictly avoiding specific products/companies/services (like subscriptions -  who knew, right xD). Every artists has  different ideals or workflows!

    You may say: Well, nobody is forcing anyone  to use Adobe (or buying subscription from them),   but that's just the perfidious thing: What about a really talented, professional artist, who does not want to use adobe but is forced to, because clients demand adobe files (even though he/she could excactly offer his/her work with other file formats/softwares). The same goes  for schools or universities that are demanding knowledge or possesion of adobe softwares, just to be able to take classes. Although I have to admit, that there is a great deal of rethinking in many design universities regarding softwares/apps (luckily!). More and more universities are encouraging students to think outside of the box, by using not only adobe products but also other alternatives. I remember how one lecturer at university told us, that they don't care if we use 3DS Max, Maya or even Blender...important was, that the given work was done properly!

    We should also remember, that we live in times where ideals are more important than functional ones. Just the fact that only a fraction of the people in this world have the opportunity to get education (like us, that can afford cgcookie subscription) or work, shows why we should talk more often about that! We should be angry and concerned about that! We owe it to those, that can not afford that and may never be able to fully develop creativity for whatever circumstances they are trapped in!   Creativity should be about overcoming boundaries! Adobe is increasingly trying to prevent that! I understand that a professional artist has to be able to adapt. No matter what software is provided to him. Nevertheless, artists have ideals and if we prescribe what is to be regarded as a standard, then we violate their consciences and personalities.

    That is what I think about Adobe and Allegorithmic. It is not about Allegorithmic itself. It's about the negative experiences that customers are increasingly experiencing with Adobe (prices, services, innovation, etc.); How Adobe develops and customers know exactly where that leads. People are not getting angry because Adobe chooses to get 3D experts on board by acquiring Allegorithmic (maybe they find a new ground breaking solution, who knows). They get upset because they know the history of Adobe (and how they behave).They are seeing big changes from powerful creative corporations (Adobe, Autodesk, etc.) and are pissed of, because they have enough of beeing  pushed around. They have enough to live a starving life like a "Vincent-Van-Gogh"-Cliché! There are many reasons why people are pissed off because of that. It's so complex and is maybe also a reason why so many people are talking about that.

    And beside: Why not trying something beside substance designer? :D If it works for you, then great! But don't forget, that not everyone is you, and they have understandable (different) reasons for why it does not work for them!

  • josua92 I see what you mean.  However, because of everything you said, competition will rise.  A few brilliant programmers will get together and say, "Adobe offers terrible services.  If we create better software, then people will pay us to use it."  Then, people will start using the new software.  That is one reason why Blender is so popular.  In fact, competition has already risen in the form of Quixel.  That is the nature of capitalism.  The 3D software market will fix itself.

  • josua92 I disagree with most of what you wrote. I will not comment on everything, but there are some points that I think are important.
    Speaking of "ridiculous prices for terrible services": I am working with Photoshop for more than 25 years, and the software nowadays is really cheap, especially compared to the times prior to the Adobe Cloud. The Creative Suite (up to CS6) was about 3000 Dollars for 6 or 7 Apps, and no free updates (about 800 Dollar per update).  Compare that to the cloud plans. For a single user the monthly subscribtion for 15+ Apps (including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign, Premiere etc) is about 60 Dollar including all updates. You call that  "ridiculous prices"? Really? Look at the prices for C4D, Maya, 3DS Max, Mari, Marvelous Designer ...  And from what you wrote, you are working with the apps as a professional, so you're probably stating the software costs as business expenses in your tax return, aren't you?

    >>"there is no week without some crashes or bugs "
    Hm... maybe that is your hardware. We run PS,  AI, ID, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Premiere and Audition on 9 computers  without problems. Last crash we had was month ago in AI, so I can't confirm your statement.

    About the 3D functions in PS: I agree that there were a lot of bugs in the beginning, but I guess you never used the tools in the last 2 or 3 years? Because they work well. We don't use them very often, but for a quick 3D effect, e.g. on text, I don't bother starting my 3D software.
    And the 3D tools in PS were never meant to compete with a full 3D app, I guess you know that. They are great for users who need simple 3D effects without learning a professional 3D software. 

    >> There are reasons why companies should only offer services in which they are specialized in (and clients obvioulsy trust in that most).  
    With that, I totally agree! But: Adobe was smart enough to make sure Sebastien Deguy is working for them, along with the most part of the Allegorithmic developers. Sebastien is now the vize of the 3D department, so Adobe has exactly that: a team which is specialized in the Substance Software.

  • tthepainter  I think there is a misunderstanding regarding the Creative Cloud plans. If you look at the Adobe Subscription plans, you will see that you can book almost every software separately.  That's probably how it will be with Substance Painter and Substance designer. So if you only need one particular software, you can book it individually.

    But if you want to use 3 or more apps it is simply cheaper to book the complete Creative Cloud. Then you have all the programs for about 60 dollars a month.

    About the Substance price, in the FAQs they state:

  • chrismckay  From that viewpoint, I understand your argument. First - at much as I would not like to admit - compared with C4D, Maya & Co, it really does not stand against my argument, if you would compare it with those prices (however those are 3D-packages). Maybe I explain this in relation: Yes, prior to Adobe Cloud, you had to pay a lot, but for longer terms (5-6 year cycles) I do not think that it was more expensive compared to today. Yes tax returns are great,  but it is still money (on governments expenses). That does not solve the problem (also I'm not the boss, so I don't have to bother with that). The problem lies within the update policy & subscription services Adobe offers (little room for maneuver). Regarding Bugs: Ok, with crahses I exaggerated ! But with the bugs its true: We work  with newest iMacs (roughly 30 computers, and some Eizo Monitors) in our offices. So hardware is not the problem (We even have professional IT-Guys taking care of that)! Just google complaints about bugs with Adobe Cloud (you would be surprised what you can find)! Some bugs really did cost some freelancers and even medium sized companies valuable time and money.  Beside the Acquirement of Allegorithmic (and some AI-based tools), there has been no real groundbreaking innovations since Adobe Cloud. the 3D-functions in PS still sucks, by the way :P Blender is King xD

    It is too easy to compare Adobes prices prior and after the Adobe Cloud. It is more complex than that. Yes I know, that Sebastien is now vize of the 3D department, still I'm not sure If Adobe has learned from their past! Have you seen the trailer from Adobe when they have shared the acquirement? They used Adobe Dimension in it (it was horrible to watch..just see the lag xD). Well, we will see! And as @WilliamMiller said: We can see the rise of good alternatives. So Maybe, I'm just whining too much xD