3D Resources can be used inside Substance Designer to generate baked maps, or to preview any texture data from Substance Graphs, or shaders from MDL Graphs. 3D Resources are never directly used inside graphs, unlike other resources such as Bitmaps or Vector Graphics.
3D Mesh formats supported are Autodesk .3ds, Autodesk Collada .dae, Autodesk Drawing .dxf, Autodesk Filmbox .fbx and Wavefront Object .obj. In general, FBX tends to be the safest choice, with the least potential for issues, granted you are using a moderately recent version.
3D Meshes can only be linked by Substance Designer, which means they stay on their location on disk, and are just referenced there by Substance Designer.
When a package with a 3D Mesh resource is published as SBSAR, the mesh is not embedded, but discarded.
3D Resources for Baking
Linking a 3D Mesh into your package in Substance Designer is the only way to bake additional maps from this mesh. You perform the following steps to get started:
- Right Click a package and choose Link > 3D Mesh.
- Choose any supported mesh file.
- If asked about UDIM, answer No unless you want to bake UV-Tiles.
- With the mesh loaded in the Explorer, Right click and choose Bake Model Information
- The Baking dialog appears for you to set up any bakes.
UDIM / UV-Tile Usage
When a mesh resource is linked and Substance Designer detects it has UV's outside of the 0-1 range, you'll be asked if this mesh should be treated as a UDIM mesh (also known as UV Tiles). This is a setting that can be changed afterwards, and unless you are sure you are using using UV-Tiles, should be answered as No.
If UV-Tile behaviour is active, baking behaves differently and will bake textures for each detected UV-Tile.
Resource/Scene vs State
Substance Designer separates what you see in the 3D view into two distinct files. The actual 3D model or mesh, is a resource visible in the Explorer. The setup of lights, camera, post-processing and other settings is called the "State". States can be saved to external .sbsscn files, to be loaded in again later. .sbsscn files are not resources, they are additional configuration files that can only be loaded through the Scene menu in the 3D View.