The Library

This page presents the Library panel of Substance 3D Designer, its layout as well as the tools it offers for searching and filtering content.


The Library panel is a split-view resource manager, where you can find and gather all your assets you need to work with in your graph.

It monitors folders on your hard drive or over a network which are added to the list of Library watched paths in the Project settings. Any changes happening in those folders – addition, removal and update of content – are carried over to the Library.

About custom content

While your custom resources will be added to the Library, it might not be visible because of the filtering rules set for the existing categories. We recommend creating your own filters organised in folders, to ensure your content can be reliably found while working on your projects.
See the Managing custom content and filters section of the documentation for more information.

The Library can monitor all assets which are supported Resources:

The panel is split in 2 main parts :


Located on the left of the Library panel, the Category section contains all the assets categories (i.e. folders) and filters, as a tree view.
You may click on any item in this tree view to display its content, along with the content of all its child items.

The categories

Default categories and filters contain all the assets shipped with Designer. They cannot be edited or removed.
The default categories include:


The content of the Library is displayed as labelled thumbnails. These thumbnails will have a different aspect depending on the following factors:

In case of thumbnails issues

Our recommended troubleshooting step for any issues related to Library thumbnails (incorrect image, rendering stuck on the refresh icon, etc.) is to manually trigger a thumbnails refresh.
To do this, use the Rebuild thumbnails button in the Library section of the Preferences window.

Use an asset from the Library

To use an asset from the library, drag and drop it to the desired location.
You may select multiple items in the Content section by holding the Ctrl key while clicking on items. In this case, the drag and drop operation will place nodes in the graph for the entire selection.

Search an asset by name

The Search bar, located at the top left of the Content section, lets you search any asset by name. When searching for content in this manner, the current selection in the Categories section is ignored, and the entire content in the Library is searched.
You can filter the search results by graph type, using the  Filter by... icon next to the Search bar.

The search bar will take into account the name of the asset you are looking for, but also tags that the asset can contain, or the category it belongs to.
For example, typing 'Normal' will list all the assets that can be used to generate or modify a normal map. This is a good way to discover new nodes, and thus new possibilities!

Vizualize your assets

Using the  Display Mode drop-down button, you can select the display size for content items.

The  Toggle Labels button lets you display or hide the labels of the nodes.

When placing the cursor on a content item, a tooltip will appear after a short time displaying a description of the item if its author has provided one.
Right click on the item to display additional information, including a path to the source file for that item.

For instance nodes – i.e. non-atomic nodes, this path is a hyperlink which will display the file in the system's file browser.
Atomic nodes use a special aliased path (e.g., graphatomic://<path>, structure://<path>, ...) which cannot be clicked as it points to an internal library.


You can add any item in the Content section to your Favorites list, using the  Add to Favorites button. The button also lets you remove content from this list if it is already added.
When content is added to this list, it is available in the Favorites category of the Library, and will be displayed at the top of the Node menu list when searching for a node in the graph, provided the search terms match it.