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3D View | Substance 3D Designer

  1. Home
  2. Getting started
    1. Getting started
    2. Activation and licenses
    3. System requirements
    4. Overview
      1. Overview
      2. What is a Substance 3D File?
    5. Workflow overview
    6. Shortcuts
    7. Tutorials & learning
  3. Interface
    1. Interface
    2. Home screen
    3. Customizing your workspace
    4. The main toolbar
    5. Preferences window
      1. Preferences window
      2. Project settings
      3. Version control
    6. Explorer window
      1. The Explorer window
      2. Send to... / Interoperability
    7. The graph view
      1. The graph view
      2. Link Creation Modes
    8. The Library
      1. The Library
      2. Managing custom content and filters
    9. Properties
    10. 2D view
    11. 3D View
      1. 3D View
      2. Material properties
      3. GLSLFX Shaders
      4. Switching your shaders to OpenGL Core Profile
      5. Iray
    12. Dependency Manager
  4. Resources
    1. Resources
    2. Importing, linking and new resources
    3. Bitmap resource
      1. Bitmap resource
      2. Bitmap painting tools
    4. Vector graphics (SVG) resource
      1. Vector graphics (SVG) resource
      2. Vector editing tools
    5. 3D scene resource
    6. AxF (Appearance eXchange Format)
    7. Font resource
    8. Warnings from dependencies
  5. Substance graphs
    1. Substance graphs
    2. Substance graph key concepts
    3. Creating a Substance graph
      1. Creating a Substance graph
      2. Graph instances / Sub-graphs
    4. Exposing a parameter
      1. Exposing a parameter
      2. Parameter presets
      3. Visible if: control visibility of inputs, outputs and parameters
    5. Graph parameters
    6. Inheritance in Substance graphs
    7. Output size
    8. Values in Substance graphs
    9. Publishing Substance 3D asset files (SBSAR)
    10. Exporting Bitmaps
    11. Exporting PSD files
    12. Sample Substance graphs
    13. Warnings in Substance graphs
    14. Nodes reference for Substance graphs
      1. Nodes reference for Substance graphs
      2. Atomic nodes
        1. Atomic nodes
        2. Bitmap
        3. Blend
          1. Blend
          2. Blending modes description
        4. Blur
        5. Channel Shuffle
        6. Curve
        7. Directional Blur
        8. Directional Warp
        9. Distance
        10. Emboss
        11. FX-Map
        12. Gradient (Dynamic)
        13. Gradient Map
        14. Grayscale Conversion
        15. HSL
        16. Levels
        17. Normal
        18. Pixel Processor
        19. SVG
        20. Sharpen
        21. Text
        22. Transformation 2D
        23. Uniform Color
        24. Value Processor
        25. Warp
        26. Output
        27. Input
      3. Node library
        1. Node library
        2. Texture Generators
          1. Texture Generators
          2. Noises
            1. Noises
            2. 3D Perlin Noise
            3. 3D Perlin Noise Fractal
            4. 3D Ridged Noise Fractal
            5. 3D Simplex Noise
            6. 3D Voronoi
            7. 3D Voronoi Fractal
            8. 3D Worley Noise
            9. Anisotropic Noise
            10. Blue Noise Fast
            11. BnW Spots 1
            12. BnW Spots 2
            13. BnW Spots 3
            14. Cells 1
            15. Cells 2
            16. Cells 3
            17. Cells 4
            18. Clouds 1
            19. Clouds 2
            20. Clouds 3
            21. Creased
            22. Crystal 1
            23. Crystal 2
            24. Directional Noise 1
            25. Directional Noise 2
            26. Directional Noise 3
            27. Directional Noise 4
            28. Directional Scratches
            29. Dirt 1
            30. Dirt 2
            31. Dirt 3
            32. Dirt 4
            33. Dirt 5
            34. Dirt Gradient
            35. Fluid
            36. Fractal Sum 1
            37. Fractal Sum 2
            38. Fractal Sum 3
            39. Fractal Sum 4
            40. Fractal Sum Base
            41. Fur 1
            42. Fur 2
            43. Fur 3
            44. Gaussian Noise
            45. Gaussian Spots 1
            46. Gaussian Spots 2
            47. Grunge Concrete
            48. Grunge Damas
            49. Grunge Galvanic Large
            50. Grunge Galvanic Small
            51. Grunge Leaks
            52. Grunge Leaky Paint
            53. Grunge Map 001
            54. Grunge Map 002
            55. Grunge Map 003
            56. Grunge Map 004
            57. Grunge Map 005
            58. Grunge Map 006
            59. Grunge Map 007
            60. Grunge Map 008
            61. Grunge Map 009
            62. Grunge Map 010
            63. Grunge Map 011
            64. Grunge Map 012
            65. Grunge Map 013
            66. Grunge Map 014
            67. Grunge Map 015
            68. Grunge Rough Dirty
            69. Grunge Rust Fine
