Author Topic: 3dsMax to Substance Painter bridge  (Read 121093 times)

This (free) tool allows you to quickly send objects to Substance Painter from 3dsMax.

Please find download attached to this post.

Be sure to have administrator privileges in order to be able to add files to 3dsMax sub-directories.
1. Launch 3dsMax using right click->Run as administrator.
2. Use "MAXScript->Run Script" to execute the .mzp file.
3. Click on "Customize->Customize User Interface". Click on "Toolbars" tab.
4. In "Category", select "Substance" and drag & drop "Send to Substance" in 3dsMax UI to add it as a button.
Optional: you can create your own toolbar by clicking on "New" Button.

- Automatic export selected objects (and Normal maps assigned in "Bump/Normal bump" if available)
- Creation of a Substance Painter document at export location with correct normal maps/materials assignations (from scratch or using a .spp as source file)
- Automatically relaunch Substance Painter in order to get a quick preview
- Use a Substance Painter document (.spp file) as template

The script will create the folder structure (specified in the export path) and a subfolder (optional) based on the "Export name" (or first object name in alphabetic order if none is mentioned). This folder contains the Substance Painter file and all files created from 3dsMax to setup it.

This script is not a final product and can evolve/be modified in next releases.
As it allows you to replace existing (exported using the tool) Substance Painter document, be sure to backup your files in order to preserve them from potential errors of manipulation.
Don't hesitate to give me/us feedbacks or examples of how you use it  :)

Example video (version 1.0 of the tool)
Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 06:29:08 pm
Lead technical artist

I'm getting this error from trying to run the script. I'm currently on 3dsMAX 2015 student Version.

Hi, can you please confirm me you exactly followed the installation steps?
Launch 3ds Max as administrator (right click on the icon => Run as administrator), then Maxscript => Run script (no drag and drop)?

Lead technical artist

I thought I ran as administrator, but it appears I didn't. It's working now, thanks.

Perfect, thanks for the update.
Lead technical artist

Thank you for taking the time to do this! Very useful!

Thanks for the feedback, appreciated :)
Lead technical artist


I find this bridge useful - thanks! :)

One thing - is there a way to prevent it from dictating the directory - I set up all my substance directories within my Max project folders. Each object has it's own folder within the main substance folder - that's always been my workflow. But with this bridge it insists on creating a SendtoSubstance folder with an additional folder (exported name) with in that one. I would like to be able to just direct the files to the folder of my chosing. Now I have to move them then delete the SendtoSubstance folder.

Is this possible - am I over looking something? Or can it be added, please?

Thank you again for the bridge - I do appreciate it. :)


I keep getting this error message

It seems to be because your material is a multimat: could you make a test with a standard one to see if you have the error?

That worked for me! The multimat was the problem. Now I just need to find a clear guide on hoe to export it into Unity5.

New version added to support Substance Painter 2 and other things, more details below.  :)

Changelog 1.1

- Added: Substance Painter 2 support. The script will automatically launch Substance Painter 1 or 2 based on the specified path.
- Added: possibility to use a Substance Painter document as template (specify a .spp file path).
- Added: Multi/Sub-Object (Multi material) support.
- Updated: export path is now more flexible. The "SendToSubstance" folder will not be automatically created anymore.
- Updated : you can now choose if you want to export everything in a folder created using the mesh name or not.
- Fixed: hashtags characters in materials name are now supported. As Substance Painter automatically replace them by "_", the exported Normal maps now use the same convention.
Lead technical artist

Thank you!

Updated: export path is now more flexible. The "SendToSubstance" folder will not be automatically created anymore.
- Updated : you can now choose if you want to export everything in a folder created using the mesh name or not.

Thank you, thank you!!  :D

This max to substance painter bridge script seems really good.  Just wondering, does the bridge import the .max object/file or does it first export it to another format before opening it in sb?

it first exports as an fbx