SubstancePainter and/or Cycles?

I’m considering getting SubstancePainter to use with Cycles.

A few questions:

  • Are many using this combo already?
  • Is it worth getting SubstancePainter?
  • Or can you create equally good materials using just Cycles?

1 I don’t know. 2 yes 3 yes. There is a free trial, try it out. Max texture resolution is 4096.

On the matter of 3: you can paint masks in blenders texture mode and make your own materials in Cycles. The advantage of not baking procedurals is that you’ll get finer details when zooming in. Look up tutorials on creating procrdural materials for Cycles.

There is a free trial, try it out.

I downloaded and installed it, but can’t activate
as the server is down…but contacted Allegorithmic, and
expect to get a license asap.

Also see Jason’s tutorial, and will try it out when I get SP activated.
But didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it if Cycles is all I need.

This Cycles Demoreellooks like it probably is…but wanted the opinion
of others who may be using SP with Cycles to see what the advantages
are…faster workflow? Better grunge?

Do you use SP with Blender?

Substance really improves the speed of PBR / PBS workflow. However the real power is using Substance materials / Generators / Filters inside a host program (Max/Maya/Modo/Unity/UE4).

As far as I know Cycles doesn’t support Substance materials, so your only option is to use baked maps. However both in designer and painter you have direct control over Roughness / Metallic or Specular / Glossy. In painter you can paint all these channels (and more)
at the same time. In SubsDesigner you have the ability to create procedural filters and generators.

So SubsPainter is a multi-material painter/mixer and SubsDesigner is material/filter maker. The current 4k limit for texture can be misleading because if its a substance material, it means you have 4k for all noise and filter channels well that’s a lot of resolution for procedural. Of course if using it with cycles you need only the final baked maps, in that case 4k is max.

Personally I really like cycles node system and ease of use, and you can create insanely complex materials in cycles.

But if you need to export that material to a real-time engine like Unity / UE4 and you need to bake everything, adjust them and fix them. This “adjust them and fix them” part is subjective but if suddenly you need a change in the model (topology, UVs) substance recalculates everything with a single click which saves you a ton of time, you just re export you uv’ed model show it to painter and boom everything is recalculated and rebaked to your model - even your hand painted layers.

Its pretty neat, so if you are in a blender only environment and in control of all project assets and don’t need to rush then substance is not essential.

I use Painter and Cycles sometimes and love it. The only thing I’ve run into was having to open and re-save some of my exported maps. I posted about it a couple of days ago in this part of the forum if you want to read up on it. Here’s a pic of my latest project. It’s nothing spectacular as far as texturing goes but it only took a few minutes to do.


Substance really improves the speed of PBR / PBS workflow. However the real power is using Substance materials / Generators / Filters inside a host program (Max/Maya/Modo/Unity/UE4).

As far as I know Cycles doesn’t support Substance materials, so your only option is to use baked maps. However both in designer and painter you have direct control over Roughness / Metallic or Specular / Glossy. In painter you can paint all these channels (and more)
at the same time. In SubsDesigner you have the ability to create procedural filters and generators.

So SubsPainter is a multi-material painter/mixer and SubsDesigner is material/filter maker. The current 4k limit for texture can be misleading because if its a substance material, it means you have 4k for all noise and filter channels well that’s a lot of resolution for procedural. Of course if using it with cycles you need only the final baked maps, in that case 4k is max.

Personally I really like cycles node system and ease of use, and you can create insanely complex materials in cycles.

But if you need to export that material to a real-time engine like Unity / UE4 and you need to bake everything, adjust them and fix them. This “adjust them and fix them” part is subjective but if suddenly you need a change in the model (topology, UVs) substance recalculates everything with a single click which saves you a ton of time, you just re export you uv’ed model show it to painter and boom everything is recalculated and rebaked to your model - even your hand painted layers.

Its pretty neat, so if you are in a blender only environment and in control of all project assets and don’t need to rush then substance is not essential.

yii7, Thanks for the detailed explanation! :cool: That's a big help in making a decision to purchase and learn SP, or just stay with Cycles.

I’ll try SP with Cycles, but think I really just need to learn how to use Cycles nodes.:yes:

I use Painter and Cycles sometimes and love it.

ifcruikshank,
Nice robot model & mats…I’m sure SP & Blender are
great together…but not necessary for me.

Update…I like SP, and may get it down the road, though am just in it for fun,
no clients, etc. Need to get a new laptop first anyway.