User Guide Cancel

Version 2018.1 | Substance 3D Painter

  1. Home
  2. Getting Started
    1. Getting Started overview
    2. Activation and licenses
    3. System requirements
    4. Project creation
    5. Export
      1. Export overview
      2. Export window
        1. Export window overview
        2. Export settings
        3. Output templates
        4. List of exports
      3. Export presets
        1. Export presets overview
        2. Predefined presets
          1. Predefined Presets
          2. USD PBR Metal Roughness Preset
          3. Default Presets
        3. Creating export presets
    6. Glossary
    7. Performance
  3. Interface
    1. Assets
      1. Assets overview
      2. Navigation
      3. Customizing the layout
      4. Filter by path
      5. Saved searches
      6. Advanced search queries
      7. Adding a new library
      8. Sub-library tab
    2. Color picker
    3. Display settings
      1. Display settings overview
      2. Environment settings
      3. Camera settings
      4. Viewport settings
    4. History
    5. Layer stack
      1. Layer stack overview
      2. Creating layers
      3. Managing layers
      4. Masking and effects
      5. Blending modes
      6. Layer instancing
      7. Geometry mask
    6. Main menu
      1. Main menu overview
      2. File menu
      3. Edit menu
      4. Mode menu
      5. Window menu
      6. Viewport menu
      7. Plugins menu
      8. Help menu
    7. Project configuration
    8. Properties
    9. Settings
      1. Settings overview
      2. General preferences
      3. Shortcuts
      4. Libraries configuration
    10. Shader settings
      1. Shader settings overview
      2. Updating a shader
    11. Texture Set
      1. Texture Set overview
      2. Texture Set list
      3. Texture Set settings
      4. Texture Set reassignment
    12. Toolbars
    13. Viewport
      1. Viewport overview
      2. 2D view
      3. 3D view
      4. Camera management
    14. Miscellaneous
      1. Sliders
      2. Log
      3. Update checker
  4. Painting
    1. Painting overview
    2. Tool list
      1. Paint brush
      2. Eraser
      3. Projection
      4. Polygon fill
      5. Smudge tool
      6. Clone Tool
      7. Quick mask
    3. Straight line   
    4. Lazy mouse 
    5. Symmetry
      1. Symmetry overview
      2. Mirror Symmetry
    6. Fill projections
      1. Fill projections overview
      2. Fill (match per UV Tile)
      3. UV projection
      4. Tri-planar projection
      5. Planar projection
      6. Spherical projection
      7. Cylindrical projection
      8. Warp projection
    7. Presets
      1. Presets overview
      2. Creating and saving presets
      3. Creating particles presets
        1. Creating particles overview
        2. Installing the particle editor
        3. Overview of the particle editor
        4. Creating a new particle script
      4. Photoshop brush presets (ABR)
        1. Photoshop brush presets overview
        2. Exporting Brush Presets from Photoshop
        3. Importing Photoshop Brush Presets
        4. Photoshop Brush Parameters Compatibility
    8. Dynamic strokes
      1. Dynamic strokes overview
      2. Enabling Dynamic Stroke feature
      3. Dynamic Stroke Performances
      4. Creating custom Dynamic Strokes
    9. Advanced channel painting
      1. Channel painting overview
      2. Ambient Occlusion
      3. Flow Map
      4. Height Map
      5. Normal Map
  5. Effects
    1. Effects overview
    2. Generator
    3. Paint
    4. Fill
    5. Levels
    6. Compare Mask
    7. Filter
    8. Anchor Point
  6. Baking
    1. Baking overview
    2. How to bake mesh maps
    3. Baking visualization settings
  7. Content
    1. Creating custom effects
      1. Creating custom effects overview
      2. Generic filter
      3. Channel specific filter
      4. Generators
      5. Mesh map
      6. Mesh based input
      7. User data
    2. Importing assets
      1. Adding resources via the import window
      2. Adding content on the hard drive
      3. Receiving assets from other Substance 3D applications
  8. Features
    1. Automatic UV Unwrapping
    2. Physical size
    3. Smart Materials and Masks
    4. Subsurface Scattering
      1. Subsurface Scattering overview
      2. Enabling Subsurface in a Project
      3. Subsurface Parameters
      4. Subsurface Material Type
    5. Dynamic Material Layering
    6. UV Reprojection
    7. UV Tiles
      1. UV Tiles overview
      2. Image Sequence
    8. Color Management
      1. Color management overview
      2. Color management with Adobe ACE - ICC
      3. Color management with OpenColorIO
    9. Post Processing
      1. Post Processing overview
      2. Color correction
      3. Depth of Field
      4. Glare
      5. Lens Distortion
      6. Tone Mapping
      7. Vignette
      8. Color Profile
    10. Iray Renderer
      1. Iray Renderer overview
      2. Iray Settings
      3. Viewer and MDL Settings
    11. Plugins
      1. Plugins overview
      2. Autosave
      3. Resources Updater
    12. Sparse Virtual Textures
    13. Custom Shaders
    14. SpaceMouse® by 3Dconnexion
    15. Universal Scene Description (USD)
  9. Technical Support
    1. Hardware requirements
    2. Performance Guidelines
      1. Performances guidelines overview
      2. Conflicts and background applications
      3. Mesh and UV setup
      4. GPU Drivers
      5. NVIDIA Drivers Settings