            70. Grunge Scratches Dirty
            71. Grunge Scratches Fine
            72. Grunge Scratches Rough
            73. Grunge Shavings
            74. Grunge Splashes Dusty
            75. Grunge Spots
            76. Grunge Spots Dirty
            77. Liquid
            78. Messy Fibers 1
            79. Messy Fibers 2
            80. Messy Fibers 3
            81. Microscope View
            82. Moisture Noise
            83. Perlin Noise
            84. Plasma
            85. Caustics
            86. Voronoi
            87. Voronoi Fractal
            88. Waveform 1
            89. White Noise
            90. White Noise Fast
          3. Patterns
            1. Patterns
            2. 3D Linear Gradient
            3. 3D Volume Mask
            4. Alveolus
            5. Arc Pavement
            6. Brick 1
            7. Brick 2
            8. Brick Generator
            9. Checker 1
            10. Cube 3D
            11. Cube 3D GBuffers
            12. Fibers 1
            13. Fibers 2
            14. Gaussian 1
            15. Gaussian 2
            16. Gradient Axial
            17. Gradient Axial Reflected
            18. Gradient Circular
            19. Gradient Linear 1
            20. Gradient Linear 2
            21. Gradient Linear 3
            22. Gradient Radial
            23. Height Extrude
            24. Mesh 1
            25. Mesh 2
            26. Panorama Shape
            27. Polygon 1
            28. Polygon 2
            29. Scratches Generator
            30. Shape
            31. Shape Extrude
            32. Shape Mapper
            33. Shape Splatter
            34. Shape Splatter Blend
            35. Shape Splatter Data Extract
            36. Shape Splatter to Mask
            37. Splatter
            38. Splatter Circular
            39. Star
            40. Starburst
            41. Stripes
            42. Tile Generator
            43. Tile Random
            44. Tile Random 2
            45. Tile Sampler
            46. Triangle Grid
            47. Weave 1
            48. Weave 2
            49. Weave Generator
        3. Filters
          1. Filters
          2. Adjustments
            1. Adjustments
            2. Auto Levels
            3. Channel Mixer
            4. Chrominance Extract
            5. Clamp
            6. Color Match
            7. Color To Mask
            8. Contrast/Luminosity
            9. Convert To Linear
            10. Convert to sRGB
            11. Grayscale Conversion Advanced
            12. Hald CLUT
            13. HDR Range Viewer
            14. Height Map Frequencies Mapper
            15. Highpass
            16. Histogram Range
            17. Histogram Scan
            18. Histogram Scan Non-Uniform
            19. Histogram Select
            20. Histogram Shift
            21. Invert
            22. Lighting Cancel High Frequencies
            23. Lighting Cancel Low Frequencies
            24. Luminance Highpass
            25. Min Max
            26. Pow
            27. Quantize
            28. Replace Color
            29. Replace Color Range
            30. Threshold
          3. Blending
            1. Blending
            2. Color (Blend Node)
            3. Color Burn
            4. Color Dodge
            5. Difference
            6. Dissolve
            7. Linear Burn
            8. Luminosity (Blend Node)
            9. Multi Switch
            10. Switch
          4. Blurs
            1. Blurs
            2. Anisotropic Blur
            3. Blur HQ
            4. Non Uniform Blur
            5. Radial Blur
            6. Slope Blur
          5. Channels
            1. Channels
            2. RGBA Merge
            3. RGBA Split
            4. Alpha Merge
            5. Alpha Split
            6. Pre-Multiplied to Straight
            7. Straight to Pre-multiplied
          6. Effects
            1. Effects
            2. 3D Texture Position
            3. 3D Texture SDF
            4. 3D Texture Surface Render
            5. 3D Texture Volume Render
            6. Ambient Occlusion (HBAO) (Filter Node)
            7. Ambient Occlusion (RTAO)
            8. Bevel (Filter Node)
            9. Cross Section
            10. Curvature (Filter Node)
            11. Curvature Smooth
            12. Curvature Sobel
            13. Diffusion Color
            14. Diffusion Grayscale
            15. Diffusion UV
            16. Edge Detect
            17. Emboss With Gloss
            18. Extend Shape
            19. Flood Fill
            20. Flood Fill Mapper
            21. Flood Fill to BBox Size
            22. Flood Fill to Gradient
            23. Flood Fill to Grayscale/Color
            24. Flood Fill to Index
            25. Flood Fill to Position
            26. Flood Fill to Random Color
            27. Flood Fill to Random Grayscale
            28. FXAA
            29. Glow
            30. Mosaic
            31. Multi Directional Warp
            32. Non Uniform Directional Warp
