Substance painter/designer vs Quixel

Those suits seem to do same things, I personally lean toward Substance suite as I found quixel slow and buggy.

Anyone any thoughts on which one of them is better? My main interest is in making great looking textures and good normal maps.

Thank you.

For generating normal maps from photos, or other similar sources, hands down, ndo2/3 is best you can get. It’s painfully slow, but it also gives most options, and highest quality results.

For creating textures, I would choose Substance. Painter if I need more unique details, designer when I need to mass produce textures assets, from presets and possibly tweak in engine…

I’ve been using both for a while, and I’d give the biscuit to Substance over Quixel any day.

Quixel has lots of really intuitive features, but the fact of the matter is it’s buggy as sin. This isn’t just my experience either, everybody in the studio that’s used it has cursed it’s name with the force of suns at least a few times this year. It’s a great toolset if you want fast results, and if it doesn’t crash. I also find that 3DO doesn’t give you a decent preview of how things will actually look in game.

Substance is more difficult to use and could do with some more features, but ultimately more rewarding because it’s virtually limitless in terms of what you can create. Quixel is still pretty limited by it’s pre-set materials system, which you can modify and create ones of your own, but it’s just not an intuitive process. I’ve found that it’s materials are just the same sort of generic things you’ll find in any game. If you want to push the boat out a bit and explore, Quixel probably isn’t for you.

Both are good bits of software, but I’m glad I’m not the one who bought my Quixel license. It’s current state is that it’s far too buggy to consider in a real pipeline. I’ve lost a lot of hours of work over the year. It just feels messy.

So yah, if you can put the time aside to learn more about Painter and Designer, it’s definitely worth it!

Thanks guys, really appreciated your help. I’ll give a shot to substance.

Thank you once again.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I’m about to jump on the texture wagon and I saw that Quixel has a new offering for pre-sale. Any thoughts on this? The suite looks amazing the way they present it, but like most everyone else, I don’t want to get started in something that I will be forced to abandon out of frustration. Anyway, any further thoughts would be helpful.

Resurrecting this thread a bit as Quixel 2.0 was released. I’d be really interested in hearing thoughts on it, as well as a comparison between the two. Quixel’s materials beats Substance’s hands down as far as I can tell (I have Substance’s full material library, it’s… ok…), but haven’t tested Quixel 2.0 at all.

Once megascans are released for Quixel I might take that over a better workflow in Substance to be honest. Or I guess both, although megascans will probably be a bit pricey.

It has been a lot more convenient to work with Painter for me. However, because of the mega scans Suite 2 produces better results material wise. There are a few scanned materials in Painter too but the rest are you just artistically good not physically accurate.

Thanks, and to be clear - you’re talking about Quixel v2 right?

Quixel Suite 2. Yes.

Gotcha. Can you give more details why Painter is much more convenient for you?

My 2 cents:

Quixel suite:
Excellent for photorealistic PBR texturing because basically you’re assigning photoscanned materials to your meshes, but as a tool it’s kinda limited. All power in this photoscanned stuff.

Substance pack:
You can create basically anything you want, it is extremely powerful tool for procedural generating stuff and then using it in Painter. Basically these tools IMHO more powerful and gives freedom as a creator - you’re not bound to anything, but of course it requires more time and skill. And no one promised that in the end your picture will look better than Quixel - if you’re not experienced user your art will look just worse than Quixel materials and all this power of Substance won’t be used at all.

For example, if I was creating Fallout 4 - I would prefer Quixel, because I just want to apply certain metals to certain parts of created mesh, plastic to plastic and then just add some ‘worn’ effects, but if I was creating my own game - I would use Substance to create my own base metal/plastic/stone etc with custom decals/worn effects/anything else which works good with style I choose and then paint in Painter

Edit: Also, Quixel painter - just smart and cool photoshop plugin, and Substance painter - software created just for 3d painting purposes thus more convenient to use than QP

Of course it just IMHO

And what about 3dcoat?

Substance is much better for a production or studio environment, you can have master substances for an entire project or game, and update every asset that uses them at once, very quickly and seamlessly. Linked below is a really good GDC talk about how they used it for remaking Halo 2 art assets. Substance is definitely smoother and nicer to work with, Quixel is a bit clunky because of being tied to Photoshop. Substance Designer is also much better for anything involving custom tiling textures. Although I think Quixel is a bit better for a single artist just wanting to throw a few smart materials on a mesh, tweak the values, and call it done. Substance is being used a lot by studios in the game industry.

I have Substance, but truth be told, I’m not happy with it as it stands right now for one reason. Map creation is counter intuitive as hell. It bakes out a single map for each texture in the model --regardless of whether or not you created all the materials on a single UV map. You have to go back and re-combine them elsewhere like photoshop, gimp or substance designer. That means if I have a model with 17 material zones, then I’ve got to go back and re-combine 17 maps for color, metallic, roughness --you get my point. What makes it the worst is that instead of including that feature with Substance Painter, you have to go into Substance Designer to do it --which allegorithmic doesn’t tell you before purchasing Substance Painter. That means if you didn’t purchase Substance Designer with Substance Painter, you’re going to have to do it manually. There’s also no way to paint in a straight line on the model --they put out that you should use a stamp if you want a straight line which makes absolutely no sense to me. They are addressing a lot of those issues, but until they do --my copy sits on the shelf. I haven’t Used Quixel 2.0, but I intend to give it a try and see how it does.

Xnormal is the only option you should consider for map baking (High Poly Normal, AO, Curvature, etc.).

Then use Substance Designer/Painter for Diffuse(Albedo), Metallic, roughness, and detail normal (created from B2M or other tiling normal map creator).

There is no reason to use a program that crashes constantly and requires photoshop…

Hey @will2power
It’s true that right now there is no automatic options to combine different textureSets at baking time (Something we definitely have in mind): a solution would be to keep 1 mat only on your model, and to use an ID map to paint the different sections the way you want.

For painting lines, it’s already there: just hold shift and click at different point on your model :wink:

Substance all the way, quixel slow as hell

I like Substance pretty well, and you can use it on your high-resolution meshes. Haven’t gotten into it that far, but I’ll be using it on my current project once I get to the texturing phase.

Have used Substance Painter for a while and its pretty fast to learn and use but the output on the look isnt so great the way i like to go for. I jsut got my Quixel 2.0 and so far its not hard to work in or slow same with substance but what i like about Quixel is how accrurate it is when i import it to UE4. With Substance i would export it as 4k and it would look way less then that. And Photoshop is awesome if you know how to use it so making it a plugin is good with me i can just manually fix or had accurate text,texture,AO,Normal,Curvature,height, etc.

^I find this interesting because it’s different to what others have said and I’m wondering, have they updated it since these other posts were made? Like would it be a good option now?

Also are substance and quixel still suitable for pre-rendered work? I ask because they have PBR workflows but have cool normal map tools