      6. GPU VRAM amount and bandwidth
      7. GPU VRAM and other applications
      8. Texture Sets amount
      9. Layer management
      10. Channels management
      11. Substance filters and materials
      12. Viewport display
    3. Configuring Pens and Tablets
    4. Exporting the log file
    5. Exporting a DXDiag
    6. Technical issues
      1. GPU Issues
        1. Crash when working with overclocked GPU
        2. Forcing the external GPU on Mac OS
        3. GPU drivers compatibility
        4. GPU drivers crash with long computations (TDR crash)
        5. GPU has outdated drivers
        6. GPU is not recognized
        7. GPU is not recognized and is mentionned as GDI Generic
        8. Issues with Nvidia GPUs on recent Mac OS versions
        9. Multi/Bi-GPU
        10. Running on integrated GPU
        11. Painter doesn't start on the right GPU
      2. Startup Issues
        1. Application failed to start because of Qt
        2. Crash or freeze during startup
        3. Software conflicts
      3. Rendering Issues
        1. Artifacts and glitches on Mac OS with Custom GPUs
        2. Blocky artifacts appear on textures in the viewport
        3. Mesh appears pink in the viewport
        4. Mesh flash to white when moving camera
        5. Some HDPI scaling values are not working
      4. Stability Issues
        1. Crash during export
        2. Crash when opening or saving a file
        3. Crash while baking
        4. Crash with low virtual memory
        5. Windows Blue Screens
      5. Miscellaneous Issues
        1. Corrupted texture error message
        2. Shelf resources are gone after 7.2 update
        3. Error there is no disk in the drive
        4. Error with missing api-ms-crt dll
        5. Impossible to drag and drop files into the shelf
        6. Impossible to use the ALT keyboard shortcut on Linux
        7. Assets (or shelf) previews are empty
    7. Workflow Issues
      1. Export Issues
        1. My exported opacity map is totally black
        2. Texture dilation or Padding
      2. Tools Issues
        1. Normal map looks incorrect when loaded in layer or tool properties
        2. Paint Tool bleeds on other UV islands
      3. Project Issues
        1. A project has been processed as a text file and is now corrupted
        2. Loading files from a network
        3. Preserve brush strokes setting stays disabled
        4. Projects are really big
      4. Shelf Issues
        1. Thumbnails in the shelf look incorrect
      5. Viewport Issues
        1. Mesh faces disappear when looking at them from behind
        2. Viewports and textures are blurry or lack sharpness
      6. Plugins Issues
        1. Substance Source plugin doesn't load
      7. License Issues
        1. Maintenance is expired dialog on startup
  10. Pipeline and integration
    1. Installation and preferences
      1. Preferences and application data location
      2. Automated installation
      3. Retrieving the installation path
    2. Configuration
      1. Command lines
      2. Environment variables
      3. Firewall Configuration
      4. Querying Current Software Version
      5. Remote Desktop
    3. Resource management
      1. Shelf and Assets location
      2. Resource paths
        1. Adding resource paths by editing preferences manually
        2. Editing resource paths manually
        3. Editing the Shelf Preferences with Python
      3. Adding saved searches manually
      4. Preferences and content migration
      5. Excluding resources in a resource path
  11. Scripting and development
    1. Scripts and plugins
      1. Creating a Javascript plugin
      2. Remote control with scripting
    2. Shader API Reference
      1. Shader API overview
      2. Changelog - Shader API
      3. Libraries - Shader API
        1. Lib Alpha - Shader API
        2. Lib Bayer - Shader API
        3. Lib Defines - Shader API
        4. Lib Emissive - Shader API
        5. Lib Env - Shader API
        6. Lib Normal - Shader API
        7. Lib PBR - Shader API
        8. Lib PBR Aniso - Shader API
        9. Lib Pom - Shader API
        10. Lib Random - Shader API
        11. Lib Sampler - Shader API
        12. Lib Sparse - Shader API
        13. Lib SSS - Shader API
        14. Lib Utils - Shader API
        15. Lib Vectors - Shader API
      4. Parameters - Shader API
        1. All Custom Params - Shader API
        2. All Engine Params - Shader API
        3. All Rendering States Params - Shader API
        4. Layering Bind Materials - Shader API
        5. Layering Declare Stacks - Shader API
      5. Shaders - Shader API
        1. PBR Material Layering - Shader API
        2. PBR Metal Rough - Shader API
        3. Pixelated - Shader API
        4. Surface Shader - Shader API
        5. Toon - Shader API
  12. Release notes
    1. Relese notes
    2. All Changes
    3. Version 8.3
    4. Version 8.2
    5. Version 8.1
    6. Old versions
      1. Version 7.4
      2. Version 7.3
      3. Version 7.2
      4. Version 2021.1 (7.1.0)
      5. Version 2020.2 (6.2.0)
      6. Version 2020.1 (6.1.0)
      7. Version 2019.3
      8. Version 2019.2
      9. Version 2019.1
      10. Version 2018.3
      11. Version 2018.2
      12. Version 2018.1
      13. Version 2017.4
      14. Version 2017.3
      15. Version 2017.2
      16. Version 2017.1
      17. Version 2.6
      18. Version 2.5
      19. Version 2.4
      20. Version 2.3
      21. Version 2.2

Version 2018.1

Substance Painter 2018.1 introduces a brand new interface with a lot of improved behaviors. Performances have been improved as well in a lot of areas.

Release date : 15 March 2018

Major Features

New interface and behaviors

Substance Painter 2018.1 introduces a complete rework of the interface, ranging from color and icons to widget behaviors.

  • The new interface focus on bringing a brand new design, making it easier to read and less cumbersome to navigate.
    We reworked all our icons to be more explicit. We also reworked our color scheme which should now be more consistent.

  • We improved many widgets, especially our sliders, to be more easy to use with a Tablet Pen.
    You can click on the bar to move the slider or use the value field to more precisely edit the numbers.

  • We have a new toolbar that allows to open Docks on the fly.
    Clicking on one of the buttons in the toolbar will display the Dock next to its button and floating above the rest of the interface, re-clicking on the button will close it.
    If the dock move away from its button, it becomes a regular floating window which can be docked in the interface. If closed, the button will be available again in the Dock Toolbar.
    This new dock system works more easily with fullscreen. There is no need to have every dock always present in the interface anymore.

  • Docks now use our new Tab layout which organise items into sections while still being able quickly scroll inside it.
    This Tab layout allows big windows and can present all the information at the same time, contrary to regular Tab systems that hide information.

  • There is now a Quick Menu, which makes Tool properties available directly in the viewport.
    To open the quick menu, simply right-click in the viewport. To close the quick menu, click again in the viewport.
    The menu will only close when clicking into the viewport, allowing the drag and dropping of resources from the shelf directly into the quick menu.

