i tried to replicate substance painter’s texturing work flow in blender 2.8 here are the results


Substance painter vs blender the battle

Pic1: final results in blender using eevee render engine

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pic 2: final results in substance painter

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the entire process :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qs4ZLV9jFM

Process breakdown:

  1. step 1

the first thing i realized was that substance painter relies heavily on the normal map and curvature map of the object for creating worn out parts of a texture and scratched parts, and uses the ambient occlusion map to add dirt or mask out unscratched areas if the scratches are extending too far.

these are three most important maps that you need to bake out and substance painter bakes in the begining and fortunately blender can bake all these quite easily.

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blender eevee as of writing this does not support baking textures so i had to switch to cycles unfortunately cycles only has the option to bake, ambient occlusion, normal maps but no option for curvature map, but there is a way to bake this as you can see in the screenshot.

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if you use the geometry node and connect it to the base color, this will make the contours and edges of your mesh dark or bright to create a curvature map that you can bake as a diffuse map.

you will also notice that we only need 1 sample for baking this map as we are only baking color information and no lighting information or shadows thats why in the influence setting i have direct and indirect disabled. having alot of samples will just increase the bake time while producing the same results.

on the bottom left you can see the final bake i made, also i should point out the mesh was properly uv unwrapped.

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this curvature map is what i used to mask the worn out areas and scratches to get similar results like substance painter, the mask was multiplied or subtracted with a scratches texture map using a math node to create scratched wornout areas.

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i did this a few times creating different masks and different scratches blending them together with the mix node to get these results

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i ended up using this as the metalness map and the mask for the color map to have the painted areas yellow and the exposed metal white and metalic, i think i also used this for the roughness but blended with other textures to have more details in dark areas, it would be too reflective without that.

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conclusion.

though it takes more effort to make realistic textures in blender its doable but its not near the power of substance painter given that in substance painter everything is procedure and you can increase the texture file to more than 8k if you wanted without the resolution suffering and in blender your final results are going to suffer or benefit from the resolution of the textures you used

step by step tutorial where i show how i did everything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qs4ZLV9jFM thanks

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