Common questions | Substance 3D for educational institutions

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Substance 3D apps for educational institutions.


What Education plans have access to Substance 3D Apps today? 

Substance 3D apps are now included with the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan for Higher Education at no additional cost. Currently, 3D apps are not available to K12 and are available only to the following license types.

While the intent is for all Higher Education plans to have access in the future, there are limitations at launch, depending on license type:

Shared device licenses & feature restricted licenses

Substance 3D apps are currently available to shared device license & feature restricted license Creative Cloud All Apps plans in Higher Education:

  • All shared device license and feature restricted license customers have access as of July 28, 2021.

  • Admin must repackage and deploy Substance 3D Painter, Designer, Stager, and Sampler apps for users to access them through lab devices.

Named user license

Substance 3D apps are currently available to the following named user license customers:

  • All VIP named user customers, including Student License Pack, have access as of July 28, 2021.
  • ETLA named user customers that renew after August 15, 2021 have access.
  • ETLA customers that sign up after August 15, 2021 have access.


In the meantime, students and faculty can access the texturing apps Painter, Designer, and Sample apps through a free personal license available on Stager is not included in this alternative offer.



Substance 3D apps are not broadly available to all Named User License customers this academic year.

What apps are included?

The new Substance 3D Painter, Designer, Stager, and Sampler apps cover many of students’ 3D needs, from asset creation to scene design and rendering. 

What are the hardware requirements for Substance 3D apps?

3D software in particular can require your computer to make an enormous number of calculations each second. So, the higher the performance of your computer, the smoother and more hassle-free your 3D app experience will be overall. With these hardware recommendations, even with Named User access, lab environments, rather than personal machines, may still provide the most optimal performance for many students using Substance 3D apps.

When will all Higher Education plans have access to Substance 3D Apps?

While we are working to make Substance 3D apps available for all current named user licenses, that will likely not be complete until end of 2022. In the meantime, any named user license customer that renews after August 15, 2021 will get full named user license access to Substance 3D apps.  

When will K12 plans have Substance 3D Apps?

Additional engineering work are required to get Substance 3D Apps ready for K12 users. We do not expect this work to be complete this academic year.

If an individual student, faculty, or staff needs access to apps on an individual machine, and their org does not yet have access to Substance 3D for named user licenses, what options are available?

Shared device license is the best way for all students to get access to Substance 3D Apps, outside of named user license.

If a student needs individual access, students can get Substance Painter, Designer, and Sampler for free on the Substance 3D website (this does not include Stager). Follow these steps:

  1. The user must first create an account on the Substance 3D website and be signed in (this is not an Adobe account).

  2. The Student/Teacher license can be found here, and accessed via the Get Your Free License button down the page.

  3. The user will need to fill in a form and upload a valid (dated) student ID card or certificate. If the form does not display correctly, first ensure that the user is signed in, and then please try another web browser (For example, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla.)

  4. The license appears immediately in the account under the Licenses tab.

  5. This license is to be used only on a personal machine and not for teaching.

If students want to get access to Stager and to the Substance 3D Assets, they can purchase a Substance subscription for themselves on the Adobe website.

Account Management

If a user had access to Substance individual and now has access to Substance apps through Creative Cloud, how can they migrate their assets?

There are no cloud assets for legacy Substance. Assets are saved locally by users and can be used regardless of the type of license or user. Therefore, if a user has an individual account and gains institutional access now or in the future, no migration of assets will be necessary.

Can preferences be migrated between an individual Substance account and Adobe account?

If an account is created on the Substance 3D website, the installation folder for the apps is not the same as the installation folder for the apps available on Adobe. To transfer preferences, users should follow this support page.

There is no account migration necessary between Substance 3D and Adobe.


How can an org with access to Substance 3D apps give access to their users?

For Shared Device Licensing and Feature Restricted Licensing users, the admin must repackage and deploy Substance 3D Painter, Designer, Stager, and Sampler apps for users to access them through lab devices.

For Named User Licensing, once users have access to Substance 3D apps access, they should download Substance 3D Painter, Designer, Stager, and Sampler apps through the Creative Cloud Desktop App.

The IT admins can also create packages on the Adobe Admin Console for the Adobe apps and services that they want to distribute to their end-users.


What other resources can the students and educators refer to?

The students and educators can refer to the following resources:

  • 3D Skills in the Classroom – This course aims to give a broad overview of the 3D workflows in the Substance 3D collection. Everything in this course, from video tutorials to assignments and resources, is perfect for assigning directly to your students, or as a resource for educators adapting their curricula. 

  • Substance Academy – The includes the latest courses offered by Adobe for Adobe Substance 3D apps. 


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