  • There is now a new Contextual Toolbar at the top for the viewport.
    This toolbar change its parameters depending of the current tool used. It's a way to quickly access basic tool features (like the brush size).

  • It is now possible to reorder effects using drag and drop in the layer stack.

  • While the shortcuts "C" and "B" allow you to quickly vizualise the Channel and Baked textures into the viewport, it is now possible to use the unified dropdown to change the viewport display.
    At the top right of the viewport there is now a dropdown listing all the Channels and Mesh maps (previously Additional maps). This unified dropdown is also available in the Display Settings dock.

  • The Display Settings and Viewer Settings have been merged into a single Dock.
    Environment, Camera and Viewport settings are now grouped together, while Shaders parameters have been moved into a dedicated Dock instead.
    The Display Settings now takes advantage of the new Tab layout to quickly navigate the window.

Drag and drop of Materials and Smart-Materials into the Viewport

You can now drag and drop Materials and Smart Materials directly into the viewport.
This new action will highlight the geometry of the of the target Texture Set at the same time. This action will create the new layers at the top of the layer stack of the Texture Set.

Improved tablet pen behavior

In this version we improved the way we handle Graphics tablet pen movements and inputs, especially when Substance Painter is under a heavy load.
We no longer lose the inputs anymore while we are doing consecutive computations. This should allow precise brush strokes in any situations.

Improved seam padding

We reworked the way we generate our padding outside the UV islands. Instead of taking the current pixel and dilating it on a certain distance we now look for the neighboring pixel on the other side of the UV seam and interpolate the two values.
This gives a much better end result and reduce the visibility of the split between UV islands even when the textel ratios don't match.

This new padding is automatically generated after each brush stroke, resolution change or layer modification.

Improved performances

We also improved performances in this version on multiple levels :

  • Opening and saving project should be a bit quicker than before.
    We reworked the way we encode/decode our painting data. This especially affect projects with a lot of paint information (brush strokes).
  • We now support lot of sub-objects with meshes.
    It isn't mandatory anymore to merge a mesh into one piece before loading it in Substance Painter. Performance should stay good even with 8000 sub-objects in a project.
  • We changed the way our viewport is refreshed to reduce the load on the GPU when painting.
    This means we no longer update the whole image but instead a small region where you are currenlty working.
    You can feel the difference on less powerful GPUs or when using a high sample count in your shader.
  • The shelf system is now faster to discover resources when launching the application.
    Substance materials with embeded bitmaps are twice as fast to discover (if cooked as non-solid). Presets should also see improvements.

Global scene position baker

We now have a new setting that allows to bake a position map per Texture Set that take into account the full scene size.
This new behavior allows to use triplanar projections in Mask Generators that will match across the whole scene instead of creating seams like before. This is really usefull with projects that have a lot of Texture Sets (like UDIM based projects).

In the position baker settings, change the the parameter "Normalization Scale" from "Per Material" to "Full Scene" to enable this new behavior.

New content

We also added some new content in this release :

  • New 3D noises.
    Imported direclty from Substance Designer, 4 new 3D and totally seamless noises have been added to the default shelf.
    These new noises rely on the posiiton map of the project to generate a result without any seams.
  • Non-square noises
    The base noises have been updated to the latest version from Substance Designer.
    This means that the non-square expansion feature is now available in the noise parameters.

  • New mask generator 3D Linear Gradient.
    This new mask generator allows you to create a linear gradient in any direction in 3D space.
    The direction can be defined with two 3D positions, which can be picked on the position map directly.
    Example :
    1. Create the mask generator 3D Linear gradient in one of your layer

    2. Switch the viewport display to "Position" (via the viewport dropdown or by using the "B" key)

    3. Click on the "3D Position Start" parameter to open the Color Picker pop-up

    4. Pick a color on your mesh in the viewport

    5. Repeat the process for the second parameter "3D Position End"

  • New template Lens-studio (Snap Chat 3D app).
    We have a new template to easily create projects that target the Lens-Studio application created by Snap.
    A dedicated shader and export preset are also available. For more details about Lens Studio see :
  • Smart Materials and Smart Masks have been updated with the latest version of our Mask Generators.
    Our Smart presets now all support the micro details feature which can be used with Anchor points.

