30-Day 3D Model Challenge 14/30

Day 14 – Exporting to Adobe Paint Confusion

I had some serious moments of learning today on St’ Patties Day. I try to blame Leprechauns in the video but I think it just came down to User Error here! Luckily OneDrive had backups of my work. I went and dug deep. Those Leprechauns can’t impede my learning journey! Still, then none of the export formats on Adobe Modeler show up in Adobe Painter when I go to open the file!? Only seeing a *.toc and *.spp. as supported files to open.

After recording, I realized I need to look at how to import it into Adobe Painter. There might a solution there. That might have to be my work for tomorrow!

Work Cited

I created this content of confusion after watching this amazing instructional video by Adobe.


30-Day 3D Model Challenge 13/30

Day 12 – Freestyle design 2

Today I continued work on the 2D Diorama that I started yesterday.

I still feel a bit like a fish out of water… or more like a one-legged penguin running in the Amazon, but I am moving forward and making more valuable mistakes. (moments of learning.)

Animated Gifs

Here are a couple animated gifs of today’s progress.


Here are videos of the process in order of completion.

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 12/30

Day 12 – Freestyle design

A 2D diorama builds over several days in the virtual 3D space. Here is what I came up with from day 1.

Here is an image of the pen drawing I reference in the VLOG video. I made a painting from this once but it didn’t capture the currents in the water and the air like designed. I am hoping to catch that more here.

In the first video, I set up some blank plates that I plan to use to create my Diorama.

In retrospect, it might have been better to set each plane on a unique layer per the Boolean intersect issues I had in the second video. Or, I just don’t really understand how those Boolean intersects yet. (Bahoolian!)

In the second video, you can taste my pain as I struggle with getting the Boolean to intersect not delete my entire piece. I also need help with camera placement and zooming in on my work. In other words, if you want to skip a video this is the one to skip! See the pink triangle!? That’s how you know it’s the Boolean Intersect action.

In the final video, I get the background and mountain plate set.

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 11/30

Day 11 – Exporting

Today we are looking at expectations when exporting out of Adobe Substance 3D Modeler. After you have a raw sculpt you are going to want to add texture, paint or somehow render the 3D form. I have a feeling this will start to answer my question about resolution and scale. If you have to export to a mesh to use a 3D form in Painter, then that is like rendering a vector file in Illustrator to more of a finalized file, like a PNG or JPG. These are my thoughts at this point and they are on the table for discussion.

Either way, this is Adobe so, as you can imagine, there are a ton of export options. 

How to Export

This is the last video from the Basics series on Adobe Substance Modeler.


Export Units Used

This is the same as importing. Currently, you go to the File drop-down and select “Export”, or (Ctrl+Shift+E).

Export Format

There is a long list of files you can export to:

  • FBX
  • GLB
  • GLTF
  • OBJ
  • USD
  • USDA
  • USDZ
  • USDC

I am curious about which of these files works better for what purpose or for which other programs. I suppose that will be a follow-up topic that I will discover later in my 30-Day+ 3D learning journey.

Export Units Used

Here is my answer to my scale question. When you export you can set Unite Scale. It looks like Modeler defaults to Meters currently and has many other measurement units. I wonder how specific you can be here.

Export Unit options:

  • Millimeters
  • Centimeters
  • Meters (default
  • Kilometers
  • Inches
  • Feet
  • Yards
  • Miles

Export Content

This is a nice option that will reduce a lot of duplicating and editing files.

Export Content options:

  • All Layers
  • Selected Layer


This function is a new concept to me but it really makes sense that you would need to choose how the surfaces are created.

Polygon Type

Raw Triangles – This will give you the densest polygon mesh. So this is a good place to start because this will help you retain the most resolution when rendering out to a usable file. The downside to this would most likely be larger file sizes as is the case with higher resolution.

Triangles and Quads – This Topology will allow you to select a target of the density of the polygons (poly count) on a slider.

UV-mapped Triangles –  This option will give you a re-meshed output with automatic UVs.

Now I am going to be completely honest here and share that I wasn’t really clear on what UV-Mapped Triangles meant. I found some information on what a UV map is and it appears to be just a 2D representation of a 3D object. Like when you get a kit toy plane printed on a perforated card stock and you pop it out and fold it on the lines to build a 3-dimensional toy. Or another example of a UV Map would be this one of a true globe of Earth:

For a more relevant example of UV-Mapping, I found this tutorial on how to do this in Photoshop and Illustrator which really helped me wrap my head around this. (See what I did there? Wrapping a 2d image around a 3D space… eh? Wrap my head … anyway)


Optimize for…

Hard Surface – better used for flat planes and sharp corners.

