Friday, January 29th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe releases Substance Designer 2021.1

Adobe has released Substance Designer 2021.1, the next update to its material-authoring software.

The release takes a first step towards making Substance Designer a tool for procedural modelling as well as creating materials, adding the option to export 3D geometry from the viewport.

Other changes in version 2021.1 – also referred to as Substance Designer 11.1 – include support for the Pantone colour system, and along-awaited option to disable nodes in the material graph.

Use Substance Designer to create procedural models, not just procedural materials
For artists working in game development or visual effects, the biggest change in Substance Designer 2021.1 will probably be the option to export 3D geometry from the viewport.

The feature, previously added to sister tool Substance Painter last year, makes it possible to export the tessellated geometry generated in the viewport in FBX, OBJ or PLY format.

It opens up new possibilities for using Substance Designer as a tool for procedural modelling.

In the video above, the procedural material for a window is applied to a 3D plane within Substance Designer, with the displacement generating the 3D form of the sill and lintel.

The 3D geometry exported from the viewport is then imported into Blender, where it is used to assemble the entire facade of a 3D building.

In related news, Adobe has also released a sneak peek of an entire parametric modelling system implemented inside Substance Designer, although it’s still experimental, and has no confirmed release date.

Support for Pantone spot colours for printing inks and paint
Product designers and marketing artists also get support for Pantone spot colours, used to specify colours for real-world printing inks and paint.

Substance Designer’s colour picker now makes it possible to pick Pantone colours as well as RGB values.

Users can either select Pantone colours by name, or pick a colour in the viewport with the eyedropper tool to have Substance Designer identify the closest match automatically.

Toggle parts of the node graph on and off to troubleshoot materials
Workflow improvements include the option to disable individual nodes or entire sections of a node graph.

Being able to toggle sections of a material graph on and off should make it easier to compare variants of a material, and to troubleshoot problems with a scene.

Other changes include better automatic management of system and GPU memory, which should improve performance on graphics cards with a lot of on-board memory.

Pricing and availability
Substance Designer 2021.1 is available for Windows 8+, CentOS 7.0/Ubuntu 16.04 Linux and macOS 10.12+.

Subscriptions to all of Adobe’s Substance tools cost $19.90/month or $219/year for artists and studios earning under $100,000/year; and $99.90/month or $990/year for other users.

Perpetual Indie licences are only available via Steam, and cost $149.99.

Visit the Substance Designer product website

Read a full list of new features in Substance Designer 2021.1 in the online release notes