Jun. 23, 2021, by the Painter team
A Smoother Texturing Experience, with Substance 3D Painter
The newest release of Painter provides performance improvements, ease-of-use changes to the asset panel, and more!
Performance anxiety? Not so much
This update brings some notable performance improvements. They include:
A huge boost to speed, for large layer stacks
You’ll see a major boost in speed when adding a paint layer on top of a layer stack containing a lot of layers. That first stroke will now appear in the viewport almost instantaneously, whereas previous versions would require several seconds for that stroke to become visible.
To date, Painter has converted height information to normal details, as generally it is easier to work with height using a black and white value. With this latest update, we’ve added a new method of conversion called Sharp, which allows for more precision in high frequency and hard-surface details, especially when tiling your material. This option is valid per Texture Set.
Painting and tablet improvements
Notable improvements to painting and tablet support in this new release include performance boosts when painting on top of a complex layer stack or dealing with a very large number of paint strokes.
We’ve also fixed a longstanding issue with sticky sliders when using some tablets. If you still have issues, don’t forget to read our guide to setting up your tablet correctly for Painter.
This latest update also adds improvements to the auto-unwrap feature. Packing performance has improved, and the following options have been added.
UV Island orientation
Within the Unwrap Options window, you can now select UV island orientation. This allows you to orient your UVs depending on your original mesh. This could be particularly useful for hard surface meshes; you might, for instance, use it to ensure that the grain of a wood material is positioned lengthways along a mesh of a door, as would be expected in real life.
Auto-unwrap now works with UV Tiles! You can find an additional setting in your auto-unwrap options which will determine the total maximum number of tiles in your project.
The number of UV tiles you use should at a minimum correspond to the number of materials in your project (in order to have 1 tile per material).
Raise your standards
Painter adds support for the new Adobe Standard Material (ASM), a PBR material specification that introduces new material behaviors such as clear-coating, sheen, anisotropy, and specular edge color, as well as improved subsurface scattering.
All applications in the Substance 3D ecosystem now use this new material specification by default, allowing for total visual parity and consistency between all Adobe apps. The addition of this shader means that your projects will now maintain exactly the same appearance across all Substance apps.
The integration of this new shader has also allowed us to improve the shader API overall and add an additional 8 user channels, for a total of 16.
Bring your apps together
We’ve made big strides in bringing the Substance 3D tools closer together, facilitating a smooth, fast workflow. We are leveraging some of Adobe’s interoperability API to allow these workflows; for versions of Painter installed from the Creative Cloud app, you’ll be able to access the following features.
Import assets from Sampler and Designer
It’s now possible to send assets directly from Sampler or Designer into Painter. Simply click on the ‘Send to Substance 3D Painter’ button, and your asset will transfer across to Painter. Moreover, provided you haven’t closed your session of Sampler/Designer and Painter, you can modify assets in Sampler and Designer after the fact, and update your asset in Painter with a click. So, let’s imagine you create a material in Designer, send it across to Painter, and apply it to a mesh. You then decide to modify your material in Designer, and resend the new result to Painter. In this case, the material or filter will update automatically in the asset library.
Any assets sent from Designer or Sampler like this will be saved in Painter’s default library location (in ‘Your assets,’ if this has never been changed).
The Designer team have also introduced new graph usage tags, allowing you define whether an asset is, say, a filter or a material. Painter will recognize any such tags you’ve assigned to assets in Designer, and interpret their type appropriately.
Send assets to Stager
You can also send your assets from Painter directly to Stager while preserving all material channels and shader settings, including subsurface scattering and displacement.
New Smart Materials
This latest release of Painter comes along with more than 40 new Smart Materials, allowing you to add materials such as lichen-covered stone, night vision glass, rubber cable, oxidized bronze, and many more to your creative projects. All of these materials are available for download on Substance 3D community assets.
One more interop point: it’s now possible to show your resources in Adobe Bridge. You’ll find this option by right-clicking on an asset, in a sub-menu of the ‘Show in’ option. Bridge is a great way to organize your assets in one central location; as an added bonus, thumbnails for downloaded assets are visible in Bridge, making it much easier to find your assets at a glance.
A note about these interop features: the interop changes mentioned apply to versions of Painter installed from the Creative Cloud app only; versions of the Adobe Substance 3D apps installed from substance3d.com or Steam won’t have the full range of interop capabilities.
Find 3D assets online
In order to help you find resources more swiftly, we’ve also added a ‘Browse 3D assets on the web’ button. Clicking on this will open Substance 3D Assets, our 3D content platform formerly known as Substance Source, in your browser.
Making a connection
Painter’s connection to Creative Cloud brings with it a change of nomenclature. Going forward, we’ll be referring to our app as ‘Substance 3D Painter’, or simply ‘Painter’. Rest assured that the app itself works just as well as it always has. The core of the app – its substance, if you will – remains unchanged.
This change of name does have some practical impacts for current users of Painter, however. The change of name means that your previous settings will be reset to their defaults; if you aren’t working on default settings, you’ll have to manually restore them to your own preferences. Notably, the app will search for resources in its default asset library. If you’ve previously added resources to your library, you’ll need to specify the correct file path to access those resources in your asset panel.
More information on Preferences and Content Migraiton for Substance 3D Painter.
And one other point: this update inverts the default direction of the viewport’s Zoom function, in order to make this function consistent across all Substance 3D apps (as well as with apps across the 3D system more widely, such as Maya). If you prefer to maintain the legacy Zoom direction, this can be accomplished by reversing Zoom direction in your Settings window.
And let’s end with a note on languages: we’ve added new translations for Painter in French, German and Simplified Chinese!
For complete details on this latest release of Painter, please go ahead and check out the latest release note.