Substance Painter is Free

Substance Painter is Free
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Hello Everyone!

My name is James Morris and I’m the Lead Instructor for the 3D Modeling for Gaming Diploma here at the Minneapolis Media Institute (MMI).  I’m writing this Blog because earlier this week I found out some amazing news!  This week I learned that an incredible software package that is one of the Game and Film industries standards has just been made free for students and instructors.  The software package that I’m referring to is called Substance Painter and it’s made by a company called Allegorithmic.  They make an amazing piece of software that allows us in the industry to create some of the most realistic and beautiful textures imaginable.  Companies such as Naughty Dog, Sony, Capcom and Dice make use of the software to bring you the consumer – and future content developers? – the games and other entertainment we enjoy so much.

Now, before I go into why this is a great thing, I wanted to explain one small point just for the sake of clarity.  That point is – as some of you may be asking – exactly what is “Texture” is.  A texture is essentially an image that gets applied to a 3D object to make it look real.  Allow me to give you a very simple example:

In this image, you see what is basically a simple cylinder, but it’s grey and a little shiny.  

This is the default way that any object looks when created in a 3D program such as Autodesk Maya.  For the most part, to be honest the model doesn’t look cool nor real.  However once we apply a texture to it that’s when this image comes to life, as we see in this image:

While this is a bit rudimentary, it serves as a solid example of how a texture works to bring an object or a character to life.  Normally, creating a texture that is far more involved than this coke can like the image here:

Involves a lot of Adobe Photoshop work to create custom repeating textures, testing them on your 3D model and the making edits in your Photoshop file.  In the process you’re going back and forth between 2D and 3D, which can lead to problems because you’re trying to wrap a 2D flat image onto your 3D character model and while this is the way it’s been done for years in the industry it’s not the most efficient way to do it anymore.  Thanks to companies like Allegorithmic, this process has become much more intuitive and thus faster.  

Substance Painter on the other hand, allows us to create high quality textures in a single program that lets us see and interact with our 3D model as we paint our textures rather than going back and forth between multiple software packages.   As a result, you are better able to create characters and objects that look like this:

This change in workflow, has become a boon to the gaming industry allowing us to create better quality work faster and more efficiently.  This then means that you the consumer, get to enjoy your game faster and they look better on top of that!  This is one of the reasons that we here at the Minneapolis Media Institute provide instruction in this industry standard piece of software.  

Normally this software package has been $149 for an indie license which is as a student s what you would normally pay to have access to it at home.  Now however, as a student, you have free access to this amazing product to help enhance your learning experience.  This is an incredible value to the students who are embarking on career in the Games and Entertainment Industries.  

If you want to know more about how to get your student version of Substance Painter visit the Allegorithmic website at or if you would like to learn more about what we teach here at MMI you can visit our website at:

-James Morris

Lead Instructor:

3D Modeling for Gaming