What is your texturing workflow?

I don’t consider myself a complete noob but I am no expert either. Having using blender on and off for the past two years I have yet to settle on a definitive texturing workflow.

The vanilla node shading got me through the first dozens of hours but more and more I found myself needing more than just some pbr textures mixed together on a prop.

Save for the rather verbose ways of constructing masking nodes, the constant use of ctrl alt for panning has caused me great strain in my wrist that I need to migrate to alternative ways.

I have been experimenting with both substance painter and quixel mixer.


I am still no good at decent topology and during texturing I have discovered several uv stretching. The thing about mixer is that when reimporting the meshes the texture layers are still there and after reassigning the material IDs and change the ao map on each texture masking very little work is lost.

Mixer has no baker so I need to supply my own baked map. So far I only need the material id and ambient occlusion. After fiddling with the baking and wondered why it wasn’t working I stumbled upon the great fork of TexTools by franMarz and baking becomes so much less difficult.

Commercial use of any megascan asset requires a license. Free assets restricted to for use with unreal engine rendering only. Blender may not used for final render without subscription. So it’s not really free.

Difficult to import custom asset ( need to write up metadata for each import material.

Also doesn’t work with polyhaven textures that doesn’t have displacement map.

No way to apply custom decal easily yet. Very limited painting functionality. The painting lags a lot on my machine.

Substance painter

On a free trial.

Starter assets ( materials brushes ) I don’t know if the steam version have those.

I have a scene with a road and two buildings on both sides. I was doing the texturing half way though I realized blender unwrap the side of the building into two orientations even though I have the top edge and bottom edge marked as seam. So I have to reimport the mesh and lost my progress several times fixing the uv.

I use assign material to segregate different textures and after I am done texturing apparently each texture sets exports to a different texture. I have all the uv project onto a single 4k texture and I thought I could use the material id map to combine them together.

I am surprised that combining texture sets into a single map is still not supported by the developers. I have seen two separate plugins that does the same thing from 2018 and 2019. My understanding is that vertex color is used as material id map and the texture set is to be kept as few in numbers as possible.

Beside that

Very easy to use custom asset import just drag file into asset tab. Import asset also has scoping (Limit to current project or make them available to all projects) I seems to have avoid the great asset purge by the recent update.

Applying decal seems to be way easier.

Perpetual license is still available on steam, though the dev keep promising that the steam version I still have my doubts. I am still gravitating towards steam version however.

The other big name options are pretty much out of my budget at the moment. ( Marmoset 3dcoat )

As for blender texturing add-ons, I am not sure how I should feel about them. On one hand I think supporting indie dev is the way to go, on the other I am not sure if the devs could keep up with the pace blender is getting updated. Each add-ons also do things differently. Also wrist pain and I prefer layers.

So. What’s your workflow?


Not decided on that either yet but here is another cheap one to have a look at https://armorpaint.org/

Ops just noticed I am 9 month late…

Regardless of the necro leaning response but still, maybe useful I think imparting info for others with similar queries. Now at the moment testing native alongside third party painting options currently available for 3.1 - 2x builds i.e.

Layer Painter 2

Substance Painter Live Link for Blender

It’s been a while, but my current workflow is substance painter with PBR bridge which sets up the node graph with some handy filters and imports the object into substance. All I need is to export the texture in substance and it will load in blender. Beside that I use marmoset for the normal baking.

Textool has a bunch map that can be baked in 1 click if I need maps that can’t be baked in substance and marmoset.
For the occasional 3d scan fixing I use simple bake to bake the atlas into a single 8k texture.

I usually use the fantastic auto reload extension, as it allows me to keep Substance Designer/Painter and Blender open at the same time and easily see changes as the textures change. I really recommend it, it’s such an easy workflow.

I know this is an old topic that has been resurrected, but in case anyone had the troubles of OP, you don’t need to reset your Painter project if you make changes to the UV. Just reimport the mesh from the project settings and Painter will try to reproject the strokes to the new UV. You will need to rebake the maps, of course.


I put Noise Texture with object coordinates.

pRocEdUrAl aRTisT


i image texture most of the artifacts/geometry i intend to reuse multiple times in multiple projects, almost immediately upon creating and saving it to its own file space. using image files made tilable within the texture of the material, usually generated cube or less often generated sphere. well i’m not professional, i create images using blender to express concepts i have in my head.

i haven’t really had the chance yet to play with nodes as i have not the gpu to upgrade beyone 2.79.
i will probably always be a child in this, as i have not the mind for a business perspective
(which is again of course not my purpose nor motivation)

I call my texturing workflow “Plan X”, because it just depends on what I’m making it for. For instance, I was just making a display case, and it went like this: Made base wood texture in blender>>rendered it on a plane>>opened in gimp>>made tilable>>opened in krita in wrap mode and tuned the values>>> loaded back into blender as an image texture, and tweaked some settings in the pricipled BSDF. I didn’t need any additional maps, but if I had, I would have made them in materializer or maybe just a paint program.

