Layer Painter

by Joshua Knauber in Materials, Shaders, Textures

Layer Painter for Blender

Layer Painter is an addon for blender 2.8. It uses Eevee to give realtime feedback while creating materials.

For this, the addon offers a powerful layer stack as well as procedural masks and painting features.

Aidy Burrows: 

"A much desired and much required set of PBR texturing tools, very impressive and pretty complex materials can be achieved without even entering a node graph once!! "

CG Matter (Caleb Mathers):

"Texture painting (PBR) maps in blender has quite frankly been a pain;  LayerPainter gives blender a lot of the functionality you'd expect from a dedicated texturing program like Substance."

Layer system instead of complex node graphs

Layer Painter adds a layer system with PBR channels, which makes creating materials a totally different experience. That means there's no need to worry about complex node trees anymore!

The concept is similar to Substance Painter's approach and takes the concept of layers in a 2D program to create materials for 3D objects.


The addon is packed into an active tool and comes with a workspace.

The UI is designed to give you as much viewport space as possible while focusing on the things that are actually important for your workflow.


The addon works in the LookDev mode to give you realtime feedback when creating your materials.

It offers options like rotating the background image with your mouse to improve the workflow.

Function overview

The layer system gives you the power of blending modes to combine textures and procedurals into your material.

The layers generate the nodes, so you don't have to worry about complex node trees anymore.

You have the ability to edit each channel individually for each layer. This enables you to combine the channels in different ways.

There are Fill Layers, Paint Layers and Node Layers. The node layers use node groups to affect the layer.

You can create custom node groups to use in these layers.

Masks can be procedural or painted with textures. This gives you the ability to mix different layers or channels.

You can create custom mask node groups with special inputs like bevel or ao masks which can be baked with the addon.

The PBR baking function allows you to bake your layer stack into textures. These can be used in your material for quicker rendertimes or you can import them in your game or other software.

If you want more detailed information about how this addon works and what it does, take a look at the documentation!

You can also check out this video to see a timelapse of working with the addon.

CG Matter (Caleb Mathers): "LayerPainter takes us one step closer to a blender-only workflow. A must-have for anyone texturing inside blender."


V 1.1.4

  • Added integration for the Atomic Data Manager addon
  • Fixed object selection in texture paint
  • Fixed some of the undo issues

V 1.1.3

  • Fixed issue with normal map baking
  • Added invert green channel option for normal bake
  • Added ORM texture bake option
  • Fixed errors when reopening a blend file
  • Fixed error when enabling Alpha Blending

V 1.1.2

  • Added new bevel baking type
  • Added live baking preview
  • Added save separately option for baking

V 1.1.1

  • Added tutorial mode
  • Added notification when no materials are in the scene
  • Fixed bug with hidden objects
  • Enabled 32 bit float for height and normal baking

V 1.1

  • Renamed to Layer Painter
  • Moved Layer Painter to an active tool
  • Split the layers into three different types
  • Added group layers
  • Added optional Emission and Alpha channels
  • Added thumbnail selection for node groups
  • Added viewport shortcut panels
  • Added support for Lily Surface Scrapper and Data Manager
  • Rewrote most of the addon regarding operators and UI
  • Reworked most of the UI and workflow
  • Automatically switch to texture painting when it makes sense
  • Added better support for custom node groups
  • Dropdown panels ("LABEL_...")
  • Separators ("SEPARATOR")
  • New documentation
  • A lot of smaller things that will improve your overall experience

V 1.0.3

  • Added button in BATS side panel to append the assets so files which don't need BATS are kept cleaner
  • Added option to display constant color directly in the layer view
  • Added blending mode for layers option which will set the blending mode for all channels
  • Added option to add custom image slot to mask node groups by naming the input "IMAGE_nameofyoursocket"
  • Added ID Mask to asset file
  • Set tilesize to resolution when baking (should give speed improvements in some cases)
  • Fixed texture masks not baking correctly

V 1.0.2

  • Added setting for disabling and changing the shortcut for HDRI rotation in the addon settings
  • Added "Use Alpha" option for mask textures. This uses the alpha channel of the texture for the mask, instead of the color
  • Added "Transparent Layers" option in the texture settings. When enabled, a texture mask with "Use alpha" gets added when you add a texture to the color channel of the layer. This is useful for handpainted textures, as it allows for a similar stacking of layers with transparency as in a 2D program
  • Added default visibility setting for the channels in the layer settings
  • Reorganized settings panel with subpanels
  • Fixed layer name in edit panel not updating when renaming the layer

V 1.0.1

  • Add 2D view option in settings panel
  • Add current layers name on top of editing panel
  • Add opacity value to every channel in editing panel
  • Add option to make Material/Mask tab a dropdown
  • Make two panel workspace the default
  • Renamed viewport settings to workspace settings
  • Always show shader input settings
  • Fixed an issue where the shader input settings wouldn't show up
  • Fixed an issue with baking when selected to active was enabled

V 1.0.0

  • Initial release