Texturing Software

Substance Painter, Quixel Mixer and Marmoset Toolbag are the best layer based texturing software (these are regarded as the power tool software for texturing). 3D Coat, Photoshop, ZBrush as well as Substance Painter are the best for hand painted texturing (Blender can also work for hand painted texturing, but it’s texturing toolkit currently quite primitive). There’s also Substance Designer, but that is a lot more complex, it’s used to make procedural materials. A good alternative to Substance Designer is Material Maker.

Don’t use Blender’s shader nodes to texture models if you want texture maps for the model. This is because currently there’s no way of exporting Blender’s shader nodes to a proper baker, and baking in Blender is a nightmare (So only consider using Blender’s shader nodes for when rendering in Blender).

Layer Based Texturing


Hand Painted Texturing


Texturing in Substance Painter


Start by creating a new file.

  • Select model to use for texturing
  • Document resolution defines the default texture resolution and can be changed at any time
  • Normal map type mostly should be OpenGL, but full list is
  • If the maps were baked in another software they can be selected here or added later
  • If one uses UDIMs the setting must be toggled here

Quick Bake maps

After importing the model into Substance Painter, the maps need to be baked, so materials can use them. In the baking menu, make sure to change the Color ID map to Vertex Colors or Material Color. Also disable all maps that have already been baked in Marmoset.


Geometry masking

  • Click the square box beside a layer to enter geometry mask mode
  • One can select by using the viewport or by selecting it in the right sub menu
  • Selecting in the viewport is done by clicking LMB or by holding and pulling LMB. This can also be inversed with CTRL. One can also deselect all but the selected by alt clicking in the right sub menu. Other selection options are also located under the three lines at the top of the right sub menu.
  • There are different mask types: By Mesh Names, by UV Tiles / UDIMs
  • The number in front of the geometry mask icon indicates the amount of objects that are visible in the mask
  • Non-destructive, so when one paint on an area and then disables it the painted data isn’t lost
  • To exit, click on the layer
  • With the hide / ignore excluded geometry button in the top bar all other objects will be hidden from viewport and UV space (Alt + h)

Color ID mask


Black and white mask


Layer Stack Order