Download the new free materials on Substance Source
Since this story was originally written, Substance Source has been renamed Substance 3D Assets and has been expanded to include free HDRIs and 3D models. Find more details here.
Allegorithmic has an interesting update to Substance Source, its online library of PBR materials. The 50 new Substances replicate materials used in 3D printing, helping users to previsualise 3D prints.
“Product previews for 3D printing have been almost nonexistent until now,” said Allegorithmic product manager Nicolas Paulhac. “We wanted to offer designers the ability to experiment with a new sense of tactility through photorealistic renderings, so they can almost feel the object in their hands before they print.”
Replicate the materials and weave structures used in real-world 3D printing
The new materials replicate those used in 10 real-world 3D printing technologies, including SLS and FDM printing. As well as plastic, metallic and wood finishes, they replicate the weave structures of printed meshes.
As with other materials on Substance Source, the files are available in .sbs and .sbsar format for use in Substance Designer, Substance Painter, and compatible DCC software.
At the time of posting, one – a Voronoi metal mesh – is available to download from the Freebies section of the website, which also includes 11 other free downloadable PBR materials.
Updated 25 February 2018: Allegorithmic has updated Substance Source again, this time with 30 materials based on 3D scans of real-world sportswear fabrics. Read an overview of the scanning process here.
At the time of posting, one of the materials – a knitted spandex fabric – is available to download for free.
Updated 7 June 2018: Allegorithmic has announced its “most substantial update so far” to Substance Source – a collection of “almost 500” materials used in automotive design.
As well as more obvious materials like paints, composites, leathers and plastics, the set includes those used in prototyping cars, like plasticine, clay, polystyrene and even camouflage pattern films.
The assets are being released in batches over five weeks, with future updates focusing on car interiors and exteriors. At the time of posting, two are available for free, with more to follow as new batches are released.
Updated 28 September 2018: It’s a bit early for Halloween, but Allegorithmic has just posted a new pack of 18 creature skin materials on Substance Source.
Designed to make use of the support for subsurface scattering introduced in Substance Painter 2018.2, the pack covers fish, amphibian, reptile and zombie skins.
At the time of posting, two are available for free: one of fish scales, and one of crumpled zombie skin.
Updated 16 November 2018: Allegorithmic has just posted a new set of 27 procedural ground materials on Substance Source, ranging from lava to leaf litter. The lava material is currently available free.
The firm has also released a new Cloud Viewer for Substance files, making it possible to adjust parameters for the materials and see the results update in real time inside your web browser.
Updated 14 February 2019: The latest addition to Substance Source is a set of 20 sports fabrics, ranging from fleece to polyester and woven mesh, all scanned from real-world samples.
At the time of posting, one is available free: a polyester stretch fabric.
Updated 10 May 2019: Allegorithmic – or rather, Adobe, its new owner – has posted a new set of 69 skin micro detail materials, ranging from pores, hairs and fingerprints to some rather ickier spots, moles and scars.
At the time of posting, two are available free: one fingerprint material, and one of freckles.
Updated 11 October 2019: Adobe has rolled out another major update to Substance Source, this time adding over 580 materials intended for architectural visualisation work.
The materials cover worksurfaces, floorings and wall coverings, with categories including terrazzo, marble, granite, parquets, cork, PVC floors, cement tiles, carpets and wallpaper.
At the time of posting, nine are available free, spanning most of the categories.
Updated 14 March 2020: Adobe’s latest update to Substance Source adds 15 ‘fantasy battlefield’ materials inspired by Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, created by freelance artist Enrico Tammekänd.
As well as ground materials, the set includes wood, metal and stone suitable for fantasy-style fortresses.
At the time of posting, two are free: an ‘ominous obsidian’ material and – a complete wild card, this – one for a Tolkien-style hand-drawn paper world map.
Updated 26 March 2020: Adobe has released another update to Substance Source, adding a ‘starter kit’ of 100 stylised materials matching the visual style currently popular for indie and mobile games.
As well as building, rock and ground materials, the set includes stylised vegetation, animal fur and fabric.
At the time of posting, five are free, including stones, cobble, planks and grass, plus a lava material.
The assets range from grunge effects like cracks and dirt to surface features like vents and grilles.
At the time of posting, five are free, including graffiti, rust, blood and bullet hole decals.
At the time of posting, three are free: paint spill and road marking decals, and a ground material.
Updated 10 July 2020: Adobe has released 90 new textile materials on Substance Source, mimicking real-world woven, knitted and printed fabrics.
There are also 20 new decals mimicking stitching, patches, tears and surface printing.
At the time of posting, seven are free: four of the fabrics and three of the decals.
Updated 31 July 2020: Adobe has uploaded over 385 varied new assets to Substance Source, ranging from photorealistic metal and marble materials to wood, paving and new sets of decals.
At the time of posting, 15 are available to download for free.
Updated 11 October 2020: Adobe’s latest update to Substance Source is its Parametric Cities collection – a set of over a thousand materials targeted at architectural visualisation and building design work.
Most are building materials, including interior furnishings like wood, concrete, marble, and woven structures like metal grates and natural flooring; plus construction materials like metal, plastic and ceramic foams.
However, the collection also includes a set of complete parametric materials for building facades, generating repeating patterns of windows, brickwork and surface panelling for anything from houses to high-rises.
At the time of posting, 12 are available to download for free, including woods, marbles, metal foam and four of the facade materials.
Updated 17 November 2020: The latest update to Substance Source is Explore Cartagena, a kit of 15 architectural materials created by Ubisoft Québec lead material artist Vincent Dérozier.
The assets are intended to recreate the courtyard of a Spanish colonial-era house in Cartagena, Colombia.
Each of the intricate fabrics replicates traditional weave structures from around the world, from Congolese raffia fibre cloth to Cambodian beaded fabrics.
At the time of writing, two are available free: a floral lace material and a beaded Indian fabric for a lehenga.
Updated 22 January 2021: Adobe has added two new sets of materials to Substance Source this month.
Architectural artists get a set of 670 marble materials, while anyone interested in creating period scenes gets the Materials of the Industrial Revolution collection: 15 materials themed around a vintage steam train.
At the time of writing, five are available free: three marble materials, and two from the steam train.
The habitat materials are based on scans of ground materials from the natural world – beaches, forest floors and mountains – plus walls, roads and paving, and a further set of materials from abandoned buildings.
The debris ranges from natural materials like pebbles, leaves and wood chip to man-made objects like paper, crushed cans and polystyrene packing, by way of a few wild cards (pork chops, anyone?)
At the time of writing, 25 are available free: 15 scanned habitats and 10 debris atlases.
Pricing and availability
You can download a set of free materials from Substance Source via the link below. The files are changed regularly, and are usually provided in both .sbs and .sbsar formats.
Access to the full commercial library is avaiable via Adobe’s Substance subscriptions, which start at $19.90/month for Indie users with revenue under $100,000/year, or $99.90/month for Pro users.
Download free materials in Substance format from Substance Source
(Requires registering for a free Adobe user account)