            33. Reaction Diffusion Fast
            34. RT Irradiance
            35. RT Shadow
            36. Shadows (Filter Node)
            37. Shape Drop Shadow
            38. Shape Glow
            39. Shape Stroke
            40. Summed Area Table
            41. Swirl
            42. Uber Emboss
            43. Vector Morph
            44. Vector Warp
          7. Normal Map
            1. Normal Map
            2. Bent Normal
            3. Facing Normal
            4. Height Normal Blender
            5. Height to Normal World Units
            6. Normal Blend
            7. Normal Combine
            8. Normal Invert
            9. Normal Normalize
            10. Normal Sobel
            11. Normal to Height
            12. Normal To Height HQ
            13. Normal Transform
            14. Normal Vector Rotation
          8. Tiling
            1. Tiling
            2. Make It Tile Patch
            3. Make It Tile Photo
          9. Transforms
            1. Transforms
            2. 3D Texture Offset
            3. Auto Crop
            4. Cartesian To Polar
            5. Clone (Filter Node)
            6. Mirror (Filter Node)
            7. Noise Upscale 1
            8. Noise Upscale 2
            9. Noise Upscale 3
            10. Non-Square Transform
            11. Non-Uniform Rotation
            12. Polar to Cartesian
            13. Quad Transform
            14. Safe Transform
            15. Skew
            16. Symmetry
            17. Symmetry Slice
            18. Trapezoid Transform
        4. Material Filters
          1. Material Filters
          2. 1-Click
            1. 1-Click
            2. Bitmap to Material Light
          3. Effects (Material)
            1. Effects (Material)
            2. Height Blend
            3. Material Height Blend
            4. Season Filter
            5. Snow Cover
            6. Water Level
          4. Transforms (Material)
            1. Transforms (Material)
            2. Material Transform
          5. Blending (Material)
            1. Blending (Material)
            2. Material Adjustment Blend
            3. Material Blend
            4. Material Color Blend
            5. Material Switch
            6. Multi-Material Blend
          6. PBR Utilities
            1. PBR Utilities
            2. BaseColor / Metallic / Roughness converter
            3. Base Material
            4. PBR Albedo Safe Color
            5. PBR BaseColor / Metallic Validate
            6. PBR Dielectric F0
            7. PBR Metal Reflectance
            8. PBR Render
            9. PBR Render Mapping
          7. Scan Processing
            1. Scan Processing
            2. AO Cancellation
            3. Atlas Scatter
            4. Atlas Splitter
            5. Clone Patch
            6. Color Equalizer
            7. Crop
            8. Material Clone Patch
            9. Material Crop
            10. Multi-Angle to Albedo
            11. Multi-Angle to Normal
            12. Multi Clone Patch
            13. Multi Color Equalizer
            14. Multi Crop
            15. Smart Auto Tile
        5. Mesh Based Generators
          1. Mesh Based Generators
          2. Mask Generators
            1. Mask Generators
            2. Bottom To Top
            3. Cloth Wear
            4. Dirt
            5. Dripping Rust
            6. Dust
            7. Edge Blur
            8. Edge Damages
            9. Edge Dirt
            10. Edge Notch
            11. Edge Select
            12. Edge Speckle
            13. Edge Wear
            14. Fiber Glass Edge Wear
            15. Grease
            16. Ground Dirt
            17. Leaks
            18. Leather Wear
            19. Light
            20. Mask Builder
            21. Metal Edge Wear
            22. Paint Wear
            23. Selective Dirt
            24. Sun Bleach
            25. Surface Brush
          3. Weathering
            1. Weathering
            2. Cracks Weathering
            3. Fabric Weathering
            4. Leather Weathering
            5. Metal Weathering
            6. Moss Weathering
            7. Rock Weathering
            8. Rust Weathering
          4. Utilities (Mesh Based Generators)
            1. Utilities (Mesh Based Generators)
            2. 3D Planar Projection
            3. Material Mesh Data Blender
            4. Material Selector
            5. Mesh Data Combiner
            6. Tri Planar
        6. Spline & Path Tools
          1. Spline & Path Tools
          2. Working with Path & Spline tools
          3. Path Tools
            1. Path Tools
            2. Paths Format Specifications
            3. Paths 2D Transform
            4. Mask to Paths
            5. Paths to Spline
            6. Paths Polygon
            7. Preview Paths
            8. Paths Warp
            9. Quad Transform on Path
            10. Paths Select
            11. Paths Vertex Processor
            12. Paths Vertex Processor Simple
          4. Spline Tools
