PBR Render

PBR Render

In: Material Filters/PBR Utilities



Renders a PBR material onto a sphere, plane or cylinder using Image Based Lighting (IBL). This is a render-engine inside a node, which can be very useful for generating thumbnails, previews or 2D assets inside Substance Designer. It is not a render like the 3D view, but an actual texture being generated in your graph. A newer version in Substance Designer 10.1 introduces a lot more features related to rendering.

This node requires at least a full PBR material to be plugged in. Ideally you make use of Link Creation Modes to connect the material to PBR Render. Additionally, you will need a spherically-unwrapped HDRI environment for the render to calculate lighting from. Materials for testing can be found under PBR Materials, Environment maps can be found under 3D View in the library.

CPU (SSE2) Engine

The PBR Render Node is very heavy and does not work well with the SSE2 CPU engine. Switch to another engine by pressing F9, if node performs extremely bad.


  • Material channel inputs
    Multiple material inputs are used to render the material on the geometry.
  • Lens Dirt MapGrayscale Input
    Custom map for dirt on lens, that appears when lens flares are visible.
  • Lens Aperture MapGrayscale Input
    Can be used to override Bokeh, out-of-focus shape. The more contrasted, the more visible it is. Keep in mind only a circle within the texture is sampled, so any shape has to fit within a circle.
  • Environment MapColor Input
    Enviroment map used to calculate lighting. Must be spherically-mapped and in HDR.


 Click here to expand parameters...
  • ShapeSphere, Plane, Cylinder
    Sets the shape used for rendering. Custom shapes are not possible.
  • Displacement Intensity0.0 - 0.5
  • Set the intensity of displacement from height.
  • Environment Rotation0.0 - 1.0
    Rotates the lighting environment. Pre-rotates compared to moving the camera.
  • Background ModeColor, Environment, Ambient
    Set what is shown in the background. Color is a solid color, Environment is the map you plugged in with an optional blur. Ambient is a very blurred version of the environment.
  • Background Color(Color value)
    Only available when Background mode is set to Color.
  • Environment Background Blur0.0 - 1.0
    Only available when Background mode is set to Environment.
  • Shape
    • Scale0.0 - 2.0
      Set the scale for the Sphere.
    • Plane Size0.0 - 1.0
      Set the scale for the Plane.
    • Cylinder Radius0.0 - 1.0
      Set the radius for the Cylinder.
    • Cylinder Length0.0 - 1.0
      Set the length for the Cylinder.
    • Rotation0.0 - 1.0
      Rotates shape without rotating lighting.
    • Rotation Direction0.0 - 1.0
      Sets the axis of rotation in 2D.
    • Rotation Around Direction0.0 - 1.0
      Spins shape on the rotation axis.
    • Shape Position-1.0 - 1.0
      Moves shapes.
    • UV Tiling1.0 - 6.0
      Sets the amount of UV-Tiling.
    • Sphere UV Scale0.0 - 4.0
      Sets the scale of UV's on the Sphere.
    • Plane UV Scale1.0 - 4.0
      Sets the scale of UV's on the Plane.
    • Cylinder UV Scale1.0 - 6.0
      Sets the scale of UV's on the Cylinder.
    • UV Offset0.0 - 1.0
      Offsets UV's
    • Tilt UVsFalse/True
      Tilts UV's by 45 degrees for the Sphere.
  • Camera
    • Tone MapperLinear, ACES, Filmic Hejl
      Set which tone mapping solution to use for the final image.
    • Camera ModePerspective, Orthographic
      Switch camera between two projection modes.
    • Distance0.0 - 4.0
      Set the distance of the camera from the object center.
    • Field of View0.01 - 100.0
      Set camera FOV angle.
    • Screen Position:
      Moves the camera around the object, can be changed with a gizmo in the 2D view as well.
    • Exposure-4.0 - 4.0
      Set camera exposure.
    • Vignette Intensity0.0 - 1.0
      Set intensity of vignette effect.
    • Vignette Radius0.0 - 1.0
      Set radius of the vignette effect.
    • Aperture Radius0.0 - 0.1
      Sets radius of the aperture. Higher values mean out-of-focus areas get blurrier (bokeh).
    • Aperture Blades3 - 9
      Sets the shape of the bokeh blur.
    • Aperture Ring0.0 - 1.0
      Adds an inner gradient to the bokeh shape.
    • Aperture Difraction0.0 - 2.0
      Adds chromatic aberration to the bokeh.
    • Swirly Bokeh0.0 - 1.0
      Adds a swirl or spinning type of effect to out-of-focus bokeh blur areas.
    • Focus ModeAuto, Point
      Set if focus is pre-determined or user-set. Point focus lets you move a point in the 2D view to determine the focus distance.
    • Focus Point:
      If focus is set to Point, this lets you move that point. has a 2D view gizmo.
    • Focus Offset-0.5 - 0.5
      If focus is set to Auto, allows you to shift it back and forth.
    • Use Custom Aperture MapFalse/True
      Overrides Aperture settings above and use Aperture map input to determine the bokeh shape. Requires an input.
  • Render Settings
    • Diffuse Quality32 Samples, 128 Samples
      Switch between two quality levels for the diffuse map.
    • Diffuse Dithering0.0 - 1.0
      Set the amount of dithering for the diffuse.
    • Diffuse Emissive Mulitplier0.0 - 1.0
      Controls how much the emissive parts are contributing to the irradiance.
    • Specular Dithering0.0 - 1.0
      Set the amount of dithering for the specular.
    • Specular Emissive Multiplier0.0 - 1.0
      Controls how much the emissive parts are visible in the specular reflections.
    • Ambient Occlusion Intensity0.0 - 1.0
      Sets the intensity of ambient occlusion shadows.
    • Bloom Intensity0.0 - 2.0
      Sets strength of the bloom effect.
    • Bloom Threshold0.0 - 2.0
      Sets low threshold for bloom to appear.
    • Bloom Chroma Shift0.0 - 1.0

    • Lens Halo Intensity0.0 - 1.0
      Sets intensity for the lens halo effect.
    • Lens Flares Intensity0.0 - 1.0
      Sets intensity for the lens flare. Make sure the light from your environment background is in view to properly see this effect.
    • Lens Dirt Intensity0.0 - 1.0
      Sets effect of lens dirt map on the Lens flares.
  • Material Adjustements
    • Recompute NormalsFalse/True
      Normals will be recomputed from the height map according to the displacement intensity.
    • Normal FormatDirectX, OpenGL
      Switch between different Normal Map formats (inverts the green channel)
    • Dielectric F0 InputConstant Value, Specular Level input
      Set what drives F0 values. Specular Level input means it will be driven by an input map.
    • Dielectric F00.0 - 0.08
      If Constant Value is chosen for Dielectric F0 Input, this slider lets you set the global value.
    • Emissive Intensity0.0 - 10.0
      Sets global multiplier for the emissive map.
  • Clear Coat
    • Enable Clear CoatFalse/True
      Enables an additional, simple clear coat layer on top of the input material.
    • Clear Coat Weight0.0 - 1.0
      Sets intensity or strength of the clearcoat layer.
    • Clear Coat Specular Level0.0 - 1.0
      Sets the roughness of the clearcoat layer.
    • Inherit Normal from Base LayerFalse/True
      Set if clearcoat ignores or uses normals from the base material.

Example Images

All images were generated directly inside of Designer, in the 2D viewport, using materials from Substance Source.