Substance, Quixel mixer, Armor Paint

Hi all, been learning Blender for a couple of months and the basics and a bit more I can handle :slight_smile: But when it comes to texturing, there’s a lot to learn. Just putting a texture to an object isn’t that difficult, but hé, that doesn’t look the way I wanted to look.
So looking around how to do the texturing part in a decent and realistic way. Searching the internet, it seems Adobe has a big part of the pie. Problem is, my purse…
Looking around for an alternative, came across Quixel and Armor Paint. One free, the other for a small price.
Anyone familiar with these products? Or even better, which would you suggest, keeping in mind a future buy of Substance?

As a Substance Painter user myself, I wouldn’t look into Substance at all, in fact I would look into Armor Paint, Quixel, or one of the Blender addons that gives you a stack-style texturing. Why? Because Adobe, that’s why.

I bought a permanent license on Substance from Steam which I plan on holding onto for a long time. It is really nice, but I’ve heard good things about Armor Paint. There is plenty to learn with just Blender’s basic texture tools, so you may just want to stick with that for a while and upgrade to Armor Paint when you feel ready.

Hi Ronny.

I’ve not tried Amour Paint yet but I have been following it’s progress. It looks great and it is really coming along leaps and bounds recently.
So I would say absolutely. Don’t hold back and just go for it. It’s going to be well worth the modest up front development support cost and no recurring rental cost stresses either. Which these days especially is an important thing to consider. I would have been looking into it myself but have been too busy.

I also would highly recommend giving 3D Coat a serious look as well. It’s not a super cheap budget option. But it’s very fairly and affordably priced and still offers perpetual licensing. It is more of a texture painter app than a procedural texture creator. But if you are wanting to create hand painted textures from photographic sources or just hand brush painted style textures it’s very hard to beat.
It also has very advanced sculpting UV and retopo tools. So you have the option of creating normal or displacement maps from actual sculpted geo,. 3D Coat is my main texturing app right now. But you need to try a few and see what works best for you and what you are wanting to do.

I hope this helps a bit.

All the best.

Also as others have said. If you are new to CGI texturing in general. It’s going to be worth exploring the options in Blender first of all and play around and experiment there to get a solid understanding and grounding of the basics.

Substance painter is really nice. smart materials and the brush sets are great. Substance designer is also great but probably overkill. I really like using both but since i left my last job i’d have to pay for my own subscription licence and that’s a little off putting. I recently tried Quixel mixer and whilst not as feature rich as the substance suite it’s actually very nice! I thought the lack of built in baking would be an issue but to be honest a heightmap(displacment map), maybe a normal (though that can be generated from the height and maybe an ao map are all you need to bake. the built in filter systems can give you all the functionality that substance needs additional maps baked for. Quixel is great!

in short is has similar layering workflows/smart materials setup to substance and you can use it to blend other materials and generate new ones like you might in substance designer and you can use it to make bespoke maps for individual models. the only downsides is unlike substance you can’t preview subsurface scattering or emmision and you can only have one material on teh whole object and no udim support. It’s good enough and i can work around both of those issues so don’t feel the need to shell out for substance anymore.


Thanks all for the input, I’m going to sit back, relax and Blender :wink: Going to search around for some more indept information on the Blender texturing and going from there. Thanks again!

Just to add, there are some addons for Blender that will mimic the Painter/Armor Paint workflow.
It might be interesting to look into that as well.


Could you point out wich addons? Tnks!

This is one: Layer Painter - Blender Market

But there are some others as well. Also discussed here on the forum.


This seems like the first or best option to me. Until you are competent with Blender’s materials how can you know if another program or add on is better for you? Likewise you have to learn enough about any other program you try to make a knowledgeable comparison.

I tried Armor Paint recently. Its great but the brushes need a lot of work. Every other thing is great. Blender brushes are better imho and the bake features still need a lot of improvement.
It’s still under development so things will improve as time goes on.

Another commercial alternative to consider is the recently released Toolbag4 which has an impressive looking feature set. I haven’t tried it yet, but the workflow and ui does look very similar to Substance Painter. I am heavily invested in the Substance ecosystem at the moment, but I am keeping my eye on Toolbag to see how it evolves.

have a look at 3dcoat. You can get amateur license for $99.00 And the commercial for under $400.00

3D Coat is really under appreciated.

I’m looking foward for better texturing tools in Blender.

3D coat would be my pick as well. It seems to be among the more mature solutions and you end up getting a whole bunch of other useful tools in the whole package. The Interface could do with some improvements though.

I would not want to invest into a new/immature 3D painter and deal with artificial feeling brushes, perhaps lack of basics like guided/lazy strokes, paint along curve, stencils, seam issues, UDIM support and all that. These seem to be common topics with new painters and well, call me lazy but for my money I’d prefer other’s write the bug reports and run the feature request campaigns and nag the devs until the basics are there and behave well. :slight_smile:

Marmoset btw is running their support group on facebook, I’d rather not be forced to use that either.

if i have tobe honest Substance Painter is EZ mode for texturing. 2nd option :3D coat

One more thing to look at, is bpainter for blender. A blender addon.

Purchased Substance Painter 2021 perpetual and planning to keep it until Blender gets Material painting feature. Sad thing is that Quixel Mixer still is not feature parity with Substance but time will tell.