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Best free tools for PBR (Texturing) workflow?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by Altissimus, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Altissimus


    May 11, 2015

    Want to create my own materials and spent ages watching tutorial vids on materials, texturing, PBR, etc. (Don’t understand most of it.)

    Would like a pointer in the right direction of a good tool for texturing that a) plays well with Unity and b) is free.

    If relevant I use Blender for modelling/UV maps/material assignment, but specifically (inasmuch as I understand this stuff (which isn’t much, and very open to corrections)) I believe I need a tool that will enable me to create and import height/normal/specular /roughness/smoothness maps. (Yep, I appreciate rough/smooth is the same thing viewed from different perspectives.)

    Many thanks,
  2. kburkhart84


    Apr 28, 2012
    I don't know of anything that conveniently lets you work with PBR that is free. Technically, anything that edits images can work, including using Blender's texture painting features....but you can't really paint multiple maps at the same time and see the results right away. Back when everything was only down to normals and colors(with some AO sometimes), it wasn't so hard to get an idea what was going on while painting the color, but with PBR, the roughness and other non-color maps have so much of an effect that trying to paint just the albedo alone is pretty difficult.

    I'm not actually an artist, so my opinion may not be the best thing to base your decisions on. That said, what little I've messed with doing, I've used the Substance suite for everything related to texturing(often using Substances obtained elsewhere, but not always). At the $19.99 monthly subscription pricepoint(if it hasn't yet changed), it represents for me the best(by far) way to work with models and PBR texturing. Designer lets you make textures with math and nodes, while Painter lets you paint directly on the models in 3d, using textures, brushes, and then even generators and particle systems. And the thing is that you are painting the whole PBR texture set all at once with these tools(or only the parts you want to at the given time). I paint a single stroke and it can affect the albedo, roughness, and other textures all at once.