A SBS file is a Substance Designer (SD) source. You can edit the file, the texture, inside Substance Designer.
A SBSAR file is a compiled SBS file. Meaning, you don’t need Substance Designer to open the file, you only need Substance Player to open it. In Substance Player you can customize the textures with the options made available in SD. SBSAR files can also be used directly inside other programs like Substance Painter, Unreal Engine 4, Maya, 3DSMax, or Cinema 4D. Inside these programs you can change the texture parameters without the need to export all the maps.
Advantages of these files?
Simply put, with these files you can generate an infinite amount of variations of a texture, i.e. no more tiling!
So a texture, let’s say of tiles, can have an infinite amount of variations, its colors, shapes, roughness, damage, wear and more, as long as those options are added in the SBS/SBSAR file.
See the example below of the SBSAR file of my texture Ceiling Gypsum 001:
You can see that it has a large amount of options. You can add lights, vents, smoke detectors, you can add water damage, soot getting out of the vent, the positions of all the objects added and many more.
So with these files you don’t get only one variation of the texture, you get an infinite amount of variations of that texture.
So if you want access to the SBS/SBSAR files of my textures you can head to my Patron and pledge to Tier 3 and you’ll get all my 4K textures and the SBS/SBSAR files when available.