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So I've been messing around in Blender on an off for a few years and just recently started putting in the work to actually improve.

When messing with materials and texturing I've found the Poliigon add-on and free materials indispensable. It's super fast to throw PBR quality materials on meshes and be done with it.

However it has its limitations and I hate the pricing model for it.

I started looking into Substance Source/ Painter and it seems like the right way to go for better quality but the workflow of taking things in and out of each program, the back and forth seems very inefficient.

Am I missing something here that makes this process easier or faster than what Poliigon offers? Or why there aren't more options for Plug and Play material libraries out there?

Any tutorials or training path recommendations would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ For Substance Painter, I use the paid livelink add-on from Xolotl studios, which works GREAT! You just create the material in Substance and press send all, and the material in Blender updates automatically. It is not very expensive. This is seen as a side note and not an answer, as I don't want it to look like I'm advertising. Materials from Poliigon are very good, and note that the Add-on also allows you to import Your own maps, if they are named correctly. Blendermada is an okay free source for materials. $\endgroup$ – sorenfroststaal Aug 27 '18 at 8:31
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Here's an answer Reddit user Mcurt posted on the Blender sub:

"There are a lot of factors that determine what tool/workflow is the best for texturing. If you're mostly just using PBR texture maps online, there are a bunch of other sites besides Poliigon that offer free textures. I rarely use Poliigon anymore because they don't have free textures, or at least any at decent resolution. Here are some other sources.

https://texturehaven.com/textures/

https://beta.gametextures.com/shop?order=popular

https://www.textures.com/

https://cc0textures.com/tagged/all

https://www.cgbookcase.com/downloads/

If you enable the node wrangler addon, you can ctrl+shift+T on the Principled BSDF node and instantly add your whole PBR shader.

I find Substance Painter to be most useful for mixing multiple materials in a single texture using smart masks, etc. It is probably not quite as necessary for arch viz stuff.

Other than that, procedural materials created in Blender can be really useful too. This requires practice and a bit of studying the node trees of materials you find on the web. I don't know of many up-to-date sources for procedural cycles materials aside from the Cycles Material Vault, which I'd love to pick up some day."

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