This page presents the Properties panel of Substance 3D Designer, its layout and the different rollouts and categories and parameters you can find within. It is focused on properties for Substance compositing graphs. function graphs, MDL graphs and FX-Map graphs have simpler layouts.


The Properties panel is a context-sensitive panel that changes based on your selection in the Graph View and the Explorer window.

It  lets you change the properties of selected nodes and resources, together with the Graph View, it is probably your second most used UI panel in Designer.

The Properties panel is split into a few different rollouts, depending on your selection, for example:

  • Base Parameters, and Input- or Specific Parameters for nodes
  • Attributes and Metadata for most nodes and Packages

A key feature of the Substance Ecosystem, Exposing parameters, is done through the Properties panel.

Most numerical fields support basic math formulas as an input – E.g., 17+3.5, 7/3, (4+2)*3. Press Enter to validate the formula and the result will be input in the field. If the formula is invalid, the field reverts to its previous value.
Some numerical fields in other parts of the application, such as the Expose parameter dialog, also support this feature.

Nodes & Substance compositing graphs

Nodes and Substance compositing graphs have a slightly overlapping set of property categories, and their functionality is similar.

Base Parameters and Attributes are identical between Nodes and Graphs.

Nodes offer Specific Parameters or Instance Parameters (depending on if they are Atomic nodes or Instances), as well as Input Values for working with Values in Substance compositing graphs.

Input and Output atomic nodes are exceptions as they feature Integration Attributes and Conditions for visiblity. These two sets of properties can also be accessed centrally in the Graph properties, under Inputs and Outputs.

Graphs have a few extra categories. Input Parameters lists exposed parameters, Inputs and Outputs list all properties of Input and Output nodes. You can find all Graph properties explained in detail on a dedicated page. 

MDL graphs

MDL Graphs have properties for individual nodes inside the graph, which simply list properties (similar to Specific Parameters) and for MDL Graphs themselves.

MDL Graphs have an Attributes and MDL Annotations area for metadata, as well as a Graph Inputs section for exposed graph inputs.

Resources & Packages

The Properties panel also responds to selection changes in the Explorer window. It can serve as another way of selecting a Graph (instead of double clicking an empty area), and also lets you change Package and Resource properties.

Packages have Information, Attributes and Metadata sections. The package metadata is described on a dedicated page.

Resources have properties specific to their type, detailed on dedicated pages.