Substance Designer 6 Unleashed: Now with Scan Processing and New Nodes

Nicolas Wirrmann on February 14 2017 | Technology, Substance Designer

Substance Designer 6 comes with new filters dedicated to scan processing to help you build a complete workflow for creating clean, ready-to-use tiling materials adapted to photogrammetry.

Substance Designer 6 also introduces three major, long-awaited features: Curve Node, Text Node and 32-bit floating point compositing.

The bakers also get some love as they have been deeply modified to support up to 8K bakes and non-uniform (non-square) ratios. These architecture changes will unlock many more features down the road.


New Scan Processing nodes allow you to create accurate scanned materials from a set of pre-lit photos. These photos can be shot pretty easily with minimal setup: all you need is a camera (or even a phone), a tripod and a flashlight or LED strip. Take 4 or 8 photos of the same surface with varying light angles, crop and feed them to the Scan Processor.

The filters will cross check the different photos and extract a pure albedo as well as an incredibly detailed normal map or height map, no tweaking required. It works even with shiny materials or metals!

No photogrammetry pipeline would be complete without a proper method for making materials seamless. The new Smart Auto Tile node analyzes the features of each channel of the material and finds the best way to cut and stitch together the maps to eliminate seams in a realistic way without cutting through important elements of the material.

This filter offers a lot of control over the tiling and can adapt to pretty much any kind of material.


The Curve node allows you to define a curve profile to remap color data. In the context of Substance Designer you will find it particularly useful to define/sculpt height maps.

It can be used for the definition of exotic forms like wood molding, heightmap creation or colorimetric correction.

Here are some images from our beta testers:

Nikola Damjanov
Ben Wilson


The Text node is pretty self-explanatory! It comes with dedicated effect filters like glow, drop shadow, and outline.

Note that the text input can also be exposed for dynamic changes in integrations! The integration plugins will soon be updated.

Again some images from our beta testers:

Dave Nicholls
Johnny Malcolm
Käy Vriend


The bakers receive 4 new features:

  • You can now bake by material/texture set as in Substance Painter, limiting the hassle when your scene contains multiple materials.
  • The bake limit has been pushed to 8K (and will be pushed even further in a future update).
  • The X/Y ratio can be unlocked for non-uniform (non-square) baking.
  • You can (finally) cancel the baking process before it finishes :)

The underlying work necessary for these features will open doors for further development around the bakers.

Model by Christian Le Roux


32-bit floating point compositing is going to open new doors. You can for example play with the new Panorama Shape node to create your own HDR studio maps.

Expect new content to be added in future updates such as Fourier transformation and 3D noise operators.

Model by Christian Le Roux


A new Parent Toolbar appears in the UI. It will actually simplify your workflow greatly when it comes to dealing with your graph size: no need to create your graph in Absolute X/Y or Parent * X to author your graph at a given resolution. Now just create your graph in “Relative to Parent” mode and set your working resolution using this toolbar, that’s all!

Substance Designer 6 is yet another milestone in what has now been a nearly 7 year-long journey of innovation and dedication to the Substance Designer tool. It will open doors to new sets of features and updates that are on their way!

Get the high-resolution version of the Substance Designer 6 visual.

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