Tuesday, September 12th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Substance 3D Designer to get new Hydra viewport

Adobe’s Fall 2023 livestream on its Substance 3D applications. The section on upcoming features in Substance 3D Designer, including the Hydra viewport, starts at 00:25:00.

Adobe has announced that it is working on a new Hydra viewport and native MaterialX support for Substance 3D Designer, its material-authoring software.

The new functionality, due for release over the “next year”, was announced during last week’s livestream, along with Substance 3D Modeler 1.4 and Substance 3D Sampler 4.2.

Hydra viewport will support OctaneRender and RenderMan as viewport renderers
Adobe first introduced support for Universal Scene Description (USD – now officially OpenUSD) in Substance 3D Designer 12.1 last year.

The upcoming features build on that foundation, with Adobe planning to implement a new 3D viewport based on Hydra, the OpenUSD rendering framework.

By default, the viewport renderer will be Adobe’s own new in-house renderer, a “real-time path tracer and rasterizer”, but it should be possible to use any third-party renderer with a Hydra delegate, including RenderMan and OctaneRender.

That should make it easier for large VFX and game development studios to use Substance 3D Designer in production, reducing visual differences between the way that assets look inside the software during look dev, and at other stages of the pipeline.

Author MaterialX materials natively inside Substance 3D Designer
Adobe is also working on native MaterialX authoring in Substance 3D Designer.

Support for the open standard for look dev and rich material data was originally provided in Designer via a separate plugin.

The new work should make it possible to author MaterialX graphics inside Substance 3D Designer, and export the resulting materials to any application that supports MaterialX.

Due over the ‘next year’, but probably not in Substance 3D Designer 13.1
The new Hydra viewport and native MaterialX support are due for release in the “next year”, but that seems likely to be later rather than earlier.

The features due in the next update – Substance 3D Designer 13.1, if Adobe sticks to its current version numbering – are quality-of-life updates to handling of frames and the search functionality in the node graph, and can be seen here in the livestream.

Price, system requirements and release date
Substance 3D Designer’s new Hydra viewport and native MaterialX support are due during the “next year”. Adobe hasn’t announced an exact release date.

The current stable release, Substance 3D Designer 13.0, is available for Windows 10+, CentOS 7.0/Ubuntu 20.04+ and macOS 11.0+

Perpetual licences of the software are available via Steam and cost $149.99.

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

Subscriptions to the Linux edition cost $1,198.88/year via Creative Cloud for Teams.

Visit the Substance 3D Designer product website

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