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Substance Designer is a parametric, nonlinear, node based texturing software which allows its user create textures by combining vectors, procedural nodes and bitmap. Its texturing capabilities doesn’t stop there but it also allows its user to create wear and tear (aging) of the objects being created i.e a refile in a game that changes its texture (age) as it’s being used by the characters in that game.

Substance Designer was used in many AAA titles developed and published by major studios like; Microsoft Game Studios, 2K, Dreamworks Animation Studios, EA DICE and many more. Learning Substance Designer is useful for digital artists currently working or willing to start their career in the gaming and the animation industry.

The aim of this post is to present and compare between free online sources that beginners can rely on to learn Substance Designer, the sources stated here are full-structured courses that beginners can follow along.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Substance Designer) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Getting Started with Substance Designer Online from Scratch

Design 3

Design 3 is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning about the fundamentals of Substance Designer through video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 5 chapters, each chapter has a single video that covers a certain tool / feature of Substance Designer.

Interface: The interface is simple, just click on the chapter you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the video lesson resides.

1 - Substance Designer Design 3 Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training covers the very basics beginners should be familiarized with in order to start using the software.

Cons

  1. The training is just an overview about the software.

Verdict: This is a very good free online outlet where beginners can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials, specially those who want to have an overview about the software.

Allegorithmic YouTube Channel

Allegorithmic YouTube Channel is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials, it’s worth noting that Allegorithmic is the company currently developing Substance Designer.

Structure: The training is divided into 11 video lessons, each video lessons covers some tools / techniques in Substance Designer.

Interface: Standard YouTube interface.

2 - Allegorithmic YouTube Channel Substance Designer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. The training doesn’t cover the latest release of the software, though that won’t be a problem for beginners.

Verdict: This is the best free online outlet where beginners can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials.

3D Tutorials

3D Tutorials is the third free online outlet where beginners can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: There’s no real structure for this outlet it’s just a huge collection of 168 video lessons that cover the various tools and techniques available in Substance Designer. Some of the video tutorials available on this outlet are already available in the above two outlets, as 3D tutorials is just a collection of video tutorials available for Substance Designer.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the video lessons you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the video lesson resides.

3 - 3D Tutorials Substance Designer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. A huge collection of video tutorials.

Cons

  1. No real structure or organization.

Verdict: This outlet is a good asset for Substance Designer users but it’s not suitable for complete beginners.

ArtStation

ArtStation is the fourth free online outlet where beginner can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training has a learn by doing style, it’s divided into 10 video lessons, each video lesson covers certain tools and techniques in the software.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the video lesson you’re interested in and the video lesson will start right away.

 4 - ArtStation Substance Designer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training covers the basics beginners should be familiarized with in order to start using Substance Designer.

Cons

  1. There are no real drawbacks in this training.

Verdict: This is an excellent free online outlet where beginners can start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning Substance Designer:

  1. Allegorithmic YouTube Channel and ArtStation are the best outlets for beginners to start learning Substance Designer through video tutorials.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in learning Substance Designer.