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Color picker | Substance 3D Painter

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    2. Color picker
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    3. Configuring Pens and Tablets
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    6. Technical issues
      1. GPU Issues
        1. Crash when working with overclocked GPU
        2. Forcing the external GPU on Mac OS
        3. GPU drivers compatibility
        4. GPU drivers crash with long computations (TDR crash)
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        8. Issues with Nvidia GPUs on recent Mac OS versions
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        11. Painter doesn't start on the right GPU
      2. Startup Issues
        1. Application failed to start because of Qt
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      3. Rendering Issues
        1. Artifacts and glitches on Mac OS with Custom GPUs
        2. Blocky artifacts appear on textures in the viewport
        3. Mesh appears pink in the viewport
        4. Mesh flash to white when moving camera
        5. Some HDPI scaling values are not working
      4. Stability Issues
        1. Crash during export
        2. Crash when opening or saving a file
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        4. Crash with low virtual memory
        5. Windows Blue Screens
      5. Miscellaneous Issues
        1. Corrupted texture error message
        2. Shelf resources are gone after 7.2 update
        3. Error there is no disk in the drive
        4. Error with missing api-ms-crt dll
        5. Impossible to drag and drop files into the shelf
        6. Impossible to use the ALT keyboard shortcut on Linux
        7. Assets (or shelf) previews are empty
    7. Workflow Issues
      1. Export Issues
        1. My exported opacity map is totally black
        2. Texture dilation or Padding
      2. Tools Issues
        1. Normal map looks incorrect when loaded in layer or tool properties
        2. Paint Tool bleeds on other UV islands
      3. Project Issues
        1. A project has been processed as a text file and is now corrupted
        2. Loading files from a network
        3. Preserve brush strokes setting stays disabled
        4. Projects are really big
      4. Shelf Issues
        1. Thumbnails in the shelf look incorrect
      5. Viewport Issues
        1. Mesh faces disappear when looking at them from behind
        2. Viewports and textures are blurry or lack sharpness
      6. Plugins Issues
        1. Substance Source plugin doesn't load
      7. License Issues
        1. Maintenance is expired dialog on startup
  10. Pipeline and integration
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    3. Resource management
      1. Shelf and Assets location
      2. Resource paths
        1. Adding resource paths by editing preferences manually
        2. Editing resource paths manually
        3. Editing the Shelf Preferences with Python
      3. Adding saved searches manually
      4. Preferences and content migration
      5. Excluding resources in a resource path
  11. Scripting and development
    1. Scripts and plugins
      1. Creating a Javascript plugin
      2. Remote control with scripting
    2. Shader API Reference
      1. Shader API overview
      2. Changelog - Shader API
      3. Libraries - Shader API
        1. Lib Alpha - Shader API
        2. Lib Bayer - Shader API
        3. Lib Defines - Shader API
        4. Lib Emissive - Shader API
        5. Lib Env - Shader API
        6. Lib Normal - Shader API
        7. Lib PBR - Shader API
        8. Lib PBR Aniso - Shader API
        9. Lib Pom - Shader API
        10. Lib Random - Shader API
        11. Lib Sampler - Shader API
        12. Lib Sparse - Shader API
        13. Lib SSS - Shader API
        14. Lib Utils - Shader API
        15. Lib Vectors - Shader API
      4. Parameters - Shader API
        1. All Custom Params - Shader API
        2. All Engine Params - Shader API
        3. All Rendering States Params - Shader API
        4. Layering Bind Materials - Shader API
        5. Layering Declare Stacks - Shader API
      5. Shaders - Shader API
        1. PBR Material Layering - Shader API
        2. PBR Metal Rough - Shader API
        3. Pixelated - Shader API
        4. Surface Shader - Shader API
        5. Toon - Shader API
  12. Release notes
    1. Relese notes
    2. All Changes
    3. Version 8.3
    4. Version 8.2
    5. Version 8.1
    6. Old versions
      1. Version 7.4
      2. Version 7.3
      3. Version 7.2
      4. Version 2021.1 (7.1.0)
      5. Version 2020.2 (6.2.0)
      6. Version 2020.1 (6.1.0)
      7. Version 2019.3
      8. Version 2019.2
      9. Version 2019.1
      10. Version 2018.3
      11. Version 2018.2
      12. Version 2018.1
      13. Version 2017.4
      14. Version 2017.3
      15. Version 2017.2
      16. Version 2017.1
      17. Version 2.6
      18. Version 2.5
      19. Version 2.4
      20. Version 2.3
      21. Version 2.2

Color picker

The color picker allows to set a color to paint or project on the mesh. It can be used to pick colors from external images or to adjust an existing one within the application.

