20 of the Best Substance Painter Tutorials

For the past few years, the three-dimensional texturing industry has been more or less completely dominated by a suite of texturing tools. These include Substance Painter, Substance Designer, and Substance Alchemist. Learning Substance Painter or all three of these programs is important your growth as a beginner in digital three-dimensional art.  

But where do you even begin to start with the complexity of the program? The answer is in tutorials and courses. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 20 best Substance Painter tutorials which you can access for free on YouTube. Come with us!  

1. Introduction to Substance Painter – Ultimate Beginners Guide 

This video takes you through everything you need to know to get started with Substance Painter. In just 55 minutes, this video tutorial will allow a pure beginner to know how to navigate the software. From the second minute, you’re taught about navigation and UI. You will also be introduced to texture sets, brush tools, layers, masking, the shelf, projection tool, polygon fill, generators, and mask editor, smart materials, and Iray rendering.  

2. Substance Painter Tutorials (How to texture an asset quickly) 

This Substance Painter tutorial is about texturing an asset. First, this tutorial takes us through a quick rundown of how to do a very quick material pass on a quick asset. It is a very short video with straightforward processes.  

3. Basics of Substance Painter 

If you’re a complete beginner in substance painting, then this is where you should start. In this tutorial, Iain Gillespie introduces us to the basics of Substance Painter. The video game artist walks us through how to get your models in and textured while looking as awesome as possible. He gives us a quick UI overview and then tries to texture a model from scratch. 

4. Substance Painter 2019.1- Best release ever – review & full walk-through 

This is a full review and walkthrough to using the Substance Painter 2019.1 version by askNK. askNK is a YouTube channel with close to 120,000 subscribers that regularly makes 3D effects, short films, tutorials, tips and tricks, speed arts, community sessions, particle experiments, and VFX visuals. In this tutorial, they talk about all the features in the aforementioned version. Among the things which are covered is the UI, the displacement, and so on.  

5. Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started – Part 01 – Materials & masking 

This is a five-part series of tutorials on Substance Painter created by Substance by Adobe. This first part takes you through the basics on materials and masking. The tutorial takes a look at creating our project, working with basic materials, and creating masks. You simply start by going to the file and choosing new.

In the new project window, you’ll have to make sure that the template is set to PBR metallic roughness. You can continue by following the tutorial using the link below. Don’t forget to check out the three other parts of the series in the succeeding tutorials.  

6. Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started – Part 02 – Filters & generators  

This tutorial takes a look at using filters and generators to create more complex materials. Continuing from the last part, you’ll continue working on a color zero one-layer group. The tutor works on what is going to represent a metal material. It’s a 20-minute tutorial created by Substance by Adobe.  

7. Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started – Part 03 – Brushes & painting 

The third part of the tutorial from Substance by Adobe takes a look at brushes and painting to add hard surface details with the Substance Painter 2021 version. The tutor works on the body texture side by creating a new printable layer. It is an ongoing tutorial project with two more episodes left, which can be followed in subsequent tutorials here.  

8. Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started – Part 04 – Adding decals 

In this fourth part of Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started tutorial from Substance by Adobe, you will see how to add decals by making use of planar projection.   

9. Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started – Part 05 – Exporting & rendering 

In the final part of the Substance Painter 2021 Getting Started series, we are shown how to export our textures and renderings in the Substance Painter program by making use of IRay. The video was only released a month ago, but it has been watched by several thousands of viewers. 

10. Top 8 Substance Painter Tips with Nikie Monteleone 

In this video, Nikki Monteleone offers us the top 8 tips to keep in mind when working with Substance Painter. Nikki is a surfacing artist at DreamWorks Animation Television. She first attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. She shares some tips and tricks for Substance Painter having gone through three personal projects: the Greenie Genie, the Chameleon, and The Wizard’s Living Room.  

11. Substance Painter Texturing | Croquet Set  

In this tutorial, Brent Le Blanc, in another development guide, textures a croquet set. He does part one of the texturing process in Substance Painter and then onto Arnold for part two. Brent Le Blanc is a texture and shading artist in the Greater Los Angeles area. He has a 10-year experience working with Blue Sky Studios, Digital Domain, Gnomon School, and Gnomon Workshop.  He’s currently working with Dreamworks.  

12. Substance Painter: Beginner Stylized Smart Material Tutorial

This beginner-oriented tutorial is one of the best Substance Painter tutorials on YouTube and has been watched tens of thousands of times. It’s created by Thomas from Stylized Station. He shows us how to create a stylized smart material. And the great part about it is that it only takes about five minutes to create. So, enjoy! 

13. Camera: Pt 2 – Substance Painter – Texturing Tutorial Series 

This is the second part of the camera series tutorial presented by Michael Wilde. In part one, he already set up the UVs and now in the second part of the series, he goes into texturing with Substance.  

14. Texture a Barrel Using Substance Painter: Wood (1/3) 

In this video tutorial, Monica from Academic Phoenix Plus takes us through how to texture a barrel using Substance Painter. Recently, she has shown how to UV map and texture a barrel using Photoshop. But this time, she shows how to texture a barrel in Substance Painter.

According to her, the whole purpose of it is that you can understand both ways of creating maps. For this tutorial, it’s important to already understand how to create a color map, a metallic map, and a roughness map so that when you translate all that information from Substance back into Maya, it will all make sense. 

15. The Ultimate Guide to Substance for Beginners – Painter/Designer/Alchemist 

In this video, Stylized Station explains the important differences between Substance Painter, Substance Designer, and Substance Alchemist. He shares with us the pros and cons of using each software; which one to use in different varying situations; and the difficulty level of each one.

The tutor also talks about some cool alternatives for each of the three software and his own personal curated list of the best places to go to learn each program. The video has a ton of information. So if you stick around to the end you’ll get a full recap of everything he covered as a bonus.  

16. Learning Substance Painter Tutorial  

In this tutorial, Z Instructors takes us through the process of texturing by assigning a folder with a customizable mask attached to it. According to the tutor, this way, everything we drag in whether it be a fill layer, a smart material, or a smart mask, will not have to be constantly updated with its unique mask. You just have to simply drag and drop it into a folder to help save some time.  

17. Introduction to Substance Painter – Free Chapter

In this video, Flip Normals shows us a free chapter from their 2019 released Introduction to Substance Painter course. In the full series, you are going to be seeing how to take an approach to Painter. They cover stuff like the introduction and the UI. They show us how to build up materials and cover a lot of the most used features you have in general.   

18. Substance Painter To Octane Render! Workflow Tutorial PBR Cinema 4D [EN] 

In this video, The Motion Designers Community shows us how to jump from Substance Painter to Octane Render. He already made a French video about this workflow and this is the English version.  

19. Working with Decals in Substance Painter

In this video, John Dickinson from Ocean Works gives us a short Substance Painter tutorial. He shows some of the techniques for making decals while in Substance Painter. He also focuses on the differences and similarities between Standard and Paint layers.  

20. Substance Painter 2020.2: What’s New? 

Here in this video, AskNK takes us through the new features in the Substance Painter 2020.2 version released by Adobe. In a screengrabbed video, he tells us what’s new with the version, for example, being able to paint across your UV tiles and more.  

Conclusion 

Substance Painter from Adobe is one of the best three-dimensional texturing tools for beginners to start with. But you may find it a bit complex trying to navigate through by yourself. These 20 Substance Painter tutorials will walk you through, giving you the basics and helping you complete elementary projects. The cool thing about these tutorials is you don’t have to pay to access them. Do have a wonderful time learning 3D texturing!