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Substance 3D Community Digest, February 2024

Adobe Employee ,
Feb 26, 2024 Feb 26, 2024

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Welcome to the February edition of the Substance 3D Community Digest. Here we’ll be presenting some of the latest Substance news, highlighting some of the Substance-themed content being created just now, talking about real-world events, giving out some brief technical tips, and more. Let’s do this thing.


Substance 3D News 


The big news in the Substance ecosystem just now is the release of Substance 3D Sampler 4.3, which brings to the table new parametric texture generators, updated material content, and new and improved filter tools.


For more information, hop on over to our post on the Adobe blog about just this subject.


Substance 3D Events


Notable events coming up for the Substance ecosystem include:


IAMAG Master Classes, March 15-18, Forum des Images, Paris: stop by our booth to chat with the team and share your experiences. On March 16, at 15:00, our own Technical Artist Louise Melin will be presenting a session on sculpting a statue with Modeler, in VR, and then texturing with Painter to give it a realistic wooden appearance.


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Substance 3D at GDC, March 18-22, Moscone Center, San Francisco: GDC is the game industry's premier professional event, championing game developers and the advancement of video game creation. Our keynote presentation and afterparty will take place on March 18; so do some great sessions by Substance power users, including: The Art and Technology Behind Creating Characters for Baldur’s Gate 3, by Alena Dubrovina, Art Director at Larian Studios; The Environment Art Technology and Workflows of Alan Wake 2, by Miro Vesterinen and Benjamin Lindquist of Remedy Entertainment; and Tips & Tricks in Adobe Substance 3D Painter to Make Semi-realistic Textures, by 3D Character Artist Anna Beganskaya.



We’ll also be present at stand #S157 from March 20-22. We’ll be giving technical demos, discussing Substance-type things in general, and reviewing artists’ portfolios.

Online Resources 


Substance 3D on Behance


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The outstanding content on the Substance 3D Behance page includes posts such as: How to Animate a Powder Material, in Substance 3D Designer - a super-quick guide to animating particles; The Substance 3D Designer Insanity Awards 2023 - our pick of the most bonkers projects in Designer last year; Motion Design with Maël Gourdenne - freelance motion design artist Maël Gourdenne discusses her creation of an animated short, using materials from Substance 3D Assets.



We also have a ton of other videos and learning resources online that are insanely good. Here’s just a tasty-taste:


SUBSTANCE 3D SAMPLER: Texture Generators in Substance 3D Sampler, with Anna Natter.



SUBSTANCE 3D DESIGNER: Tutorial: Organic Mask Generator with Substance Designer, with Vincent Gault.



SUBSTANCE 3D PAINTER: 5 tips in 5 minutes to improve your workflow in Substance Painter, with Wes McDermott.



SUBSTANCE 3D DESIGNER: Vincent Gault also continues his ‘Behind the Nodes’ series, speaking with experts in the 3D realm. Here he speaks with 2023 Substance Designer Insanity Awards winner Marco Vitale.


Under Discussion


Our own Cyril Dellenbach has been scouring the forums for frequently asked technical questions. The issue under discussion this time around:


Problem: In Substance 3D Painter, the function to reimport a new mesh doesn’t work.


The ability to reimport meshes in Painter can be extremely useful – but it also has some specific limitations that you should keep in mind.


The scenario: you have a cool character model that you’re texturing in Painter, and you’re really happy with how you’ve painted his hair – but suddenly you realize he’d look better with a hat. So you go back to your modeling app, model a hat on your character, export it to your project folder, and then reimport it into your Painter file.


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… and it doesn’t work. The texturing goes awry. You’re looking at a hat textured with human hair, or something like that.


Why does this happen? Let’s consider what’s happening in Painter’s backroom when you do this. Here, Substance Painter uses three elements to reproject the textures correctly:


  1. The brush strokes (all the strokes made in the viewport are saved in the project file).
  2. The camera position of every stroke.
  3. The bounding box (which is basically an invisible cube which encases the entire model)


When you reimport a 3D model, Painter takes the first stroke made in the project, and based on its camera position reapplies the strokes on the bounding box. It then repeats this process for the second stroke, the third, and so on.


The great thing with this workflow is that UVs are rarely an issue for reprojection, even with UVs that are completely different, before and after any changes to the model – though this isn’t the case for masks made with UV islands, or strokes painted in the 2D view.


The downside of reprojecting the strokes on the model is that Painter runs into problems when the 3D object has changed.


To come back to the scenario with the model wearing a hat: Substance 3D Painter has no information regarding a change in the geometry model, and so it will natively project the haircut onto the hat. It uses the brush stroke, camera position, and bounding box to project the hair texture onto where the hair ‘should be,’ according the information it has.


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Fortunately, Painter has an option to reduce this kind of issue: Preserve stroke positions on mesh.

This option essentially forces the reprojection on the bounding box of the previous model instead of the new one. This should have the effect of keeping the hair in its original position, rather than placing it on the hat.


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So, this is something to be aware of before reprojecting a mesh. Also please note that a reprojection can’t be undone – it’s important to save your project before reimporting.


Hopefully, that’s been demystified a bit; have fun with your art!

... and also


SUBSTANCE 3D DESIGNER: Featured Node: Reaction Diffusion Fast



We'll finish by highlighting a Substance 3D Designer node that we’re feeling a lot of love for just now. This time, we’re looking at the Reaction Diffusion Fast node; this uses a mathematical model to simulate how certain patterns are formed in nature – on animal skin, for example. Plug any grunge map into the node, and enjoy the results. Take a look at our documentation on this node to learn more.


Take care, and have fun creating!

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