Creating a Substance Graph

A Substance Graph can be created in two different ways. Make sure you understand both methods, as depending on your usecase

Method 1: New Graph and Package

This is usually the preferred method when you are starting a new project, as it creates the package for you.

Perform one of the following actions (all achieve the same result):

  • Go to File > New Substance through the Main Menu.
  • Press Ctrl + N, the hotkey for this action
  • Click the New Substance button on the top toolbar: 

You'll be presented with the New Substance Graph Dialog, see below.

Alternatively, you can create a new, empty package and then use the below method. Right click in an empty area of the Explorer, and select New Package.

Method 2: New Graph in existing Package

This is the preferred method for creating multiple graphs within a single project, for example when you want to create a new subgraph, or build a new helper graph for your main graph.

Simply right-click on an existing package and select New > Substance Graph .

You'll be presented with the New Substance Graph Dialog, see below.

New Substance Dialog

No matter which method you use to create a new Substance Graph, you will always be met with the New Substance Dialog.

The dialog is divided into two separate sections. Both sections have no effect on each other, and have a different purpose.

Template Section (green)

The Graph Template section allows you to choose what Template is used for pre-creating graph content. It is meant as a shortcut to quickly get started, setting up you graph for your intended usecase.
Choose from a template in the list to get outputs and inputs pre-created, or choose the "Empty" option to start completely from scratch.
Buttons below the list of Templates relate to display and browsing of Templates other than the defaults. Read the page about setting up your own templates to learn more about this feature.

If you choose the wrong template, you can not switch to a different template later, but you can manually re-create the wanted template without too much effort. Copy-Pasting In- and Outputs from another new template would be the advised method.

Properties Section (red)

The Graph Properties section allows you to set up the most improtant and relevant Graph Properties from the start. Any of these can be changed afterwards with little effort, but it makes sense to pay attention at first and set these up correctly from the start.

All of these settings are either from the Base Parameters or from the Attributes property of a Graph, and can be found and changed there after creation, along with other, extended options.

  1. Graph Name: set the name for the graph inside the package. This correlates to the Identifier Property of the Graph's Attributes. Any spaces will be automatically converted to underscores.
  2. Size Mode: set the Size mode for the created Graph. This defaults to Absolute, but ideally Relative TO Parent is used in most cases. Make sure you properly understand the concept of Size Modes in Substance Designer, as this is a common beginner error!
  3. Width: set Width for Graph. Affects parent width if set to Relative To Parent.
  4. Height: set Height for Graph. Affects parent width if set to Relative To Parent.
  5. Format: set the data format (bit-depth). This is not as critical of a setting, as outputs can override the format of a Graph.