User Guide Cancel

Version 12.3 | Substance 3D Designer

  1. Substance 3D home
  2. User guide
  3. Glossary
  4. 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
  5. Interface
    1. Interface
    2. Customizing your workspace
    3. Home screen
    4. Main toolbar
    5. Preferences
      1. Preferences
      2. Project settings
      3. Version control
    6. Explorer
      1. Explorer
      2. Send to... / Interoperability
    7. Graph view
      1. Graph view
      2. Link creation modes
      3. Graph items
        1. Graph items
        2. Dot node (also Portal)
        3. Frame
        4. Comment
        5. Pin
    8. Library
      1. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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)
            7. Ambient occlusion (RTAO)
            8. Bevel
            9. Cross section
            10. Curvature
            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
            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
  8. 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. Built-in 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
  9. 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
  10. Bakers
    1. Bakers
    2. Bakers legacy interface
  11. Best practices
    1. Best practices
    2. Filesize reduction guidelines
    3. Graph creation etiquette
    4. Performance optimization guidelines
  12. 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. Environment variables
  13. Color management
    1. Color management
    2. Spot colors (Pantone)
  14. Package metadata
  15. 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
  16. 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. Python issues
    11. Substance model graph feature is missing
  17. Release notes
    1. Release notes
    2. All changes
    3. Version 13.1
    4. Version 13.0
    5. Version 12.4
    6. Version 12.3
    7. Version 12.2
    8. Version 12.1
    9. Version 11.3
    10. Version 11.2
    11. Version 2021.1 (11.1)
    12. 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)

Version 12.3

Substance 3D Designer 12.3 brings Substance model graphs to a new level with the support of subgraphs (or graph instances), plus the 'Visible if' control for exposed parameters and some new nodes dedicated to curves edition. This version also introduces two new panels (Welcome and What's New) to improve user onboarding, and some other minor features or bug fixes described below.

Release date: October 6th, 2022

Major features

Support of Graph Instances in Substance model graphs

If you are used to creating graphs, you want to be able to make subgraphs (or graph instances) in order to reuse your work, make graphs less cluttered and be more efficient.
This is now possible also for Substance model graphs: just drag & drop your subgraph from the Explorer to your main graph to use it as an instance node.

We have also introduced the concept of output nodes for Substance model graphs, such as Output scene. You now have the possibility to have one or more outputs in your graph.
Each output will correspond to an output pin when your graph will be instantiated in another graph.

When you right click on an instance node, you can of course access its referenced subgraph in order to view or edit it.

Thanks to subgraphs and exposed parameters, you can create complexe assets and apply infinite variations as demonstrated in the illustration below.

Other improvements for Substance model graphs

  • Visible if for exposed parameters
    When exposing parameters, you may want to hide or show parameters based on the status of other parameters. For example a slider only showing when a button is turned on.
    With Visible If, you can add conditions to parameter visibility, keeping a clean and functional UI. This mechanism already available for Substance graphs is now extended to Substance model graphs, using, of course, the same syntax.

  • New nodes dedicated to curve edition
    This version brings some new nodes dedicated to curve edition: Reverse curve swaps the two extremities of a curve, Curve subdivide adds more vertices on segments according to two methods, Smoothing curve smooths out all angles on a 2D curve and finally Offset curve inflates or deflates a 2D curve, as shown below.

  • New graph window
    The New Substance model graph window is now also available for Substance model graphs. You can add your own templates or select a default one, then directly enter the name of your graph and select the package which the graph will be added to.

Welcome and What's New panels

We have introduced two new panels to help you to get started with Designer:

First, the Welcome panel – displayed the first time you launch Designer – offers a global overview of the software and its role in the Substance 3D ecosystem. Then, the What's new panel – displayed the first time you run a new version of Designer – quickly presents the main features introduced in this version.

These two panels are also accessible from the Help menu.

Miscellaneous

  • Two buttons widget for exposed boolean parameters
    You now have a new way to expose boolean parameters in a Substance graph. In addition to the switch button, you can use Side by side buttons with custom texts in order to make more visible the two differents modes driven by the boolean parameter.

  • Resolve scaling issues for high-DPI screens
    In previous versions, Designer was not able to correctly handle the scaling factor set in the operating system. As you can see in the illustration below, everything is perfectly managed on a 4K display with 125% scaling with all fonts and buttons displayed at a coherent size.
    Note that the option 'Disable High DPI' in the Preferences have been reset to False in this new version as this option is not required anymore to have a usable interface.

  • Apple Silicon native support (M1 / M2) for Steam version
    The 12.2 version of Designer was the first one to bring full support of new Apple machines based on M1 or M2 chips, yet that support was absent from the Steam edition. From now on, all Designer users can benefit from a faster and more efficient experience on these machines.

Release notes

12.3.0

(Released October 06, 2022)

Added:

  • [General] Onboarding panel to welcome new users
  • [General] What's new panel to improve new features discoverability
  • [Substance model] Support of sub graphs and instances
  • [Substance model] Support Visible If for exposed parameters
  • [Substance model] Add support of Output nodes
  • [Substance model] Curve offset node
  • [Substance model] Curve revert node
  • [Substance model] Curve smoothing node
  • [Substance model] Curve subdivide node
  • [Substance model] Graft node
  • [Substance model] Update "Filter Scene" node
  • [Substance model] Make non-atomic nodes discoverable in Node menu
  • [Substance model] Add the action "Open Reference" in the contextual menu of an instance node
  • [Substance model] Add a "View in 3DView" action in the contextual menu of nodes that can be sent to the 3DView
  • [Substance model] Automatically display a node's properties after exposing it
  • [Substance model] Create 'New Substance model graph' window with templates list
  • [UI] Improve consistency of image saving options in 2D View and 3D View
  • [UI] Rename 'Link > 3D Mesh' to 'Link > 3D Scene' in Explorer's contextual menu
  • [UI] Reset layout now apply to all floating windows
  • [UI] Use 'View outputs in 3D View' label in contextual menus for graphs
  • [Library] Support non-atomic Substance model graphs
  • [SBSAR] Support graph outputs' description in the SBSAR
  • [Shader] Set the default Tessellation Factor value to 1 for all shaders
  • [UI] Expose 2-buttons widget for boolean parameters
  • [Engine] Update to Version 8.6.4
  • [Steam] Optimized build for Apple Silicon chipset (Apple M1 / M2)

Fixed:

  • [UI] Resolve scaling issues for high-DPI screens
  • [UI] '$(udim)' template missing from list in baking window
  • [UI] Crash when displaying the Node menu on the screen's right border (macOS only)
  • [UI] Extension button in 3D view menu is not visible
  • [UI] Graph toolbar's extension menu is incomplete
  • [UI] Incorrect parameter widget value after undoing hard range activation
  • [3D view] Non default shader setting is lost on Iray from a session to another
  • [Bakers] Crash when loading baking window with a scene without meshes
  • [Function] Crash when copying an instance into its referenced graph
  • [Function] Fix possible crash when manipulating nodes
  • [Globalization] Italic is not always correctly disabled in japanese/korean/chinese
  • [Graph] Incorrect fallback identifier for new MDL and Substance model graphs
  • [Graph] Inherited parameters driven by values are sometimes computed incorrectly
  • [GraphRender] Crash when switching engines while computing high resolution graph (macOS only)

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