Paint brush

The Paint Tool is the most common paint brush. It allows you to paint simple colors, masks or even full materials.
It can be combined with particles or more advanced mask (like stencils) to create complex patterns very easily.
The Paint tool properties are split in different parts to make it easier to manage.

Paint / Physical Paint


  • Paint : Regular paint tool based on brush presets that can be used on layers/masks.
  • Physical Paint : Paint tool with physics properties based on particles presets.

Brush properties

The brush properties allow to configure and control the behavior of the brush strokes when painting in the viewports.

The brush preview allow to tweak and visualize the result a brush before testing it out on the mesh :

  • Size : Size of the gizmo and the strokes. Dependant of the Size Space (see below).
  • Flow : Cumulative opacity of the brush. Affect the intensity at which the brush stroke will be applied on a surface (affect all channels of the current material).
  • Spacing : when doing long brush strokes (like drawing a line) this parameters will control the space between each stamps performed during the stroke.
  • Angle : Control the rotation of the brush, useful when using non-uniform alpha masks. Goes from 0 to 360 degrees.
  • Follow Path : if enabled, the stamps inside a brush stroke will be drawn by following the direction of the stroke. (Useful when painting stitches for example.)

There are a few shortcuts to quickly control some of these properties :

  • Ctrl + Right Mouse + Drag left-right = change size.
  • Ctrl + Right Mouse + Drag up-down  = change hardness.
  • Ctrl + Left Mouse + Drag left-right  = change flow
  • Ctrl + Left Mouse + Drag up-down  = change rotation.
  • Size Jitter : Choose a random size in the given percentage (from 0 to 100) with the Size defined above being the maximum.
  • Flow Jitter : Choose a random flow in the given percentage (from 0 to 100) with the Flow defined above being the maximum.
  • Angle Jitter : Choose a random angle in the given range (from 0 to 180) in addition to the Angle defined above.
  • Position Jitter : Choose a random position in the given percentage (from 0 to 100) in addition of the original brush stamp position.
  • Alignment : Indicate in which direction the stamp in a brush stroke will be projected.
  • Backface culling : if enabled, it use the angle defined in the interface as a way to ignore other surfaces when painting.


Straight lines

It is possible in Substance Painter to paint straights lines instead of drawing hand free.
Note that straight lines are drawn in screen/viewport space.

  • Press and maintain SHIFT over the viewports to display the straight line gizmo
  • Press and maintain SHIFT + CTRL/COMMAND to enable the snap system.



The stencil is an additional mask that is applied in screen/viewport space. It allows to combine the alpha of the brush with a more advanced mask.
You can load a regular bitmap or a substance as a stencil. The stencil will always be considered as a grayscale mask however. 

  • It is possible to scale, rotate and translate the stencil over the viewport at anytime.
  • The opacity of the stencil is defined by the flow setting (in the brush properties).
  • It is possible to change the opacity of the stencil when display on the viewport via the viewer settings.
  • It is possible to hide temporarily the stencil by pressing W on the keyboard


It is possible to edit the stencil transformation by pressing the shortcut S :

  • Use S + Left Mouse click to rotate the stencil.
  • Use S + Left Mouse click + SHIFT to snap/constrain to rotation of the stencil.
  • Use S + Right Mouse click to Zoom/Unzoom the stencil.
  • Use S + Middle Mouse click to translate the stencil.


The material parameters define what material will be painted on the mesh. A material can be a composite of multiple channels and can control selectivity, colors and surface details.

  • It is possible to just use color/grayscale values on a brush.
  • It is possible to load bitmap/substance in individual channels.
  • It is possible to use Material presets or Substance as a full material directly (via a drag and drop from the shelf or a single click).

In certain situation, it might be easier to paint only specific channels of the texture set. To do so it is possible to disable a channel by clicking on the dedicated button :