Substance 3D Modeler 1.4 has been released
Released last year, Substance 3D Modeler allows users to create models of both organic and hard surfaces in virtual reality or on a personal computer using a mouse and keyboard. Similar to its predecessor Medium, which was acquired by Adobe in 2019, it uses Signed Distance Fields to represent 3D space rather than treating 3D geometry as a polygonal mesh. As a result, the workflow combines elements of digital sculpting and boolean modeling, allowing users to create shapes from virtual clay and then combine or cut them using boolean operations.
The most significant addition in Substance 3D Modeler 1.4 is the Reference Image system. It allows users to import images while working on a computer and then view them in the background while sculpting in virtual reality. Previously, these images were only visible in VR. Images are stored in save files along with their placement.
In addition to this, two new experimental features have been introduced: Headless VR mode and ambient occlusion. The Headless VR mode is a new sculpting mode that allows you to use VR controllers while working on your desktop. Adobe describes it as a combination of the "best of both desktop and VR" but notes that results may vary depending on the hardware used. The ambient occlusion feature allows you to add greater depth to models. Currently, it is only supported for virtual clay but can be enabled in the model mode, allowing you to use it when creating sculptures. This is in contrast to the new ray tracing system in the viewport, added in the previous release. Both systems are disabled by default but can be enabled in the settings panel, just like the Live boolean preview option, which calculates boolean operations in real-time.
The program's interface has also been revamped, including changes to the top and bottom panels. The most significant change is the new Environment panel, available in the top panel, which allows you to adjust the position, intensity, and color of the three-point lighting in Modeler. This panel also allows you to individually enable various types of lighting: key, fill, and rim, and choose whether they cast shadows. The Deformation tool has received five new curve attenuation settings. The image above shows the range of shapes that can be created using sphere, cube, and capsule brushes. Multi-touch support has been added for graphic tablets and Wacom pen displays, allowing you to change the camera view using gestures.
Substance 3D Modeler 1.4 is compatible with Windows 10 and above, as well as virtual reality headsets. The software is available through the Substance 3D Collection subscription, which costs $49.99 per month or $549.88 per year. Perpetual licenses can be obtained through Steam at a cost of $149.90.