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Reference images | Substance 3D Modeler

Reference images

Reference images allow you to bring your inspiration right into the scene so you can directly compare as you sculpt. Currently reference images are only supported in VR, but desktop support will be introduced in a future update.

To use reference images in Modeler:


Reference images and their positions in VR are included in Modeler's save file. So, if you import reference images, save the file, and open it again later, the images will be right where you left them.

  1. On desktop, open the File menu and select Import reference images.

  2. Navigate through the file browser and select one or more images to import.

  3. Click Open to bring the images into Modeler.

  4. Enter VR mode.

  5. Imported images are stacked on top of one another. To start moving them, open the palette then point your tool hand towards the images. 

  6. With the Palette open, point your tool hand at the image you'd like to move, and use TT to grab and move images.

While moving a reference image, you can also use TJ ↔ to change the image size, and TJ ↕ to move the image closer or further away.

You can access additional controls for reference images by selecting the image or images you'd like to modify.

  1. Open the palette to be able to interact with reference images.
  2. Point at a reference image, then use TT to select it. 
  3. Add more reference images to the selection by pointing at them and using TT.
  4. When one or more reference images are selected, options appear on the Support hand controller.

With at least one image selected, you can use the options on the support hand menu to:

  • Pin the selection to the scene. This makes the selection exist within the same space as the clay, so it will remain proportional to clay in your scene.
  • Snap the selection to an angle. This locks the image to 90 degree angles.
  • Lock the image in place. This prevents you from accidentally moving the selection without first unlocking it.
  • If your selection is pinned to the scene, you can recenter the selection.
  • Delete the selection.

With more than one image selected, you can also:

  • Group selected images.
  • If your selection contains a group, you can ungroup.


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