Organic – Better used for rounded edges, less rigid, amoeboid shape.

The video stated that the hard surfaces option really gives a better resolution than just the triangles option mentioned first at the top under Polygon Type.

Additional Options

Overall these are options that will be available or not depending on how you export. For example, you can export with instances normally, but you can not export with instances if you are using the UV-Mapped Triangle option as your Polygon Type.

Work Cited

I created these scenes directly after learning from this video

From this playlist:

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 10/30

Day 10 – Importing

Today was all about what content can be imported into modeler and your options with each import type. For the most part, importing means that you are adding a pre-made item. Currently, items are imported on the desktop application using the File dropdown menu.

Import Scene

This option allows you to import other modeler scenes to your current modeler scene. Select File > Import Scene (or Ctrl + O), then you can click and open any *.smod file. This will bring all the content in the saved file and add it to the current file. Currently, you can also import files from Adobe Medium, but you have to select the drop-down to the right of the File Name on the bottom right of the scene open window.

Import Meshes

This topic was already discussed when we looked at stamps. Importing a mesh is another way of saying that you are importing a new stamp. (However, if you import the mesh as a stamp then you can use it more as a tool.) If you import the mesh in this way it appears to scale as an object called a “mesh”. Go to File > Import Mesh (Ctrl + Shift + M).

Mesh files accepted: 

  • OBJ
  • FBX
  • USD
  • GLTF

Mesh files can not be edited with sculpting tools until they have been “Converted To Clay” in the actions menu. (Left Mouse Click)

I downloaded the mesh I use in the video from here: https://substance3d.adobe.com/assets/allassets?assetType=model

Work Cited

I created these scenes directly after learning from this video
First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler – 10 Importing

From this playlist

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 9/30

Day 09 – Booleans

Welcome to Day 8 of my 30-day 3D Design Challenge. Today I am looking at Booleans, defined in computer science as a series of code selected to execute, or not execute, depending on a true-false response. (Or that’s what I gathered from a quick Google Search!)

Show me the Booleans!

Boolean functions can be found in the Actions menu. (right click)

The video states that there are three boolean options (above) that can be applied to anything that can be selected. However, as of March 2023, I show 4 Boolean options in my version of Substance Modeler (below).

The 4 Boolean options from left to right are:

  1. Subtract mode for selection
  2. Intersect mode for selection
  3. Split
  4. Union Mode

Welcome to Booleans!

1. Boolean – Subtract

Uses the Boolean object to cut away from the target object. This is also called “Difference”.

2. Boolean – Intersect

Used to delete everything except where the boolean object and target overlap.

3. Boolean – Split

Used to split the target object into separate objects based on the boolean object’s surface.

4. Boolean – Union

Used to combine two objects – In the video, this is called “Add” or “Addition”.

For this topic, I used the Adobe Homepage to help define and instruct me on Booleans in Adboe Stubstance Modeler 3D.


For the rest of this 30-Day Challenge, I have used this playlist.

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 8/30

Day 08 – Instancing

Welcome to Day 8 of my 30-day 3D Design Challenge. Today I am looking at instancing and right away I can see how useful this function will be in 3D design.
I was thinking and I can’t quite think of an equivalent to this in 2D design in Photoshop. We are truly entering into a uniquely 3D design element here.

You can create a single object and then create a link and mirror it. You can place it where you want and then when you alter it with a tool all the other “instances” of that object also change in the same way. So this is very similar to Semetry but the mirrored objects can be placed in arbitrary positions. If you think about it this really can only be done in the 3D environment.

Instancing also applies to groups. So you can create a group of objects or layers and then choose to make a link and then reproduce the group using instancing. Watch as I trip over my toes and listen as I stumble over my tongue!

Part 1 Support Posts – Instancing

Part 2 Planks – Instancing with Groups

Thanks for watching! – Kolmer

This video was created after watching:

First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler – 08 Instancing

Up next we will look at Boolean settings

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 7/30

Day 07 – Symmetry and Repetition
Part 2 – Global with multiple layers and Group 

Welcome to Day 7 of my 30-day 3D Design Challenge. I watched the instructional video on Symmetry and repetition two nights ago and I decided that the video begins adding too many steps for my understanding of the topic of Symmetry and Repetition. When the video jumped to adding symmetry and repetition at the layer level, then the multiple layers global, and then upped it to the group level I had a feeling that this is something I understand right now but someday soon I will be working in a project and get stuck or confused about what I am controlling. So, I have decided to break this topic into two parts. I covered Part 1 – Symmetry and Repetition on the layer level yesterday and Part 2 – Symmetry and Repetition on the multiple layer global level with nothing selected and also the group level on Day 07. 

