Download organic art software Substance for free
Developer Stephane Marty has made Substance, his organic and 3D fractal art tool, and Emulsion, a ‘KeyShot-like’ photorealistic rendering package, available to download free of charge.
Both products were originally developed by NeuroSystems, Marty’s now-defunct company, but he says that he “prefers offering the software to the public rather than let them drop into oblivion”.
Create organic 3D forms quickly and intuitively
Substance (not to be confused with Allegorithmic’s procedural texture format of the same name) is an intuitive tool for generating 3D fractals and organic forms.
Both are created through interesting control methods: organic forms are created by manipulating their ‘genetic sequences’, mixing and matching 128 genes on 45 different chromosomes, with up to 5 levels of recursion.
A separate ‘fractal microscope’ lets users navigate 2D fractals and isolate sections to convert into 3D forms.
The resulting geometry can be exported in OBJ format, using a built-in mesh-decimation algorithm; or rendered using Substance’s P.U.R.E. unbiased rendering engine. There’s even support for augmented reality.
The second application, Emulsion, is a progressive real-time physically based renderer. It works in CPU-based, GPU-based and hybrid modes, and supports multi-core and Hyper-Threaded systems.
The software includes a basic materials editor and camera settings, and supports tone mapping.
It imports 3DS, OBJ, DAE, DXF, PLY, STL and RAW files, but not FBX, Alembic or the native file formats of any 3D applications, so you’re going to be restricted to rendering relatively simple scenes.
However, it will export HDR and EXR files – and again, has a built-in augmented reality option.
System requirements and availability
Both Substance and Emulsion are compatible with Windows XP and above, although for Emulsion, you’ll need to be running a 64-bit OS. Emulsion’s GPU rendering mode supports both Nvidia and AMD cards.
Both applications are free downloads and are provided without support or documentation: note that the inline help no longer works, since NeuroSystems’ servers have now been shut down.