3D Painting Program of Choice


I was wondering what everyone’s preferences for and why? I’m still trying to get a decision going. I’ve had a chance to sit down with Milkshape, Blender, Mari, and recently began checking out the trial on Substance Painter. Everything seems to have something special about it from the visual ease of Substance Painter to masks in Mari to paint edges precisely, but they all also have negative points that make it harder to pick between them for what limited time I’ve had working with them.

So rather than looking at all the promotional material on things to do I’d get a better feel from other people who have been creating highly detailed models.

I have been using Substance Painter & the Indie pack (comes with Designer & Bitmap2Material as well) since the original beta 1 released 10 months ago and absolutely love it. I have never used Mari so I can’t compare them for you, but I can say SP has made me feel like an actual artist. I have more of a programming background, but I have surprised myself with how great my 3d models turn out after painting. It does a lot of the work for you by painting multiple channels at the same time, you still need to be skilled to get incredible results, but it will make you (at least feel like) a better artist.

I highly recommend Painter, it exports the PBR maps needed to create your materials in UE4, or to Designer where you can turn them into procedural substances to import into UE4. Either way it is an awesome program, I barely ever use Photoshop anymore except to crop images. :slight_smile:

I think Substance, Mari or regular Photoshop.

I’m trying to come to grips with Substance Painter, but quite honestly, it seems very slow and unresponsive on my Wacom Cintiq Companion. Which, is rather disappointing, to say the least. Until they sort that out, I’ll be sticking with Photoshop for the moment.

In the end, this is rather a case of what works best for you.

I’d definitely recommend Substance Painter, it’s really easy to learn and works great.

Same here, well the only reason I open photoshop (well GIMP :P) is to make masks for painter now, it’s pretty much replaced the image editor part of my workflow. Simplistic stuff I use Designer then for more complex I take to painter (sometimes back and forth between designer and painter too).

Im using Mudbox am im really happy with it :slight_smile:

I also use photoshop (sometimes gimp) :slight_smile:

Photoshop or Substance Painter for me. Gimp is great for the price, though. :wink:

I prefer Substance workflow, because it allow you to work with Material painting mindset, rather than simple image painting(which is outdated, considering PBR and stuff)

Substance painter holds great promise, and if you can get around a few quirks that come with relatively young software it is phenomenal. Photoshop is my go-to though for anything that’s not model-specific due to the flexibility with brushes, etc. Blender also has a pretty decent 3D painting toolset and you can’t beat free open source software :smiley:

For visuel FX and Film 8k and more … Mari is the perfect tools but for video game , substance suite is the best , the modern workflow with Autodesk / Unreal etc… is awesome & really easy to use .

substance painter + substance designer + photoshop can make wonderful graphic i use with that it is very good

You may also want to check out 3d Coat. I know several artists who prefer it for their 3d painting needs.

3d coat for me, its incredible!

I’ve been waging a mental debate about this for quite a while. Our studio has people trained in Mari, Mari licences etc. but Substance Painter and its UE integration just seem fabulus. What to do?

I for one still haven’t decided. Thankfully I’ve got enough blueprint work that my texturing pipeline is a long way away.

But thank you all for who have replied thus far.

Everyone love Substance Painter & Designer but I have some questions about them.

Substance Designer is superb when making tiling textures and Substance Painter to paint directly into the 3D object.
Imagine for example that you have a mapped chair and you want to texture it. I would like to make the wood texture in Substance Designer (so later I can make some modifications).

I didn’t found a lot of documentation about mixing both programs and for example texture an uv mapped object with them.

I believe the workflow goes the other way around - you paint it in Painter and create the final UE4 material in Designer.

@DamirH - Sort of, but it is a bit more complicated then that. :slight_smile:

You can use Substance Designer to create substances, then import those substances into Painter and paint with them onto your mesh. But you can also go the other way, exporting out your final maps to Designer to add in custom masks, and anything else that you can create with Designer.

So the short answer is yes, you can create your wood substance file in designer, then import to Painter and paint it onto your mesh. All of the substance parameters are available from the brush panel, so you can modify the values to get different results.

Check out Allegorithmic’s youtube channel for tutorials on this, the Substance Painter Tutorials go over how to use the two programs to get the best results:

This one in particular: