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How do Substance's bakes compare to dedicated baking software?

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tmeucci node

I'm a Blender user looking to expand horizons in the texturing department. It's just not accommodating my needs for power/efficiency in handpainting and in baking.

I've got my eyes set on Substance and Marmoset Toolbag 4 because they do both.

I've considered Quixel, but it doesn't bake and the free baking tool options are less than stellar or just plain ancient, e.g XNormal.

As I understand it, Substance doesn't bake as well as toolbag (issues with skewing, not as fast), but Marmoset doesn't paint nearly as well as Substance.

My question is does it sound like I've got this right? Is there any free software that approaches Marmoset in the normal baking department?


  • oglu
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    oglu polycount lvl 666

    Xnormal does still a good job.

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    Blender itself too although I can admit it's baking is crazy convoluted and puzzling. There is also a free Armorpaint or almost free if you don't want to bother with visual studio installation to build it yourself .

    Marmoset is just simplest one as a baker . Makes you less troubles off all of them. Still it has its limits too. Few things you can bake only in full scale 3d package with advanced ray tracing , details scattering etc .

  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage

    For hand painting perhaps you should also check out 3dCoat. Bit of a strange UI but it even has a smudge finger among its paint tools, in my experience very useful and pretty rare as far as 3D painters are concerned. They have a pretty affordable texturing-only version (without the bake functionality).

    I think Blender is good enough for baking and will be the most flexible choice for sure. The results are in my experience interchangeable with Marmoset's. If you have really dense meshes to bake then a dedicated baker app might make sense.

    For baking there's also another one called Knald, I know a few who swear by it but have not tried myself. https://www.knaldtech.com/

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    ...and xNormal is cool, despite it's age.

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