Blender To Substance Painter

Darren Hi, I'm Darrin Lile, a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer, and welcome to 'Scene Creation with Blender and Substance Painter.' In this course, we will use Blender's modeling tools to create the rooms of this coworking space, creating the walls doors and window frames. The (non-Free) texture painter excels at creating complex PBR textures. BlenderBrit writes: In this short tutorial you will learn how to export models from Blender into Substance Painter and how to setup a basic node group to make use of the textures generated by Substance Painter.

I am still just learning Blender and I think from what I have read I also want to try and use Substance Painter to generate PBR textures for my models for the new Flight Simulator. I am coming from this with a small bit of past experience using SketchUp to design models and Photoshop for texturing in the old simulators.. To be clear I am only designing airports. I am not interested in making aircraft.
My question is does this workflow have you designing the 3d model in Blender and then doing all of your textures and PBR materials in Substance Painter? Is Blender used in this situation for any texturing or materials at all? What about Ambient Occlusion (which I have not done before and is also new to me)? UV Unwrapping? Is that part of Substance Painter? I'm kinda lost as to what the process is between these two software programs.
This page was printed on Apr 23, 2021. For the current version, visit

As of version 2.8, Blender can export GLB files that can added to a product in the Shopify admin. To learn more, see the Blender manual.

Blue blocks

For older versions of Blender, you can combine Blender and Substance Painter to export a GLB file.

Prepare your model for export in Blender

To prepare your model for export, you need to make sure that it's a single mesh and that it has a single texture applied to it.


  1. Click File > Import and then select the correct file format for your model.
  2. Select your model file, and then click Import.
  3. While holding SHIFT, right click each object in your scene, and then press Ctrl + J to join them into one mesh.
  4. Unwrap the model into 0-1 UV space. Make sure that no UVs overlap:
  5. In the Properties editor, click the materials icon.
  6. Click the + button to add a new material slot:
  7. Click New.

Export the mesh from Blender

  1. Click File > Export > FBX (.fbx).
  2. Enter the path to where you want to export the file.
  3. Make sure that you use the following export settings:
  4. Click Export FBX.

Import and prepare the FBX file in Substance Painter

  1. Create a new Substance Painter project by clicking File > New.
  2. In the New project dialog, click Select to choose a mesh.
  3. Select the FBX file that you exported from Blender, and then click Open.
  4. In the New project window, click OK.
  5. Verify that you correctly exported your mesh by checking that there's only one texture set in the Texture set list panel.

    If you see more than one texture set, then see Multiple texture sets.

  6. In the Texture set settings panel, click the + button to add channels:

    • Required: Ambient occlusion.
    • Optional: Emissive. Add this channel if your model has components that will emit light.
    • Optional: Opacity. Add this channel if your model has components that will be transparent.
  7. In the Texture set settings panel, click Bake Mesh Maps.

  8. Paint textures on to the model.

Multiple texture sets

When you import the FBX file into Substance Painter, you should see only one texture set:

Blender To Substance PainterBlender To Substance Painter

If you see more than one texture set, then one of the following was wrong when the mesh was exported from Blender:

  • The mesh wasn't combined into a single object.
  • The mesh had more than one texture assigned to it.

Blender To Substance Painter Youtube

If that's the case, then export your model from Blender again and make sure that the mesh is a single object and has only a single texture assigned to it.

Substance Painter Materials

Export the glTF file from Substance Painter

  1. Click File > Export Textures.
  2. From the Config drop-down menu, select glTF PBR Metal Roughness.
  3. Choose the location where you want to save your textures.
  4. Choose a document size to determine how large the texture files will be.


    Usually textures don't need to be larger than 2048 x 2048 px. Use 1024 x 1024 px where possible to reduce the total file size significantly.

  5. Click Export.

Compressing texture files

When you have exported the model, you should have the following files:

  • modelName.bin
  • modelName.glb
  • modelName.gltf
  • modelNamebaseColor.png
  • modelNamenormal.png
  • modelName_occlusionRoughnessMetallic.png

When using the glTF PBR Metal Roughness configuration, Substance Painter exports texture files only in PNG format. Consider compressing the texture files and converting any textures that don't need an alpha channel to a JPG. This reduces the total file size, and smaller file sizes allow for quicker download speeds and smoother interactions.

It's best to keep your file size to 4 MB or smaller.

Create a GLB file


Blender To Substance Painter Plugin

If you change your PNG images to JPG, then you need to edit the readable glTF file and change the necessary PNG references to JPG before you package the glTF into a GLB. Open the glTF file in a text editor, update any file names from PNG to JPG, and then save the file.

  1. Visit
  2. Drag and drop the files that you exported from Substance Painter on to the GLB Packer web page.

A file called out.glb will be downloaded to your computer. After the download is complete, you can rename the file and then upload it to Shopify.