Author Topic: [SD4/SD5] Using the Library  (Read 11534 times)

Software : Substance Designer 4.x and above
Level : beginner
Focus on : Library



Hey guys,

This little Guide will explain how to use the Library in Substance Designer 5 and how to create Folders & Filters.
For a better use with Filters inside the Library it is recommended to fill out the Attributes section of the Substance. You can find the Attributes section in the Explorer window when you double click an empty space in the Graph View.


Adding a Library Path

  • Save your Substance to your desired location.
  • Go to ‘Tools -> Preferences -> Projects’ inside of Substance Designer and at the far bottom you’ll find the Library Tab.
  • Add the path you saved your substance to to this section by pressing the Plus-Icon on the right side.
  • Take a look at Screenshot 1(attached)

Now Substance Designer knows where to search for new Library Content and we can set up an custom Folder and a Filter to make the Substance available in the Library.
The Library Window is separated into two parts by default. On the left hand side are the folders and filters you can select to view the content corresponding to them on the right hand side.


Creating Filters & Folders

The three Icon in the Filters Panel Toolbar from left to right:
- Create a new folder
- Add a Filter
- Edit Filter preferences



  • Click on the ‘Add Folder’ Icon and rename the created folder if you want. Right/click the folder to rename it.
  • After selecting this folder the ‘Add a new filter’ button becomes available. Click on that to create a Filter.


The Filter Editor

Inside the Filter Editor you’ll be presented with three Drop Down Menus and one text input field. This Panel lets you create rules for the filters you create, change its name and select the project.



The first Drop down window is set to ‘All’ by default. This option lets you define the kind of item you want to be filtered.
Other Options are:
  • Bitmap
  • Vector Graphic
  • Mesh
  • Graph
  • Function
  • Favourites

The second Drop down window is set to ‘Base Name’ by default. This option lets you define the kind of Attribute you want to be filtered.
Other Options are:
  • URL
  • Category
  • Tag
  • User Data
  • Description
  • Author
  • Label

The third Drop down window is set to ‘Contains’ by default. This option lets you define the kind of input method equation you want to have for the custom text input right next to it.
Other Options are:
  • Does Not Contain
  • Equal
  • Not Equal

The custom text input will be the variable Drop down two and three will be filtered through.
In our example let’s use the following setup:
Graph / Category / Contains / LibTest

This setup will search for Categories of Graphs which Contains the names ‘LibTest’.
I set up this name for the Category inside the Attributes section in the substance I set up.

When everything’s set up correctly you should be able to see your created substance Thumbnails Panel now.


Best Regards
Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 04:27:26 pm
Environment Artist - Twitter

is there specific folder/s to link to, and can you link to Bitmap2Material folders also?

I ask as you failed to note which folders are required to linked to, thought your blur'd image has @ 5 different folders hidden.

Hey ajp_hay,

sorry about those blurred folder locations.
You don't need to link to a specific folder to make the library work for you, just create a custom folder at the location you want.
For example: external hard drive.

The Library will find all Sub-Folders and content inside that 'root' folder. You also can specify a Bitmap2Material Folder, of course.

How I did update my library since Substance Painter got the customisable shelf:
I merged Substance Painter and Substance Designer to just one library root folder.


Best Regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

Okay Fabian,
many thanks. I already followed your guide but I don't understand...

At point 1, when you said "Save your Substance to your desired location", you mean Save your Substance Database?

If yes, okay, I locate that in my hd.
This is my screenshot ho Substance Database:


I link these MAIN folders in this way:

But i Still don't see these folder in canvas...

And for the same time, If I want to create a folder to ad to  3D VIEW / ENVIRONMENT MAP, I should find these folder to create and put inside my hdri...
Sorry, I'm total confused... :'( :'( :'( :'(
Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 02:19:40 pm

Hey, sorry for the revive,
But I am unable to follow these instructions.

All I want is to add a node I downloaded from substance share to the default library of designer.
i.e that it will always be there (not just x or y project)

I can't find the deisgner folder where all nodes resides.

This process is way too convoluted to just add a node, surly there is a simpler way?

Thank you