Author Topic: How to use Substance in Toolbag 2  (Read 42472 times)

Hey guys,

This little Guide will explain how to utilise substance inside of Toolbag 2, whether as Substance files (.sbsar) or as exported bitmaps.
It is split into two parts.
The first part will explain how to use exported bitmaps, the second part is about using Substance files.

This Guide will explain how to use the Roughness/Metallic PBR workflow for now, not the Spec/Gloss, as it isn’t officially supported by Substance Painter.

Now let’s jump right into Toolbag to see how we need to setup and import the maps.

It could be that your default settings are somehow different than mine so I attached the images with all the options visible.

Using Bitmaps

Create the materials you need.
Import your maps by either click on the empty preview square or drag & drop your files there.

Normal Map (is the normal map from Painter/Designer)

Flip Y:ON (if exported as Direct X)
Options -> sRGB Color Space: OFF

Gloss Map (is the roughness map from Painter/Designer)

Invert: ON
Options -> sRGB Color Space: OFF

Albedo Map (is the Base Color map from Painter/Designer)

No changes needed

Metalness Map (is the metallic map from Painter/Designer)

You find the Metalness map in the ‘Reflectivity’ section.
If you have a dielectric (non-metallic) material you don’t actually need to fill this input with the exported map (which should be black). You can simply drag the slider to zero (0).

Reflection (BRDF)

The reflection should be set to GGX, instead of the default Blinn-Phong, since Substance Designer & Painter both use GGX.

Using Substances

Create the materials you need.
Right at the bottom of the Channel list you'll find the tab 'Extra'. Choose Substance and click on Open to import the desired SBSAR file.

You now will find all the settings and parameters of your Substance at exactly this place. (screenshot: SubstanceImport.png)
Since the settings are the same of the individual channels/maps you now can use the same settings as already shown above.

Best Regards
Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 09:42:35 pm
Environment Artist - Twitter

cool thank you I just started this week with marmoset.  ;D
Windows 10 / Octane & Marmoset Toolbag / GTX Titan Black 6GB + GTX 970 / Intel Core i7-4930K CPU @ 3.40GHZ (6 Core / 12 Threads)

Thanks Fabian!

Just getting back into the workflow here and got a successful transfer over to Toolbag and exported out to their 3d viewer:

Steve Talkowski
Design. Create. Animate.

Whats the correct settings to use transparency?

EDIT: Using add works great. I have use the tint in TB2 the glass to get it close to painter. But Add isnt supported in TB2 Viewer booo... I still dont know if this is the correct way just messing around.
Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 03:49:18 am

How do I switch to a different graph in a published substance within Toolbag 2?

How do I switch to a different graph in a published substance within Toolbag 2?


The marmoset plugin only supports one graph. There isn't an option to choose between multiple graphs. If you have an sbs with multiple graphs, you can set a specific graph to be the output by going to the other graphs and on the Attributes, change the Output Computation to No. This is a way to manage an sbs with multiple graphs. Now you can publish the sbsar with the correct graph for marmoset without having to break it up into multiple sbs files.



Head of Substance Demo Art Team
Twitter: The3DNinja

Whats the correct settings to use transparency?

EDIT: Using add works great. I have use the tint in TB2 the glass to get it close to painter. But Add isnt supported in TB2 Viewer booo... I still dont know if this is the correct way just messing around.

For anyone who needs to understand Transparency in Marmoset Tool Bag 2 here is a great guide it solved and helped me with workflow.

Thank You Fabian, this article really helped.

I do however I was wondering how does normal + height workflow go about in Marmoset.

Where does height map generated from SP go in Marmoset? Is it under displacement?
And do we use Normal + Height for an asset?
This asset I painted in SP has no normal (I mean no sculpted normal details). So the normal and the height map is from SP.

When I plug-in the height from SP in displacement in Marmoset, the mesh breaks apart. Normal however is working properly.
Not sure if its because I am exporting 8BIT tga bitmaps.


