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Planar projection | Substance 3D Painter

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Planar projection

The Planar projection of the fill is a 3D projection that projects an image in a direction as a plane. It can be used to project signs, decals and other patterns on the surface or through the 3D model.





Controls how the texture or material will be filtered. This setting can impact how the texture looks when repeated multiple times. With high scaling values using a different filtering than the default may produce better looking result. Current settings available:

  • Bilinear | HQ (default): Advanced bilinear filtering that tries to improve the quality of the texture when the tiling values are high.
  • Bilinear | Sharp: Simple bilinear filtering that smooths the texture slightly but try to preserve details.
  • Nearest: No filtering, useful if the Bilinear filtering gives a blurry result and breaks fine details. Can introduce aliasing in the texture.

UV Wrap

Control how the texture repeats within the projection. Possible values are:

  • None: the texture doesn't repeat. Anything outside the texture is black/transparent.
  • Repeat horizontally: the texture only repeats horizontally.
  • Repeat vertically: the texture only repeats vertically.
  • Repeat (default): the texture repeats on both axes.

Shape crop

Define if the projected texture should be visible outside of the projection area. Possible values are:

  • Project cropped to shape: the projection is confined within the projection area.
  • Projection extends outside shape (default): the projection continues beyond the projection area.

Depth culling

If enabled, the projection will fade/cut along its projection axis instead of being infinite.

  • Enabled:

  • Disabled:

There is one parameter available:

  • The hardness setting controls how hard or soft the depth culling is along the projection axis.

Backface culling

If enabled, the projection will not appear on the 3D model's faces that are looking away from the projection axis.

There are two parameters available:

  • Angle: define the minimum angle which determines when faces that are looking away should be ignored.
  • Hardness: define how hard or soft the transition should be.


Adjusting the transformation scale allows to control the depth of projection as well:

UV transformation

The UV transformation settings control the texture/material within the projection.

Scale modeSettingDescription

Tiling (default)

Allows to manually set the repeating amount for the current texture.

TilingControls the number of times the texture is repeated.

RotationControls the angle at which the texture is projected onto the mesh.
OffsetControls from where the texture will be projected. Default value means the texture center is at the center of the mesh's UVs.

Physical Size

Automatic adjustment of a texture according to the mesh size and embedded physical size. It uses width and length (X and Y measurements) to calculate the correct physical size. Z measurement is not taken into account.

(For more information see the dedicated documentation page)

Custom Size

If enabled, allows to enter a physical size manually and override the one provided by an asset.

It is automatically selected if no physical size is detected or if multiple assets with different physical sizes are used within the same layer/effect.

Size (cm)Embedded physical sizes are expressed in centimeters. It is possible to work with a mesh file that was created using different units of measurement - it will retain correct proportions. However asset size is currently displayed in centimeters only.
RotationControls the angle at which the texture is projected onto the mesh.

Controls from where the texture will be projected. Default value means the texture center is at the center of the mesh's UVs.

3D projection settings

The 3D projection settings control the transformation of the projection in 3D space.

OffsetPosition of the origin of the projection in 3D space. The units are based on the bounding box of the whole scene. 0 is the center of this box.
RotationAngles in degrees to rotate the whole projection on each axes.
ScaleSize of the whole projection on each axes.

Contextual Toolbar

Several settings and tools are available from the Contextual toolbar sitting at the top of the viewport which give controls over the manipulator and the projection:




Show/Hide manipulator

If enabled, the manipulator is visible and controllable in the viewport.

Manipulator settings

This menu contains three settings:

  • Manipulator size: control how big the manipulator is in the viewport.
  • Grid steps: define the size of the step when translating with a constraint.
  • Angle steps: define the angle of the step when rotating with a constraint.

Translation manipulator

Allow to move the projection in the scene along the main axes (X, Y, Z).

Rotation manipulator

Allow to rotate the projection in the scene along the main axes (X, Y, Z).

Scale manipulator

Allow to scale the projection in the scene along the main axes (X, Y, Z).

Surface manipulator

Allow to move the projection by snapping it on the 3D model surface.


This manipulator is only available with the Planar and Warp projection types.

Manipulator space

Define in which space the transformation are performed. Possible values are:

  • Local space: axes are aligned with the current transformation.
  • World space: axes are aligned with scene.

Mirror on X

Flip the transformation on the X axis.

Mirror on Y

Flip the transformation on the Y axis.

Mirror on Z

Flip the transformation on the Z axis.

Reset transformation

Restore the projection transformation back to its default state.


This projection manipulator is only available in the 3D viewport.





Mouse click

With the Translation manipulator, clicking on the axes move the projection:

  • One axis: only move in one direction the projection.
  • Two axes: move the projection on the plans aligned with the axes.
  • Three axes: move the projection in the space of the camera (plan facing it).

Translation constrained

SHIFT+Mouse click

With the Translation manipulator, move the projection along the selected axes but only at specific intervals (stepping). The size of the interval is defined via the manipulator settings.


Mouse click

With the Rotation manipulator, clicking on one axes rotate the projection. Click in-between the axes allow to rotate all the axes at the same time.

Rotation constrained

SHIFT+Mouse click

With the Rotation manipulator, clicking on one axis to rotate the projection will only happen at specific intervals. The step is defined by an angle via the manipulator settings.


Mouse click

With the Scale manipulator, clicking on one axis handle resize the projection along the given axis.

Scale constrained

SHIFT+Mouse click

With the Scale manipulator, clicking on one axis handle while maintaining the shortcut will resize the projection in steps. The step size is the same as for the Translation manipulator.


Mouse click

With the Surface manipulator, clicking and dragging it over the 3D model will snap it on the surface.


This manipulator is only available with the Planar and Warp projection types.


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