Now that I have completed day 07, I feel symmetry and repetition on the group level are not as confusing as I feared. The point is that:

  1. There is no difference editing semetricly on multiple layers on the global level or having those layers grouped into a single layer.
  2. The true benefit of having layers ungrouped is that you can select a specific layer and then modify that layer without affecting the other layers.

In the video I keep falling into “trainer mode” and then I realize I don’t know how to do this yet! I promise I’m not trying to man-splain…

…but that is exactly what I keep doing!

Work Cited

I generated this content after watching this amazing instructional video by Adobe:
First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler – 07 Symmetry and Repetition
On the First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler Playlist.

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 6/30

Welcome to Day 6 of my 30-day 3D Design Challenge. I watched instructional video #7 in the list last night so that my subconscious mind could start generating ideas for today. What I decided is that the video quickly begins adding steps under the topic of Symmetry and Repetition. When the video jumped to adding symmetry and repetition at the layer level and then upped it to the global layer level just to switch over to the group level I had a feeling that “…this is something I understand right now but someday soon I will be working on a project and get stuck or confused about what I am controlling“. In other words, I felt a bit like I was peering into the 5th dimension for the first time. Maybe, this has to do with how the content was designed or how the video was created but it probably has more to do with my lack of experience with 3D design. So, I have decided to break this topic into two parts. I will cover 

  • Day 6 – Part 1 – Symmetry and Repetition on the layer level and on Day 06 
  • Day 7 – Part 2 – Symmetry and Repetition on the group level on Day 07

Part 1 –  Symmetry and Repetition on the layer level 

When the video starts the instructor explains where symmetry can be found at the bottom right of the screen and in the Actions menu when you right-click. What is interesting is that symmetry is set per layer but then it can also affect your design globally, at the scene level with nothing selected. I think this second part is why adding the group symmetry concept with this same video was just too much for me in a single lesson, but again I am a NOOB with this 3D design stuff, so I want to be very clear about that. It’s not the Adobe instructor, it’s me. I have kept the demonstration today in the 3 separate raw videos.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Thanks so much for watching!
Learning is not easy so thanks for the support!



Radial Symmetry


Radial Repetition

I generated this content after watching this amazing instructional video by Adobe:

First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler – 07 Symmetry and Repetition

On the First Steps with Substance 3D Modeler Playlist

30-Day 3D Model Challenge 5/30


How to use them and how to make your own

The stamps live next to the primitives as a shape option for the clay tool and the erase tool.

Stamps can be in any shape!
Also, Adobe Modeler comes with preinstalled stamps!

Check out what I came up with in the video, stay tuned below for more detailed step-by-step information on how stamps work.

Video of my creating

What are Stamps?

Stamps are based on meshes rather than the math of the primitives (essential tools for clay building) The outcome is that there are fewer options to change the Dynamics of the shape (like Taper, Fillet, Round, etc.) You can see above that Size is the only option to change the Dynamics of the stamp tool selected. Although, Single, pressure, and steady are still options which is a great thing.

There are two ways to make Stamps

First Way to Make a Stamp 

You can make a stamp from a layer.

  1. Select the layer
  2. Right-mouse click to open the Actions menu.
  3. Select the Stamp Icon  

I want to point out that if you are working in VR the stamps in the tray are previewed in 3D. I just think that is amazing.

You can click on the create stamp icon anytime you are editing, because when you are editing you have a layer selected.

Second Way to Make a Stamp 

You can import stamps as mesh files inside the app.

Modeler currently supports importing stamp meshes files in these formats:

  • OBJ
  • FBX
  • USD
  • GLTF

IMPORTANT: These files must be added through the app, you can not just dump them into the Window where MOdeler stores stamps. (Adobe > Adobe Substance 3D Modeler > Stamps)

Add a stamp file here instead:

Today I viewed The 6th video on Stamps from the Substance 3D Modeler – Desktop Playlist on YouTube.

Up Next

I am so very excited about the next topic Symmetry and Repetition!
See you tomorrow for Day 6!

Work Cited

Bishop, Gary John. UNFU*k Yourself – Get out of Your Head and into Your Life. Harper Collins Usa, 2017.