Substance 3D Painter

Substance 3D Painter is a 3D painting software allowing you to texture and render your 3D meshes.

This documentation is designed to help you learn how to use this software, from basic to advanced techniques.

If you have any question that is not answered in this manual feel free to ask on our Forum. You can also download our Physically Based Rendering guide if you wish to learn more about PBR.



After updating to version 7.2 (or newer) custom resources in the Shelf such as alphas, filters, materials, smart materials or even smart masks may have disappeared. They can be restored by copying the files manually. For more information, take a look at the migration guide.

Getting Started
  • Activation and licensesThis pages regroups information on how to activate and manage your licenses to unlock the application.
  • System requirementsThis page regroups system requirements and hardware compatibility information.
  • TutorialsRecommended tutorials for getting started with Substance 3D Painter.
  • Project CreationThe new project creation window allows to create a Substance Project to store the 3D mesh and its texturing.
  • ExportA project can be exported into bitmap textures to be used with other software. It is also possible to export the geometry of the 3D model.
  • GlossaryThis page lists the most common keywords used by the application alongside a short explanation of the concept behind it.
  • PerformanceThis page regroups tips and tricks on how to maximize performances and make things run smoothly.

Painting Tools
  • Tool listThis page details all the painting tool available and how to use them.
  • Straight lineThe Straight Line is an easy way of drawing a line with any painting tool with less clicks and more precision.
  • Lazy mouseThe Lazy Mouse is a distance offset between the mouse cursor and the actual painting which allows to paint more precise or smooth strokes.
  • SymmetrySymmetry is the action of painting in multiple locations at the same time based on geometric constraints.
  • Fill projectionsFill layer and fill effects project a texture directly onto the mesh based on a specific mode. This type of layer/effect avoid to manually paint textures on the 3D model. The settings of the projection can be edited via the Properties window.
  • PresetsPresets are saved configurations of Painting Tools. This page explain how and why to use them.
  • Dynamic strokesDynamic Strokes are regular brush strokes powered by Substance files that can change for each stamp inside a brush stroke. 
  • Advanced channel paintingA few of the default channels used in shaders can be painted on to created advanced or complex effects. For example painting height information that get converted into a normal map.