Substance Painter is part of the Substance Suite, which is a collection of software dedicated to professional post-processing steps after 3D modeling, such as painting, texturing, landscaping, and rigging. Originally developed by the French company Allegorithmic, it now belongs to Adobe.
Substance Painter has more or less become the gold standard for texturing jobs due to its rich features, simplicity of learning, quality results, and huge community knowledge base.
Normally, Substance Painter is only available by subscription licensing, but one can potentially use some special cases to try it out free of charge, depending on your situation. Read on to find out how!
Originally released in 2014, Substance Painter has gone through several revisions ever since, both major and minor. In fact, Allegorithmic has been continually issuing a new release every two to three months!
Currently in version 2019.2.3, Substance Painter follows a licensing model, depending on the type of user. It has three levels of paid licenses:
The differences between the two first categories are a bit vague on a linguistic basis, but fortunately, there is a clean numerical difference between them: Parties with an income of less than $100K per year qualify for the (cheaper) Indie license. Enterprises have to earn more than $100M, and everyone else should go for the Pro version.
There are some special cases though, where the software is offered on more favorable terms:
For the last two categories, there are some conditions that have to be met. The free license will last for a year (but is renewable), and it has to be used on a personal computer for personal use (for which teaching doesn’t count).
For all categories of user, there’s also a trial option. It lets anyone use the software free of charge for 30 days from activation.
Although we’ve previously covered Substance Painter’s features in depth, it’s worth summarizing the main aspects, especially for the purpose of showing why the software is popular in the first place. Here’s what users (and industry reviewers) like:
If you can’t afford the cost of a full license or don’t qualify for the above “free license” categories, we have the answer! Just make friends with someone that has the license!
Realistically, though, it is quite difficult for any similar software to offer the combination and quality of features contained within Substance Painter. A combination of two or three other software packages could possibly balance the scale, however the convenience would be lacking.
All of that said, here are some programs one could explore:
Given the total number of features on offer, there seems to be a reason for Substance Painter to be considered the “king of its category”. Also helping sway popularity is the name Adobe, which provides an assurance that it will continue to evolve and stay at the top. In the end, though, it’s up to you to decide which platform best suits your needs.
(Lead image source: gnomon.edu)
License: The text of "2020 Substance Painter Free Version: Does It Exist?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.