Can Substance Painter or Quixel be used for photorealistic/CG vfx? Workflow feedback?



So I’m having to delve deeper into texturing and figure out a workflow that I’m comfortable with. I have sort of a 2 or 3 part (noob) question (but it’ll help to point me in the right direction):
1). Are Substance Painter or Quixel only good for game assets, or can they be used to create textures for photorealistic CG/vfx assets also? I ask because in most places, they’re described as creating textures for games.

2). I learned texturing using real world photos, and reflection/bump/normal/displacement maps by generating these maps from real world photos. Am I able to use real world photos in Substance/Quixel?

3). Mari can’t be the only app that is used for creating photorealistic textures, right? Again, because Substance/Quixel seem (?) to be used synonymously with game assets in most posts/articles where I read about them.

Ideally, all I’m trying to do for now, for example, is this: I’m trying to texture 3D clothing that I’m making in Marvelous Designer/ZBrush. I’d like to take the 3D model with the fine details into a texturing program, have two layers with a diffuse texture in each (one layer having the actual colored fabric photo that I’ll be using; the other layer being a desaturated version of this colored fabric photo, to represent wear), and then paint a mask on the 3D object in places where I want the worn/desaturated layer to come through.

Hopefully that makes sense. Originally I thought I would do it in photoshop, using the 3D object window to paint in the mask. But then it seems that everyone is using something like Mari/Substance/Quixel etc. to do this, hence the trip down this rabbit hole.

Also, I’m comfortable and figured out UDIMs for my workflow, so I’d like to be able to have the program be able to output multi-tile textures. Any guidance would be so much appreciated!!! Thank you.


So I’m a relatively new user of Substance, and I can say that they support both workflows, Game assets and VFX assets as well, you have to choose the correct PBR modes during the new project creation within Substance.