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At the moment, I am simply learning how the engine works (figuratively speaking) and as you can see, it's based on looping nodes together by Input - Filter Effects and then Output nodes.
The filtering nodes are actually not dissimilar to Photoshops Filter and Layer Style effects but with Substance Designer there are a lot more options for creativity.
As I mentioned in my last post, what makes this software unique and powerful is that all of the changes and parameter tweaks with each node, effect the connecting nodes in real time.
So, if I make a texture and decide later I want to add rust to it, I can re open the node graph (Seen in the middle upper window of the screenshot) and either add and connect a ready made rust node into the mix, (Which will have its own customizable parameters) or make my own and loop it into the graph mix.
Each one of those nodes can be customized or edited in real time, effecting all of the connecting nodes and of course the final output node, ie: The texture, which by the way, will be seamless by default unless I specify I do not want a tiling texture when I started making my graph.
Still with me? lol Hmm, I know what I mean in my head, it's just hard to explain in tech speak.
Bottom line; Yes, it's complex and has a steep learning curve but the only thing that stands between me not understanding it today and mastering it tomorrow is time and commitment.
If I keep playing and learning it will all start to make sense to the point were like I work with Photoshop, it becomes second nature.
That is the rule of thumb for any person and any learning curve.
Just keep chipping away, one day at a time and eventually anyone can master anything. Literally.