This is not Blender specific, I apologize I don't think this should be posted here (maybe meta) but BA wasn't much help, I thought adding a bounty will get me an answer (will add 50 when it lets me).

Any mods pls feel free to delete or do what you wish with this post.

I have researched and looked at many tutorials but I feel like EVERYONE is doing it "wrong".

When texture painting, every tutorial has you painting in the highlights and shadows (folds in clothing, cracks etc), wouldn't painting an "albedo" map be the "correct" way? If the camera is rotating around the character, wouldn't things look off if the highlights and shadows were already painted in? Shouldn't those be dynamic and let the normal and bump handle all that?

Am I wrong in my thinking or am I missing something obvious?

I am trying to make this a Blender specific question so it doesn't get flagged but I can't so :P

I am hoping one of the veterans could drop me a comment or something since I cant find answers anywhere else.


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ As far as I'm aware, the majority of people using Blender for texture painting are doing low-poly or heavily stylized projects. You're right, it would be more accurate to paint with the normal PBR maps, but most people use other softwares to do this. Blender can, but it's just not very efficient. $\endgroup$
    – Linguini
    Oct 23 '18 at 21:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is no rule, I guess it really depends on the project, painting the highlights and the shadows will be ok for a cartoonish project $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 23 '18 at 22:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This: youtube.com/watch?v=gUVEzwAgGzo and this: youtube.com/watch?v=svzKoq3vew0&t=1s $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Oct 24 '18 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ Holy S**t! @cgslav I felt like that tutorial was made exactly for this question. Thank you kindly sir. I would feel bad that you won't get the bounty but you have too many points already, leave some for the rest of us :P $\endgroup$
    – icYou520
    Oct 24 '18 at 4:53

Texture Painting is as varied in style as the actual mesh modeling and sculpting that you do as well - not everything is made with PBR in mind, so that is why you see tutorials that cover what would be considered to be 'handpainted' style texturing for low poly games.

When painting with realism in mind, I utilize an AO texture bake to start with for multiple uses as in masks for wear,dirt, grime, scratches, etc. I use a color map for the main colors of the material, and then I paint roughness and metalness maps for plugging into the shader. I use custom brush images for patterns, and I play around a lot with setting up bump from the different stencils so that I get a decent amount of realism - but even through all this, I have focused mainly on texture paint with faking realism and less on baking down the output to get it ready for games, as I usually only go so far as to get a still image ready for a packaging demo or a product shot for a job at work - otherwise, I just create what I want for my own taste.

If you haven't already done so, check out BPainter add-on for 2.79 as it gives you a lot of really good advantages when painting in Blender - lots that help with organizing nodes in the background and such.


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