            1. Spline Tools
            2. Paths to Spline
            3. Point List
            4. Scatter on Spline Color
            5. Scatter on Spline Grayscale
            6. Spline 2D Transform
            7. Spline (Cubic)
            8. Spline (Poly Quadratic)
            9. Spline Append
            10. Spline Bridge (2 Splines)
            11. Spline Bridge (List)
            12. Spline Bridge Mapper Color
            13. Spline Bridge Mapper Grayscale
            14. Spline Circle
            15. Spline Fill
            16. Spline Flow Mapper
            17. Spline Mapper Color
            18. Spline Mapper Grayscale
            19. Spline Merge List
            20. Spline Render
            21. Spline Sample Height
            22. Spline Sample Thickness
            23. Spline Select
            24. Spline Warp
            25. UV Mapper Color
            26. UV Mapper Grayscale
        7. 3D View (Library)
          1. 3D View (Library)
          2. HDRI Tools
            1. HDRI Tools
            2. Blackbody
            3. Color Temperature Adjustment
            4. Exposure
            5. Exposure Preview
            6. HDR Merge
            7. Nadir Extract
            8. Nadir Patch
            9. Panorama 3D Position
            10. Panorama Rotation
            11. Gradient 2 Points
            12. Gradient Linear (HDRI)
            13. Line Light
            14. Physical Sun/Sky
            15. Plane Light
            16. Shape Light
            17. Sphere Light
            18. Straighten Horizon
      4. Graph items
  6. Substance function graphs
    1. Substance function graphs
    2. What is a Substance function graph?
    3. Create and edit a Substance function graph
    4. The Substance function graph
    5. Variables
      1. Variables
      2. System variables
      3. Get a variable value
      4. Create a variable
    6. FX-Maps
      1. FX-Maps
      2. How it works
      3. The Iterate Node
      4. The Quadrant Node
      5. Using Substance function graphs in FX-Maps
        1. Using Substance function graphs
          in FX-Maps
        2. Iterate and $number variable
        3. Using the Sampler nodes
        4. Using the Set/Sequence nodes
    7. Warnings in Substance function graphs
    8. Sample Substance function graphs
    9. Nodes reference for Substance function graphs
      1. Nodes reference for Substance function graphs
      2. Function Nodes Overview
      3. Constant Nodes
      4. Vector and Swizzle nodes
      5. Get Nodes
      6. Sampler nodes
      7. Cast nodes
      8. Operator nodes
      9. Logical nodes
      10. Comparison nodes
      11. Function nodes
      12. Control nodes
  7. MDL graphs
    1. MDL graphs
    2. Main MDL graph concepts
    3. Creating an MDL graph
    4. MDL library
    5. Exposing parameters in MDL graphs
    6. Substance graphs and MDL materials
    7. Exporting MDL content
    8. Warnings in MDL graphs
    9. MDL learning resources
  8. Bakers
    1. Bakers
    2. Bakers Legacy Interface
  9. Best Practices
    1. Best Practices
    2. Filesize Reduction Guidelines
    3. Graph Creation Etiquette
    4. Performance optimization guidelines
  10. Pipeline and Project Configuration
    1. Pipeline and Project Configuration
    2. Project Configuration Files - SBSPRJ
    3. Configuration List - SBSCFG
    4. User Preferences - Automating Setup
    5. Retrieving the installation path
    6. Installation via Command Line
    7. Environment variables
  11. Color Management
    1. Color Management
    2. Spot Colors (Pantone)
  12. Package Metadata
  13. Scripting
    1. Scripting
    2. Plugin basics
    3. Plugin search paths
    4. Plugins packages
    5. Plugin Manager
    6. Python Editor
    7. Accessing graphs and selections
    8. Nodes and properties
    9. Undo and redo
    10. Application callbacks
    11. Creating user interface elements
    12. Adding actions to the Explorer toolbar
    13. Using color management
    14. Using spot colors
    15. Logging
    16. Using threads
    17. Debugging plugins using Visual Studio Code
    18. Porting previous plugins
    19. Packaging plugins
    20. Scripting API reference
  14. Technical issues
    1. Technical issues
    2. Warnings and errors
    3. Cannot create/load a project
    4. Application does not start
    5. Crash when rendering graphs
    6. Parameters not working as expected
    7. Incorrect image output
    8. 3D View issues
    9. User interface issues
    10. Parameters not working as expected
    11. Substance model graph feature is missing
  15. Release Notes
    1. Release Notes
    2. All Changes
    3. Version 13.0
    4. Version 12.4
    5. Version 12.3
    6. Version 12.2
    7. Version 12.1
    8. Version 11.3
    9. Version 11.2
    10. Version 2021.1 (11.1)
    11. Old versions
      1. Old Versions
      2. Version 2020.2 (10.2)
      3. Version 2020.1 (10.1)
      4. Version 2019.3 (9.3)
      5. Version 2019.2 (9.2)
      6. Version 2019.1 (9.1)

