Tools

Learn about how Tools can let you interact directly with clay in the scene. 

Substance 3D Modeler has various tools that help you create without limit. You can access tools from the toolbar in the Palette or with their dedicated keyboard shortcuts.

Some tools can only be accessed from within a Tool group. Tool groups are collections of related tools. For example, the Elastic tool is available in the Warp tool group.

An image showing the erase tool group from the top of the Palette when the Erase tool is selected.
The Erase tool group as it appears in the Palette when the Erase tool is selected.

With Modeler in VR mode, each tool has a companion tool. Often it's useful to switch between a tool and the companion tool regularly. For example, the Clay tool's companion tool is the Erase tool. By switching between the Clay and Erase tools, you can quickly build up shapes. The companion button helps speed up the switching process. To access companion tools, use the bottom button on the tool hand.

Select tool

Use the Select tool to select and organize objects, and to navigate the scene hierarchy. The Select tool has tons of functionality and is the only tool that doesn't edit clay directly within layers.

💻 Press V to switch to the Select tool.

🥽 The Select tool doesn't have a companion tool in VR.

ملاحظة:

You can use the Select tool to change your scope. Scope is an important part of Modeler that allows you to limit which objects you're able to modify at any point. You can learn more about scope here.

The main function of the Select tool is to select objects. An object is a layer or group of layers in your scene. The table below shows the basic methods to create a selection:

Action

Desktop

VR

Select an object.

Click the object.

Point the tool hand at the object and use the tool hand top button.

Add to or remove an object from the selection.

Hold shift and click the object.

Hold the support hand trigger then point the tool hand at the object and use the tool hand top button.

Deselect all selected objects.

Click an empty space in the scene.

Use the tool hand top button while pointing at an empty space in the scene.

Select all objects in the scene.

Use shortcut Ctrl + A, or click the Select All button in the Palette.

Use the Select All button in the Palette.

Invert selection

Use shortcut Ctrl + I, or click the Invert Selection button in the Palette.

Use the Invert Selection button in the Palette.

Once you have selected one or more objects, it's possible to perform further actions on them. 

Action

Desktop

VR

Move the selection.

Use the Gizmo to move the selection.

Hold the tool hand trigger while pointing at a selected object, then move the tool hand.

Perform an action from the Action menu.

  • Open the Action menu with right click.
  • Select an action.
  • Open the Palette with the bottom button on the support hand. 
  • Move the tool hand joystick right to open the Action menu.
  • Select an action.

Duplicate selection

Use shortcut Ctrl + D or select Duplicate from the Action menu.

While moving an object, pull the support hand trigger. To duplicate without moving the object, use Duplicate from the Action menu .

The actions available in the Action menu are covered in the Interface Overview. There are also shortcuts for some actions. A full list of shortcuts is available in the documentation.

Clay tool

The Clay tool is Modeler's default tool when you create a scene. The Clay tool is the only tool that can create clay from nothing, so it's often useful for blocking out shapes.

💻 Press C to access the Clay tool on desktop.

🥽 The Erase tool acts as the Clay tool's companion tool in VR.

The Clay tool doesn't work across multiple layers since Modeler must know which layer clay is being added to. If you're not scoped into a single layer when you select the Clay tool, Modeler will create a layer for you to place clay into.

Erase tool

The Erase tool is very similar to the Clay tool, except it removes instead of adding clay. 

💻 Press E to access the Erase tool on desktop.

🥽 The Clay tool acts as the Erase tool's companion tool in VR.

The Erase tool includes two additional subtools. While the erase tool is selected, you can access the Split and Crop tools in the Palette:

  • The Split tool lets you break existing clay into separate layers.
  • The Crop tool lets you quickly remove clay outside the brush. The Crop tool behaves like the inverse of the Erase tool. While the Erase tool removes clay inside the brush, the Crop tool removes clay outside the brush.

Warp tool

The Warp tool allows you to stretch and distort clay. In VR you can combine the Warp tool with full 6dof movement so rotate, scale, and move clay in a single stroke.

💻 Press W to access the Warp tool on desktop.

🥽 The companion tool button switches between the Warp and Elastic tools.

While the Warp tool is selected, you can access the Elastic tool from the Palette.

The Elastic tool works similarly to the Warp tool but trys to maintain volume. Adjust the Compressibility parameter to adjust how much the Elastic tool tries to preserve clay volume.

Buildup tool

Use the Buildup tool to add clay to the surface of existing volumes. While the Clay tool is useful for blocking out forms, the Buildup tool is useful to make more subtle changes.

💻 Press B to access the Warp tool on desktop.

🥽 The companion tool button switches between additive and subtractive modes.

With the Buildup tool selected, you can access the Crease tool from the Palette. The Crease tool is useful for carving gouges in clay. Like the Buildup tool, the companion button switches between additive and subtractive modes for the Crease tool.

Smooth tool

The Smooth tool is great for removing imperfections or smoothing out a surface to add more detail. 

💻 Press Shift to access the Smooth tool temporarily. 

🥽 The Smooth tool doesn't have a companion tool. 

ملاحظة:

In VR, you can access the Smooth tool while sculpting without opening the Palette. Use the support hand trigger to temporarily switch to the Smooth tool. Release the trigger to return to the original tool.

The Smooth tool has three modes that you can select in the Palette. By default, the Smooth tool removes bumps and fills depressions, but you can also limit the Smooth tool to just do one or the other.

Inflate tool

The Inflate tool is similar to the Buildup tool, you can use it to add clay to existing surfaces. The Inflate and Buildup tools work in a technically different way which results in a different appearance of strokes.

💻 The Inflate tool doesn't have a shortcut.

🥽 The companion tool button switches between additive and subtractive modes.

Paint tool

The Paint tool lets you add color to your clay. Depending on your export settings, it's possible to export painted colors from Modeler as vertex colors. Find out more about export settings.

💻 The Paint tool doesn't have a shortcut.

🥽 The Paint tool doesn't have a companion tool.

The Paint tool works closely with the Color picker. You can learn more about the Color picker and other interface elements with the Interface Overview.


Related Topics

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