When comparing Substance Designer vs Filter Forge, the Slant community recommends Filter Forge for most people. In the question“What are the best programs to create procedural textures?” Filter Forge is ranked 3rd while Substance Designer is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Native integration with many game engines
It has the ability to export sbsar files, these can be put into most game engines allowing in engine tweaking of procedural content.
Pro Ability to create custom substance files
Substance designer allows users to create custom substance files, it offers a lot of power with a mix of workflow of working with procedural textures and bitmaps.
Pro Not only a Photoshop plugin, has a lot of other hosts
Pro Several filters
Filter Forge includes a lot of filters and each of them has several presets. Filters are grouped into different categories (Organic, Patterns, Creative, Distortions, Photo, etc...) so it's easy to locate them.
Pro Large online library of filters
The website has thousands of filters available for download. This is the only thing that makes the basic edition feasible.
Pro Standalone application or PhotoShop plugin
Filter Forge can be used as both a standalone application and as a plugin for PhotoShop.
The pricing starts at $20 for the indie license and $100 for the pro license.
Con Not good for painting textures
Substance designer is not very powerful when it comes to painting textures, while there are 2D painting tools, they are not very good.
Con Slow development cycle
New versions come fast enough, but for example, the beta version of 7 doesn't have a lot that 4 didn't have.
Con No free tier
Filter Forge is not free. The basic edition (cheapest one) is $149. It does go on sale regularly though for around $30.
Con Hefty price tag
Its $399 for the professional version, whereas a big competitor used by large studios is only $149.