The Library


The Library panel is a split-view resource manager, where you can find and gather all your assets you need to work with in your graph.

The library monitors some folders on your hard drive (or over a network), so any changes (new assets, deleting assets, renaming, etc.) happening in those folders will be updated in the Library as well.

The library can monitor the following assets:

  • Substances (graphs from .sbs package and .sbsar)
  • Bitmap images
  • Vector images
  • Functions
  • Meshes

Those resources can be either on your computer’s own storage systems, or shared over a network.




As you can see, the Library view is split in 2 main parts :

  • The Category panel on the left
  • The thumbnail panel on the right


The Category panel


Located on the left of the Library View, the category panel contains all the assets categories and sub-categories.

In order to use the Category panel, you can either:

  • click on a category : all the assets contained under this category ans its sub-categories will appear on the Thumbnail panel.
  • click on a sub-category : only the assets contained in this sub-category will appear on the Thumbnail panel.


The categories

Default categories contain handle all the assets shipped with Substance Designer 5.

Their names are generally self-explanative. here is the list of the most important categories:


  • The Favorites category : gathers all the assets you have flagged as favorite (see : how to create a favorite?)
  • The Generators category: contains all the substances that will directly compute/generate a content without the need of a previous input (in most of the cases) .They are generally good starting points for your graph.
  • The Filters category: contains all the substances that will modify their input.
  • The Functions category: the nodes that are used in the function graphs (See the Function section)



The Thumbnails panel

The thumbnail panel is the place where you can vizualize and choose the assets you want to use

Use an asset from the library

To use an asset from the library, just drag'n'drop it to the proper location :

Find an asset from the library

In order to find an asset, you can either use the category panel to filter the displayed assets, or you can use the the search bar, located at the top left of the thumbnail view :

The content of the thumbnail view will be dynamically adapted to the letters you enter.


The search bar will take account the name of the asset you are looking for, but also tags that the asset can contain, or the category it belongs to.

For example, typing "normal" will list all the assets that can be used to generate or modify a normal map.

This is a good way to discover new nodes (thus new possibilities (wink))


Vizualize your assets

You can adapt the size of the icons to your convenience by using the to right drop down list:

Obviously, it's up to you to find the right balance between seeing as much icons at the same time or having fewer but more detailed icons:


Yous have the choice between all these sizes :

  • Tiny icons
  • Small icons
  • Medium icons
  • Large icons


The small icon  turns on/off the labels of the nodes.



Selecting ot hovering an icon will give you some additional information (if they have been provided by the author of the content) :


The Favorites section

After using the software for a while, you will notice that there is some assets that are more useful in your workflow than others.

Hopefully SD5 offers an easy solution to access them, by adding them to the Favorites section:

How to add (or remove) an asset to the Favorites section ?

Really simple : just select the asset and click on the star on the right of the search bar.

The start will turn yellow to inform you that the asset is now in your favorites.