Hey Govind,

the Height Map goes, as you guessed correctly, into the Displacement Channel in Marmoset. You can, of course, use a Normal map + Displacement for your assets, if you want. This can improve the asset quality a lot, since you are displacing vertices to get the height map shape.

The Height map should be exported as a 32 bit map. You need to add Subdivisions (PN Triangles for best quality) to get a proper displacement. If you do not add subdivisions, the displacement just can work with the low poly vertices. Substance Painter and Designer both use Height Map as a base because they are easier to author and work with, since Normal Maps have three vectors and you can't paint on them quite good.

Best Regards
Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 03:05:28 am
Environment Artist - Twitter

Thanks Fabian, making a lot more sense now, however landed me in small workflow confusion

To clarify the workflow - am I correct in saying that when exporting maps from SP, the height map is converted to normal map? Then where does height come into play?
Also if I am sending my maps to Unity or other game engines, should I get only normal instead of height?

From my limited experience on the game end this is what I have come up with:

If sculpted details are available as normal map for a low-poly game asset, then:-

- Add them in SP for visual feedback on the asset and once the map is exported, merge both sculpt normals and SP normals in SD and send them out. Where SP normals are mainly teritiary details like small chips and cracks and pores, etc
(no height here!)

If sculpted details are not available and the asset is just a low poly prop, then:-

- Paint in SP and when you spit your maps out, height is converted to normal (is it?), and just use normal
(no height here again!)

I would deeply appreciate if you could direct me to a generic workflow for height + normal.

Thank You


When you import a 'base' normal map you baked from high poly to low poly, anything you add through painting height data, or normal data (in the new SP version) will be combined for you once you export - you don't need to recombine the normal map from SP with the 'base' normal from the high to low bake.

Usually height (displacement) maps are used to deform the big forms of an asset, while normal maps are for small, refined details.

And yes, SP uses the height data and converts it for you to a tangent space normal map: white = bumping up the surface, black = carving into the surface, and then you got all of the values in between.

If you export using a template that saves out the height map, then you'll have it as well as the normal map.
Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 04:39:15 pm

Thanks Zurhoch,

So if for fine details, SP is baking out height as normal when I export, height map become irrelevant if i am using something like Marmoset Toolbag for rendering, right?
And I can use displacement with height map (32bit) for the bigger displacements.

Hey Govind,

I can't confirm that the Height Map becomes irrelevant, but it is not required, though. Displacement can make your Toolbag Rendering look better, but maybe you don't want to present your Meshes or Materials with Displacement.

The Height Map could become handy in the Engine again, where you can use the Height Map to Blend between two Materials, like Cobblestone and Sand. The Height Map can be used to Determine where the Sand should 'lay' and where not. The result will be much better than just a simple Alpha Blending.

Regarding the questions you had before (sorry for not answering them):
By Default the Height Map will be converted to a normal map in Substance Painter, yes.
As Described above: The Height map can become really handy, so exporting it into the Engine when you want to blend two materials may be a good idea.

I hope that helps you a bit better to understand how to use a Height Map and what maps are required :)
Feel free to keep asking, if you are still unsure!

Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

Thank you for the detailed explanation Fabian.
I think I am getting there now.

The blending option with height maps sounds awesome.
What confused me is, my normal map was giving me everything in terms of displacement - so I was unsure how to use height map.
The workflow that makes sense to me now is, height for bigger displacements and normal for fine details for detailed assets
For really low-poly assets (under 2K count) just normal.

Thanks again

Hey Govind,

there is no rule or so I could think of for using Height Maps, actually.
Parallax Displacement, for instance, is cheaper to use than 'Standard' Displacement and can be used on objects with a very low poly count. Walls, for example, can just have 2 tris and still look great with a Height Map applied, due to the Parallax Displacement applied. Ubisoft did that in Far Cry 4, for instance. They applied Parallax Displacement to a few Walls, since the player can get quite near and see if it is a polygonal plane or a real 'texture'.

Displacement just makes sense if you really want to show the actual 'geometry' of the Material, instead of a flat polygonal surface.

Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter