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Substance Painter: Complete Guide to Download, Import and Use New Materials to Texture With (3 Ways)

Category: Substance Painter
May 25, 2023

Substance Painter comes with a decent amount of starter content materials to use.

But there are many material types it doesn't have. You will find yourself wanting to have more.

You can create your own with Substance Designer but that takes time to learn and implement. Sometimes you want to download something new quickly to texture with.

Here is how to download, import or install and start using new materials in Substance Painter.

Video Tutorial

Material File Types

There are 2 material types you will use in Substance Painter: SBSAR and SPSM.

  • SBSAR: basic material
  • SPSM: smart material

Each file type requires to be placed into specific folder location for it to work.

Where to Download Additional Materials

You can download additional materials to use from:

  • Official Creative Cloud Marketplace
  • Any website where the user is letting you download SBSAR or SPSM file types

There are two ways to get access to the Marketplace.

First is through Substance Painter by clicking on the icon:

Second is through Creative Cloud by going to Stock and Marketplace and 3D tab:

Option 1: Manually Downloading and Installing Materials

The first option will allow you to download the files and manually place them into specific folders.

These materials will then be always available upon Substance Painter start.

Download the material file:

Navigate to C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Painter\assets

Replace USERNAME with your user name.

  • Place SBSAR into materials folder
  • Place SBSM into smart-materials folder

Tip: You may create subfolders within these folders to organize your usable materials.

In Substance Painter under the library section, search for the material. Then begin to use it.

Option 2: Importing from Substance Painter

Second option will allow you to import materials directly into Substance Painter with additional options.

In Substance Painter, go to File > Import Resources:

Select Add Resources and choose which materials you want to import:

Define Import Your Resources to: current session, project or library:

  • Current Session: will only keep the material files in the library section for the active session. Once Substance Painter is closed, the imported section will no longer be available in the library to use.
  • Project: into the existing project you have open. The material files will be saved into the library for this project only.
  • Library: materials will be imported into Substance Painter library for you to use anytime. These files will be copied into ┬áC:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Painter\assets folder and upon Substance Painter restart will be always available in the library.

If you ever see Undefined in the import resources section, change it to basematerial:

You can then filter by imported Materials in the Library section by clicking on the arrow icon and choosing All libraries, your project, Starter assets or your assets. This helps to see only what you imported or everything available in Substance Painter:

Option 3: Send to App

Third option is the quickest and easiest but doesn't offer any options.

In the Marketplace, click on Send to App and choose Substance Painter:

This will download and send the material to Substance Painter. It will place the file into the correct folder directory and it will become available in your Library.

The folder directory that the file will be placed is C:\Users\Alexander\Documents\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Painter\assets

And if it is an SBSAR, which most materials in the Marketplace are, it will be in the materials folder.

Send to App will make this material always accessible any time when you launch Substance Painter.


You can find more Substance Painter Tutorials here.

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About World of Level Design

My name is AlexG. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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