Cannot create/load a project

This page lists common causes for failing to create or load projects in Substance 3D Designer, and offers troubleshooting steps for each.


Application is too old to open URL

(error) Issue

The Substance 3D file (SBS) is being loaded by a version of Substance 3D Designer which does not support its format. The Substance 3D file was likely saved in a more recent version of the software which uses an updated format for these files.

(tick) Recommended steps

As Substance 3D Designer evolves, so does the Substance 3D file format (SBS). More often than not, a new version of the software will need to update your files so they can support the latest features.

You are prompted to perform this update when loading the file for the first time in a new version.

If the file is saved after the update was applied, its format version changes as well. At this point, it can no longer be loaded in previous versions of Substance 3D Designer.
This limitation also applies to the Substance Player.

First, check that you are using the latest version of Substance 3D Designer which your current license allows. Here are the points of access to updates for each edition:

  • Adobe Substance 3D subscription: go to the Updates section of the Apps tab in the Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop application
  • Substance3d.com subscription: update when prompted in Substance 3D Designer, or download the latest installer in the My Licenses section of the Substance3d.com website
  • Steam: the application will auto-update by default. You can manually trigger the update by starting Substance 3D Designer, or going to the Downloads screen
Make sure you will not need to load your files in a previous version of Substance 3D Designer before saving a file which was updated.
Alternatively, you can make a copy of your file before loading it in a new version of Substance 3D Designer, so you always have a file to go back to if you need to use a previous version of the software.

3D View initialisation

(error) Issue

A crash/freeze when creating or loading a project is often consistent with an issue with the initialisation of the 3D View, which occurs when the workspace is being set up.

This can occur is the display configuration or scaling was changed from one session to the next, so that the OpenGL instance for the 3D View rendering is created at invalid coordinates.

(tick) Recommended steps

Delete the existing registry entries for Designer, so the user interface is entirely reset, among other settings.

Windows

  • Close Designer
  • Open the Command prompt application
  • Enter the following command and press Enter:
    • (Creative Cloud Desktopreg delete "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Designer" /f
    • (Substance/Steam editionreg delete "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Allegorithmic\Substance Designer" /f
  • Disconnect the second monitor from your system, and connect it back (ignore this step if you do not have multiple displays attached)
  • Start Designer, but do not create or open any project
  • In the top bar, open the Windows menu and select the New 3D View option
  • Check that the 3D View is correctly initialised, and try different preview meshes in the Scene menu of the panel top bar
  • Create or open a material

macOS

  • Close Designer
  • Open the Terminal application
  • Enter the following command and press Enter:
    • (Creative Cloud Desktoprm ~/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Adobe\ Substance\ 3D\ Designer.plist
    • (Substance/Steam editionrm ~/Library/Preferences/com.allegorithmic.Substance\ Designer.plist
  • Disconnect the second monitor from your system, and connect it back (ignore this step if you do not have multiple displays attached)
  • Start Designer, but do not create or open any project
  • In the top bar, open the Windows menu and select the New 3D View option
  • Check that the 3D View is correctly initialised, and try different preview meshes in the Scene menu of the panel top bar
  • Create or open a material