New sample project

There is now a new sample project named "TilingMaterial" that you can open via the "File > Open Sample" menu action.
This project use a simple plane mesh with overlapping UVs which allows to paint seamlessly materials and brush strokes to create tiling materials.


A new tutorial course has been added to Substance Academy to cover our new interface : Getting started with substance painter 2018

Release Notes


(Released June 28, 2018)


  • Summary: Hotfix
  • [Preferences] Propose to save project when Painter restarts


  • [Plugin] Search Substance Source does not work
  • [Smart Materials] Importing Smart Materials leads to a crash in some cases
  • [Smart Materials] Deleting Smart Materials leads to a crash in some cases
  • [Save] Saving leads to a crash in some rare cases
  • [Shelf] Invert does not work on Cells 2 and Cells 3
  • [Shelf] Typo in some Alphas
  • [Shelf] Some substance materials do not render properly

Known Issues:

  • Computation freeze on AMD VEGA GPUs


(Released June 6, 2018)


  • Summary: Improved Baking Speed, Improved Save System, Updated Sliders, Updated Plugin API, Chinese Translation, Improved Padding now Optional
  • [Bakers] Performance improvement with new baker version
  • Force display dialog with incompatible GPU
  • [Save] Expose new compact project functionality (full/compact save mode)
  • [Save] Inform user in case of saving error
  • [Clean] Next save in full/compact mode
  • [Sliders] Improvement of the precision of the color/grayscale bars and sliders
  • [Sliders] Addition of Up/Down arrow controls
  • [Sliders] Same detection zone for color and grayscale bar sliders
  • [Plugin] Autosave always in incremental mode
  • [Plugin] Option to switch plugins to new interface style
  • [Language] Add Chinese translation
  • [Padding] Option to switch between UV and 3D space neighbor padding per Texture Set in Texture Set Settings
  • [Script] Expose save mode: full/compact or incremental
  • [Script] Update scripting/QML documentation
  • [Log] Indicate save mode in log (full/compact or incremental)


  • [Tool] Channel slot transforms into a material slot on single-channel fills
  • Crash when loading a mesh (FBX) with some faces not assigned by a material
  • Crash in Iray with NVIDIA GRID 5.2 on virtual machine
  • Crash when undoing a material preset deletion
  • Crash when loading some projects
  • [Command line] New command line for UDIMs meshes split-by-udim
  • [Toolbar] Shrinking of the toolbar
  • [Instancing] Cannot instantiate bitmaps across multiple texture sets
  • [Viewport] Refresh is not complete when painting on mesh with tiled UVs
  • [Iray] Normal Map is applied twice for dielectrics
  • [Shelf] Typos in some Substance parameters (alphas, procedurals and matfx)
  • [Shelf] Typo for the bitmap "Authorized Personnel Only"
  • [Script] Function alg.shaders.materials() does not work anymore

Known Issues:

  • Computation freeze on AMD VEGA GPUs


(Released April 3, 2018)


  • [Tablet] Issue when changing default interaction choices
  • [Bakers] Crash with Assimp library
  • [Bakers] Regression on performance with A.O. map
  • [Iray] Lens Distortion is not applied to the Alpha channel
  • [Drivers] Update of minimum drivers requirements
  • [3Dview] Normals not correctly generated on UDIM meshes without normals information
  • [Intel] Crash with Substance Painter 2018.1.0
  • [Intel][Viewport] Issue with padding (black artefacts)

Known Issues:

  • Computation freeze on AMD VEGA GPUs


(Released March 15, 2018)