The color picker window appears when clicking on any color field in Painter, which can be found in Properties or within any additional settings or menus, like Display or Shader parameters.

Color picker overview

Once open, the color picker is semi-persistent, which means that it will stay open until a change of context - for instance, when switching from a paint layer to a fill layer. It is possible to move the window around and place it anywhere on any of the available screens. However unlike other windows the color picker cannot be docked.

The window has a vertical layout and is comprised of three sections:

  • Gradient picker (or spectrum)
  • Sliders (RGB/HSV)
  • Swatches

Gradient picker (spectrum)

Name and visual


Display selector

Allow to choose which display to use to edit colors (spectrum and sliders). The default value match the Display used by the main viewport.


This setting is only available when color management is enabled.


The vertical slider is the general hue. It allows to select the shade of color to display within the gradient field.

Once the general shade is selected, it is possible to hold and drag the crosshair cursor in the gradient field to select the desired color. 


When color management is enabled, HDR colors from the current Display will be clamped (in working color space). This is to avoid output HDR value in color managed channels.

Current and previous color

The left rectangle indicates the final color that will be output from the color picker.

The right rectangle shows the previous color (when the color picker was opened). It is possible to click on it to restore the previous color and make it the current one.

Hexadecimal field

The hexadecimal fields represent the current color as hexadecimals values. The RGB components are represented as a pair of letters.

For example #FF0000 represent the red color.


When color management is enabled, the hexadecimal field always work in the standard sRGB color space to make it easier to copy/paste values across software, no matter the current display or working space used by the project..


The eyedropper can be used to pick a color from an external source. To use it click on the icon then move the mouse and again to copy the color wanted.


When selecting a color inside the viewport, it is possible to use the Shift modifier to pick the current channel edited directly. This avoid doing lossy color conversion between the original texture and the color displayed on screen. This is also useful to pick colors without having to switch from the Material display mode.


Color fields also feature an eyedropper next to them and can be used to quickly pick colors without having to open the color picker.


On Mac OS, the eyedropper may not be able to pick colors outside of the application interface because of privacy settings. To fix this issue, assign the proper rights to the application in:

 System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recording

Color settings



Eyedropper color space

Specify the color space for color selected outside of the viewport.

The auto setting uses the Standard sRGB color space from the project settings.


This setting also applies on eyedroppers next to color buttons.


Colors selected inside the viewport also use this profile when not using the Shift modifier.


Color sliders allow for a manual adjustment of individual values.

The sliders can be set two different modes, HSV or RGB. To change the mode, use the dedicated dropdown menu.




HSV stands for Hue, Saturation and Value.

  • Hue allows to cycle through the global color families, much like the vertical gradient slider. 

  • Saturation controls the richness of the selected color, and goes from grayscale to fully saturated. 

  • Value determines how dark or light a color is, and it ranges from fully black to fully white. 


RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue.

These are the main components used digitally to store colors in computer graphics. Each slider represents how much of the component is present in the final color.

Example: the image below has a color that contains a 100% of red, but 50% of blue and green. 

It is more common to have the RGB sliders measured via 0-255 values. This can be done by disabling the Floating point values option. 

Sliders settings

The settings menu allow to configure a few additional behaviors:

Setting Description
Dynamic sliders

If enabled, the background color of the sliders will adjust based on the current color.

Floating point values

If enabled, sliders values are represented going from 0.0 to 1.0.

If disabled:

  • HSV: the hue slider is measured in degrees (like a color wheel). Saturation and Value use percentages. 
  • RGB: components are represented as value going from 0 to 255.

Working color space

This section shows the final color value given the current working color space.

Hovering the Working color space title with the mouse allows to display the name of the current color space.


This section is only available when color management is enabled.


Color swatches offer a way to save colors so they can be reused at a later point. Swatches are available across projection and sessions.

Name and visual


Add swatch

Clicking on this button will create a new swatch color in the current set.

The swatch color is created only if the last color (the one next to the button) is different to the color currently edited.


Swatch color are managed and saved as sRGB colors, whatever the current color management configuration is set to.

Swatch color

Click on a swatch color to load it.

Hovering the swatch will display its hexadecimal value.


When color management is enabled, the display of the colors is adjusted based on the currently selected Display.

Swatch settings

Right-click on a swatch color open the menu and delete it.

Settings menu

Use the settings menu to delete all the swatches.


Swatches are saved inside a configuration file available in the user's documents folder. For more information see the Shelf and Assets location page.

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