Substance 3D Designer | Substance 3D Designer

Substance 3D Designer

Substance 3D Designer main window

Substance 3D Designer is a material authoring software. It generates textures from procedural patterns or by manipulating bitmaps inside a node graph.

This documentation is designed to help you learn how to use the software, from basic to advanced techniques.

If you have any question that is not answered in this manual feel free to ask on our Community Support forum. You can also download our Physically Based Rendering guide if you wish to learn more about PBR.

Getting started

  • Activation and licenses — This page has information on how to activate and manage your licenses so you can start using Designer.
  • System requirements — This page lists system requirements and hardware compatibility information.
  • Overview — This page gives an overview of Substance 3D Designer, how it compares to the other applications in the Substance ecosystem and what sort of filetypes and resources you will work with.
  • Workflow overview — This page explains the concept of Node-Based workflows, and provides a summary of the 3 main types of Graph you can author in Designer.
  • Shortcuts — On this page you can find an overview of all shortcuts for Substance 3D Designer.
  • Tutorials & learning — If you prefer to dive in with videos and other more focused learning material, these tutorials are good for getting started:


  • Home screen — The Home screen welcomes you when you launch Substance 3D Designer. It is here to help you start working with the software and access most useful links.
  • Customizing your workspace — This page presents the ways of arranging the panels in Adobe Substance 3D Designer's user interface, and leveraging their features to enhance your workflows.
  • The main toolbar — This page describes the Main toolbar and menu of Adobe Substance 3D Designer, which appear at the top left of the main window.
  • Preferences window — This page presents the Preferences window and all its settings.
  • The Explorer window — This page describes the Explorer dock in Adobe Substance 3D Designer. This dock lets you manage packages and their resources.
  • The graph view — This page presents the Graph view of Substance 3D Designer.
  • The Library — This page presents the Library panel of Substance 3D Designer, its layout as well as the tools it offers for searching and filtering content.
  • Properties — This page presents the Properties panel of Substance 3D Designer, its layout and the different rollouts and categories and parameters you can find within. It is focused on properties for Substance graphs. Substance function graphs, MDL graphs and FX-Map graphs have simpler layouts.
  • 2D view — This pages describes the user interface and features of the 2D View panel in Substance 3D Designer.
  • 3D View — The 3D View helps you view and understand your materials with custom meshes and rendered PBR materials.
  • Dependency Manager
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