Thursday, March 24th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peek: Content-Aware Fill in Substance 3D Sampler

Adobe has posted a sneak peek showing the new Content-Aware Fill feature in the next update to Substance 3D Sampler, its scan-based material-authoring tool, previously known as Substance Alchemist.

The Photoshop-style system enables users to remove unwanted details from texture maps or HDRIs simply by painting a freehand mask over the artefacts to be removed, with Sampler doing the rest of the work.

The new functionality was previewed at the firm’s Substance Day event at GDC 2022.

Remove unwanted details semi-automatically from all of the channels of a material at once
The potential benefits of Content-Aware Fill will be immediately apparent to anyone who has used the equivalent features in other Adobe apps: most famously, in Photoshop, and more recently, in After Effects.

The tools remove unwanted details from images semi-automatically, sampling surrounding parts of the image to generate a clean replacement for the area removed.

In Substance 3D Sampler’s case, a key use of Content-Aware Fill is going to be to clean up materials based on source photos, with the user painting a rough freehand mask to identify the details to be removed.

Sampler then processes all of the channels in the material at once, so it cleans up the normal map at the same time as the diffuse texture.

However, Content-Aware Fill also works in other parts of the software: the full video, which you can see in this blog post, shows it in use to remove objects from an HDRI.

Content-Aware Fill will be available in the ‘spring release’ – Substance 3D Sampler 3.3, if Adobe sticks to its current version numbering – along with improvements to the Clone Stamp and Image to Material.

Spring updates also coming up for the other Substance 3D tools
Content-Aware Fill was several new features in the Substance 3D tools that Adobe showed at GDC, including a physical size system in Substance 3D Painter and USD support in Substance 3D Designer.

Again, the new features will become available in the spring releases of the software.

Pricing and system requirements
Adobe hasn’t announced a release date for the spring update to Substance 3D Sampler. The current version, Substance 3D Sampler 3.2, runs on Windows 10, CentOS 7.0/Ubuntu 18.04+ Linux and macOS 10.14+.

New perpetual licences, available via Steam, cost $149.99.

The Windows and macOS editions are also available via Substance 3D Texturing subscriptions, for $19.99/month or $219.88/year; or Substance 3D Collection subscriptions, for $49.99/month or $549.88/year.

The Linux edition is also available via Creative Cloud for Teams, with subscriptions priced at $1,199.88/year.

Read more about Substance 3D Sampler on Adobe’s website