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Materials | Substance 3D Stager


Materials define the appearance of 3D objects and are an essential part of 3D design workflows. Adobe Substance 3D Stager has powerful physically based materials. Stager's rendering system uses the same material parameters for real time and ray tracing methods. This makes it easy to set up materials and get consistent visual results.

To use materials

  • Drag and drop a material onto an object
  • Use the Properties panel to edit the material settings

Transform properties

Use the material transform properties to control the overall material position, rotation, and size on the surface of the models. These transformation settings are for the material, so will impact all objects the material is applied to.

Standard material properties

Base surface properties

Base color

The color of the surface.


How smooth or matte the surface is.


The degree of metallic luster the surface has.


The visibility of the surface.

Ambient occlusion

Shadows from cavities and creases preventing light from hitting the surface.

Specular level

The strength of light reflections on the surface.

Specular edge color

The color of light reflections. Affects glancing angles for metallic materials.


Simulates surface details like bumps and cracks.

Normal scale

The strength of the normal effect.

Combine normal and height

Applies the normal texture on top of the height texture.


Creates surface details using bump or geometry displacement.

Height scale

The scale of height in scene units. Applies to both bump and displacement.

Height level

The value of the height texture representing zero displacement.

Anisotropy level

The amount that reflections stretch in one direction along the surface.

Anisotropy angle

The counterclockwise rotation of the anisotropic effect.

Emission intensity

The intensity of light emitted from the surface.

Emission color

The color of emitted light.

Sheen opacity

Simulates the effect of microscopic fibers or fuzz on the surface.

Sheen color

The color of the sheen effect.

Sheen roughness

Softness of the sheen effect.

Interior properties


The amount of light able to transmit through the surface.

Absorption color

The color light will converge to as it is absorbed.

Absorption distance

Approximate distance in scene units that light will travel before reaching absorption color. If set to zero, thickness will not affect absorption color.

Index of refraction

The amount light bends as it passes through the object.


The amount the color spectrum spreads out when refracted.

Subsurface scattering

Scatters light below the surface, rather than passing straight through.

Scattering color

The color below the surface that scattered light will become.

Scattering distance

Approximate distance light must travel before reaching full scattering.

Scattering distance scale

A multiplier of the scatter distance. May be different for each color channel.

Red shift

Sets red light to travel further than other light colors. Useful for skin.

Rayleigh scattering

Sets orange light to travel further beneath the surface and blue light to travel less.

Volume thickness

The thickness of the surface relative to the bounding box of the object. Used for interior effects when the real thickness is not known.

Volume thickness scale

Multiplier of the volume thickness.

Coat properties

Coat opacity

Simulates a layer on top of the material. Used to create clear coats, lacquers, and varnishes.

Coat color

The color of the coat.

Coat roughness

How smooth or matte the coat surface is.

Coat index of refraction

The amount light bends as it passes through the coat.

Coat specular level

The strength of light reflections on the coat at glancing angles.

Coat normal

Simulate surface details like bumps and cracks on the coat surface.

Coat normal scale

The strength of the coat normal effect.

Parametric materials

You can create parametric materials in Substance 3D Designer. Each material will have unique properties, based on how it was authored and what parameters the artist chose to expose for editing. Stager will expose all of the parameters from the parametric material in the Properties panel.

Parametric materials work by generating information for the standard material properties. This means that those properties that are controlled by the parametric material cannot be directly edited.

Any properties the parametric material is not using will be available to edit.


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