Rendering Height in Substance Designer

Height maps are not rendered by default in Substance Designer, even if you have a “height” output node. Assuming you’ve created a “height” output, you need to adjust a few hidden settings to enable it:

First, in the 3D View, open the Materials menu and enable Tessellation.


Then open the Edit menu for the materials and turn up the “Tessellation Factor” and the “Scale”.


Here’s the node graph I used for this. It’s a simple tile generator using the “Square” Pattern and has a gradient map to add some color.

Here’s the final result.

Note that Tessellation won’t look good on a low poly model because it doesn’t have enough vertices to move. For a visualization, look at the difference between “Plane” and “Plane (hi-res)”.

Low Resolution Plane with Tesselation

High Resolution Plane with Tesselation