Learn how brushes behave similarly across Substance 3D Modeler's tool set.

Most of Modeler's tools make use of a brush. The brush determines where and how the selected tool's effect will be applied. For example, the Clay tool's brush shows the shape and location where clay is added.

Most tools default to a three-dimensional brush, but some tools work better in surface placement mode which uses two-dimensional brushes. In either case, brushes have parameters that can be adjusted on a tool by tool basis to suit your needs. 

Common brush parameters

Many brush parameters behave the same way across tools. The following parameters can be commonly found across tools:




Different brush shapes have different parameters available. For example, you can adjust the width, height, and depth of a cube, or you can adjust the radius and thickness of a torus.


Increase or decrease the size of the brush. Large brush sizes can cause a delay between dragging out a stroke and results appearing.


Hardness controls the falloff for some tools. For tools like the Warp tool, applying the tool effect uniformly across the brush has undesirable results. Hardness decreases the strength of the tool's effect near the edges of the brush. This helps strokes blend more seamlessly with the clay surface.


Pressure sensitivity allows you to dynamically adjust the strength of the tool as you draw your stroke. With pressure sensitivity turned on:

  • Use the tool hand trigger to vary strength in VR.
  • On desktop, use a pressure sensitive pen and tablet to vary stroke strength.

Lazy stroke

With Lazy stroke enabled, the stroke is dragged behind the cursor rather than beneath it. This helps create smoother strokes and cleaner curves.

Steady stroke

Steady stroke takes time to catch up with the cursor. Unlike Lazy stroke, Steady stroke will eventually reach the cursor. 

Some tools also have a Reset option. Use Reset to return the shape parameters to their defaults. For example, the radius and thickness of a torus would be returned to their default values, while the size and other brush parameters remain untouched.

Brush shortcuts

Shortcuts for some common brush operations are available on desktop and in VR. 




Scale the brush

Hold Ctrl then click and drag.

Scale the brush asymmetrically

With Gizmo placement mode, hold Ctrl then click and drag one of the non-uniform scale handles. Additional scale handles appear while Ctrl is held.

Flip brush along an axis

With Gizmo placement mode, hold Ctrl and click the translate handle on the relevant Gizmo axis.


In VR, the brush is attached to the tool hand. It's possible to adjust the relative position of the brush to the tool hand. To adjust the brush position:

  1. Point the support hand controller at the center of the brush.

  2. When the blue sphere appears, hold the support hand trigger to grab the brush.

  3. Move the brush relative to the tool hand, and release the support hand trigger when you're happy with the positioning.



Scale the brush

Move the support hand joystick up or down.

Scale the brush asymmetrically

Hold the top button on the tool hand then move the tool hand controller. While performing non-uniform scaling, you can hold the support hand trigger to constrain scaling to a single axis.

Related Topics

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