2D view

The 2D view can display the result of the computation of any node :

How to visualize a node ?

In order to show a node in the 2D viewport, you have two options:

  • Double-Click on the node.
  • right-click on the node then "View Output in 2D View"

Tiling view mode

It is possible to visualize the repetition of any given node by pressing the "Space" bar on the keyboard :


Panning an image

Since Substance Designer 6, you can now pan an image that doesn't fit entirely on the 2d view. Just hold middle-click and drag the image.

Top Toolbar

The 2D View top toolbar is displayed immediately above the image itself:


Set Background Image

The "Background Image"  button() lets you pick a background image. If you are creating a Substance with transparency elements in its resulting image, you may need to see how it looks superimposed over another, background, image. 

Save as Bitmap

This button () lets you export the Output node's image as a simple bitmap. In this way, even if you don't intend to use the Substance Air Engine in your own application, you can still take advantage of Substance Designer's power to create traditional bitmap textures and materials.


The Outputs button opens a menu that lets you select which of the graph's Output nodes you wish to view in the 2D View area. This button is available only when you are visualizing an output.


This button () copies the contents of the 2D View to the system clipboard, so you can paste it into other applications without exporting first.

UV Menu

This menu lets you superimpose one or both UVs in the 3D object displayed in the 3D View. The UV Color command also lets you pick the color used to draw the UV information over the Output node image.

As UV data is stored with the 3D model, you must choose the "Send UVs to 2D View" in the 3D View's toolbar to send the relevant UV data to the 2D View.

Substance Designer supports two sets of UVs per model and you can choose to have none, one, or both of these sets displayed as wire-frames.

The image above shows the UV menu, and the UV data for a cylinder primitive model superimposed, in red, over the Diffuse output of a sample Substance.

Lower Toolbar

This toolbar appears at the bottom of the 2D View pane and is mostly concerned with switching various display options, such as the RGBA channels, color / monochrome, and more.

The toolbar is split into two sections: View Tools (on the left), and Zoom Tools (to the right).

Channel Selector

This is a drop-down menu which lets you choose to show or hide the individual RGB channels:

Alpha toggle

This button ()toggles display of the Alpha channel in the 2D View window.

Physical size Display

Introduced in Substance Designer 6, this button () is using the physical size image to display the image.

sRGB/linear toggle

This button () toggles between sRGB and linear gamma.

Information Panel toggle

This button shows / hides the Information panel that appears above the toolbar by default. Hiding the Information panel will free up more space for the 2D image itself.


Toggles the image's histogram data on or off. It is off by default.

The Histogram and Information panels can be toggled independently. The screenshot above shows both enabled at the same time.

The Zoom Tools

To the right of the Lower Toolbar are the Zoom Tools. From left to right, these are:

Frame All

This button (), like its namesake in other Designer panels, fits the whole image into the 2D View panel.

1:1 ratio

This button () resets the Zoom level to a 1:1 ratio. You can zoom in and out of the image using the mouse wheel.

The Locker

The locker () keeps the 2D View size, which is useful when you work with several nodes of different resolutions.