Get to know the interface and workspace of Adobe Substance 3D Sampler.
In this article we'll break down the Sampler interface into each of it's components. Each part of the interface focuses on a specific part of the process. By separating the parts this way, Sampler becomes easy to navigate.
The default workspace is made up of the following elements:
A. Application Menus B. Viewport C. Project panel D. Assets panel E. Layers panel F. Properties panel G. Sidebars
You might not recognize some of the terms on this page. If you find an unfamiliar term, check if the Glossary has a definition.
The Sampler menu bar contains standard menus:
At the center of the menu bar, you can see the name of your current project. If the project has unsaved changes, the project name will be in italics and have an asterisk appended to it.
The Viewport is where you can see your creations. By default the Viewport only displays the 3D view. You can toggle the 2D and 3D views with the controls at the upper right of the Viewport. The 2D view is helpful for looking at individual channels of your material or seeing a full environment image.
The bar at the top of the viewport always contains the same information:
The 3D view helps you see how your material behaves when lit in 3D, or helps you see how your environment light affects a 3D object.
The bar are the bottom of the 3D view holds some controls:
The 2D view shows the bitmap information that you're working with. For environment lights the 2D view will display the image you're working with. While working on materials, you can see each of the channels of the material.
The bar at the bottom of the 2D view displays information and controls as follows:
The project panel holds all the assets of your current project. A project can contain any number of materials and environment lights.
From the project panel you can:
The Assets panel holds the libraries of materials, filters, and images that you can use to create your own materials and environment lights. To use an asset, drag it from the Assets panel into the viewport or directly into the Layers panel.
By default only the Starter Assets folder contains any resources. You can add your own folders with the + button at the lower right of the Assets panel.
The Assets panel displays three types of files:
Type in the search bar to quickly find assets. Use the icons under the search bar to filter assets by type. You can also switch between grid view and list view with the toggle under the search bar.
To remove an asset or folder from the Assets panel, drag it over the trash can at the lower right of the panel.
The Layers panel holds the layer stack that builds your assets.
Like other Adobe applications, layers in the layer stack are processed from the bottom upwards. In other words, each layer can only affect the layers below it.
You can add layers to the layer stack in a few ways:
You can reorder layers by dragging them around the layer stack. Delete a layer by selecting the layer and using the Remove a layer button or with the keyboard shortcut Del.
The Layers panel and Properties panel work closely together. These panels are where you'll spend most of your time in Sampler. Click a layer in the Layers panel to see the parameters and options for that layer in the Properties panel.
The Properties panel shows parameters and settings for layers you have selected in the Layers panel. The best way to find out how parameters behave is to play with them and see what happens.
Material layers that are not at the bottom of the layer stack have an extra set of properties for blending height. To access these properties, select the height blend icon of the layer.
When panels are closed, you can access them from the sidebars. The left sidebar holds quick access to some commonly used tools.
At the top of the left sidebar, are several tools. The topmost option lets you import content into the Assets panel or directly into the layer stack.
The other tools in the left sidebar are quick access icons to commonly used filters. Use these tools to add a filter to the top of your layer stack.
From top to bottom the filter tools are:
These tools will not change the output resolution of your assets. To modify the resolution of your assets, change the width and height dropdowns at the upper right of the Viewport.
By default the left sidebar holds three closed panels:
When you close the Project panel or the Assets panel, they will also be stored in the left sidebar.
By default the right sidebar holds two closed panels:
When you close the Layers panel or the Properties panel, they will be stored in the right sidebar.
Sampler's workspace is fully customizable. Feel free to change the workspace to find what setup is most comfortable for you. At any point, you can use Window > Reset to default layout to get back the default workspace.
To customize the workspace layout:
You can toggle the 2D and 3D views on or off with the buttons in the upper-right corner of the Viewport.
With a good understanding of the interface, it should be much easier to start making something new. Look at the Create a Material article where we'll walk through the steps of making a garden rock path together.