After days of struggling with some programs…Substance painter and Mari and Quixel and just Photoshop 3D and realizing what I could work with and what I could not, I have stumbled upon one that gives me the best of any and all of those three. 3D Coat! I never would have guessed.
Mari will not work with my Wacom Cintiq Companion as it is too much for the Intel GPU and Substance Painter 2 also stumbles on the Intel. Quixel works on the Wacom but it has no color picker eyedropper so that pretty much rules that out…unless I just couldn’t locate it. mari has a limited symmetry mode that seems to set the axis locally depending on where you are on your mesh and there are some other issues with it as Mari has you paint on a floating surface before it bakes the paint or texture to the mesh.
I know that to really learn these programs takes far longer than what i have allotted. But the learning curve for them is way too high for me right now.
3D Coat seemed to have everything right at my fingertips…was far more intuitive for hand painting and it comes with tons of video tutorials that are far better for the beginner than any of the videos for the other programs. It seems those other vids, for Mari and Quixel and Painter 2 are geared more for intermediate texturing artist, who have a better grasp of the terminology and can move along with the instructor whereas I have to constantly stop and replay parts many times to catch on to what is being done.
So, at least for now, I am one happy camper in that I can now intuitively paint my models exactly how I am accustomed to, like the tools in Corel Painter and Photoshop that I have used for many years. I can, and will, learn more about the depths that 3D Coat can offer my workflow and even dab a bit on a less strenuous time table into Mari and Painter 2 and Quuixel…to see if there are parts of those programs that do what 3D Coat cannot.
But I wanted to come in and offer my findings for other artists that might have needs closer to mine where I just want to achieve my “look” by using traditional painting tools. Thanks to all for your feedback and help. I am now going to dig deeper into Blender to learn better ways to build my models so that I get better seam placements and experiment with higher res models and or UV maps. I think 3D Coat will allow me to work in 8k resolution. That is higher than Substance painter right now and higher than the mari non-commercial version.
Anyway, thanks again for all the input. You folks are great.