  • New overall style (icons, color, behavior)
  • New default layout
  • [Tablet] User experience enhancement while painting
  • [Main menu] Sort native items in views and toolbars first
  • [Main menu] Move quick mask actions in viewport section
  • [Main menu] Move right-click actions into viewport section
  • [Main menu] Rename "View" menu as "Window"
  • [Quick menu] New tool properties by right click in viewport
  • [Dock widget] New dock toolbar for quick reduce/recall
  • [Display settings] Camera and viewer settings window merged
  • [Layer stack] Contextual right click menu
  • [Layer stack] Drag and drop to move any effect within the same layer
  • [Toolbar] Reorganization of toolbar and new contextual toolbar
  • [Tools toolbar] Split clone tool into two separate tools
  • [Tools properties] Lighter background grayscale value in the preview
  • [Tools properties] Organization in tabs (fill and tools)
  • [Tool] Painting result matches the stencil
  • [Viewport] New cursor for fill layer
  • [Viewport] Smoother navigation and painting (higher frame rate)
  • [Viewport] Material/Channel/Map selection combobox in viewport
  • [Viewport] Reduce flickering while rotating (shadow on)
  • [Shelf] Display materials by default when opening Painter
  • [Shelf] Loading time improvement of Substance textures and materials (2 to 6 times faster)
  • [Shelf] Reorganize materials folders to fit Substance Source structure
  • [Shelf] Drag and drop materials directly on the mesh in the viewport
  • [Shelf] New 3D Noises (Perlin, Perlin Fractal, Simplex and Worley)
  • [Shelf] New 3D Linear Gradient mask generator using mesh position
  • [Shelf] Updated base Noises to support non square expansion
  • [Shelf] Added new template and export preset for Lens Studio (Snap application)
  • [Shelf] Updated Smart Materials and Smart Masks to use latest version of the Mask Editor (micro details)
  • [Shelf] New sample project "TilingMaterial" to create seamless tiling materials
  • [Shelf] New brush presets (Calligraphy, Wet, Hatching and so on)
  • [Sliders] New sliders and grayscale/color bars style and behavior
  • [Bakers] Allow use of full scene bounding box to compute the position map
  • [Shader] Remove height force parameter from the default shader parameters
  • [Engine] Substance engine updated
  • [Engine] No or less discontinuities across UV chunks (new seam padding)
  • [Plugins] Import materials downloaded from Substance Source more quickly
  • [Plugins] Update all plugins to match new overall style
  • [Preferences] Preview background color changes automatically
  • [Clean] Reduced risk of project corruption
  • [Open] Opening project time improvement
  • [New project] New project - mesh update time improvement
  • [Save] Saving Project time improvement
  • [Log] License type reported in log
  • [TextureSet] Rename "Bake Textures" button as "Bake Mesh Maps"
  • Rename "Additional maps" as "Mesh maps"


  • [Viewport] Bad performances with meshes containing a lot of sub-objects
  • [Tools properties] Channel disabled when dragging and dropping an image into the material slot
  • [Tools properties] Brush preview is broken with smudge and clone tools
  • [Texture set] Channels order is wrong when using templates
  • [Shelf] Missing icon for Grayscale Conversion generator
  • [Shelf] Sign Circle Number alpha is broken (missing font)
  • Incorrect detection of integrated GPUs at launch
  • [Crash] Drag-and-droping an imported ressource named with a # character
  • [Engine] Vram detection issue on integrated GPU
  • [Engine] Fixed numerous crashes in Substance Engine Linker
  • [Engine] Square artefacts when changing resolution
  • [Post Effects] Interface resize is slow when post effects are on
  • [Bakers] Scene unit is not correctly respected for Ray Distance values
  • [Bakers] AO from Mesh Occluder distance is clamped to 1 no matter the input value
  • [Bakers] Match by name ignores some meshes with specific names
  • [Bakers] Color from mesh Polygroup and Submesh ID setting always return a black image
  • [Bakers] ID Baking fails with binary FBX meshes from Blender
  • [Shader] Noise in the 2D View with dota-2 and non-pbr-spec-gloss
  • [Linux] Only one CPU thread is used when baking
  • [MacOS] Crash with brush cursor moving over the viewport

Known Issues:

  • Computation freeze on AMD VEGA GPUs
  • Distorsion post process not taken into account while exporting in IRay (alpha channel)
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