An Update on Substance Format Support in Unity

Hi everyone,

Today we are announcing that after careful consideration, the built-in support for Substance materials will be deprecated in Unity 2018.1. To maintain compatibility, Allegorithmic is working on a new external importer, with plans to release it on the Asset Store for 2018.1.

Unity R&D is on a mission to make the Unity editor as lightweight and modular as possible. Over time, this will allow us, our partners and Asset Store publishers to deploy updates for specific parts of Unity without having to launch an entire new version of the editor. It will also translate to a much smaller initial installation size for the editor, and greater freedom to choose exactly which additional features to subsequently install for your project. Deprecating built-in support for Substance materials fits well into this overall philosophy.

We realize that this decision means a change in workflows for those of you who are using Substance materials in your projects, but Allegorithmic is continuing support in the form of three products for the Unity editor:

For projects in development that rely on the current Substance material support import functionality, you will of course have the option to continue to use Unity 2017.3 or earlier.

We would very much like to hear from you if you have questions or comments.


@ans_unity : Any idea if they are going to be charging for the plugin? Can't seem to find anything about that.
Would be kinda lame to shell out more money for stuff I've already bought to use.

10 dollars or something is fine, but if they charge like 30 dollars or something I'd just export the textures as Bitmaps and loose all procedural stuff in the editor, ain't no way I'm gonna spend tons of money just to import something lol.

@N1warhead_1 Good question, unfortunately we are too early in the process for me to provide you with a definitive answer. I will post the information as soon as it's available.

I doubt the plugin will cost anything, as the tools you need to make the substances are already subscription-based. There would be riots and lynchings.


Allegorithmic will have the final say on this but we expect the pricing to be similar, so free plugins should remain free.

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Yeah I figured they'd probably be free, but if they weren't, I'd just export bitmaps and go about my day lol. Now 10 dollars or whatever wouldn't be a problem for me, but being I'll be paying for 1 year of updates every year, it would technically only be right if the plugins were free lol.

Exactly what is the reasoning behind abandoning Substance from the Unity workflow?
Is there something they can do that the Unity version couldn't?

But I suppose we'll find out what the price is when 2018.1 comes I suppose.

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Could we expect to see the plugin on the Asset Store the same day when 2018.1 Beta 1 launches or do we need to wait for the official release?

The plugin won't be available right away for the Beta but is planned for the official release of 2018.1.


I still don't see how this is a good thing.

I would have made the engine clean and mean and make optional modules supported by unity as extras on top of the base module. some kind of extentions.

They are working on that, It’s called “Package Manager”. More info here:

How is the ProceduralMaterial class going to be handled?

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I do not like the idea of getting my projects getting more and more clogged with extensions which all my projects will use.

Unity should have a special "Common Extensions" folder outside the projects, which I could share these addons with all the projects.


Hi Everyone,

The Substance Plugin will be free. I will have more details to share soon but this will be a positive move for both Allegorithmic and Unity. Unity is a great partner and we are very excited about what we will be doing with the new 2018 substance support. The original integration has become old and we are now able to rework the entire plugin with our new framework as well as deploy timely updates to coincide with new Substance Engine features. We will be wrapping the Painter Live Link and Substance Source integrations all into this new single plugin package. This will greatly streamline Substance support for users in the Substance ecosystem.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.



I have one concern and its a big one, before an asset-store creator could be sure that a user of unity had a substance shader capability build into unity and could provide shaders without having to worry about if they worked or not.

as of 2018 right now this becomes an issue. because the shader will not work.

I don’t mind Allegorithmic doing the integrations, in fact I prefer that, I do mind that it’s a separate plugin.

Will the plugin auto download if a substance shader is detected? like Otoy is doing with the Octane integration? perhaps that way it can be all-right.


We will be wrapping the Painter Live Link and Substance Source integrations all into this new single plugin package.

Will these features be separate DLLs, so an edit-time feature like Painter Live Link does not inflate the build size of projects where SBSAR files are included in the build?

That concept would be useful for reasons other than Substance. For example, most developers have a small set of edit-time utilities that they habitually load into Unity whenever starting a new project. (In my case, Flipbook’s “Script Inspector 3” and a couple of others are always first-in.)

The issue with this kind of feature would be version compatibility, for those of us who have more than one Unity version simultaneously installed (in different directories, of course). This could be handled by careful directory structuring, but it is something to consider.


My game uses a dynamic aproach to Substance materials. I generate masks in Unity, change textures dynamically and get special generated textures via code.
I fear this change will cut the freedom of the Substance engine, throwing me back maybe 6 month because I need to code my own procedural material system. :confused:

Unity will roll out a Package Manager and a new Hub for 2018.1. The Unity Hub will provide a template functionality to launch your editor with specific presets (versions, modules, projects, platforms, etc). This will, I hope, mitigate the problem you mention.


Will the package manager be smart in a way that it knows that for certain types of files or projects a cetain package is needed? so it can promt for installing the missing package?

When is the Substance Source plugin going be supported for 2018.1 beta? It shows a "Unity Version Not Supported" currently.