Wednesday, December 6th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe releases Substance 3D Modeler 1.5

The new Flatten tool: one of the updates to the surfacing toolset in Substance 3D Modeler 1.5.

Adobe has released Substance 3D Modeler 1.5, the new version of the VR sculpting tool.

The update overhauls the software’s surfacing toolset, adding a new Flatten tool and updating existing tools, and introduces initial support for PBR materials and image-based lighting.

Sculpt organic and hard-surface models in VR using a virtual clay workflow
Released last year, Substance 3D Modeler lets users sculpt both organic and hard-surface models in virtual reality, or in desktop mode using a mouse and keyboard.

Like its precursor, Medium, which Adobe acquired in 2019, it uses Signed Distance Fields to represent 3D space, rather than treating 3D geometry as a polygonal mesh.

As a result, workflow combines elements of digital sculpting and Boolean modelling, with users able to build up forms with virtual clay, then join them or cut into them with Boolean operations.

You can find more details in this story on Substance 3D Modeler 1.0.

New in version 1.5: updates to the surfacing tools
Substance 3D Modeler 1.5 updates the software’s surfacing toolset, adding a new Flatten tool and updating the existing Buildup and Smooth tools.

The Flatten tool, as the name implies, creates a flat surface on the virtual clay, and is intended for both hard-surface and organic modeling.

The Smooth tool now supports movement- or rate-based smoothing for more precise control.

The Buildup tool, for building up or carving away clay from a surface, now supports custom alphas, and the option to set the size and rotation of the brush when in single stamping mode.

You can see the new stamping workflow in action in the video above.

In addition, Crease is now a tool in its own right, not an option within the Buildup tool.

Support for IBL and PBR materials helps to preview models in context
The update also makes it possible to get a more accurate preview of the way that a model will appear in other software, with initial support image-based lighting (IBL) and PBR materials.

Users can now set environment images to generate highlights and reflections on a model’s surface, as shown above, although it isn’t currently possible to import custom HDRs.

The PBR material system is currently described as “basic”, with users able to set roughness and metallic values for a material layer, and export the material IDs to Substance 3D Painter.

New use-specific export presets, and updates to VR workflow and the Color Picker
The update also establishes the basis of an export preset system, with users able to pick from readymade presets for common use cases like 3D printing and real-time rendering.

The option to create and share custom presets is planned for a future release.

Other changes include the option to open files while working in VR mode, and a new Fill button in the Color Picker for filling the current material layer with a solid color.

Price and system requirements
Substance 3D Modeler 1.5 is compatible with Windows 10+, and these VR headsets.

It is available via Substance 3D Collection subscriptions, which cost $49.99/month or $549.88/year. Perpetual licences are available via Steam, and cost $149.99.

Read a full list of new features in Substance 3D Modeler 1.5 in the online documentation

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