Project Creation

The new project creation window allows to create a Substance Project to store the 3D mesh and its texturing.

Substance 3D Painter creates a new Texture set per Material definition on the mesh you are importing. This means you can import multiple meshes from a single file with overlapping UVs if you give them different materials.

Creating a New Project

To create a new project click on File > New to create a new Substance 3D Painter project.

Below is an explanation of all the parameter available in the New Project window.

Base Settings


Allows to specify a template that will define the default settings of the project. A template contains the follow parameters:

  • Texture Set settings
  • Display settings
  • Baking settings
  • Shader resources (including attached textures)
  • Environment Map file

Templates are *.spt files that are created from an existing project via the File menu and saved inside the Assets folder to be easily shared with team members.


Click on the "Select" button to specify a mesh file to load. See below for a list of supported mesh file formats.

  • .abc (Alembic)
  • .dae (Collada)
  • .fbx (Autodesk FBX)
  • .gltf (GL Transmission Format)
  • .obj (Wavefront OBJ)
  • .ply (Stanford Triangle Format)

Project Settings

Document Resolution

Defines the default texture resolution of the project for each Texture Sets. The resolution can go up to 4K (4096x4096 pixels) when working inside the application and 8K (8192x8192 pixels) when exporting. The resolution can be changed at anytime later on via the Texture Set settings.

8K export requires at least 2.5GB of VRam on the GPU to be available.

Normal Map Format

Defines the Normal map format for the project, can be either

  • DirectX (X+, Y-, Z+)
  • OpenGL (X+, Y+, Z+)

As a reminder:

  • Unreal Engine use DirectX by default.
  • Unity use OpenGL by default.
Compute Tangent Space per Fragment

If enabled, the Bitangents are computed in the fragment (pixel) shader instead of the vertex shader. This parameter impacts the way the Normal map is decoded by the Shader in the viewport. Changing this settings will require to rebake the Normal map.

As a reminder:

  • Unreal Engine needs this setting to be Enabled.
  • Unity needs this setting to be Disabled (or enabled if you are using the HDRP workflow).

For more information see the Tangent Space page in the Bakers documentation.

UV Tile Settings (UDIMs)

These settings cannot be modified once the project has been created.
Use UV Tile workflow

If checked, the imported mesh will be processed differently to allow painting outside the regular UV range (0-1). Project using UDIM should enable this setting. The processing of the mesh may differ depending on the setting

For more information, see the UV Tile documentation.

Possible values:

Preserve UV Tile layout per materials and enable painting across tiles

UV Tiles (UDIMs) are imported and grouped per material assignation on the mesh. This means a single Texture Set can contain multiple UV Tiles which are visible side by side in the 2D View. UV Tiles which are within the same Texture Set can be painted across seamlessly.

Convert UV Tiles into individual Textures Sets (legacy)

UV Tiles (UDIMs) are separated into individual Texture Sets and renamed, ignoring any material assignation. Each UV Tiles is moved to the UV [0-1] range to be paintable.

Import Settings

Parameter Description
Import Cameras

If cameras are present in the mesh file, they will be imported in the project and accessible as preset for visualization.

Substance 3D Painter doesn't support some cameras in certain conditions :

  • Physical cameras from 3DS Max.
  • Orthographic cameras stored in Alembic files (*.abc).

If enabled, missing UVs on the imported mesh will be generated. The processing may change depending on the settings selected via the Options button.

For more information, see the Automatic UV Unwrapping documentation.

Import mesh normal maps and baked maps for all the materials.

Use the Add button to loads texture files as Mesh maps and automatically assign them in the Texture Set settings.

See the section below for details on the naming convention to follow and an example.

Importing Mesh maps

It is possible to import mesh maps (baked texture specific to the mesh) and have them automatically assigned in the Texture Set Settings. To do so a specific naming convention must be followed. Mesh maps can be baked directly in Substance 3D Painter or via  Substance 3D Designer .

Naming convention: TextureSetName_MeshMapName

Example: DefaultMaterial_ambient_occlusion.png

Bellow is a list of all the Mesh map names supported:

Mesh mapFilename convention
Ambient occlusionambient_occlusion
Curvature curvature
Normal normal_base
World Space Normalworld_space_normals