Almost two years have passed since Adobe had acquired Allegorithmic, the French company behind the Substance tools for creating textures that are widely used by AAA game creators, as well as visual effects artists, animators and designers. The announcement of this acquisition caused quite a reaction, and it was far from being welcomed positively. There have been many sceptical statements about the dual benefits of the merger. Some Substance Suite users have even expressed the idea that Adobe will drain this horse and incorporate it into their programs.
Today we have to admit that there was indeed some truth in the talks at the time, especially after the Adobe announcement about the launching of Adobe Substance 3D – a new suite of 3D tools aimed at both professionals and new adopters.
The Substance 3D collection includes both old two key tools – Painter and Designer, and a few new ones – Substance 3D Stager and Sampler. In this release, Substance 3D comes with new tools and a new brand look.
Now about this release. Let's dive in see what great stuff Adobe has for us all.
New Adobe branding
Adobe announcement made about two weeks ago completes the integration of the Substance tools into Adobe's product line-up. The release of the Substance 3D Collection brings branding in line with Adobe's other software, giving all of the Substance tools standard Adobe product icons and listings on the main Adobe product website.
So, what do we have? Substance Designer and Painter have their's old names, but icons have changed. Substance Alchemist and Source from now on have new brand names – Substance Sampler and Substance 3D Assets.
If you used to work with an Adobe Dimension visualization and design solution, now you can find this product under a new name – Substance 3D Stager.
Substance 3D – Four tools in one solution
Substance 3D includes four new tools and an expanded ecosystem, including an expanded library of thousands of customizable 3D assets. If it's as good as Sebastien Deguy (the vice president of 3D and immersive at Adobe) in one of his interviews said, the new collection could be a shoo-in for our best 3D modelling software round-up.
One of the new tools is Substance 3D Stager, which assembles 3D models, materials, and lighting in a 3D scene and produces virtual photography. All you have to do is take 3D models from Stager's library that contains customizable 3D shapes and text. Or you can go further and get elements from Substance 3D Assets library (formerly known as Substance Source), where, as of today, over 2,000 3D models are ready to be used.
Moreover, if you'd like more assets, you can use your own! Stager allows you to import most 3D model files (FBX, OBJ, GLTF, USD, and more). After importing your content, arrange your scene, apply materials and textures, adjust both image-based and physical lighting, save cameras with different resolutions, and render photorealistic imagery – and voilà!
Other tools that enable you to create stylized or photorealistic 3D images are the Sampler, Painter and Designer:
Substance Sampler (previously known as Substance Alchemist) is an application for generating 3D materials based on photographs and scan data. Here Substance Alchemist has been fully redesigned and updated. Sampler has a new toolset for creating 3D lighting environments, including merging sets of photos into HDR images and adding 3D lights to existing HDRIs. The best thing about Sampler is that it makes creating materials simple. You can bring in a photo and quickly apply filters and mix elements to produce a texture or other material in a matter of minutes.
Substance Painter often called the Photoshop of 3D. Painter allows you to apply textures straight to a 3D object. Those detailed and infinitely customizable textures are key to making 3D objects seem so realistic that you can imagine reaching out and touching them.
With Substance Designer, you can create customizable photorealistic unique and universal textures and materials. Moreover, you can create even 3D models from scratch. More than 95% of AAA game projects currently in development use Substance 3D as well as the most prestigious visual effects and animation studios. That's why it is the industry's reference 3D Material Creation app.
The last tool is the Substance 3D Asset Library, an expanded library of thousands of customizable 3D assets including models, lights, and materials – everything from a rusty screwdriver to an aeroplane cabin wall to feed creatives' workflow. The toolkit also provides access to Creative Cloud's fonts library, storage, and more. It means that artists will be able to see how the assets were made and will be able to apply the same techniques to their creations.
Adobe has also opened a private beta of Substance 3D Modeler, a modeling tool that allows artists to create their own 3D objects. 3D Modeler uses a VR interface to recreate the natural, organic feeling of sculpting clay with your hands, leveraging the precision of mouse and tablet controls. Currently, 3D Modeler is in closed beta. We hope to hear more about this fifth application at the end of 2021.
Adobe Substance 3D certainly sounds like an exciting proposition for 3D artists, especially those just starting. We invite you to try the above Substance 3D collection tools for yourself. We are sure that you will be amazed at how simple but powerful the Substance 3D solution is.