Most of Substance Player's interface is divided into three large areas, called "Panes". These are the 2D View Pane, 3D View Pane, and the Parameters Pane.

You can drag the dividers between the panes to resize them. You can also tear out a Pane and reposition it to a completely different location by dragging on its title bar.

2D View Pane

This is where you can view your Substance's individual channel outputs in detail.

2D View Output Selector and Toolbar

This area displays all the Outputs (also known as "Channels") supported by the Substance. Click on the name to display that Output in the main 2D View area.

The Toolbar section to the right also lets you change the zoom level:


Finally, the right-most button offers up a menu of options for the 2D View:


Briefly, the options are:

Display alpha channel

Toggles displaying of the alpha channel in the 2D View.

Freeze view

Locks the view. Until the view is unlocked, changes made to Substance parameters in the Parameters Pane will not be shown.

HQ zoom

Selects / deselects a high-quality zoom mode. HQ Zoom can slow down performance, but can make it easier to spot smaller detail problems.

Save as bitmap...

Lets you export the current image in the 2D View to one of a number of popular bitmap formats.

Copy to clipboard

Copies the 2D view image to the clipboard, for pasting into another application.

Split vertically

Splits the 2D View pane into two, each fully independent of the other.

Split horizontally

As above, but splits the 2D View pane horizontally.

Close view

Closes the 2D View. If multiple 2D Views are displayed, only the active 2D View is closed. Any remaining 2D Views are automatically resized to fill the space used by the closed View.


3D View Pane

Lets you view your Substance rendered onto a 3D model. Substance Player includes a number of basic primitives, such as spheres and boxes, but it also supports opening arbitrary models in FBX, 3ds, DXF, DAE, and OBJ formats.

You can also select a shader to use, as well as modify its settings in the Parameters Pane.

3D View Menu Bar

This area contains a number of menus for adjusting the 3D View to your needs:


Lets you choose from one of the built-in primitive models, and load a custom mesh. You can also reload a custom mesh if you have just modified it in another package; this will update the 3D View to reflect the changes.


Lets you select one of the five built-in shaders (Blinn, Displacement [NVidia only], Lambert, Parallax Material, and Relief Material.) The default shader is "Relief Material".

This menu also includes options to load your own custom shader and modify its settings. Clicking the Shader menu title itself will display the current shader's settings to the right of the 3D View, as shown below:


As with the 3D geometry menu, you also have the option to reload a shader if it has been modified in another application. This will update the 3D View accordingly.


Lets you reset the light.

Substance Player supports a single light, the settings for which are defined by the shader.

You can move the light around by holding down the [SHIFT] key and dragging the light with the left mouse button.


Lets you select which channels (also known as "Outputs" in Substances) to render in the 3D View. The exact list varies according to the shader selected.

You also have the option to reset the colors and textures to their defaults.


Lets you set the view to a preset camera position: perspective, top, bottom, front, back, right, and left. You can also choose to render the model in Orthographic mode, or reset the perspective camera to its default position.


Lets you enable or disable "helper" features, including the grid, axes, bounding boxes, select wireframe mode, view the light, and change the background color.

Graphs Info Bar

This displays information about the currently active graph. Some Substance packages can contain multiple graphs, so this makes it clear which one you are looking at.

Parameters Pane

Substances support real-time parameter modifications, so the Parameters Pane is where you can see all the parameters for your Substances.

Substance Parameters are displayed in the main area, with basic parameters common to all Substances displayed at the top. Use the sliders, wheels and other controls to modify each Parameter as desired. The results will be rendered in the 2D and 3D Views.

The Parameters Toolbar

This set of icons lets you analyze a Substance's performance by freezing or caching specific Parameters, or optimize its rendering by setting caching hints that can be accessed by the Substance rendering engine in another application, such as Unity: