User Guide Cancel

Version 8.1 | 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
      8. Path tool
    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. All Changes
    2. Version 9.0
    3. Version 8.3
    4. Version 8.2
    5. Old versions
      1. Version 8.1
      2. Version 7.4
      3. Version 7.3
      4. Version 7.2
      5. Version 2021.1 (7.1.0)
      6. Version 2020.2 (6.2.0)
      7. Version 2020.1 (6.1.0)
      8. Version 2019.3
      9. Version 2019.2
      10. Version 2019.1
      11. Version 2018.3
      12. Version 2018.2
      13. Version 2018.1
      14. Version 2017.4
      15. Version 2017.3
      16. Version 2017.2
      17. Version 2017.1
      18. Version 2.6
      19. Version 2.5
      20. Version 2.4
      21. Version 2.3
      22. Version 2.2

Version 8.1

Substance 3D Painter 8.1 integrates the Adobe Color Engine (ACE) with support for ICC profiles, new bakers, new 3D noises and 20 grunge maps and an improved eyedropper.

Release date: 7 June 2022

Major features

New color management with Adobe Color Engine (ICC support)

In this new version, the color management system has been expanded with the support of the Adobe Color Engine (ACE) which unlocks the use of ICC profiles. This new system allows to match colors across a wide range of applications, including Photoshop.

  • New project settings
    When creating a new project, it is now possible to specify the color management engine with the newly added Adobe Color Engine (ACE).

    ACE comes with the following working color space:

    • Linear sRGB
    • ACEScg
    • Linear Adobe RGB
  • Monitor ICC profile support
    You can use your ICC profile to adjust the viewport look and make your colors match your monitor.

  • Import and export of images with ICC profiles embedded
    When importing bitmaps, the ICC profile can be automatically extracted. It also possible to override that profile in the layer properties.
    When exporting it is possible to specify the intended ICC profile that will be embedded in the texture files.

  • New json template settings
    To share and re-use settings across projects it is possible to specify a preset file. To know more about the preset specifications, see the dedicated documentation.
For more information, see the color management documentation.

New physical size support for Substance materials

The size inside Substance materials can now be used to drive their scale and tiling inside fill layer projections. This is a useful tool to match properly materials on surfaces according to their real size without the need to guess.

  • New fill layer parameters
    A fill layer (or effect) there are new parameters to control the tiling/repetition of a material if it has a physical size defined. These new parameters are only available with 3D projections.

  • New viewport grid
    To make the physical size easier to understand and visualize, it is now possible to activate a grid in the 3D viewport via the Display settings window.
    Once enabled the grid will be automatically subdived based on the level of zoom. The grid unit is indicated in the bottom left of the viewport.


For more information, see the dedicated documentation.

New bakers

These three new additions close the gap between Designer and Painter to extend the texturing and rendering possibilities.

They have been added to the baker list, however they are disabled by default:

The new bakers are:

  • Bent Normals baker
    The Bent Normals baker allows to bake an occlusion direction (as a vector, similar to normal maps). This texture can be used to improve the shading in the viewport by enabling the Bent Normal setting in the Shader settings window. Bent Normals greatly improve the accuracy of the real-time viewport shading.
    For diffuse shading, it gives a more accurate occlusion and can even look like an approximate global illumination (first example below).
    For specular reflections, it allows to simulate self-shadowing and reduce the amount of light leaking, making the object feel much more grounded especially with metallic surfaces (second example below).

  • Height baker
    The Height baker allows to bake the difference between the low and high-poly mesh as a grayscale texture which could then be used to produce displacement on tessellated meshes. For example when baking scan information against a plane.

  • Opacity baker
    The Opacity baker produces a black and white map that shows holes from a high-poly mesh. For example it can be used to bake fences or even holes inside a fabric surface.

New content

A variety of new content has been added in this release, including:

  • New and improved 3D noises with more than 100 presets
    The existing 3D noises have been reworked and three new ones have been added. Each of them now include predefined settings which brings a total of 105 presets across 7 noises. These presets can be used as a starting point to fiddle with their parameters and get a specific look. As always with 3D noises, they are seamless and can very easily repeat without a noticeable pattern.

    To find the 3D noises, simply go to the procedurals section of the Asset panel:

    The noises provide a very wide range of possibilities, here are for example the presets available with the 3D Voronoi Fractal:

  • 20 new grunge bitmaps and 2 cloth patterns
    A new set of grunges has been added with the default content to expand the existing range of patterns. They can be found under Procedurals > Grunges Bitmap.
    Two cloth patterns are also available under Procedurals > Fabric.


Some of the 3D noises can take a few seconds to compute during their first usage.

Improved eyedropper and material picker

Several improvements have been made to the eyedropper to make extracting and managing colors easier.

  • New picking mode
    When picking colors, it is not necessary to press and maintain the mouse click anymore while moving the mouse. Now it is possible to single click the eyedropper, move the mouse to the desired location and click again to capture a color.
  • New eyedropper buttons
    Next to color buttons there is a new eyedropper icon that can be used to capture colors without having to open the color picker first.

  • New eyedropper keyboard shortcut
    When the color picker window is open, you can also press I to enter the eyedropper mode without needing to click the dedicated icon, which makes it easier to quickly iterate between picking and painting.
  • New preview while eyedropping
    When using the eyedropper to pick a color, a new preview is not visible next to the mouse. This preview is also color managed.

  • New picking directly into a channel
    With the new eyedropper behavior it is now possible to directly pick into a channel on the mesh. To do so simply press and maintain SHIFT to pick a color directly form the channel. The channel is determined from where the eyedropper has been started. This method bypass any color transformation which is important with color management to retrieve accurate colors. A tooltip will appear to indicate from which channel the color is captured.

  • New color space settings when capturing a color
    When color management is enabled, a new setting is available in the color picker to specify the color space used when capturing colors. This setting is global to the session of Painter and will apply as well to the eyedropper button next to the color buttons in the properties window.

  • Improved material picker behavior
    The material picker from the Tools toolbar (keyboard shortcut P) now respects the channel selection inside the properties window. It will no longer enable by channels itself.

Improved automatic unwrapping

The automatic UV unwrapping process now provides a more natural segmentation.

Now meshes are cut into separate UV islands using a method comes closer to what can be done by hand, especially on organic meshes.

Release Notes


(Released June 07, 2022)


  • [Color Management] Add support for ICC profiles with Adobe Color Engine (ACE)
  • [Color Management] Add support for "Adobe 98 RGB" as working color space for ICC
  • [Color Management] Allow to configure ACE/ICC settings via a configuration file
  • [Color Management] Allow to input linear color values in Color Picker with Legacy mode
  • [Color Management] Allow to specify the color profile used for picking color outside the UI
  • [Color Management] Remember the last Display value chosen in the viewport
  • [Color Management][Substance] Make generators/filters work properly with Color Management
  • [Color Management][Substance] Add new colorspace override keywords $working and $standardsrgb
  • [Physical Size][Engine] Extract physical size info from mesh
  • [Physical Size][Engine] Physical size computation
  • [Physical Size] Expose options to use physical size in the UI
  • [Physical Size] Add visual helpers in the viewport
  • [Baking] Add Height baker
  • [Baking] Add Bent Normals baker
  • [Baking] Add Opacity baker
  • [Eye Dropper] New color picker preview
  • [Eye Dropper] Color picker panel reappears at its last position when reopened
  • [Eye Dropper] A new icon for the Material Picker
  • [Eye Dropper] Color manage the channel preview of the color picker
  • [Eye Dropper] Add click-to-select functionality to the eyedropper
  • [Eye Dropper] Material picker no longer activates non-active channels
  • [Eye dropper] Allow to use eyedropper with a shortcut
  • [Eye dropper] Eyedropper picks up the relevant channel, when applicable
  • [Eye dropper] Entering the color picker mode deactivates all shortcuts
  • [Eye dropper] Remove auto selection of the hex field
  • [Eye dropper] Don't close the panel when using the material picker
  • [Eye dropper] New disabled state when channel is unavailable to pick
  • [Export] Add tangent attribute to glTF export
  • Update Substance Engine to v8.4
  • Update Auto Unwrap to 0.9.0
  • Update to Qt 5.15.8
  • Update to Python 3.9
  • [Shader] Add support for Bent Normals shading
  • [MacOS] Support of 3DConnexion SpaceMouse
  • [Python] Document the Python version used in the API
  • [Content] Add 6 new 3D noises with 105 presets
  • [Content] 20 new grunge maps and 2 cloth folds patterns
  • [Content] Update "Mesh maps" export preset to use new bakers
  • [Content] Blur Slope and warp filter depends on texture set resolution
  • [Content] Update sample projects to use the 3 new bakers


  • [glTF] Cannot open glTF with special character
  • [Engine] Artefacts with anisotropy and SVT disabled
  • [MacOS][M1] Smart materials are not displayed correctly
  • [Mesh Processing] Cannot import meshes from Modeler
  • [UI] Horizontal scrollbar in new project window with Color Management enabled
  • [Color Management] Working space value missing in color picker with some OCIO configs
  • [Color Management] Brush preview in the viewport is not color managed
  • [SpaceMouse] Pivot is not updated immediately with focus change and sometimes out of the model
  • [Export][USD] Exported USD files have a wrong structure
  • [USD] Ambient Occlusion issue when exporting
  • [Content] Update thumbnail's mesh to match Preview Sphere sample project

Known Issues:

  • Export textures using diffusion padding renders black maps
  • Normal/Ambient Occlusion mixing is broken
  • [MacOS] Crash when launching Iray in some rare cases
  • [Preview Thumbnail] Simplified thumbnails aren't updated when an anchor is used
  • [Color Management] HDR color space conversions with ACE on Linux produce clamped colors
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