Helping a noob: Texture Painting and Normal Maps--Getting a Finished Product

Hi. I am new to Blender and am trying to complete a fully textured/colored asset.

What I have:

  • Low-poly mesh (30 K tris)
  • High-poly mesh (900K-2.6M tris (reduced to 900K with vertex grouping high density verts and decimate modifier)


  • Normal map baked (from high poly to low poly)

What I want to add:

  • color information (procedural and/or digital painted (texture painted))

If I try to paint on-top of high poly mesh I lag like mad so its practically impossible. I also tried to paint ontop of normal image–anddd that was a bust–I lost the normal details.

Now, I saw a youtube video where someone had a workflow where he exports blender data to substance painter and added color there after normal/height/bump information or something. It all worked as one would imagine in the noob blender user’s mind’s eye.

Is that my only option? Can I paint on my baked normal image? Do I change how I don’t know what to do. :frowning:

Your help is much appreciated. Thank you! :slight_smile:

If you’re painting your model, then you don’t want to paint the normal map - you want to create a new image called colour or albedo or something, and paint that. You can create new images in the image editor - set the res to the same as your normal - and use that. If you’re using a principled shader, then the normal map should be plugged into a normal map node, and that into the normal socket… and your new map should be plugged into the Base Colour node.

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It’s also called diffuse map. You don’t want to paint the hi polygon model, but the low polygon one.

The normal map, or bump map is only used for creating shadow information when rendering the model. It is none color data. It’s only for your, bumps and valleys, without actually having those triangles.

Normal maps are baked, and bump maps can be baked or hand painted. There is some major but minor differences with the two.

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Hi everyone, I think I figured it out. My brush size was a little too large, so it would lag a lot when I tried to apply colour (on a 4K x 4K Bitmap). Reducing brush size helps reduce lag.

I just created a separate image file for the color and use an image texture node to map that to the color input of the BDSF node in a node set up.

Thank you, yogyog. What you said is what I did eventually. Thanks! :slight_smile: