Project Creation

The new project creation window allows to create a Substance Project to store the 3D mesh and its texturing.

Substance Painter creates a new Texture set per Material definition on the mesh you are importing. This means you can import multiple meshes from a single file with overlapping UVs if you give them different materials.

Creating a new project

To create a new project click on File > New to create a new Substance Painter project.

Below is an explanation of all the parameter available in the New Project window (see the image above) :


Allows to specify a template that will define the default settings of the project. A template contains the follow parameters:

  • Texture Set settings
  • Display settings
  • Baking settings
  • Shader resources (including attached textures)
  • Environment Map file

Templates are *.spt files that are created from an existing project via the File menu and saved inside the Shelf folder to be easily shared with team members.


Click on the "Select" button to specify a mesh file to load. See below for a list of supported mesh file formats.

Create a Texture Set per UDIM tile

Instead of using Material definitions found on the mesh to create Texture Sets, the import process will create a Texture Set per UV range (UDIM Tile). For more information see : UDIM

In case the UDIM creation fails, the import process will fallback to the creation of a regular project instead with Texture Sets based on Materials.

Import Cameras

If cameras are present in the mesh file, they will be imported in the project and accessible as preset for visualization.

Substance Painter doesn't support some types of cameras :

  • Physical cameras from 3DS Max.
  • Orthographic cameras stored in Alembic files (*.abc).

Document Resolution

Defines the default texture resolution of the project for each Texture Sets. The resolution can go up to 4K (4096x4096 pixels) when working inside the application and 8K (8192x8192 pixels) when exporting. The resolution can be changed at anytime later on via the Texture Set settings.

8K export requires at least 2.5GB of VRam on the GPU to be available.

Normal Map Format

Defines the Normal map format for the project, can be either

  • DirectX (X+, Y-, Z+)
  • OpenGL (X+, Y+, Z+)

As a reminder:

  • Unreal Engine use DirectX by default.
  • Unity use OpenGL by default.
Compute Tangent Space per Fragment

If enabled, the Bitangents are computed in the fragment (pixel) shader instead of the vertex shader. This parameter impacts the way the Normal map is decoded by the Shader in the viewport. Changing this settings will require to rebake the Normal map.

As a reminder:

  • Unreal Engine needs this setting to be Enabled.
  • Unity needs this setting to be Disabled.

For more information see the Tangent Space page in the Bakers documentation.

Import mesh normal maps and baked maps for all the materials.

Use the "Add" button to loads texture files as Mesh maps and automatically assign them in the Texture Set settings.

See below for the naming convention to follow and an example.

Mesh File Formats

Substance Painter can import the following file formats:





Autodesk FBX


GL Transmission Format


Wavefront OBJ


Stanford Triangle Format

Importing Mesh maps

It is possible to import mesh maps (baked texture specific to the mesh) and have them automatically assigned in the Texture Set Settings. To do so a specific naming convention must be followed. Mesh maps can be baked directly in Substance Painter or via  Substance Designer .

Naming convention: TextureSetName_MeshMapName

Example: DefaultMaterial_ambient_occlusion.png

Bellow is a list of all the Mesh map names supported:

Mesh mapFilename convention
Ambient occlusionambient_occlusion
Curvature curvature
Normal normal_base
World Space Normalworld_space_normals