Compound Filters

This feature lets you create a new type of filters that are represented as a single layer in the interface and be composed of multiples filters.

Supported since Substance 3D Sampler 3.1.0


A compound filter is a .ssafilter file that is a .7zip compressed folder of:

  • a description file using JSON formatting: myfilter_name.json
  • a resources folder containing:
    • the filter thumbnail: icon.png
    • external file dependencies

Description file content

  • Name: Label of your compound filter displayed in the interface
  • Id: Unique identifier of your compound filter
  • Category: Category of your compound filter used in the Assets panel when you group your assets by category
  • Version: Incremental number to define the version of your compound filter.
  • Node: List of nodes to be used
  • Link: List of connections between the different nodes


{ "SamplerFilter": 
    "Name": "My filter",
	"Category": "My filter category"
	"Id": "my_unique_id",
    "Version": 2,
    "Node": [
            "Id": "foo",
            "InternalFilter": "Foo"
            "Id": "bar",
            "File": "bar.sbsar"
    "Link": [
            "From": { "Node": "FilterInput", "Usage": "baseColor" },
            "To": { "Node": "foo", "Usage": "baseColor"}
            "From": { "Node": "FilterInput", "Usage": "normal" },
            "To": { "Node": "foo", "Usage": "normal"}
            "From": { "Node": "foo", "Usage": "baseColor" },
            "To": { "Node": "bar", "Usage": "baseColor"}
            "From": { "Node": "bar", "Usage": "baseColor" },
            "To": { "Node": "FilterOutput", "Usage": "baseColor"}
            "From": { "Node": "foo", "Usage": "normal" },
            "To": { "Node": "FilterOutput", "Usage": "normal"}

Step-by-step creation

  1. Create a new file: my_new_filter.json
  2. Define its name, ID, category,...
  3. Define the list of nodes you need
  4. If you need external files, create resources folder next to your .json
  5. Add your file(s) in the resources folder
  6. Write the list of links between your nodes
  7. Verify that your JSON is valid (no typo, missing coma or missing bracket)
  8. If you want a thumbnail, add an image icon.png in the resources folder
  9. Select the .json file and the resources folder and 7zip them



Using a version number allows you to keep track of your different iterations. When opening a layer stack done with a previous version of your compound filter, a notification will be showed to suggest you to upgrade to the latest version.


A node can refer to an internal filter of Substance 3D Sampler. Define a unique identifier Id to be used to define links between nodes and the label of the internal filter InternalFilter

            "Id": "step1_identifier",
            "InternalFilter": "Dirt"

A node can refer to a SBSAR file that's not in Substance 3D Sampler. Define a unique identifier Id to be used to define links between nodes and the filename File of the SBSAR file. The SBSAR file has to be in a resources folder next to the .alchfilter file.

            "Id": "step1_identifier",
            "File": "foo.sbsar"

filterImg and filterMat can't be used as node Id

A link is a description of how two nodes are linked and are composed of two elements:

  • From: Usage to be used by the node
  • To: Usage output of the node

Each element has 3 attributes:

  • Node: Declare the Id of the node you want to use
    • set the input of the compound filter, the node Id is FilterInput
    • set the output of your compound layer, the node Id is FilterOutput
  • Usage: Declare the usage you want to use. There are 3 options:
    • Single usage at a time and declare link by link (baseColor, normal, height, ambientOcclusion, roughness, metallic, diffuse, specular, glossiness, specularLevel, opacity, emissive, scan1, ...)
    • You can also specify a list ["baseColor", "normal"]. The first item of the list of From will match the first item of the list of To. etc...
    • Use * to let Substance 3D Sampler do the matching between identical usages of all usages of the From node and the To node (It's not possible to combine * with another link, while single links and list links are possible between same nodes)
  • Group: In case of a node has several times the same usage, you can use the Group attribute to select a specific usage. ie: For Blend filters, to get the baseColor of the bottom material use Material1 and to get the baseColor of the top material use Material2

Link between two nodes 
            "From": { "Node": "node1","Usage": "baseColor", "Group": ""},
            "To": { "Node": "node2", "Usage": "baseColor"}

Link between outputs of layers below of the compound filter and the compound filter:

            "From": { "Node": "FilterInput", "Usage": "*" },
            "To": { "Node": "node1", "Usage": "*"}

Link to declare outputs of the compound filter:
            "From": { "Node": "node1", "Usage": "*" },
            "To": { "Node": "FilterOutput", "Usage": "*"}