Can anyone explain to me what do programs like substance painter offer that blender itself cant?

i mean, both have procedural material workflows.

I’ve only begun to learn about texturing in Blender and Substance Painter as a novice, so I’m sure there are more knowledgeable people to fill in the blanks. With a few addons Blender can come really close to matching SP abilities. The main difference is SP has a little better layout to texture and your layers can be stacked and modified like in PhotoShop. I believe there was a Layer Painter addon for Blender released not too long ago that can do similar. There are also advanced tools in SP for edge wear that avoid some of the complex node arrangements in Blender.

Substance Painter is just really good at what it does. It has a whole host of procedural noises and smart masks and stuff. Blender can do much of what it does with a lot of effort… but missing out on the other advantage of using SP. When your procedural or hand-painted SP project with a bazillion layers is finished you export a set of PBR textures. In Blender you’d still have everything being computed by nodes.


Fluent Materializer does make some of the more difficult things about texturing in Blender a good bit easier, but still. When it comes to absolute wealth of features, Substance Painter can’t be touched.

Beside layering it also exposes each pbr channels so if you want it paint just the normals you could do that.

What’s really nice about substance is the ease of asset management. You drag and drop assets into substance, you could save it into substances library, or just into the current project. There are also a huge library of community assets you could import into substance if you are on Adobe subscription. I just uses ambientcg pbr library as I am on the steam version

Using blender for texturing painting is… Annoying. Blender doesn’t blundle any brushes for painting so you have to import your own each time. I have not figured out how to save the brushes I imported persist through other projects. I don’t find the brush management and painting process ergonomic.

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To the question “What is your texturing workflow?”

My answer would be.

1 Look at references.
2 Breakdown the different parts/aspects of the texture (mentally)
3 Try to reproduce.

I enjoy making procedural textures but not every thing has to be procedural, I do my best to always take my own photos and paint my own patterns, for me it is part of the fun. Lots of masking and mixing things together.

Software (this is a different question)
I am a stubborn Foss user so basically Blender, Gimp, Ink-scape, Materialize etc.

Am I missing out?
Probably yes, I miss out on many commercial software solutions, but I can live without it.

Disclaimer: for me 3D is a hobby I have no deadlines or obligations.

I agree that texture painting in Blender is a bit of a chore, hopefully one day the devs will dedicate some work on it, I would love to have gimps painting tools in Blender or that gimp had the ability to paint on 3D models.


The FXMap offers a lot of functionality that can probably be done with Math nodes in Blender if you’re very good at math, but you don’t need to be to get similar results in SD. Many of the more complex noises, for example, seem to be implemented with fxMaps. I did a workshop once with Andres Rodriguez (environment artist with Naughty Dog) and a ground texture was started with noise primitives like B&W spots (or something similar) which was more complex than anything I could reproduce in Blender.

I actually think exporting materials as maps is a bit of a waste. A procedural material has the advantage of having infinite variability, which is lost if you export to tileable images.

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Late 2020 I decided to look into my texturing workflow as it has always been a weak point for me as a hobbyist. I tried mixer and it just didn’t work well for me. I found the node system of blender to cumbersome and armorpaint didn’t gel well with me.

So I decided to try out substance painter. It really is good at what it does.

I haven’t tried it myself but I seem to remember something about saving your start up files with the brushes imported. It should automatically load it in when you start up Blender.

It depends! A Blender shader provides infinite variability, at the cost of performance (a complex shader performs worse than a texture) and strict dependence on the engine you’re using. If you’re making a game, both things are not okay!

Tileable materials are indeed static and… tiling. Part of the art becomes, when using them, to make it so that their tilingness is as hidden as possible and then eventually providing further variance by mixing them with other noises and decals!

So, yeah, both things have pros and cons…


i do everything inside blender including drawing textures…

just basic PBR materials and hand painted masks or textures if needed mixed with an RBG node.

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The main reason I’m staying with Substance Painter for now is because of the stroke preservation which makes prototyping and texture turnaround faster without finalizing the UVs. So far, there are no other texturing software that offers this feature.

I’m more into node based workflow rather than layer based workflow. Node based workflow is more flexible for me so I’m still trying to look for more alternatives.

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