3D View

The 3D View helps you view and understand your materials with custom meshes and rendered PBR materials.

The 3D View consists of two major areas: the top toolbar, providing a lot of customisation settings, and the main 3D render area. Like with all Substance 3D Designer Windows, it works together with other windows through right-click menu options and drag-and-drop operations. The 3D view also provides two main methods of rendering: fast, realtime OpenGL visualisation, with fluent smooth interaction, and high-quality raytraced renders with Iray.

Viewport interactions

The section below explains you how to do common actions in short, along with an animated gif to illustrate the process.

Viewport navigation

Viewport navigation

Navigating the graph happens in three dimensions, by Orbiting, Panning and Zooming.

  • You Orbit by dragging anywhere in the 3D view with Left-Mouse Button
  • You Pan by dragging anywhere in the 3D View with Middle-Mouse Button
  • You Zoom by Scrolling up or down with the Mouse Wheel , or by dragging up and down with Right-Mouse Button

Zoom direction

Each of the zooming methods is inverted with the other:

  • Mouse wheel up pulls the scene closer
  • RMB and drag up pushes the scene away

You Focus the view back on your mesh with Hotkey F .

Navigation can also happen by using the Camera menu to jump to predefined viewpoints, see the Toolbar section below.

Changing the lighting


Designer works with Image-Based lighting by default. A high-dynamic range bitmap is used to render diffuse and specular lighting. You can rotate this light-environment around your 3D object, or you can load either preset, or custom HDR light environments. Please note that your HDR images need to be spherical layout, and ideally are 32-bit .hdr format.

To rotate the lighting in the 3D view, use Ctrl + Shift + Right Mouse Button drag from left to right.

To set precise rotation, use Environment > Edit in the top 3D View toolbar and change the Rotation Angle slider in the properties window.

To use a preset HDR light environment, click the HDRI Environments section of the 3D View category in the Library Window, and then drag and drop any of the icons to the 3D view.

To use your own, custom HDR light environment, import an HDR image by dragging and dropping the file into a package in the Explorer Window (Link the file when prompted). Then drag and drop the resource, choose Latitude/Longtitude Panorama as the target.



Designer still has Legacy support for non-image-based lighting. These are disabled by default and are generally not used anymore. The  Lighting mode only moves these disabled, old lights.

Either use Alt + (any) Mouse button to control the camera when in Light mode, or switch back to  Camera mode (C) to regain viewport control.

Viewing data in 3D View

View Substance graph outputs

Substance graphs

You can view entire materials as a complete material in the 3D View. This is the most common way to work, and will match the usage attributes on output nodes , to the relevant texture slots of the 3D view material. That means your outputs need to be set correctly (using Templates ensures this is the case), and that you selected material/viewport shader supports

You view all of a graph's outputs by clicking RMB an emtpy area in the Graph view, and choosing the View Outputs in 3D View option in the contextual menu.

You can also view a graph's outputs without having to open it, by clicking RMB on a graph resource in the Explorer dock and choosing the View Outputs in 3D View option in the contextual menu.

As an alternative to the graph's contextual menu, you can achieve the same result by dragging the graph from the Explorer dock to the 3D View.

When loading a graph, its outputs are automatically applied in the 3D View by default. You can disable this behaviour in the Preferences. Go to Edit > Preferences > Graph > Common and uncheck the View outputs in 3D view when opening a graph option.


Multiple Material Slots

If you use custom meshes with more than one single material, you'll be asked to choose what material slot to assign the material to. With any of the above methods, click a slot to confirm your choice. For more information on Materials an their assignment, read the detailed section below.

Viewing node vs graph outputs in 3D View

Individual node/graph output

You can view just a single output in any available material channel in the 3D View. This is less commonly used, but good for previewing quick tests or individual nodes with no output.

You can view any node, not just output nodes, by right clicking it in the Graph view, and choosing View in 3D View. You'll be shown a list with available channels to assign the node to. Click any to confirm.

You can also use RMB to drag and drop any node from the Graph view to the 3D View. You'll be shown a list with available channels to assign the node to. Click any to confirm.

You can view any individual graph output by expanding the graph resource in the Explorer dock, and using LMB to drag that output to the 3D View. You will be shown a list with available channels to assign the node to. Click any to confirm.

Viewing custom 3D meshes

View (custom) 3D meshes

Designer offers a dozen preset meshes. These meshes have uniform, useable UV coordinates and serve most scenarios for tiling textures. Importing and viewing your own 3D meshes is also possible.

Pick any of the default meshes through the Scene dropdown menu in the top bar.

Import a custom 3D Mesh by dragging and dropping a compatible file to the Explorer. If asked to Link as UDIM mesh, the answer is usually No. Then Double-click its resource entry in the Explorer, or drag it to the 3D View to view it.

Changing material properties

Change Material Settings

There are a few different material types available by default in Designer, and each material has options beyond just texture channels. They can be configured individually. Keep in mind the material definitions are different between OpenGL and Iray render modes ; settings don't always carry over seamlessly.

To change the current material definition, go to Materials > Default (or any other slot name for custom meshes) and choose the definition and then technique. For example, to set displacement on a Plane (hi-res): Materials > Default > Adobe Standard Material* > Tesselation. This also opens the settings in the Properties panel.

To access a material's properties, go to Materials > Default (or any other slot) > Edit. Then change properties, such as Height Scale, in the properties panel. Other material settings are described below.

To reset a Material's state go to Materials > Default (or any other slot) > Reset Material. This will require you to view a material in 3D view again, as it clears texture slots.

*: On some system configurations, Adobe Standard Material may not be available and Metallic Roughness should be used instead.

Exporting the scene

Exporting the scene

You can export the mesh from the 3D View to a file in the OBJ, FBX or PLY formats. If tessellation displacement is enabled, the subdivision of the geometry is baked into the exported mesh.

However, the vertex normals of the original mesh may not match its new displaced shape, which means the displaced mesh may not render correctly. You can manage this in two ways:

  • Use the mesh normal map which will provide the correct normals
  • Recompute the mesh normals on export using the mesh normal map, which means these normals are baked into the exported mesh and the normal map is no longer necessary

To export the 3D View mesh, go to Scene > Export scene..., set your choice regarding normals recomputation, then select a location, name and file format for the exported mesh.


The duration of the export process and resulting file size depend on the mesh triangle count and tessellation factor. High tessellation factor values can result in instability depending on the GPU's onboard memory pool.

That being said, the vertex count of the tessellated mesh should be in the same range as the pixel count of the height map.

Having a mesh more dense than the height map can make for a slightly smoother mesh when using Phong tessellation, yet you should aim for reliably getting the mesh exported with the required height map detail first, and then refining the exported mesh in other software if needed.


If the original mesh has multiple materials and/or UV sets, these will be merged into one.


TDR (Windows only)

This feature requires that the Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) match the recommended values in this page of our documentation, as stated in Designer's Technical requirements.


This feature is not available on macOS.

Menu bar

The menu bar provides 7 menus with options related to the 3D View. below is an overview of all options available.

The Scene menu deals with the geometry (3D Resource) shown and with 3D view states. 3D Resource sare just the mesh, Scene states are lights, camera, and related settings, and can also contain the mesh alongside.

Scene menu meshes

Edit: Loads scene options in the Properties panel. Lets you toggle visibility of the 3D Mesh.

Standard Primitives: Shows any of the below simple 3D meshes in the 3D View.

