Improving the designer/painter material interlinking.
Although in principle Substance Painter and Substance Designer should sit hand in hand, I feel there's still a big divide between the two. I have found that I have to keep the interactions as basic and minimal as i can. I make something in designer, then i bake it all down and send it to painter. I dream of a day where the two don't feel so distant.
When making complex materials in designer, the integration into painter becomes slow and temperamental. Id solve this by importing my material as pre-baked textures. However there are times when you want to keep the graph functionality to allow customisation.
To improve this i think a "bake to texture" node would be a good start. that way you just stick it in your graph and everything before is baked down into a single texture. I can do this by hand, but its a bit slow and cumbersome. This would make it quicker for Painter to handle your mega graphs.
Another interlinking thing that would be great would be to allow you to add "inputs" into your designer graph. So you could then paint masks or use curvature/ao or anything else in painter and have that directly influence your material. Being able to make a material in designer that accurately represents the mesh would be a huge time saver.
An example of this would be if i was to make ripped cloth, the rip edges would take ages to do in painter. But if i was able to call in a painted mask (possibly anchor node based) into my node graph materiel; i could call that painted mask into the FX-map node to do some procedural edge fraying. I probably would also call in the curvature to add in desaturation and wear into it or something.
The reason I bundled these together is being able to push maps from painter though a designer materiel would probably end up being super slow, being able to strip out the bits that aren't needed and convert them to textures might offer a solution to this.