  • Cube
  • Cylinder
  • Hollow Box
  • Inner Box
  • Plane
  • Plane (hi-res)
  • Sphere

Extended Primitives: Shows any of the below 3D meshes in the 3D View.

  • Cloth
  • Mat Ball
  • Rounded Cube
  • Rounded Cylinder
  • Sphere 2 tiles
  • Torus

Display UV's in 2D View: Shows UV's of the current 3D mesh as an overlay in the 2D View .

Create 3D Resource from Current Scene...: Creates a new 3D Resource in the current package, from the 3D mesh currently shown.

Load State File...: Loads an externally saved .sbsscn file. Does not replace the 3D mesh, only loads lighting and camera settings.

Load State File with mesh...: Loads an externally saved .sbsscn file. Replace the current 3D mesh, along with lighting and camera settings.

Save State File...: Save the current state of the 3D view as an external .sbsscn file.

Save Current State as Default: Set the current state of the 3D view as default from now on. This state is loaded every time the 3D view is reset or intialised, and can be set in the Project settings.

Export Scene: Exports the current mesh to OBJ, FBX or PLY file.

Reset Scene: Resets the 3D view to default.


Scene state file issues

Some software updates can change the way Scene state files are saved/loaded.
If the scene is not restored correctly from the file, it is recommended to manually set the desired state of the scene, and reexport the Scene state file.

The Materials menu changes based on the 3D mesh loaded and the renderer used. For Iray rendering, see the Iray page.

Default / Material list: For default primitives, only one "Default" material will be listed. For custom meshes this list is made up of any unique materials assigned to the mesh. This is configured externally in your 3D application, but can be reorganized in Designer (best is to do it in the mesh file, as this info is not easily lost).

  • Edit - Edit settings of the current material in the Properties window.
    For each material, the following default shaders are available in OpenGL rendering mode:
  • Adobe Standard Material (default) - New generation standardized shader. Ensures correct looks between al Adobe Substance 3D applications and supports the most features out of all shaders.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • Blinn - "Old - generation", non-PBR correct shader. Uses Diffuse, Specular and Glossiness channels next to standard channels like Opacity, Height and Normal.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • Lambert - Very simple lambert lighting shader, only supports Diffuse channel. Uses the old point lights system, does not support HDR image lighting.
  • Mesh Info - Debug shader to preview certain Mesh Info. Does not use any texture channels.
  • physically_metallic_roughness - standard PBR material for the Metallic Roughness model. Uses Basecolor, Metallic and Roughness channels.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • physically_metallic_roughness_coated - Coated PBR material for the Metallic Roughness model. Uses Basecolor, Metallic and Roughness channels as well as extra "Coat" channels.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • physically_metallic_roughness_sss - Sub-Surface-Scattering PBR material for the Metallic Roughness model. Uses Basecolor, Metallic and Roughness channels as well as extra Scattering channel.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • physically_specular_glossiness - standard PBR material for the Specular Glossiness model. Uses Diffuse, Specular and Glossiness channels.
    • Parallax Occlusion - does faked height displacement without modifying geometry.
    • Tesselation - tesselates and displaces geometry based on Height channel.
  • unlit - unlit debug shader to preview texture maps without any lighting. Only uses "color" channel.
  • Load Definition...: Lets you load your own custom GLSLFX Shader.

Add: Adds a new Material to the list. By default it will be unused, see the Scene Browser information below on how to assign these new materials.

Remove All: Removes all materials from the above list, keeps only one Default material.

Rebuild All: Rebuilds (recompiles) all GLSLFX shaders.

The Lights menu only deals with older, legacy ambient and point lights. These lights are not PBR-compliant and do not give the same high-quality results as HDR image based rendering.

Edit: edit individual settings for the ambient light and the two point lights.

Reset Lights: resets light properties to default state.

The Camera menu lets you change camera settings, go to predefined angles, and load Camera angles stored inside a custom 3D mesh file.

Edit: opens Camera settings in the Properties Window. Lets you change global settings like FOV, clip planes and background color.

Focus: (F) Focuses camera back on 3D mesh. Only changes pan and zoom, not angle.

Default Camera: (plus any imported cameras) Lets you switch between cameras stored in the mesh file. These cameras have individual settings, but need to be defined externally in your 3D application.

Preset Camera angles:

  • Back
  • Bottom
  • Front
  • Left
  • Perspective
  • Right
  • Top

Save Screenshot...: (Alt+S) Saves current view, with actual shown resolution to disk.

Copy Screenshot to Clipboard: (Alt+C) Copies current view to clipboard, for pasting in external editor.

Save Render...: (Alt+R) Saves current view, but at resolution defined in Camera Settings, to disk. Differs only from Save viewport Image if "Use Window Resolution" is set to False for the current camera.

Reset Position: (R) Resets Position of the camera.

Reset Selected: (Shift+R) Resets Position of the camera.

The Environment menu lets you modify the settings related to the HDRI environment used to light PBR correct materials.

Edit: Gives access to the HDR environment settings, used for lighting in PBR. Specifically you can toggle visiblity, change exposure with a preview, and set rotation with a precise slider..

Reset Environment: Resets all environment properties to default.

The display menu lets you toggle view modes, helpers and information for the rendered scene.

Wireframe*: toggles display of the mesh wireframe.

Axis*: toggles display of the 3D axis in the viewport.

Backface culling*: disabling this option lets you see a mesh face from both sides. The option works in combination with Wireframe

Bounding Box*: toggles display of the mesh' bounding box.

Grid*: toggles display of the world frid.

Light*: toggles display of helper lines for the point lights.

Vertex tangent space*: displays the tangent, binormal and normal vectors for all vertices as colored gizmos

Resolution: toggles display of a small resolution counter.

Scene Stats: toggles display of scene statistics, such as polycount, materials count, static meshes count, etc.

*: Available for the OpenGL renderer only.


Most of these options are available as button toggles in the Scene toolbar, see below.

The Renderer menu lets you switch between renderers, as wel as configure render settings.

  • Edit: Only available when using the Iray renderer.

  • OpenGL: set OpenGL as the renderer. Allows fast rendering.

  • Iray: set Iray as the renderer. Allows slower photorealistic rendering.

Scene toolbar

The Scene toolbar, which is located on the left border of the 3D View by default, offers controls for orbiting the cameras or lights around the scene. It also lets you access the Scene Browser dock.

The toolbar can be repositioned around the 3 D View dock using the leftmost handle represented by three parallel lines.

Camera/Light toggle

Camera/light toggle

This toggle lets you select which of the current camera or the scene lights should orbit around the scene when holding LMB and dragging the mouse in the viewport.
The camera is selected by default.

Scene browser

Scene browser

The Scene browser dock displays a hierachy of all elements in your scene.

As any other dock in Designer, it can be repositioned around the viewport as well as undocked into a floating window.

Selecting a light, camera or the environment item will display its properties in the Properties panel. This may be a convenient way to quickly access these settings instead of having to go through the menu bar.

Materials listed in the Materials menu can be assigned by clicking the dropdown box in the Material column of the Scene Browser.

(OpenGL renderer only) Selecting an element of the scene in the list will replace it in the viewport by a wireframe overlay of that element.


Once an item in the tree is selected, you can use the arrow keys to quickly move the selection through the items.
In combination with the wireframe overlay mentioned above, this is handy to quickly identify objects in complex scenes.

3D View display options

Display options

Click the Show environment button to toggle the display of the scene's environment. The same setting can be found in the Properties dock after going to Environment > Edit in the 3D View's menu bar.

Similarly, click the Display options button to display button toggles equivalents for the settings found in the Display menu.

 Wireframe: Toggles display of the mesh as a wireframe.

 Axis: Toggles display of the 3D axis in the viewport.

 Backface culling: Disabling this option lets you see a mesh face from both sides. The option works in combination with Wireframe.

 Bounding Box: Toggles display of the mesh' bounding box.

 Grid: Toggles the display of the world grid.

 Vertex tangent space: Displays the tangent, binormal and normal vectors for all vertices as colored gizmos.

 Scene Stats: Toggles display of scene statistics, such as polycount, materials count, static meshes count, etc.

Display toolbar

The Display toolbar, which is located at the bottom of the 3D View panel by default, lets you control how the rendered image is displayed in the viewport.

The toolbar can be repositioned around the 3D View dock using the leftmost handle represented by three parallel lines.

Color channels

You can display a single channel of the image using the Color channels button. This opens a combo box letting you select which of the Red, Green and Blue channels should be displayed. The normal aspect of the image with all channels is restored by selecting the RGB option.

The icon of the Color channels button changes depending on the currently display channel(s).

Color space

For the most accurate representation of color, images are displayed by default in a color space which matches the one used by the monitor.

The available controls will depend on the color management mode set in the Project settings. Learn more about these controls in the Color management section in this page.

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